Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Truly, truly, truly outrageous

Post-DC/Arlington jaunt I am missing my sister but glad to be back in Ohioland. Yesterday in the midst of the Sbarro-ed airport homogeneity I tried to use my Jem & the Holograms lunchbox like a semaphore to attract other traveling ladypunks who might be able to explain to me why A) Glenn Danzig never sued the creators of Jem for using the Misfits’ name when it was so totally his idea first, and B) Jem herself was about as outrageous as Lawrence Welk on Nembutal even though the theme song frantically promised us the contrary. No one seems to know.

I am still not really sure what to do w/ a show that taught little girls that they could be in rock bands, too—so long as they had magic earrings, a holographic alter-ego and a supercomputer fairy godmother. And defeated rival girl bands. Here what we really need is Mimi Nguyen to whip everything up into a good cultural studies froth--to get at the slapdash, clumsy multicultural politics of Aja and Shana, the latter of whom the producers were apparently too terrified to give more than two lines to during any given show (we can deal w/ black girls, so long as they don't say anything, look kinda white and play synth drums). In a musical-cultural era blindsided by the Go-Gos & the Bangles & Bananarama, to say nothing of, like, Siouxsie Sioux, is it so surprising that the 80s started coaxing us girls away from learning how to actually play instruments and towards the gender-appropriate cow pasture of glamor & glitter, fashion & fame? Or that nobody bothered to animate Aja a guitar strap, let alone an amp cord?

Let's teach our ladybabies and little sisters to plug in. Then maybe they can make some noise.

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