Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fashion, Michaels and MTV Greek Tragedies

Here is a giant grabbag of various ideas that I've been kicking around for a while. It'll probably be long, so bare with me, folks.

I will freely admit that I know a lot of things, but I clearly don't understand fashion. It has been happening for a while, and I simply cannot understand new trends. For almost my entire life I have worn jeans and t-shirts. It hasn't failed me yet. Now, there are so many different things going on that I can't keep up. When did it become necessary or good to have shoes that have little rubber spikes all over them in places that don't make contact with the ground, and thus are just unnecessary and worthless. I guess that's the point?

I will never understand Uggs. They are giant, cumbersome, and ridiculous looking. More so, you need a special spray to keep them from getting damaged by water. They're boots - aren't they built specifically for that purpose? That's like me buying a shower curtain, but I need to spray it down cause it's made out of cotton. They're expensive as hell, too, and they just keep your feet warm (or incredibly damp). Don't even start with me on skirts and Uggs. Yeah, I want a chick who looks like she has legs as thick as a pencil and feet like a Flinstone's appliance. Sign me right up.

The threat is no longer with just Uggs, though. As pointed out to me by faithful reader Lindsey, there are things called Moon Boots which look so incredibly ridiculous I don't know how anyone could buy them and walk around not feeling like an asshole. They are HUGE. Girls are willingly putting shoes on their feet that the mob applies to guys that snitch before they are thrown into the Hudson River.

What baffled me more than anything was popped collars and aviators (or as I call it, "The Boston College"). These fashions originated as a throw back to the 1980s, a time which is widly known for its ridiculous and terrible fashion choices. But here we are, willing to put those objects back on without the tongue-in-cheek necessary for such a move. You should have some sort of foresight that when you look back ten years from now you're not going to proud of what you wore. This is guarenteed. You know how? CAUSE IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED! There is an entire generation now that is trying to shun wearing popped collars and aviators, but we are willfully diving in head first. Didn't we learn from Machiavelli? We must learn from the mistakes of the past.

That's really why I'm looking forward to the next few years when people start harkening back to the nineties so I can see some girls dressed like Blossom.

Michael, as a name, is not better or worse than any other name. Jeffrey is a good name, so is Sean...maybe not Chester, but, for the most part nothing about Michael really stands out. Except for the fact that everyone is named that. I am named Michael only because of my father, who refused to have a child named Patrick (it was later moved to my middle name as my mom claimed "you never said anything about a middle name"). For my entire life I have never been the only Michael, never being a unique little flower. Sure, it's better to have a traditional name than something out of Hollywood: Hi, this is my beautiful baby boy, Woodtable.

My problem lies in the fact that I never got my way in what my name should be. From first through sixth grade, I almost always had a class with another Michael, and he WAS a Michael. He was incredibly smart, later scoring a 1600 on his SATs. Would play basketball, but wasn't very athletic, nor was he one of the more popular kids. He was a Michael, and there's nothing wrong with it; that's what he was. I, however, was a Mike. The name alone sounds fun, exciting, energetic, and dammit, that's what I was.

But, every year when the teachers realized there were two Michaels, something had to change. What was incredibly unfair was the fact that, although my last name started with the letter "a," I never got to choose - HE did. He knew how great of a name Mike was, and when the teacher would be startled and ask him "oh, there are two Michaels, would you prefer Mike?" he would say yes. And man, was I jealous. One year I tried a pre-emptive strike to go for Mike, but it just didn't work out, as the woman was a nut from Nebraska and hated me for seemingly no reason.

It got worse in High School. Out of 82 people, around 40 boys, at one point there were eight Michaels. At that point, Mike, Michael, it didn't matter - it was too confusing. I finally gave up and stopped going by Michael (or Mike if I ever found a way to claim it) and retreated to being called Anton. That turned into Manton and here I am now, with a new name but harboring resentment from First Grade. The more things change...the more I hate my name.

I really hate to say it, but MTV really needs to be commended. Sure, the "Music" in the title is surely nothing but a joke now, but I will give them many applause for their incredibly terrible dating shows Next, Room Raiders, and Date My Mom. Never before have I had a better appreciation of Greek Tragedy.

Everyone has read, or at least heard of, Oedipus Rex, the poor man who tried against his might to not bang his Mom but every time he tried to avoid it he was making steps to ensure their terribly inappropriate actions. The whole point of Greek tragedy is that the audience knows how the story's going to end, but we all cruely watch anyway, anxiously awaiting some schmuck to completely ruin his life while he thinks he's steering clear of. It's sort of like why people watched Making The Band knowing full well that O-Town would go absolutely nowhere.

With MTV's dating shows, we know all of the contestants and what they all look like. Unfortunately, the poor person who is forced to date their possible date's Mom, or search their skanky ass room, or see them roll of a bus have no idea what they look like. It gets worse for each show, too. I have developed a chart, where (in terms of most attractive to least) it goes Next to Room Raiders to Date My Mom.

The most extreme example of Greek tragedy is Date My Mom. The viewers get to see all of the girls as they go through terribly scripted (yes, scripted) little segments showing off how fun and interesting they are! Most of these girls are complete messes, but when prompted, the Moms will say how beautiful their daughters are. We know they're they're lying. Hell, we know that they know that THEY'RE lying, but that poor guy (or girl, on the rare lesbian show) has no idea that the "Britney Spears" that they are expecting is really "Britney Spears with eight months pregnant face."

When all of the moms are lined up to reveal their daughters, there is no greater moment in television. There is always at least one somewhat attractive girl and one horsefaced horror. Slowly but surely the dater knocks off one of the Moms, revealing their daughters. Sometimes, they make the right choices, and the relief on their faces and scripted lines show you how relieved they are. But others, like Russian roulette ending with most of your thoughts spread on the wall behind you, it just ends badly.

We want to help. We want to yell "NO RANDY NOT HER!!!" But no matter how loud we yell, or how hard we try to reach through the tv and smack him, he will take out the girl with the black hair and the skunk-like blond streak up the middle who falls coming out of the car. Deep down, though, we're so happy that he gets the ugly one. That's what you get for going on a fucking MTV dating show, stupid.

Before I'm asked, I give no respect or admiration to My Own or Parental Control. My Own is 22 minutes of wasted interviews and time just so the guy can pick the hottest chick there, irregardless of how much she looks like the celebrity she is supposed to look/sound like. When you have white girls and asian girls on for Alicia Keys, I have to ask: why? Parental Control is the most poorly acted show I have ever seen, and I've seen that douche on One Tree Hill (happy sad face! Beautiful, put that on the air NOW!). One show, a girl had been dating this guy for three years, wasn't picked, and left saying "well he's a dork anyway." Yeah. Ok.


Anonymous said...

Why I read:
1) I have an obligation of loyalty that dates back to the generations of family tied
2) I spend my days getting yelled at for not remembering cover sheet on the tps reports, even though I already saw the memo
3) I don't know how to read, so it's basically just giving me something to stare at
4) I love lamp

Pam said...

Oh man. Did I never once miss an episode of Making The Band, season 1? Maaaaaaybe...

Anonymous said...

ps- i don't wear moon boots

lindsey said...

oops, i wrote the above comment

Partha said...

24, american idol and indian idol have nothing on you


Annmarie said...

NEXT is by far the best. And to add to the complaints against Parental Control, basically, it is about parents sanctioning cheating. So much so that their child's significant other is made to watch while that child flirts, makes out, or engages in other shameless activities with the chosen daters. Sound familiar? MTV is quite fond of shows about spoiled rich and or privileged kids. Example: My Super Sweet Sixteen. And I can't even pretend I'm not SUPER PSYCHED about the new season starting April 12th. What does this say about me???

Annmarie said...

Oh and P.S. I'm hoping to reincarnate my livejournal -- Get ready.