I do have a really good excuse this time for not being around, you guys. I swear. I was literally at work pretty much all the time, because I just opened a new exhibit. About proms. Which sounds really fun and frothy, and I think it is, but it was also SO. MUCH. WORK. And SO. MUCH. STRESS. (And yes, I know there were a lot heavier things going on besides me having to work slightly harder than usual. The last thing that situation needs is another privileged white girl adding her long winded “perspective,” so just go with me on this, ok?)
So anyway, the last few weeks have been kind of like being back in grad school, and having multiple large projects due all the same time. Naturally, I dealt with the stress in exactly the same manner as I did in graduate school – through healthy diet and exercise.
Ha ha, no. I never deal with my stress through healthy diet and exercise. I deal with it through poor food choices and by watching increasingly bad television.
I watched the hell out of some Rock of Love back in the day. The summer of Rock of Love was not great for me, multiple sclerosis wise, so I spent the majority of my days holed up with a friend who had a similarly shitty disease gleefully watching this train wreck and eating as many popsicles as our (carefully monitored by a physician) diets would allow.
On paper, Rock of Love is the sort of television program that girls like me should eschew with a firm hand. Would Daria watch Rock of Love? I highly doubt it. Jane probably would, though. At least, that’s how I rationalize it to myself. How else to explain this? After all, I willingly bought into some kind of mystical alternative universe where the the nation’s finest feature dancers are passionately competing for the affections of Ed Hardy-festooned hair extension enthusiast Bret Michaels, the erstwhile former frontman of Poison. Poison, you may recall, is a seminal 1980s hair band which the Horrorpops helpfully remind us were “never cool.”
And I didn’t just watch the first season of Rock of Love. Hell no. I enthusiastically tuned in for three season and numerous spin offs and wasted countless hours watching strippers accuse other strippers of being former strippers as if stripping were akin to child molestation or working for Richard Nixon while Bret Michaels clutched his pearls over revelations that one or another of these women might still be talking to a (considerably younger and hair extensionless) ex-boyfriend back in Topeka or wherever. Why? I don’t know, man. I just don’t know.
So when I discovered that Rock of Love, in several of its various incarnations, was streaming on Hulu, I immediately tuned in. I am solely responsible for our Hulu account now recommending increasingly embarrassing reality shows. Including Daisy of Love (which, it must be said, Mr. Lamarr remembers with frightening acuity).
“God, why do I watch this? I am so embarrassed for all of these people,” I said out loud one night, over some dubious tacos while fixing a particularly tricky museum label.
“Oh, please,” Mr. Lamarr said. “If this was ‘Joey Ramone of Love’ you would be the first person to sign up.”
But what would that even look like? Let’s pretend for a minute that Joey Ramone wasn’t painfully, intensely private and would even want to participate. Let’s say we call it “Joey Ramone Wants to Be Your Boyfriend.” Let’s say that you get booted off the show with the words, “I’m sorry, but I don’t wanna walk around with you.” Ok.
But it would probably be the least interesting reality show in the history of reality show. Joey Ramone was notoriously shy – after all, when Welsh band Helen Love was staying at his apartment, with him, at his invitation, it was four days before they even saw him in the flesh.
Ergo, I imagine we would seldom see Joey Ramone onscreen. He would likely communicate with contestants mostly through, perhaps, text message. “Oh my God, you guys!” one would say, waving her cell phone at the camera. “A text from Joey! He said he really liked the Who t-shirt I was wearing three days ago!” Riveting.
The challenge aspect of the show is another…well, challenge. Rock of Love contestants found themselves participating in a variety of contests designed to, ostensibly, tell if they would be able to “hang” with Bret Michaels’ rock and roll lifestyle, which apparently consists mostly of playing football in the mud and preventing roller derby teams from abusing Cabbage Patch dolls. So how would contestants on “Joey Ramone Wants to Be Your Boyfriend” prepare to deal with the realities of life with Joey Ramone?
Well, his lifestyle was more or less dictated by his crippling OCD. So I guess challenges would have to be stuff like, “Get Joey Ramone Out Of His Apartment and Down To the Ramones Van in One Hour Or Less,” and everybody’s favorite, “Prevent Joey Ramone From Getting Crushed To Death by A Bus Because He Has To Step On and Off the Curb A Million Times Before He Can Cross the Street.” While, if one were being very, very charitable, this might help educate the viewing public on the realities of life with OCD, the main value here would probably be trying to watch your average reality show dolly convince herself and everyone else that she’s 100% totes okay with all of this.
And how about dealing with life on the road? Stay tuned to see who wins a great solo date to the hotel pinball machine for winning “Facilitate a Conversation Between Joey and Johnny Ramone, Who Are Refusing to Speak Directly To Each Other, Even Though They Are Only Sitting Three Feet Apart!”
I think about strange things when I’m under a lot of stress.
But! The stress is letting up! Stay tuned to see more kind of blurry photos from various shows I’ve been to, including Buzzcocks and a return visit to Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg!