So should I just stay in this position for a while?
Everyone and their mom is talking about Lena Dunham’s new show, and I am so glad! She is funny in a low-key way that is super underrepresented in like—a room with just Chris Rock and Robin Williams in it. I worried (after seeing on IMDB or something that Tiny Furniture was classified as “Tragicomedy”) that people would just be like, “She’s not shouting… so I guess she’s not telling jokes?” But now Judd Apatow is all mentoring her and HBO is all slathering her in publicity and thank goodness.
The thing is. The thing is I didn’t like the pilot so much. It is not because there are too many white people in it, though, and I am so tired of hearing that. Look how a) rich b) privileged and c) casually entitled she and her homies are! Hundreds of years of baseless white person self-confidence backing you would DEFINITELY help get that mix going—where you think your parents should support you indefinitely because “everyone’s” parents do that. You can fall back on the whole, “Well, when great-grandma was working on her poetry about trading calico for other calico, great-GREAT-grandma supported HER indefinitely! And now the world has Little House on the Prairie!” It makes sense that Hannah’s perspectiveless ahhhhtist self would spend a lot of time being white with all her friends.
Dungeons and Dragons and Model and UN
“The Treaty,” Parks and Recreation // “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons,” Community
So as embarrassing as this is (or is not), I have not been watching Parks & Recreation at all this season. Or 30 Rock, or Community. I just went through the Hulu archives and got back in the game a little bit (although 30 Rock is not on Hulu anymore, so I am pretty benched in that game. Or that game is paused due to a technical foul. Or I have experienced checkmate in that game. OR the endzone of that game is full of… dirt. I CAN GO FOREVER I KNOW THE SHIT OUT OF MY GAMES).
Anyway, while I was watching Parks & Rec (“The Treaty”), I had a revelation. The episode is about Model UN, which I don’t totally understand, but it nevertheless reminded me of a Community episode from last season (“Advanced Dungeons and Dragons”), which was also about a game I did not understand. Let’s lay out the total of what I know/believe about each thing:
My Favorite Song
“Screaming Infidelities,” Dashboard Confessional
I don’t know why the only video for this song involves something called “Mallrats.” Probably because this song plays exclusively in malls. At Hollister. It makes people want to try on skintight polos in total darkness!
Also, this is not actually my favorite song. I think it kind of sucks. BUT it is great for me personally because I have this like uncontrollable mane (not in a goddess-y sense, in a nature channel lion sense) of curly hair that is just hysterically everywhere at all times. I have owned many, many defrizz hair products and straightening irons and they have no effect except that the straightening irons sometimes burn my hands. I continue to look like the “Before” in a Garnier Fructis commercial, even when I use Garnier Fructis products that are supposed to make me look like an “After” (Garnier Fructis is French for “Lying Fruit Whores”).
So for me, this song is great. Because people actually really often tell me that my hair is everywhere, and thanks to Chris “Secret Hot Topic Shareholder” Carrabba I can respond “Screaming infidelities!” in this weird upbeat way. And then laugh to myself for like, an hour, while everyone looks on in horror because now that it’s 2011, you’re supposed to pretend Dashboard Confessional never existed. It’s like Dippin Dots. We’ve just all tacitly agreed to forget BUT NOT ME I AM GOING ROGUE BITCHES.
I’m going to be MIA for most of this week working on an advice column for my friend’s magazine (and sleeping). Am I qualified to give advice? Absolutely not! That is why it will take a while.
I do actually have one good piece of advice though: If you are tutoring a high school student, and you are trying to be a good role model, don’t open your purse during the session. Your purse will undermine everything you are trying to do. It is full of candy.
Do I Have Rabies
Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
In a book that is not Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion said “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” This is one of those nice quotes, like “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and “I love lamp,” that is good at first and then EVERYONE SAYS IT ALL DAY EVERY DAY AND YOU PUNCH JOAN DIDION IN THE FACE. Fuckin Joan. I feel like every hour I have a conversation that’s like:
ME: I was snuggling with my cat today and she was purring and it was cute. But then she got this manic look in her eyes, sort of like all Will Ferrell’s characters do on SNL!, and then she bit me. And I think I have rabies.
PERSON: For me, this evokes Joan Didion’s famous quote, “We tell ourselves stories about cats in order to live.”
I HATE THIS CONVERSATION. I don’t care what Joan Didion said. I care if I have rabies.
Also, I didn’t toootally care what Joan Didion said when I read Slouching Towards Bethlehem. I mean, it was really good. She’s smart. She clearly does “research,” which I know I haven’t mastered because, midway through writing this post, I realized I haven’t read Slouching Towards Bethlehem. I stopped 2/3 of the way though. Oops!
Be Quiet Jordan Catalano
My So-Called Life
The first time I watched My So-Called Life, I was in high school. My dad taped it and was like, “This show will teach you what it’s like to be a teenaged girl.”
And I was like, “Dad, I already am a teenaged girl.”
And then he was like, “Compared to the teenage girls in this show, you are a middle-aged man.”
So I watched it, and I learned SO MUCH ABOUT LIFE I thought. Except now, seven years later, I mostly remember learning that Jordan Catalano was sexy, debilitatingly stupid, and had a leather choker (the top three things I look for in guys to this day!). I also remember thinking that everything Angela said—especially in her voiceovers—was very wise. Like, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” wise.
I’m rewatching My So-Called Life on Netflix, though, and it’s hitting me differently now. Angela seems less wise than Harry’s death-vision of Dumbledore. Also:
1. It’s suddenly funny to me when Rayanne tells Angela she’ll always take care of her, because right before she says it she lands them both in a police car. She says it while they are still in the police car. They are not under arrest, but they are not NOT under arrest.
2. Jordan Catalano says EVERYTHING WRONG. Everything! I’m thankful that most of the time he’s quiet and just stolidly thinking about his eyedrops, because the minute he opens his mouth it’s all “I have no interest in you” and “You talk a lot” and “I barely know you but I’m also telling you what type of girl you are because that’s something that’s fun for both of us!” If his beautiful face fell off he would never get laid. (Fourth thing I look for in guys: Faces. No shirt, no shoes, no skin on your face, no service!!!)
Weezy F Baby and the F is for I’M AMPED
“My Last,” Big Sean // “Hands Up,” Lil Wayne
THESE SONGS ARE EACH OTHER’S COUSINS:
It’s old news, but I just found the Lil Wayne one and I’m AMPED. I feel like Lil Wayne and Big Sean just revealed that they were long lost cousins, or like Lil Wayne just revealed that he was my long lost backup dad, or like Big Sean just revealed that there is a good reason Chris Brown is dressing more and more like Rihanna every day. CHRIS. IT’S OVER. She doesn’t want to date you OR you dressed as her fraternal twin.
“The Writer and the Psychopath,” Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
I just read this essay on Bookslut about, among other things, trendy disorders. Psychopathy is trendy right now, Marzano-Lesnevich argues, and Aspergers used to be trendy until people realized that there were sexier problems than unrelenting social awkwardness.
This argument is weird to me, though. It’s basically an argument that empathy is getting uncool:
[S]ince the [psychopath] diagnosis correlates with power, charm, and manipulation of others, it offers bragging rights in certain circles. The website Experience Project features an “I am a Psychpath” forum and message board, with topic posts like, “When did you figure out you were a psychopath?” and “What do you like best about being a psycho?” Elsewhere on the Internet, posters offer up their self-calculated scores on Hare’s checklist, seeming pleased by the way the score confirms for them that yes, they are charming, and yes, they are uniquely skilled at taking advantage of others without remorse. (Could there be a more appealing and reassuring diagnosis to the teenage boy alone in his room?)
Who is excited or reassured by not being able to feel empathy? Empathy is the shit! Empathy is the only reason you have any friends! (Unless you have a nice car, then there are two reasons.) There is no way to hate on it. David Brooks tried in an article about empathy’s limitations, and it ended up (I thought) dumb. Every good thing has SOME limitations, and listing them doesn’t really constitute a hard-hitting critique. That’s like writing an anti-scarf op-ed about how scarves keep your neck warm, but they don’t keep your feet warm.
More Like I Made It Happen Amirite
“It Happened To Me”s, xoJane
I used to be a big fan of women’s magazines and actually know things like which mascara won Allure’s Eyelashiest Mascara Award. (It’s always Maybelline Great Lash, you guys, you don’t have to keep checking back every year.)
But then I got older and smarter and SO BORED. Because women’s magazines are basically just one sex tip over and over: Blow your boyfriend with your mouth full of ice (he’ll like the surprise cooling sensation!) and then pause in the middle to say “Nergggg, my teeth are so numb” (he’ll like how the anticipation builds while you say “Nergggg”!).
It’s just not enough to hold my interest for more than five years, so I quit all that Cosmo bizasness and started reading xoJane instead. Most of the time it’s just as frivolous, but it’s WAY better, and it really makes me laugh sometimes. Like in this post about dealing with dry spells featuring sage advice like:
Occasionally touch the skin on your eyelids. Feel that? That’s what balls used to feel like.
Call Yrself Girlfriend
“Call Your Girlfriend,” Robyn
This song is such a fucking jam…
…and it outlines the nicest way possible to leave your girlfriend for a pop star. Guys having affairs with Lady Gaga—take note and make sure she has not eaten any of your vital organs!
The thing is, if you have to tell a guy to call his girlfriend and have The Talk, that means he is too spineless to do it by himself like a mensch. Which might mean he is not worth all the industrious warehouse-dancing? It also seems bad that he needs intensive line-by-line prep before he can hold a conversation. I don’t know. I think Robyn and her cool teeth can do better. I also think he’s never going to call his girlfriend.