I started a Tumblr. Mainly to support this blog, but also because I don’t have enough ways to waste literal minutes a day sifting though hilarious Daria screen grabs. I’ve been on Tumblr for about a month now, and I have learned many things in that time, but – first and foremost – I have learned that I am an old and that Tumblr is populated almost entirely by youths. I know that my elderly ilk is supposed to be hanging out at Pinterest, collecting Mason jar based project instructions that will never be carried out, but I don’t understand Pinterest, which makes me feel stupid and like I’m failing at being a good Mormon (I am not a Mormon, so this last is extremely weird), so Tumblr it is.
Being that my Tumblr (www.lipsticklamarr.tumblr.com, by the way!) serves primarily as a vehicle to increase the readership of this blog, I have several saved tags that I regularly check up on – naturally, most of the saved tags are focused on punk rock, the Ramones, Queen, Monty Python, some Old Hollywood stuff – basically, what I talk about on the blog. I have the saved tags list of an angst ridden teen who probably has too many band T-shirts and makes a lot of jokes that no one gets. I find a lot of cool stuff via my saved tags list – like this completely rad picture of Clark Gable holding some lion cubs:
And this other rad picture of Clark Gable’s horse eating his hair:
Oh, and here’s Joey Ramone with a turtle. And also…ahem…wearing shorts:
(Ok, so I spent a rainy Saturday morning collecting images of my dead boyfriends with various animals on Tumblr. I’m an adult and I can do what I want. No one gives Patrick side-eye when he spends the morning yelling obscenities at Formula One drivers who can’t hear him because they are busy driving in a race being televised from the other side of the world).
My saved tags lists also turn up some other interesting surprises, Like custom written amateur erotica written (probably) by high school girls. Yes, everyone, I have stumbled into the world of Tumblr imagines. If you’re now wondering, “What on earth is a Tumblr imagine?” I can only assume that you are a person who probably pays rent and maybe has some pets you are responsible for. In that case, I should tell you that that low roar you’re suddenly hearing is all the youths on Tumblr telling each other, “Shut it down, y’all. The olds are onto us. Let’s go back to MySpace.” (Just kidding. No one will ever go back to MySpace. Not even Tom).
An imagine, for those of you not down with the youths, is a sort of fan fiction offshoot in which you (as in the reader) are a character interacting with the subject of the fandom. I am given to understand that these are particularly popular among One Direction (who are apparently a well liked band of today) fans. In order to fully immerse the reader in the story, the author will often substitute the protagonist’s name with the abbreviation “y/n,” so the reader can insert his or her own name. (i.e. “Joey Ramone says, ‘Y/n, I am not at all creeped out by our thirty year age difference and wanna be your boyfriend. Please pass the tahini sauce‘”).
Given the nature of my saved tags list, I get a lot of imagines from Tumblrs specializing in classic rock stars. I’m not sure how it works with other imagine Tumblrs, but you send the moderators of the classic rock ones requests. And they’re really, really specific. Specific to the point of, “Can I get an imagine where 1964 George Harrison shows up at my house with a kitten and an economy sized bag of barbecue potato chips because I don’t feel good on account of my period and also because my mom is being a total bitch who won’t let me go to Kayleigh’s party next week because she thinks her mom drives recklessly in the car pool line?” Or “Will you write me an imagine where old man Keith Richards and I are making lunch and he doesn’t want me to put cucumbers in the salad?” I always find these kind of cute…you just know these girls want to take a break from the total fucking nightmare of being a teenager by imagining sweet domestic scenarios where their rock star of choice has eyes only for them.
Sometimes, however, the requests take a turn for the…somewhat less mundane, shall we say. As in, “How about a smutty imagine where old man Keith Richards figures out what to do with that cucumber from lunch?”
Other popular subjects include Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, and Jimmy Page. Requests for imagines featuring members of Van Halen or Aerosmith will be rejected because they “do NOT write for them.” Not surprisingly, there is very little demand for fat Jim Morrison. Or Shane McGowan.
What does surprise me though, is the extreme popularity of Brian May. Old Brian May. Young Brian May. 1973 Brian May, but with 2002 Brian May’s hair. Brian May taking y/n to the Prom. Brian May feeling y/n up in the back row at the movies. Brian May making out with y/n and pornstache Freddie Mercury gets jealous. Brian May to the point where Roger Taylor is sitting neglected in a corner somewhere muttering, “Brian, Brian, Brian.” So. Much. Brian May. I don’t know if there are multiple teen girls who are into Brian May or if there’s one girl who’s EXTREMELY enthusiastic about Brian May and maybe needs someone to talk to about it, but if you’re into Brian May, Tumblr is where y/n wants to be. Brian May.
I don’t want anyone to think, for a second, that I am clutching my pearls over this. Because I am totally not. Hell, I did this. A lot of us did. Mine were scrawled in a notebook cunningly labeled “Sentence Diagramming!!!!” to deter the many, many interlopers who were constantly trying to pry their way into my secret fantasy life (Actual total: zero). The vignettes in “Sentence Diagramming!!!!” generally co-starred Clark Gable, or towards the end of my Mild Smut Period, Joey Ramone. Plotlines usually consisted of Clark or Joey escorting me to, say, the Glittering Snowball Princess Winter Dance and Pizza Party. Brief tongues would be exchanged on the dance floor. If I was feeling particularly saucy, there was probably some over the clothes boob action. The real highlight, however, was when Clark/Joey informed those bitches who invited EVERYONE ELSE BUT ME to their Beverly Hills 90210 viewing party that I couldn’t go anyway because Clark/Joey was taking me to a very important Hollywood premiere/VIP party with my best friend Debbie Harry at CBGB’s that same night, and also that they were all really boring and would probably die in New Oxford.
Clearly, I had a knack for hot, sizzling middle school action.
“Sentence Diagramming!!!!” was summarily burned when I was about 15 and self aware enough to be completely mortified by its very existence. I’m sorry. (Not really). I spoke to absolutely no one about its existence until a few years ago, when I found out how many other women my age also had mortifying notebooks written between the ages of 12 and 14 that contained imagined trysts doomed to eventually be set on fire or buried in the backyard. I think it – and the imagine stuff on Tumblr- are a completely normal part of growing up. It just seems so furtive and secretive because our society has a sick tendency to pretend that teenage girls don’t actually have any sexuality – as if they are sexless (but unknowingly sexy!) objects that must be defended from a constant onslaught of horny teenage boys.
This, I feel does a real disservice to girls – and boys, for that matter. Granted, I am no fan of the sexualization of girls (your 10 year old should not have “adorable” written across her butt in pink glitter. Ever), but this is another symptom of the same problem. Girls are expected to engage in sexy (but not sexual) performance for social approval (which basically boils down to “what boys like”), but any actual exploration of their own sexuality is considered shameful, or slutty. The purity movement, which claims to give girls self respect by encouraging modesty (thus encouraging boys to respect them, instead of thinking of them as sexual objects) does exactly the same thing the society they rail against does – it reduces a girl’s worth to her sexuality (or perceived lack of, in this case). It still makes it all about what boys think of girls. It also suggests that men and boys are lust driven animals with absolutely no control over their libidos, and I, for one, do not think so little of the men in my life. Also, this leads to creepiness like purity balls and those icky “Dads Against Daughters Dating! Shotgun loaded LOL” memes on Facebook.
If there is anyone out there who, for one second, thinks that adolescent girls are incapable of lust, let me leave you with this: Angela Chase. Jordan Catalono. Buffalo Tom. (Sorry, there’s no Brian May. There’s Brian Krakow, though. He has similar hair).