I'm going to use them today to prove a point (Mrs. Wilson would be so proud - I probably haven't used a Venn diagram since I was a 5th grader in her classroom).
My point? There is nothing new in popular culture. The people who make movies and produce television shows know this - and in fact, they capitalize on it. I have five examples that should help make clearer that what you watch on TV or what you see in the theater are imaginative (or not-so creative) rehashings of previous ideas.
1. Starting off simple. A+B=C: Godzilla + The Blair Witch Project = Cloverfield.
2. A little more complex is comparing 3 items. When you get A+B+C=D, there may be things that A and B have in common that are not shared by C. Likewise B and C have commonalities not a part of A. Example: Fantastic Four + 7th Heaven + Teen Titans = No Ordinary Family. However, the combination of any two items result in differing selections. Yet the sum of all parts result in ABC's new show about a family with super powers.
3. Now that that we've covered the two primary types of Venn diagrams, lets go back to the two circle version: Gilligan's Island + The X-Files = LOST
4. Sometimes, crazy things happen.* With the success of a perfect blend of ingredients, the result of one mash-up could be the catalyst for another: LOST + 24 = FlashForward, LOST + Alien Nation = V, Alien Nation + 24 = Threshold. The sum of all parts equals The Event.
5. Finally I give you a Venn diagram within a Venn diagram. This is the strange instance where the end result is any of the four parts, yet any two parts make nothing other than the final answer. Confused? Let me explain: The so-called White Horse prophecy + Armageddon with some conspiracies mixed in and TEA Party endorsement, you get...
Glenn Beck. No other place will you see Mormon history blended with Revelationy thinking. Glenn represents the Tea Party and and organizes events. He makes his money spouting insane conspiracies with no basis in fact. He frequently drops the exact phrasing allegedly spoken by Joseph Smith in the White Horse Prophesy. He is predicting apocalyptic bloodshed if we don't do what he says. All four parts could stand on their own, but combine any two, and you always end up with the same product: Glenn Beck.
* It is of special interest that LOST, 24, and The Event all feature something very bad happening to commercial airplanes during their debut episodes. Culturally induced aerophobia.
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