How odd that an art-house film of gravitas like Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood is the movie which launched this year’s hottest catchphrase. Though, no one could argue that the similarly weighted Brokeback Mountain did the same two years ago.
What’s funny, or maybe depressing, is that when a movie like Juno strains so hard to actually create some sort of catchphrase (think of Lacey Chabert in Mean Girls, “that’s so fetch!”), it’s actually a movie that had no intention of doing so, which has acheived that wondrous feat.
Perhaps, then, that’s what makes the anachronistic phrase “I drink your milkshake” so comforting. There are parody videos, websites, promotions, even examples of how to use it, but where did it come from?
According to an interview with the director and writer of the film, the bizarre saying actually came from historical sources.
Anderson concedes that he’s puzzled by the phenomenon ? particularly because the lines came straight from a transcript he found of the 1924 congressional hearings over the Teapot Dome scandal, in which Sen. Albert Fall was convicted of accepting bribes for oil-drilling rights to public lands in Wyoming and California.
In explaining oil drainage, Fall’s “way of describing it was to say ‘Sir, if you have a milkshake and I have a milkshake and my straw reaches across the room, I’ll end up drinking your milkshake,’ ” Anderson says. “I just took this insane concept and used it.”
So there. Let’s drink a milkshake and pillage a village and not feel bad for it. After all, the only thing that hasn’t happened yet, is for people to start asking, What Would Daniel Plainview Do?? Scary indeed.