A tweet recently popped up on my Twitter feed that Britney Spears “…Baby One More Time” came out 20 years ago.
Well, it’s actually 20 years and about a month and a half, so you missed the true anniversary.
But, still, I get it. The point attempting to be made here was: “FEEL OLD YET?!”
And, no. I don’t. Telling me that “…Baby One More Time” is almost old enough to legally drink alcohol does not make me feel any older than I am. I remember it with fondness. In 20 years, when someone laser etches “Billie Eilish “Bad Guy” came out 20 years ago” into my frontal lobe, I might start to think I’m getting old.
This phenomenon isn’t rare. It seems every content website needs a filler piece, so they mine Google for images of products from the 90s. The picture are low definition, sometimes a picture of a television commercial.
Did I just leave this blog post for fifteen minutes to play an emulator of Number Munchers? You bet.
These lists don’t make me feel old. Usually, they make me wonder what we were thinking or why some things went away.
Why did Gushers survive, but Dunkaroo’s failed? What was the Mr. Sketch scented black marker supposed to smell like vs. what it actually did smell like? Are all the Tamagotchis dead? Is Tamagotchis the plural of Tamagotchi? Should it be Tamagotchae?
Like the flavor of Fruit Stripe gum, some things are only meant to exist for a fleeting moment.
When “…Baby One More Time” came out, I was a child. I have not been a child for a long time. I don’t eat garbage anymore. If given the chance to have a Surge soda, I would decline. If given the choice between real food and a Lunchable, I would take the real food. Those other things don’t interest me anymore. I don’t hav I have moved on with my life; I have moved on to more mature things.
Maybe this is a secret negative review of nostalgia culture. Every new Star Wars movie seems to inspire a wave of hatred, not because it is bad (sure, @ me, but you’re wrong), but because it is not the thing they grew up with. Just because you had a fondness for something or you are a member of a particular fandom doesn’t mean you own it or have any say in the matter.
Nostalgia culture is the non-drug equivalent of chasing the dragon. It will never be as good as you remember, not because it isn’t good, nor because it never was. YOU are the thing that has changed and that’s a good thing.
You never get anywhere by standing still.
You guys know there’s a Robin Hood movie coming out this year, right? Because there was a Robin Hood movie out almost 16 minutes ago and God help us if we go 15 minutes without rehashing the same old, same old.
Every time we get a new version of a beloved property, there’s some twist. Like, Sherlock, but modern! Sherlock, but steampunk! Sherlock, but Watson’s a girl! Sherlock, but Sherlock’s a girl…STOP! Bridge too far!
From what I can tell, this new Robin Hood is like Ocean’s 11, but with arrows, I guess? I mean, there’s a big casino scene in the trailer and extended training sequences and Jamie Foxx dodging arrows like it’s The Matrix and…I’m tired. I’m just going to make popcorn at home and take a nap.
Hey! You guys know there are 6 Joker movies in development? We’re rehashing fresh hash! How many times are we going to see Bruce Wayne’s parents die in movies that are supposed to be about tangential characters? Putting my bet in for at least 3.
The Mummy, but the mummy’s a girl!
Superman, but he’s dark and brooding!
King Arthur, but he’s in a biker gang!
Instead of whining about the nonsense, I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring. It’s time to make MY remakes, Hollywood.
Here are my pitches:
- Sherlock IS Watson
For this one, Sherlock is just a normal, crazy opioid addict. But, being on drugs has given him a dissociative identity disorder. When he’s on morphine, he’s the crime solving Sherlock we all know and love. When he’s sober, he’s the more sound-of-mind, but less brilliant Watson, a disgraced doctor who got addicted to opioids when he was a practicing physician. When he’s on meth, he’s Moriarty, setting up puzzles for his morphined self. He’s also the police commissioner, his own housekeeper, the lead violin virtuoso of the London Philharmonic, his own love interest, somehow, and Nexton Wingnut, that new character in Star Wars. We’ll figure that out later.
2. Robin Hood in a modern setting
I know what you’re thinking:
“Kate, if we put Robin Hood in a modern setting, isn’t that just Green Arrow?”
No, it’s not.
“Yes, put a lot of the vigilantism performed by Green Arrow has parallels to Robin Hood. And, the main thing about Robin Hood is that he wears a hood and shoots arrows. That’s Green Arrow.”
No, it’s not.
“But, the show Arrow has gone to great lengths to build up Arrow’s support team as a modern version of the Merry Men, so you wouldn’t be able to differentiate between Arrow and a modern retelling of Robin Hood.”
Yes, we would.
“Fine. How is is different?”
Ours will be called Robin Hood.
3. King Arthur
But, he’s a time traveler. The once and future king. Get it? Also, maybe he’s a woman. Or has dissociative identity disorder and is also Lancelot.
4. Beauty and the Beast
A CGI remake of the live action remake of the animated film where we try to fix the problems in the live action movie that arose when we tried to fix what we thought were problems in the animated movie, but weren’t so much plot holes as nitpicking people with blogs and YouTube channels (she said unironically).
5. Romeo and Juliet
In most of the movie adaptations for Romeo & Juliet, they sort of gloss over the part where Romeo is being all broody about Rosaline. Who’s Rosaline, you may ask, because she’s never in any of the movies.
Rosaline is the teenage chick that Romeo is desperately in love with at the beginning of the play. Yes. That’s right. Romeo is all love sick puppy because he’s got the hots for Roz, but she doesn’t love him back. He is a horny teenager.
My belief is that Romeo & Juliet is not just the first (recorded?) melodramatic young adult romance, it is also the first (recorded?) farce of a melodramatic young adult romance. It’s not just the first Twilight, it’s the first Twilight parody.
Do a modern language retelling of Romeo & Juliet, but have Mercutio be much more obvious with his commentary about how dumb it is for Romeo to think he’s going to marry the first girl he meets in high school, especially after he just got over his summer camp romance.
Wait, did I just write Grease? Is Grease secretly Romeo & Juliet?
Anyone who is friends with me on Facebook knows I make a lot of jokes about dating apps and the things I encounter there. I am single. Were I to get into a relationship that ended with me deactivating my dating app subscriptions, I would have significantly less comedic material for social media.
That being said, here are some trends on dating apps that I would like someone to explain to me. I have added my own explanations from deep within my own mind, but feel free to comment with your own interpretation.
1. The tiger picture
Guys like to take picture with tigers. They probably think it makes them look dangerous.
My assumption: you are at some zoo event where they let you have a close encounter.
Better option: Take a picture of yourself holding a Starbucks cup without the sleeve. Caution: contents may be hot? I don’t care. I like to live on the edge.
2. The mirror shot
These poor souls don’t have any friends who can hold their cameras for them to take a picture. But, there are so many mirror shots on dating apps, I’m starting to think it’s something else entirely.
My assumption: Mirror seeks like-minded individual to reflect with. Why are so many mirrors lonely? What do they see in themselves?
Better option: Clean your mirror and bathroom before you take a picture of it. Just saying…
3. All your pictures are of you outdoors
My assumption: I assume you’re homeless.
Better option: Take a few pictures inside. Pretend you have a couch that you sit on every once in awhile. I’m an indoor cat. We’re not going to have a good time if all you want to do is hike. Prove your human and have a roof over your head.
4. Same shirt
My assumption: you only have one shirt
Better option: have more than one shirt
5. Same hat
My assumption: you only have one hat or you are bald
Better option: prove you have more than one hat or hair
6. Headless torso looking for love
There’s this tendency (and usually it’s a mirror picture) to hold the phone in front of your face while you take a picture in the mirror, thus making the face invisible.
My assumption: you have no face. You’re just a headless torso looking for love. And, unless you’re trying to make a matching in Sleepy Hollow, it’s a little weird.
Better option: have some pictures with your face in them
And, last, but not least:
7. The Entrepreneur
Most dating apps want you to list your job. Sometimes, especially in Hollywood, you can’t say what you do because you signed a non-disclosure or your an agent who will only get unsolicited material if you tell people that on any kind of social platform.
Then, there’s the guy that puts entrepreneur.
My assumption: You are unemployed.
Better option: Look. For five years, I worked for a COMPANY that helped entrepreneurs and small businesses. After 5 years, I realized that, while entrepreneur might be a state of mind, it’s not a job. If you are a founder of a company, that’s a job. If you’re a CEO, CFO, COO of a company you helped create, that’s a job. Entrepreneur…you aren’t allowed to get away with that. So, dig deep in your brain and come up with something that is an actual occupation or just leave that part blank.
Life is hard. Dating is difficult. We are all just groping in the void trying to make some kind of connection in a world that cares nothing for our happiness.
Don’t make it harder on yourself.
But, I guess if being a headless torso looking for love works for you, don’t fix what ain’t broke.
Awhile ago, I posted on Facebook a joke that wasn’t a joke.
It says hipsters. But, it almost feels like it should say “millennials.” Let’s all sit here and stew in whether or not those are two different things…
Before I spin off into a discussion about why you shouldn’t trust anything a hipster says about existential philosophers, let’s change course.
Last weekend, I…DID..A…THING!
That’s right, people. I actually left the house. It’s sort of a big deal. I don’t like going places. I prefer staying with my cats. I have hint of agoraphobia that manifests itself as a constant worry of whether or not I locked the door when I left. I’d rather just not leave the house.
But, I did.
I went to a free concert. (Fill in your own tangent about how many free things there are to do in LA)
The concert was part of the 2018 Pershing Square Summer Concert Series. Other acts over the course of the summer included The Bangles, Pat Benatar, and the concert I went to: Spin Doctors and Smash Mouth.
I didn’t consider myself a big fan of either of those bands. I’m one of those on the outskirts yelling, “Play the one song we all know!” because that’s the one that got them on the radio. And, of course, we all know the Smash Mouth song from Shrek (which is really the Smash Mouth song from Mystery Men, but I digress). I rolled into the venue, had my one overpriced Blue Moon, sat on one of the park’s retaining walls, and grooved on late 90’s/early 00’s rock surrounded by downtown LA skyscrapers while planes drifted overhead on their way to the airport.
I took one 10 second video.
When I sent that video to a sibling, he told me that people only pay to see Smash Mouth concerts sarcastically.
First, is he right?
I have no way to prove this. Maybe he’s just being sarcastic about people being sarcastic? The only problem is that it sounds reasonable. There’s always a chance that he’s wrong.
Second, maybe he is right?
Back in the early ’10s, there was this wave of hipsters liking things “ironically.” They would say they were wearing a Chip and Dale t-shirt ironically. They went to screenings of Back to the Future ironically. They only liked certain bands ironically.
Before you think I’m making this up, I’m at least 95% sure I’ve heard someone say this in real life. But, I live in Hollywood, so that’s the sort of person I overhear.
Third, if he is right, why? Why don’t hipsters simply like what they like?
I loved Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. Want me to sing the song for you? I’ll do it.
I love Back to the Future.
And, I didn’t realize when I decided to go to the concert, Smash Mouth was sort of KoRn Lite when I was younger. I liked KoRn, but they had that parental advisory barrier-to-entry sticker on it. Smash Mouth was a little safer, a bit more accessible, but not as sticky-sweet pop as Britney Spears and Nsync. I knew more of their songs than I thought I did. And, they leaned into their hits with the expectation of audience participation.
I think there is a fear that, if we like something, we will be criticized for enjoying it. To protect ourselves from that criticism, we say we like something, gauge the reaction, and, if someone else doesn’t respond the way we want, we immediately pull it back.
I judge you for judging me judging you based on something you have judged for yourself.
It says more about a person if they can only enjoy something because other people like it, too.
Be unapologetic. Like what you like. Don’t waste time liking something because people tell you that you should.
If that were the case, I would consider Batman Begins a good movie and would acknowledge that Ed Sheeran is famous.
What do you unapologetically like? What have you been mocked for liking? Also, is Nickelback bad or do I just think they’re bad because everyone says they are?
Today, someone started following one of my playlists on Spotify. I’m not sure if there is an established standard reaction to this. Should I be honored? Is it an honor? Should I be insulted that so few people are following my playlist?
Regardless of how I’m supposed to feel, I’ll share how I did feel.
Someone is following one of my playlists. MY playlist. My PLAYLIST.
Do you know how long it has taken me to cultivate this playlist?
Eons of listening to Pandora, days of hunting through Spotify playlists, hours of sifting through b-sides and YouTube bootlegs to find that which I desire most: a playlist that encompasses everything I want to listen to at any given time. This is mixtape gold, my friends. Mixtape gold without the need to limit the time to some arbitrary cassette tape length. A mixtape with a shuffle button. Every song ready to be played at maximum volume and belted out into the void.
And someone else can just…listen to it.
And, while I don’t take umbrage at this person and her clearly impeccable taste, there’s something about it that feels like such a violation.
This list is full of music I listen to when writing. It’s full of guilty pleasures and contemplative musings. It’s a look into my inner psyche that I’m not sure I want the world knowing about. When someone follows my playlist, I can’t explain myself. I can’t tell you why this song made it over another. I need to be able to tell you why!
It’s a lost art, the mixtape. It’s too bad it’s a lost art, because nowadays, our brushes are so much more sophisticated. Now everyone can see this thing that you poured a little bit of your soul into. In a world of oversharing, my playlist must be mine and mine alone.
After all, the mixtape can define you.