Some pop culture references are more obscure than others. I hadn't heard of Downton Abbey until Community spoofed it with Cougarton Abbey.Ah, ad hominem how I've missed thee.
Seriously, Steve, my gripe isn't so much about that you guys are using pop culture references because, as you rightfully point out, you folks at Marvel have been doing so with Spider-Man ever since his inception. Rather, my gripe was for how Slott appears to have used that pop culture reference within the context of this particular issue. Still, I suppose this is a relatively minor gripe compared to how Mary Jane, who is the one person that knows Peter better than anyone else alive, still hasn't figured out that "Peter" is not really Peter at this point despite the fact that she plainly sees that he's acting very out-of-character. I mean, she's not exactly Lois Lane who seemingly couldn't tell the difference between Clark Kent and Superman because of a pair of glasses--she's known about his double-life and lived with the guy for years. Or how Carlie, who just by telling MJ what "Doc Ock" said, could unravel SpOck's deception, but will no doubt be too distracted by "OMG! Peter and MJ are getting back together?!" and thus forget all about it until the very end of the issue. But perhaps I'm jumping the gun on those points and will have to see how things actually play out when the full issue comes out.
Again, it's not so much comic book creators making pop culture references but rather how they use them. In the preview we have Ghost Peter react to seeing SpOck and Jonah being all buddy-buddy by saying "This is crazy-town banana pants!" Then, in the very next scene with Mary Jane and Carlie, MJ says the same thing and then proceeds to explain that "Crazy-town banana pants" was something she picked up from Peter while they were living together. Then Carlie adds that Peter said "crazy-town banana pants" all the time while they were dating. The problem is that Peter has never uttered that phrase in any comic until this issue. Moreoever, people didn't even recognize that what Peter said was a nod to Community until some had a vague recollection of hearing the phrase somewhere else before and looked it up on the internet.
Still, this is a very well-written response all the same.