You like my triple-entendre don’t you? Admit it. (Of course getting it is predicated on having an interest in both comically bad 80s movies about Greek Mythology as well as historically bad comic book teams) Anyway [notice how I no longer say anywayS, (or tomorrie!) … oh, the refs, the refs…], seeing that my happiness, inner and outer, seems to be predicated on the continual public disgrace of pop culture figures (not without a twinge of grief however – I have somewhat of a bastardized formulation of what some might call a conscience), the recent public decay of several of these icons provides a special satiation for me – personally, a pop icon’s psychological effect most resembles the effect of a good sharp cheese: the perfect kind of bitter come from that stage of fermentation when the decay makes itself readily apparent.
But of course ones personal tastes must come into account. My favorite cheese is a nice Irish extra-sharp cheddar – obviously the closest analog is Britney. Some might have cut a slice 4 years ago, when the earliest signs of pungency were beginning to arise (this speculative group of timids having neither a passion for the bitter or a taste for the sadistic), for example the sapphic kiss shared with Madonna (ironically an icon whose progression was more of a stagnancy than a fermentation). The VMA kiss symbolized a release of her superficial tethering to the role of “good girl”. Some saw it as maturity, some as merely a stunt. Others, such as myself, saw it in simpler terms: She’s really just kind of a dumb ‘ho. And dumb ‘hos, male or female, lacking the grounding that her former role gave her (no matter how bullshit it was), in the type of position she is in, are destined to go crazy.
And as of last night, this:
Now, some have called this years VMA performance a disaster, a tragedy. It’s neither. It’s stale. The tragedy was the bald, flashin’-her-pussy Britney. This is the Oxycontin-fueled, hangover-ravaged, shell-of-her-former-self Britney. The true connoisseur savored the former – the Britney of a few months ago: chopping off her hair, freaking out on the paparazzi, flashin’ da puss, thinking she was the devil. That was the correct time to cut a slice, inhale the pointed bouquet, and sink your teeth.
As an armchair pop cultural doom-sayer, one thing always fascinates me: the recursive expectation that the newest pop culture teen darlings have the potential for being wholesome and moral, thus somehow bringing about a conservative revolution to pop culture as a whole. They thought this with Lindsey Lohan, Mandy Moore, to some extant Britney, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake (hell the last three were in the fucking Mickey Mouse club). What happens? They all turn out to be sluts, JT included (PS I saw a bit of the Future Sex Love whateverthefuck show on HBO. Let’s face it, it’s still boy band bullshit. I saw him dancing while mock-playing a keytar, come-the-fuck-on! Although I dig what he said at this years VMAs). Ok, let’s face it. Artists are crazy, whacked-out, twisted sluts! I am. My friends are. We’re crazy as fuck, we’ll never pull some Ozzie and Harriet-type bullshit (For the record, it is not just conservative ideals that fail to be adequately espoused – I remember lefties and feminists who actually believed that the Spice Girls’ ridiculous Girl Power message would somehow make a difference. How’d that turn out?)
So this brings me to High School Musical. Yes, that is a phrase my close friends have had to suffer all too often recently. There was a People Magazine that found its way into my apartment recently (and into my bathroom). The cover story was the real-life relationship between the two stars of the musical and the sequel. It spoke of the wholesomeness of the movies and the apparent wholesomeness of the two stars. It was typical “Could this adorably moral couple bring about a change in the teen pop cultural dynamic?” kind of article. Well guess what? Apparently not (NSFW!)
Wh-wh-what?? An actress has a scandalous side? Stop the presses! Of course she does. Everybody does. And artists are the most scandalous (or scanless if you prefer) of all. The issue is when it becomes self-destructive and pathological (i.e. with Britney). Ironically, even though Vanessa Hudgens is probably your average kinky teenage actress, it is shit like this that will make her go over the edge. Some disgruntled ex-boyfriend decides to make a quick buck and 5 years later she’s found in a New Jersey gas station, drinking 87 octane direct from the pump in a bunny costume, with ravages of smeared mascara framing her hollow eyes.
And I’ll be sitting in my lazyboy, a block of Limburger cheese in one hand, a knife and a bottle of vintage Bordeaux in the other.