March 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM ET
On Friday, President Barack Obama successfully distracted a tense nation from the mandatory spending cuts that are due to begin in mere hours through a sci-fi malapropism so egregious it caused the Twitterverse to explode ... metaphorically, anyway.
"I can't do a Jedi mind-meld to make Republicans do the right thing," Obama said in an impromptu press conference addressing the sequester deadline. Improperly combining the telepathic hypnosis techniques of two popular space-based franchises, the "Jedi mind trick" of Star Wars and the "Vulcan mind meld" of Star Trek, Obama caused nerds to feel the catastrophic disturbance in the Force.
It's the the social media equivalent of "crossing the streams," the thing Dr. Egon Spengler warned his fellow Ghostbusters never to do with their proton packs, for fear of a fairly serious setback:
"Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light."
Yet, as Dr. Ray Stanz's unfortunate conjuring of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man necessitated, sometimes you have to cross streams. Or, in this case, mix up sci-fi references.
It all started with a photo of Sir Ian McKellan's Gandalf accompanied by Yoda's quote "Do or do not, there is no try," and attributed to Harry Potter's Dumbledore. Infuriating, isn't it? Obama utters a seriously heinous troll quote, and now we can speak of little else. Whether it was initially on purpose or not, it's on now, especially after the White House released an image milking the trollery for all it's worth.
These are not the across-the-board federal budget cuts and harsh austerity measures you're looking for.