Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Revolutionary Language: Clichè is the New Original

What We Talk About When We Talk About Talking1

Ira-Glass Style:
Act One: Totally Unrelated To The Rest
Act Two: Things I Shouldn't Say
Act Three: Things We Do Say, Because We Should, The Fairly Specific Cultural Reference Edition

Also Included: Photographs from New Years Eve Weekend 2006-07 at Chez O'Donnell in Vermont, in Which We Did Not Ski, but We Played with Ski Gear, Etc.

Act I

Heather, who was so kindly lookin' out for the blog, spotted this useful list of "The Worst Lubes for Anal" (I assume this appeared on a bathroom wall of some sort, or perhaps in the locker rooms at Equinox?) and picture-mailed it on over to me. Having no experience in such matters (Anonymous Commenter: this is sort of your field of expertise, right? Go for it: What are the best lubes for anal?), I'd just like to say: Simmer on This.

This is what gets me, BTW: That "FUCK" in the upper left hand corner. Like, was someone reading this and thought "Dammit, I knew dish soap was a crappy idea! FUCK!" and then felt inclined to scrawl this sentiment on the adjacent wall-space? Building a mystery, y'all.

Unrelated Photograph #1 from Vermont New Years Eve '06-7
(L to R) Me, Heather, Haviland

Act II

Gawker is literally stealing words out of my mouth. They sort of do this thing where they declare something "over" about 10 seconds before everyone else does, and it's very hard to keep abreast of these things, like I am that donkey and they are the carrot and the carrot is "cool," and this year once again I almost made the resolution to eat more healthy (e.g., carrots) but then realized that was dumb and probably would just make me feel bad about myself when I went back to Eggo Waffles. And let's be honest here; obviously I feel bad enough as it is about my hypocritical behavior in the field of "General Health and Well Being." (on one side I have my exercise habits, on the other side I have the rest of my life).

Anyhow, first there was the whole douche-bag thing, which really hit hard because I had just recently incorporated that term into my lexicon (Which I guess is their point).

A quick moment of Stephen Dunn:
"I love the good home
cliches can find in an authentic voice."

Then in December they did this "blog cliche" thing, which included the following cliches that I use a lot:

BEST. [ultimate thing or experience]. EVER.
Huh...I thought that had already passed the saturation point, floated over the backlash, and was now sitting nicely in the post-backlash pool of okay-for-irony terms. Or maybe that's just in my universe, which is full of donkeys.

Unrelated Vermont New Years Eve Photograph #2.
(L to R) Me, Haviland, Me, Haviland

LOL, OMG, BTW, etc.: Sigh. Every OMG or LOL to ever be uttered (or, rather, typed) was in irony. So, you know, whatever. I never used it in earnest, therefore I can use it ironically forever. (Who am I talking to? Gawker? Myself? Why am I defending myself to myself?)

Seriously? Seriously?!!
Okay, um, seriously? What if I wrote an article for Food.Com or something about "food cliches"? "If I have to eat one more hamburger between two slices of bread, that'll be it for me and 'eating' altogether." "Enough of this 'sticking forks into pieces of pasta and using the fork to insert the pasta into your mouth, guys, if you are going to chain me to a chair and force me to eat, let's find a new way to do it." You can't deem "seriously?" uncool. That's like deeming "really?" uncool. Which it might be. Whatevs.

[x] is the new [y]
Again, I think those of us who have never used it in earnest can continue to use it for all of time. I think "x is the new y" is the new "x is the new y." Ugh, my head hurts.

The other cliches, e.g., "I just threw up a little bit in my mouth," "[any word] gasm" and "[x], oy"--I am not guilty of such things. Whoever is guilty of those things is less cool than I am.

Act III: How We Talk Now, Specific Cultural References
Did I mention that my brain hurts? This is what I think: the only truly acceptable lingo is that which is so old (aka My So-Called Life, When Harry Met Sally) or so niche (aka The L Word) that it is either years past the saturation point or marginalized enough that it is not in danger of being Already Over.

Angela Chase
Origin: My So-Called Life.
Meaning: Used to describe someone who is analyzing everything until it barely even exists.
Usage: "I don't mean to be Angela Chase, but do you feel like if he really liked me, he'd probably call me by now, and I know that it's only been like 10 hours, but I just think there were some things he said last night, like especially about his ex-girlfriend, and i know it's possible he could be at work or his phone could be dead or whatever but I also feel that ... etc, etc ..."

Standing in Line at Duane Reade
Origin: Duane Reade is the closest thing I know to hell on earth and has notoriously long lines. Although, you know what? Rite-Aid is worse. It just doesn't sound as good.
Meaning: Something unfathomably but insidiously unbearable. E.g waiting in line while two employees are hanging out doing nothing by the Tums and the cashier is doing her nails.
Usage: "I'd rather stand in line at Duane Reade than see The DaVinci Code."

Unrelated Vermont New Years Eve Photograph #3:
Heather, Me.

Rex Manning Day
Origin: In Empire Records, the kids are all riled up because Rex Manning is coming to make a store appearance, and so they all have to be on their best behavior, make the store look nice, and basically act like assholes/kiss-asses.
Meaning: Making a place/environment artificial for the benefit of someone you don't actually even really like, but for some reason have to impress.
Usage: "The Regional Manager is coming in today so we all have to be in perfect uniform and be sure to actually present the wine list at every table, basically it's Rex Manning Day."

Origin: In Season One of The L Word, the girls head to the Dinah Shore weekend as friends of the Now-Departed Dana Fairbanks, Lesbian Tennis Star. However, Dana is snatched up at the door by her gushing fan and "guest liaison" Tanya, who later succeeds in getting Ms. Fairbanks into bed. While they are getting it on, Tanya exclaims: "I can't believe I'm about to go down on Dana Fairbanks!"
Meaning: Sleeping with you is like realizing a long-standing dream. (see also: "starfuckers")
Usage: "OMG, she's so obsessed with you if you hooked up it would totally be a like she was going down on Dana Fairbanks."

Unrelated Vermont New Years Eve Photograph #4:
(L to R) Tara, Heather, Me

"I Must Pass"
Origin: The Form Rejection Letter from the Lit Agency, which goes something like this: "Though I enjoyed the premise of your story, unfortunately the action did not keep me glued to the page. I must pass." or "I found your subject matter timely and interesting, but unfortunately I didn't feel the stakes were high enough for your characters. I must pass."
Meaning: I'm gonna be really nice about totally rejecting you.
Usage: "Though I found your attempts at conversation and cunnilingus inspiring, I didn't feel your personality really maintained my interest past the first 5 minutes of our night together. I must pass."

Far Rockaway
Origin: Far Rockaway is the last stop on the A train.
Meaning: Those parts of the MTA map that look particularly lonely, e.g those accesible only by one subway line which doesn't run on weekends.
Usage: "You're moving to Kew Gardens? Where the hell is that, Far Rockaway?"
"I could've taken the bus to Far Rockaway in the amount of time it took my cab to go five blocks during rush hour."

Unrelated Vermont New Years Eve Photograph #5:
(L to R) Sherri, Haviland, Me.

Zach Morris
Origin: Zach Morris, protagonist of popular television program 'Saved by the Bell'
Meaning/Usage: We're all familiar with the "Zach Morris phone," that's basically 'already over' and refers to a large cell phone.
Other usages include "The Zach Morris Time Freeze" (which is what you want to do when you wish you could just like, stop your conversation, make the entire room freeze, and talk to the camera until you get your feelings sorted out) and "Zach Morris Hair," which is essentially a really bad haircut, like the one Zach Morris has on the left.

Sally Albright
Origin: The Sally of "When Harry Met Sally"
Meaning: Used to describe women who "think they are low maintenance but are really high maintenance" and/or women who order everything on the side and sub ingredients, modifying their dish until it bears no resemblance to it's original appearance on the menu.
Example: "You totally just pulled a Sally Albright on that grilled chicken salad."

"You're So Beautiful, it Hurts to Look At You."
Origin: I believe Rickie was the first to say it, and he said it on My So-Called Life.
Meaning: This is pretty much the best compliment. Best. Compliment. Ever.

The Suicide of Kurt Cobain
Origin: Kurt Cobain, a Legend for his Music and his Flannels and his Suicide.
Meaning/Usage: Used by Generation X/Yers to mock our politically comfortable childhoods.
E.G. "Yeah, I was real awkward in junior high, like fat and I wore a lot of black and spent all night on the phone crying about Kurt Cobain."
"I haven't felt this depressed since Kurt Cobain killed himself."

More photographs to be inappropriately inserted at a later juncture.

1 The title of a short story by Raymond Carver, and subsequently the title of one of his most famous story collections.


haviland said...

I like how the things we should be talking about are mostly things you and I talk about. Rieeght?

Also...LOVING the mysterious pics from this weekend. I like to think that people who read this blog might be intrigued, and want to know more about the weekend.

This is perhaps overwhelming narcissism.

Happy New Year, etc.

marie lyn bernard said...

Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps...luckily you have me and my overwhelming self-deprication to suggest that, in fact, people will be glad i just posted the photos and not descriptions rather than rambling on (as i often do) about how we stage elaborate photo shoots in favor of elaborate activities (though thinking that people would notice that is absolutely overwhelming . LOL really? Seriously? OMG

happy january, etc.

lonerhino said...

Stephen Dunn: what a douchbag.

LN James said...

Also...LOVING the mysterious pics from this weekend. I like to think that people who read this blog might be intrigued, and want to know more about the weekend.

I was just going to assume it was a bunch of hot chicks getting kinda naked. With snowboards. There's more?? ;)

Anonymous said...

I heart the difficulty sign pictures. I remember seeing those, like, on slopes, and stuff. They look better on girls.

Bill said...

Automatic -- that was kind of like a playboy magazine - PICTURES AND an interesting "article"

marie lyn bernard said...

lonerhino: only if it's the kind of douchebag that smells like pleasent summer flowers

injames: oh, just some bannister-straddling, girls-club forming, outdoor-bare-footed-snow shoveling and balcony-hanging.

noxious: agreed.

bill YOU ARE SO TOTALLY RIGHT!!! omg, i'm a genuis.

dear dear chicago said...

marie! sometimes... i'm so jealous that you have haviland to speak in "my so-called life-isms/ L-word-isms" to. i can faithfully say that i don't physically know anyone who genuinely remembers/is obsessed with/appreciates MSCL/The L-Word to the point that they would understand my sly references to the programs.

please note that these references make an apperance quite frequently, if not bi-daily.

hold on to hav. anyone who can participate in such amazing banter is good people in my book.

goneundercover said...

take power in this situation. gawker is YOUR bitch.

goneundercover said...

haviland: your "oh my god what is going on all i know is that i am so hot" pose is supreme.

haviland said...

I absolutely love that this blog has now become, also, a msg board for me! Thanks, y'all! Let's all be myspace friends!


You're all so beautiful, it like, HURTS to look at you.

marie lyn bernard said...

i would like everyone to know that i am renting haviland out by the hour. I recieved these luggage tags in the mail from Conde Nast (a subscription invite included, of course) that read "Property of Marie Bernard" and I slapped one on the Hav, it is neon green in case she gets lost. The special rate for new customers is $40/hour, and after that we charge $75/hour. If you would like her to dress in costume, you must provide said costume (forever 21 is fine) and the rate is $125/hour. conversation and looking half-naked is included.

gawker IS my bitch,