The Crying of Lot 49

References in popular culture

  • The Yoyodyne company, which first appears in V., is also referenced in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and is a manufacturer of starship drives in the Star Trek universe. Angel, the spin-off series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, includes a firm named Yoyodyne, although this may be an indirect allusion via the Buckaroo Banzai film. ABC television created a website for a fictional company named PB-Sales, in connection with its TV show Lost; PB-Sales specializes in managing and controlling other corporations, including Yoyodyne and Daystrom Data Concepts (a nod to the Star Trek episode "The Ultimate Computer").[9] The GNU General Public License uses "Yoyodyne, Inc." as the name of a company in an example of a copyright disclaimer.
  • Both Radiohead and Yo La Tengo have included Pynchonesque motifs in their works, some of them hinging upon The Crying of Lot 49.[10] Yo La Tengo named a song "The Crying of Lot G" on their album And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. Radiohead alludes to the novel in the name of their online merchandise shop and mailing list, W.A.S.T.E. (which originally sent out physical mail, making the reference more apt).
  • Nicholas Meyer's 1993 novel The Canary Trainer describes a fictional painting by the Impressionist painter Degas, which happens to show Sherlock Holmes playing violin in the Opera Garnier. To explain why this work is not prominently displayed in an art gallery, Meyer adds a tongue-in-cheek footnote, explaining that it was bought by the late "Marquis de Tour et Tassis", then auctioned off by the Marquis's widow. The aristocrat's name (a version of "Thurn and Taxis") and the auction are nods to Pynchon.
  • In the William Gibson novel Count Zero (1986), the multinational corporation Maas Neotek is named in honor of Oedipa Maas.[11]
  • Lot #49 of an auction in the Lemony Snicket novel The Ersatz Elevator is "a valuable postage stamp."
  • In the opening shot of the Mad Men episode "Lady Lazarus" (season 5, episode 8), character Peter Campbell is reading the novel.
  • The anime film Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space (2002) bases its plot about a religious cult becoming a mail-order monopoly and intergalactic power on the novel's Tristero.
  • The sample configuration file for GNU's Wget uses proxy.yoyodyne.com as a placeholder for the proxy setting.[12]
  • The Phone Company (tpc.int), established by Carl Malamud and Marshall Rose in 1991, used the post horn of the Trystero guild as its logo.[13]
  • A Google smartphone app for the third annual Treefort Music Fest (a QR Code scanner in the guise of a nominal secret decoder ring) prominently features the Trystero muted horn.[14]
  • In the animated sitcom The Simpsons, the guest character in "Diggs" (season 25, episode 542) has a broken arm and evidently Oedipa Maas visited him and signed his cast.
  • The death metal band Vader, in their song "Silent Empire," refers to horns, messages and Trystero.
  • The title and lyrics of indie pop band Faded Paper Figures's song "San Narciso" refer to the fictional setting of the novel.[15]
  • WASTE, an encrypted "darknet" messaging and file-sharing program by Justin Frankel, makes several references to Lot 49. It likely takes its name from the underground postal service of Lot 49 and its logo at one point was a horn on a postage stamp.

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