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Music Savaged By The Average Beast

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for April 10, 2002

From Here to Maternity
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

I'm just a girl.
Take a good look at me
Just your typical prototype
Oh...I've had it up to here! I making myself clear?
   - "Just a Girl"
     (G. Stefani, T. Dumont)
     Tragic Kingdom (1995)

You've seen the commercial. A couple is driving in a convertible. He protests the earnest Lite Music she's playing; she leans, invisible now, into the backseat for the CD case. Dudes in a TestosteroneMobile pull alongside, glaring at him disdainfully. No kind of man listens to THAT unless he's picked out china patterns with other men.
In Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love's office, a graduate student was speaking with a Latin gentleman. He described comic books as a significant form of literature. She listened quietly while he talked about anime and so forth; he and Your Shiniest Object discuss this stuff all the time. When the graduate student finally spoke, she said, "I'm just a girl. I wasn't raised with these things." My head exploded. Eavesdropping is terribly rude, so Your Gold Leaf invited herself *into* the conversation by flinging herself at the cubicle wall between herself and the conversing parties. "Did you just say 'I'm just a girl?'" She nodded. Your Foil Wrapping thought of her Spiderman comic book collection, her years of vigorous exercise and her Prime Directive: Never Date Anyone You Couldn't Punch Out In A Pinch. Your Bronze Glow shut her trap and sprinted for the exit before unemployment could replace an exploded head as her biggest problem.
Post-post-feminist idiocy aside, there are only two things more stupid than "I'm just a girl":
1. Men who think all chick music is weak.
2. Chicks who listen to weak chick music.
Ladies, we have a problem, and her name is Celine Dion. If you're between the ages of 21 and 50, you've had at least one shameful moment where you thought, "She's rail-thin, successful, wealthy, sings for a living, her hair is perfect, she speaks French. Sign me up." You'd trade places with her and let people kiss your sweet patootie on both sides of the Forty-Ninth Parallel. You would. For one shameful moment, Malkovich, Malkovich... The problem, once you straighten up and realize you're the most fabulous thing in the universe besides me, is that Celine's music is blowing your credibility. Even if you've never bought a single, never hummed a note, and you switched off the radio at the mere mention of her name, Celine Dion makes you look stupid.
"My Ornate Tin Roof," you say, "whatever do you mean? Celine and I have never been on speaking terms." Toots, she's speaking for you. Men assume this because women buy these execreble CDs by the appropriately labeled gross. Women wouldn't fork over the cash if they didn't love Celine's supersyrupy anthems, they reason, so that music must speak to women. "Heaven only knows what to talk with women about: Babies? Cumbersome wardrobes? Going broke on accessories? Must I, Bachelor of the Year, face the terror of a thirty year mortgage with bland predictability as my reward? Share a double-indemnity policy with a person warbling how after my tragic death her heart will go on, preferably to Bloomies?"
God. No wonder men watch wrestling.
It gets worse: you pick produce, and hear Celine. You try on a bathing suit, you hear Celine. You watch the news and hear commercials for Celine. You flip through magazines and see Celine. You watch movies - anything to get away! - and there's Celine. Ladies, I hate her as much as the next Riot Grrl, but I'm watching men twitch in the check out line. And they're looking at me, and they don't see my nausea, and the chicks dig Celine, and they think I'm just a girl.
Celine's got to go.


©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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