Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dangerously Close To Fandom...(In which Sara Quin is proved to have much the same effect upon my sanity as a produce shelf)

Outwardly I am not a celebrity obsessed kind of a girl.
I don't have posters on my walls (I do have swatches of vintage kimono fabric, pretty). I never read teen magazines as a wee one. And people whose voices reach ultrasonic frequency whilst talking about Zac Efron scare me. A lot.

I feel that the blame for these obviously inhuman, social discrepancies lies squarely on my mother's shoulders. Never a fan of the superficial mainstream world, as a child my television viewing was closely monitored by mater matres.
One of my earliest memories is of presenting a petition as a five year old, extolling the educational and moral benefits of watching "Barney and Friends".
Of course I may not have used those exact words... more like "Its really cool and you learn things. Like sharing, and how to use your imagination. And everyone else is allowed to" .
As soon as the last sentence slipped through my baby lips, I regretted them. Even as a five year old, I realised that I had just determined my darling Barney's fate.

"Barney comes to play with us, whenever we may need him, Barney can be your friend too, if you just make believe him....sob"
Alas, Barney and I, Beth and Barney, we were never to be. No magical rainbows in the air for me.
Barney was deemed; (1)An "unhealthy influence" upon my already "overactive" imagination (fair enough really, this was only days after I had fallen backwards down a flight of stairs running, screaming, from the Giant Toucan Heads* in my playhouse).
(2)An inappropriate and irresponsible show, in which small children were left unsupervised by their parents with a middle aged purple dinosaur.
(3) A worrying indication of my desire to "fit in" through the expression of similar tastes to my peers (Baaa! baaa!)

Once burned, twice shy. I would never again openly admit to a shared enthusiasm for anyone or anything. I would be a Fan no more.

And thus began my clandestine love affair with Pop Culture. Clandestine, a deep forbidden desire, masked by outward indifference....Much like that guy in your high school calculus class, the one you'd make eyes at, but never actually admit to liking in front of your friends. You know the one...and he was definitely in your calculus class. I refused to attend math class past the age of 15, clearly abstaining from "Barney" paid off. I was an uncooperative, non-conformist teenager. I didn't want to "work together", I didn't want to "get along" and I possessed a highly developed aversion to numbers. But that's neither here nor there. My point was that you had a thing for the math nerd.

Also that I, very secretly, love all things entertainment related. In much the same way that an experienced flatter will hide their chocolate biscuits in the veggie crisper, I conceal my well worn Marie Claire and Rolling Stone collections beneath tomes bearing frightening names such as "A Complete Anthology of Feminist Literature Through The Ages". In the past I have fuelled my secret addiction by taking "Popular Media" classes, "because it's just like so interesting, the way the media impacts our society, right?". And when making small talk with a new acquaintance I'd much rather discuss the weather, or Sylvia Plath, or shoes, or kittens. At least that used to be the case...

I have a confession to make. I am a Tegan and Sara F..Fff..Ffffa..Fffffttt. I'm sorry, I can't say it.

But you get the idea. These two adorable, talented women have come close to breaking my snobbish crunchy outer layer. I own all of their music. I know things about them, their taste in literature, allergies, even their birthday. So big deal, they're twins, it's one date right? wrong... I'm that bitch friend who forgets everyones' birthdays... I forgot my own mother's birthday this year (Yes, I know, I'm a bad person, I felt awful though). When I "run out" of things to draw, I sketch them. If I was ever to met say, Sara, I would most definitely have an anxiety attack (which actually isn't saying that much, the more "stressful" sections of supermarkets are currently provoking the same). When I meet people for the first time these days, I manage to work T&S into the first few minutes of conversation..and lose interest when they say "uh, who?"

It began with the music...with a mix cd, to be exact. On the 21st of December, 2007(?) ** , one Francesca handed me a cd; included in her selection of "music I should be listening to", three Tegan and Sara songs. It was like she'd poured me my first drink, delivered my first hit, introduced me to a previously unwatched Australian soap opera***. I listened to it twice and in due time, lost it. Because that's what I do, I lose things. So really it was a bit like she'd handed me my first drink, I'd taken a sip and spilled the rest down my front. End of. Not an exciting story really, I just wanted to use the drink simile. I thought it was funny.

Assignment time rolled around at Uni and being the conscientious wonderful student that I am, and possessor of a fantabulous work ethic, I was hard at work, reorganising my Media Player.
When Lo A Shining Light Appeared...
Fran had infiltrated my computer and added the same three songs. Because that's what best friends do...they beat you round the head (metaphorically....mostly) until you wearily agree to submit to their superior taste in music. Anxious to avoid doing anything remotely productive, I gave the songs a listen, and then again. And again.

Four days later I had finished my assignment and felt incredibly calm, I had travelled to a musical happy place. My flatmates however were irritable...and sick of hearing the same three songs on repeat. And so humbly, with a heart hungry for music (much like Oliver Twist) I went to Fran, with my little bowl held out in my hands and said "Please sir, can I have some more?"
A new world opened it's doors to me, a world filled with music and wonder, a fifth dimension inhabited by inked up twin elves and various other magical creatures...
It's comforting, knowing that if I'm having an urghish day I can use up my share of the internet on youtube, giggling my face off...have I mentioned how OhmyGod funny these girls are? They make beautiful music, are politically active (but not to an irritating degree), inspire laughter and actually pull off strange indie mullet hair, what's not to love?

(In' they cute? Everyone say awww on the count of three..)

(, two, three...Awww!)

This week I nearly spent my rent money on a pair of Sara shoes. The fact that I refrained from doing so is by no means indicative of my admirable self control. I just couldn't find them online.
Dangerously close to outright fandom. I would almost put up posters.

* Giant Toucan Heads, fairly self explanitory; oversized toucan heads borne on human shoulders. Social structuring similar to that of the notorious"Three Bears Organisation", most commonly found in threefold packs- "Papa" Toucan Head. "Mama" Toucan Head and "Baby" Toucan Head. Partial to porridge and five year old girls.

**ok making shit up, don't remember the date. or the year.

***O.M.G who watched home and away last night?...embarrassingly but undeniably addicted.

1 comment:

  1. It would be so amazing to get your mother and my mother together, if you give my mother a celebrity she can tell you the names and ages of their children, who were their fathers and when the parents got divorced.

    I've always MEANT to get around to listening Tegan & Sara, just from photos I've seen they look like bad-ass awesome women.

    DON'T STRESS ABOUT BEING A FAN, it's not embarrassing! As long as you don't make a religion out of it ( I think you'll be fine :D