Get a behind-the-scenes look at the musical that launched Lin-Manuel Miranda’s rise to stardom. In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams airs Friday, November 16, at 10 PM. pic.twitter.com/NDotDrD5ks
— KCTS 9 (@KCTS9) November 14, 2018
(Probably everybody who’d wanted to watch this already knows about it, but just in case… )
I was never a hardcore Marvel fan (even if I did write my first letter to the editor to The Submariner), so I’m gonna let someone better equipped cover Stan Lee’s cultural contributions. But the many eulogies written to celebrate him make me a little sad about the passing of a venerable NYCer joke.
Lots of people have mentioned Lee’s catchphrase, Excelsior! — Ever upward. It’s also the motto on the New York state seal… and the word for a now-obsolete form of packing material, the wood shavings commonly used before the invention of styrofoam.
When I was growing up in New York City, the standing quip was that this high-flown word was chosen as a euphemism, because the heraldry folk didn’t think Bullshit! would look well on official documents.
I guarantee that Stan Lee, New Yorker, knew this joke. But apparently it’s no longer in circulation among the global pop-culture cognoscenti.