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RL post - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
RL post
I have a fandom post and a Shifts segment both to do later, but I wanted to do a brief RL thing.

My mom sent me my stuffed R2-D2 with a squeaky nose! Yay! I have no idea where I'm putting him, but I've totally missed him. I've had him, I think, since 1977, although I suppose it may have been around the ESB release instead. Go, Squeaky R2! (She'd toyed with the blasphemous idea of giving him to one of the kids she babysits--talk about having given up on the possibility of grandchildren!--but I think I screamed "No!" loudly enough to be heard across 2/3 of the country without the telephone.)

Speaking of the maternal figure, I was shocked, I tell you, shocked. She watched the last Sox-Yankees game, and she complained about Johnny Damon's long hair. I believe her exact words when discussing it were, "Well, I suppose... the less said about that hairstyle, the better." Mom! My hippie-chick, war-protestor, Beatlemaniac mother--who has hair she can and often does sit on--complained about a guy who wears his hair in a shoulder-length blunt cut with a pretty neatly trimmed beard. While I, the reactive neocon Republican, was mostly commenting to say, "You know, I really like that men aren't all expected to have the same haircut anymore."

I don't mean she's saying, "What a girly-man!" or going up to a long-haired mechanic with his hair tied back and saying "Excuse me, Miss." She's not attaching moral statements to it. But now that it's normalized enough not to be a protest thing, apparently, it's just being unkempt. Childhood expectations, maybe.

Of course, my childhood expectations are guys with hair of every conceivable style, so I actually like Damon's hair. Also Pedro Martinez's bouncy Afro. And spiky 80s styles. I like neat short hair, too... really, the only style I violently dislike is the buzz cut, and the only one I find silly is balding middle-aged men who for some reason wear a pony tail. (Though that's more attractive than a combover, it also seems to go with the whole, don't trust anyone under thirty forty forty-five... oh, hell, don't trust anyone who wasn't out of grammar school for Woodstock... mentality.)

On the T today, I overheard someone say that the Yankees, by their contract, have to be clean-shaven and short-haired. I don't know whether or not it's true (and don't really care), but it did make me realize that I thought that was the dumbest sounding rule going. I'm not wild about facial hair, but some guys can pull it off, and all of them should be allowed to try it if they want to. I trust that a guy who decides he looks silly and feels like an ass will in fact get out the razor (unless he has religious reasons not to, but that's another kettle of fish). Meanwhile, I like seeing guys who take a little bit of control over their own appearances. It's a privilege women have had for a long time, while men have been forced by convention into near-identical clothes and often precisely identical haircuts. Now, you can actually guess a thing or two about a guy by how he wants to present himself, and boys who maybe don't look at a crew-cut and a clean shave and think, "Wow, that's what I want to look like when I grow up" still might think that they could be pro ball players or whatever. So that's good for them. And it's just good for everyone who appreciates pretty people on some level (okay, the most basic, shallow eye-candy level there is), because that freedom allows guys to be handsome the way each one of them is handsome, rather than trying to all fit into the same boring mold. Though I'll point out that I think some fit the mold quite nicely and it's not boring at all on them.

I mean, I don't like unkempt long hair (even my own after a day of rubbing on a coat collar), but jeez. It's one of the things that's driven me crazy about Queer Eye for the Straight Guy... they talk a lot about getting each person the right look for him, then they just randomly chop off everyone's hair. Repeat: There is nothing wrong with a guy who wears his hair as long as he feels like wearing it. I wouldn't have someone lop my hair off; why should I have to if I'd been born with a Y chromosome instead of one of my Xes?

Le sigh.

At any rate, Johnny Damon--I dig the do.

Thinking of cool, natural hair (or at least hair that's not processed for the sake of conformity) got me thinking about last season's American Idol, when I got very frustrated the day they ironed out Jennifer Whatsername's gorgeous curls (literally, the week after I'd first thought, after a particularly good camera angle, "That woman has absolutely gorgeous hair!").

And that got me thinking about an article AOL linked to, which I think was in Entertainment Weekly (aka, Entertainment Weakly or EWwww) talking about the idols' follow-up from the show, and the rush to get away from it. On the one hand, Clay Aiken genuinely seems eager to go off and do his own thing. But on the other, they talked to Fantasia Burrino, whose album apparently has very little of the style seen on the show. And they talked to a publicity guy who said that you simply couldn't just market these singers the way they were on the show, because... actually, the reasoning was so illogical that I can't even remember what it was. Essentially, the article was wondering why idols weren't making a huge splash despite the popularity of the show. After all, now they were all being improved and given new material, instead of that old stuff...

In other words, the consumers really like this product, so let's take it back to formula.

This, to use a cliché, does not resemble our Earth logic.

People liked Fantasia Burrino pounding out the power ballads, because she knocked the hell out of them. Record execs saying, "Well, people liked that on the show, but they don't really like it" just confuse me. Give the woman some ballads. Write new ones just for her. Let her make it her niche. Let her own it. And she'll get an audience, because you know what? Obviously, a whole lot of people did, in fact, like it. If she then really feels moved to do a canned dance tune, she certainly can, but prove that she can do what people loved about her without the weekly routine of the show before you start treating her like any other person trying to start a recording career. She does already have a following, guys--use it.

Thus endeth my business/individuality lecture.

I feel a bit...: silly goofy

17 comments or Leave a comment
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: October 30th, 2004 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Mmm. Pedro Martinez.

Johnny Damon didn't look too bad. In fact, he looked rather friendly. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pedro pointed at me today. :)

(I was at the parade, up in a window to get a good view. He's mastered the art of making every person waving think he's pointing specifically in his or her direction. You know, his funky dancing pointing thing.)
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: October 30th, 2004 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)


From: lnevans Date: October 30th, 2004 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's a funny thing. Reading your post about the friendliness of Boston players, after heidi8's about the scowl of A-Rod, it's actually the complete opposite of how the two would seem to be. I've always thought that Pedro looked very serious, and like he didn't ever smile, while A-Rod looked as though he'd be very friendly. And apparantly it's quite the opposite in actuality. I agree though, that Damon always has looked friendly.

However, I don't like Damon's hair, and never have.
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: October 30th, 2004 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
RE: AI, part of the problem is that these artists are stripped of their raw talent and are made into processed pop stars. You're right, it's illogical. People like Kelly/Clay/Ruben/Fantasia for their raw talent, not their producer's computer's talent. I was floored when I heard Kelly Clarkson sing "God Bless America" at the World Series. She can sing, and she can sing live, but they market her as this average pop star that she loses the quality that made her the first American Idol. *sigh*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2004 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it worked, I could almost understand it, but it is obviously not working, and the idiots at the record company just can't figure it out.

I didn't see the first season of AI (picked up mid-second), so Kelly Clarkson singing "God Bless America" was a complete surprise). People like what she can actually do. And you have that, standing against Ashlee Simpson and Britney Spears. And the logic of the record companies is, "Well, if we take that, strip it down, and make it into Britney, it will be as big a hit."

Britney does what Britney does (whatever that is).

Why not let Kelly Clarkson be Kelly Clarkson? Because what she does is more versatile, already has a following, and can be replicated live in concert. Or even on Saturday Night Live.

I hope Queen Latifah's new ballad album is a huge smash hit all year, just so that I can come back to my journal and say, "See? Tolja so."
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: October 30th, 2004 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
My hairdresser said she didn't like The Dana Owens Album, and I heard some songs off of it and wasn't impressed. I enjoyed her "jazzy" work in Living Out Loud.

And, word. If they make Fantasia into Ashante or whoever else, that'll be a travesty. Fantasia is not your average R&B pop princess and people know it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2004 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's too bad. Any time someone steps out of a pre-ordained box to do something old fashioned, I hope that it will be a major hit.
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: October 30th, 2004 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, people don't put a lot of faith in the power of quality products. Hollywood, the recording industry, you name it. They think a copy "C.S.I." will be a big hit. And sometimes it is, but they forget that "C.S.I." was a hit because someone out there took a risk. And now we're going to see copies of "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" (I read somewhere that there will be a copy of "Desperate Housewives"...) because those are the hot shows right now. Clearly people like that format, why not imitate it? But, hello? Those shows are popular because they're good, not because some writes at ABC discovered some super secret genre. The same goes for music and movies. You put out a good product and market it well, and yeah, people are going to buy it. Cuz it's good.
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: October 30th, 2004 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's "writers"!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2004 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Reply 2, since I can't edit...

Orson Scott Card gave it a good review, but I honestly think the man has a huge crush on Her Highness. No matter what she does, he refers to it as incredibly brilliant, which is usually a sign of that.

:tries to imagine sulky Fantasia with her frequently off-putting attitude (ignorable because she's so damned talented) as a pop princess:

:dies from the disconnect:
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: October 30th, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's either that or they'll market her as the next Ghetto Fabulous Queen, which fits her just as well as "pop princess."
trinity_clare From: trinity_clare Date: October 30th, 2004 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read somewhere that they actually hired some of the Red Sox based on friendliness and sense of humor. "The Idiots", right?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2004 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are signs all over town declaring us "Idiot Nation."
I don't know anything about hiring practices, but definitely, they seem quite concerned about the personality mix, almost nixing Manny Ramirez when it looked like he wasn't getting along. There's been a total turnaround on that.
ivylore From: ivylore Date: October 30th, 2004 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I nursed a secret crush on Johnny Damon too!

Tell your mom that his long hair has something to with his concussion last year. I can't remember exactly what save that he was getting headaches and having more hair (maybe to cushion his hat?) helped so he stopped cutting it.

Yeah. George Steinbrenner sets out all sorts of rules for the clubhouse. No facial hair, no long hair, no this, no that. He runs a tight anal-retentive ship that sounds like it's not much fun - but they're the Yankees and their guys get paid the most money so... *sticks out tongue*. They lost!!!!!

I would buy Fantasia Barrino singing old Porgy and Bess ballands any day!

likeafox From: likeafox Date: October 30th, 2004 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Johnny Daemon! (Expecially the hair) I must say I think I've become a Red Sox fan, mainly because of Johnny, but also because my love of Manny hasn't decreased since he was an indian. And, hey, if the Red Sox can do it the Indians can too! Or maybe not. It stinks being a foul weather friend all the time. :(
hughroe From: hughroe Date: October 30th, 2004 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I screamed "No!" loudly enough to be heard across 2/3 of the country without the telephone.

So that was what I heard :)
17 comments or Leave a comment