Friday, August 17, 2007

Tween Culture is Scary

I have no idea what High School Musical is, except that I often wondered what it was whenever I saw it as the number one most downloaded album on iTunes last summer. However, I have now only recently discovered it was a popular Disney Channel movie because even the curiosity of wondering what it was last summer and why I kept seeing the title everywhere did not make me actively seek out such knowledge. (I really need to call my nieces about this, because I have a feeling at least one of them could recite the film's entire script even if it stars neither Orlando Bloom nor Dakota Eff-ing Fanning.)

Anyway, I guess there is a sequel to this supposed cultural phenomenon. And I guess the male lead is some sort of teenaged sex symbol? Huh? He looks like Clay Aiken. His name is Zac Efron. I recognized him from some of those gossip sites I sometimes peruse . He is one of the people I scroll past really quickly because I have no idea who he is or what he does. And I don't like his eyes.

So this got me thinking about "teen hearthrobs". Now I was never into New Kids on the Block, nor did I watch Beverly Hills 90210. When I was 13, my celebrity crush was Alec Baldwin. I made fun of Kirk Cameron before he became Jesus Christ's biggest groupie. I've never been one for overtly pretty boys, even as a child.
My current knowledge of teen pop culture only extends itself to Canada's prized export, Degrassi: The Next Generation, which I have faithfully watched since 2003. I cannot tell you why I enjoy Canadian adolescent melodrama, but I do, even through several cast changes. Since last season, there has been a main character named Peter who embodies the ultra-Aryan look I have typically only witnessed in a handful of Brazilian young men who also have Italian citizenship because that's where their grandfather was from. Peter is a petulant brat whose mother is the school principal. He is portrayed by a kid named Jamie Johnston.

(I just looked this up, too, which says a lot about how much this kid irritates me because I typically remember useless information about show credits without my knowledge. This can sometimes be useful in the scheme of things, as I discovered in Prague when I planned my exodus with an actor whose name I remembered from the credits of a recent Law & Order episode.)

Jamie Johnston is a terrible actor and while I typically ignore him while watching the show, I felt myself unavoidably creeped out by him during the season finale. Those creepy eff-ing big blue eyes. I can't explain it, but that look just skeeves me out. It made my skin crawl, to be honest, and I was forced to send a text to my good friend Adam (a fellow Degrassi fan) about this while watching. Of course, I forgot about being skeeved out within a few minutes after the show's conclusion, so no harm done, I suppose. I get skeeved out at least once a week in my neighborhood 7-11. You can't let these things control your life.

But I started thinking about this kid after reading the aforementioned article in the New York Times on High School Musical. Because I was forced to learn who Zac Efron is and why he is, in some circles, famous. I realized that there are pre-teen (er, tween) girls from Toronto to Tennessee wallpapering their rooms with these guys' photos. And this scared me. Perhaps because I have nieces and a nephew hovering in these age brackets. Particularly my nieces. Do I want them to grow up thinking wide-eyed pretty boys with strategically mussed hair are the way to go? It's not so much that I have never been into this particular look in men, but maybe more so that when I see such boys with such cartoonish features (Neither Efron nor Johnston look entirely unlike characters found in Anime), I automatically think "future date rapist" much more so than "closet case"? Or maybe this look has long been appealing to young girls, and I am now just so far removed from those years of my life, I don't actively recall such information?

I'm not quite sure what the answer is and hopefully, this is the last I will ever think about such nonsense.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Jesus would shop here

I had forgotten about this incredible online find until a friend sent me a link for Wholesome Wear .(A "swimwear" company which claims to be the only swimwear retailer that designs to draw attention to your face. I wonder if anyone has drown while wearing such wholesome ensembles to the beach.)

But this is not only one of the greatest web retailers I have ever stumbled upon, but it also has the most RIDICULOUS url in, quite possibly, the history of the Internet.

The site even includes a Statement of Modesty, pledging to uphold the standards of good old J.C. and those necessary morals.

For this reason we DO NOT sew: sleeveless, slit skirts, mid-rifts, low cut neck lines, or low backs. We apologize if this offends anyone but our goal is to help both ladies and men keep from inciting lasciviousness (wrong lusts). We view this as a sewing ministry and only want to plant good seeds.
Explore this beautiful thing. Touch it. Love it. And if you've ever had a thing for modestly-clad chicks holding a metal pail while hanging with their horse, look no further.

Friday, August 03, 2007

You should do this

Random thought for Friday morning:

This weekend, you should go see The Bourne Ultimatum. Because I say so. Plus, its just really effing good. I saw it on Tuesday because I'm cool (Actually, I just have cool friends). And now I must go to Tangier.