Friday, August 03, 2012

Tongue Tied

I love this firefly of a song. It makes me happy and every time I hear it, I want to spin around, waive my arms over my head, and shout the chorus at the top of my lungs, however, since I am usually in the car when it comes on the radio, I must be content with satisfying one out of three of my urges.  I suspect, much like a lightning bug, we won't even remember it come December and come next summer another song will be filling our hearts with joy and sunshine, but for now, this will be the song which makes me smile while also forcing me to concentrate hard on not driving into other cars.

The title of Grouplove's record from which this song comes is Never Trust a Happy Song and, wow, does this video live up to that warning. At first, it just seems messed up in a Memento sort of way, but then we get a good look at the band and it suddenly seems like it is a party at The Dustbin*. All is explained in the end (and though it is predictable, it also completely confirms my feelings that this looks like something right out of Renn Fayre** because the dame thing kinda sortof happened to me once a couple decades ago).

*Can you believe The Dustbin doesn't have it's own Wikipedia page?
**At this point, I strongly believe that the only people reading this blog already know what I am talking about, but if I am wrong and you are scratching your head, google it. Or let me know you exist by leaving a comment and I'll explain it.***
***Ugh, I decided that sounded a bit snotty, so here's the Wikipedia link. But please feel free to leave a comment telling me you love me.

Left Of Center

Once again, I found myself transported back to the eighties while grocery shopping.

Of all the songs on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, I feel this best captures not only the essence of the film*, but the essence of all those John Hughes films we loved so much back before we became aware of concepts like white privilege, class privilege, and date rape (Does Catherine saying she liked waking up in The Geek's arms cancel out her having been too drunk to have given consent? Discuss). It's the fantasy so many of us entertained, the one where the unpopular wallflower wanted the popular person, not because he/she was exceptionally pretty or desirable, but because the watchful eye of the wallflower saw hidden depths in that popular person and, someday, that popular person would look over and see the person they never noticed before and, la la la, happiness would ensue. Of course, we all cast ourselves as the wallflower, we told ourselves we had intelligence and discernment that the socially adept lacked and that this made us superior to them, even if we were the only ones who knew. And maybe this fairy made the teen years more bearable for us. Maybe.

As an adult, I have noticed that it seems as if everyone carries this fantasy with them. Everyone. While I assume that there are people out there who did not, in fact, feel awkward and misunderstood, people who were popular and not hampered by depth or intelligence, I have yet to meet an adult who will admit to this. I have met former cheerleaders and football captains who swear they were as awkward, lonely, and unloved as the rest of us, that they really weren't as shallow as "all the other cheerleaders/football players" and while I suspect this interpretation of their teen years is inaccurate, I believe they believe it to be true. If they weren't singing along with Suzanne Vega word for word, they believe with all their heart that she was singing to them.

But here is what I would tell my teenage self: IT IS A LIE. That thought that somewhere inside of you you are similar, if not the same, to that object of your affection is a result of your brain being deluded by your hormones--it's the reason why so many women in America right now would be willing to overlook Ryan Lochte's star spangled grill. And just as most American women will do little more than drool over a particular swimmer, you will likely remain on the outskirts and in the fringes. Nothing changes in the song, she is still left of center and she will remain there if all she does is wonder. Stop believing the fairy tale.

Having said all that, I am overwhelmed by Suzanne's makeup, hair, and clothes in this video. When people hearken back to the mid-80, they tend to go for aqua and fuchsia, ripped Flashdance sweatshirts, and crazy hair metal hair. It's nice to be reminded of the short boots, baggy clothes, and messy short hair we all actually wore back in the day. I don't know about you, but I have a strong desire to go as 1986 for Halloween.

*Suzanne Vega wrote the song specifically for the film.