Saturday, November 15, 2008

Obsessive Fangirls Scare Me A Lot.

It did not take a genius to figure out that the actor (Robert "Cedric Diggory" Pattinson) playing the lead in the Twilight movie would become ridiculously famous with enough fangirls to populate a planet (preferably one far, far away from him, if only for the screaming factor). But this post isn't so much about him or any other previous boy band or teen idol with Johnny Depp level status that pouted and pranced before him. It's this phenomenon of sheer fangirliness that has me completely bewildered--and dare I admit it? Completely transfixed.

Friends had sent me footage of these wretched Hot Topic signings which looked a great deal like a hybrid between the polar bear ice plunge exhibit at the San Diego Zoo and the arrival of a fine dignitary from overseas. A few exception though: for one, the Polar Bear Plunge is big enough to fit more than 25 people without inciting a riot amid poorly screened Korn t-shirts and tired frat-inspired boxers that promote beer funnels. And secondly, as much as I like a good-looking British boy and beer funnels as the next person, all this hoopla seems a wee bit premature especially considering that the movie hasn't even been released and the books uh, leave much to be desired.

Anyway. When I finally, FINALLY caught a news report from a recent stop in Boston, I was frankly dumbfounded by the sheer level of fangirl reactions. The screaming is expected. The crying? Um, sure. But here's where I am confused: These girls in these lines--and some of them are WOMEN WELL INTO THEIR TWENTIES AND THIRTIES--seem fairly smart without the distraction of some alluring bloke with questionable hygiene and no media filter (which is refreshing). Some of them attend college or teach school even (yes, I know). And so, you would think they would have enough sense not to want to be broadcast on their local news crying hysterically with mascara running down their faces in their broody black Twilight tshirts emblazoned with an airbrushed Edward's face on it, declaring that the one second that they spent in front of some poor kid was and forever will be "the best experience OF MY LIFE!" (BTW, that airbrush job looks nothing like the actor.)

Like, really? Isn't that just throwing the towel in a bit early? How about when you graduate from high school? Get your college degree? Or when you get married (if that's your thing)? Or discover the cure for cancer? Or go see Flaming Lips in concert? I'm just saying that before you write this off as the best experience of your life, you may want review the past 48 hrs leading up to it, i.e. camping out on a sidewalk in the frigid cold with about 2,000 fangirls all lusting after one guy (and trust me, your odds aren't looking too good if you're deluded into thinking that you may end up with him).

Ultimately, I just hope it's worth it for them. The only time I ever camped out for anything was my first year in college and my university was tapped to host the World for Peace conference (obviously, Clinton was still in office then). The Dalai Lama was scheduled to appear and give a speech, and my friend Alex and I along with many, many other students, camped out for tickets overnight. Was it worth it? Well sort of. On one hand, it was the Dalai Lama. On the other hand, no one understood a word he said during his entire speech although we're fairly sure it was positive and peaceful. Bonus sighting: A Beastie Boy (MCA!) was sitting a few rows down with his wife and then-baby.

In conclusion, I quote this anonymous comment left on Cleolinda's blog in regards to Pattinsons' sudden skyrocketing fanbase: "In 10 years, there will be a lot of embarrassed women."

P.S.: Pattinson has excellent taste in music, give or take a few weepy, emo picks (sorry, those probably appeal to the fangirls the most). I was quite surprised to see Terry Reid make it to his playlist who happens to be one of my favorite rock musicians thanks to my old Contemporary American Music professor (thanks Fred Maus!). Also equally pleased with Oscar Peterson, even though I didn't do very well in the seemingly gut class called Jazz Appreciation. (I still have the course material--it is a 5 CD boxed set, and I still listen to it 7 years later).


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