Thursday, August 6, 2009

i used to be your biggest fan

(a post that started with me eavesdropping and ends with me talking about boys)

When I was in high school, a girl I knew kept a list of the celebrities that she was determined to engage in conjugal relations with. As far as I remember, these ranged from Orlando Bloom to one of the Backstreet Boys to Chris Martin of Coldplay. This list got updated, I think, depending on who was on the cover of that month's Cosmo magazine.

I, on the other hand, was determined to snag Quidditch player Oliver Wood. Even if it meant that I had to trick actor Sean Biggerstaff into permanently pretending- sorry, acting as said Quidditch player. It wasn't even really how good he looked in bastardised leather cricket pads and maroon gold stripes (what a strange fetish that would be). It was mostly his accent. Which was Scottish and adorable and slightly incoherent. Like most Scottish people that I've met or encountered via mediums of entertainment. Roddy Woomble particularly. I went through a phase where I was sure the answer to life would be having Woomble as a next door neighbour to pester (sometimes I still think that). And the guy who played Pippin in Lord of The Rings. In full hobbit garb, he looked like an awesome guy to take to the pub.

This all has a point, I swear. I'm not doing a gratuitous eye candy post. Actually, there really isn't a point. I heard a couple of girls talking about their lists and was struck by how a) the list was basically identical to the list that the girl in my grade was keeping 4 years ago and b) the dominating nationality were Americans. I find that odd, and then had to have a think about which Americans I would put on my list.

And I came up with three obvious ones, and one that I was a bit in denial about.

So. Obviously Johnny Depp. Because you have to appreciate a chameleon like him, and also when I was bored I could force him to take me swing dancing. We could talk about France and possibly learn how to make cheese. He seems like a guy who does stuff.
Obviously Brandon Flowers. I have to admit that my appreciation and admiration for this man really only started when his band released their second album "Sam's Town" and Flowers turned up to the party with the most hilarious moustache ever. He looked like the villain in a Western film, and he totally knew it. He comes off as slightly conceited, but I think that's just confidence - he knows his music is insane and a guilty pleasure for just about everyone (except me. I will be dancing to Joy Ride until the day I die of laughing at Joy Ride) and he knows how to dress. But then he shaved off the moustache, and I stopped talking to him. I think this is why he's seemed a bit gloomy recently. A lack of Maddie in your life will do that to you, trust.
Third Obvious is William Beckett. I don't know how to explain this one, except for the fact that the video for "We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands" had me drunkenly contemplating if the universe would render itself in two if there really were two Beckett's. He has lovely hips and seems like a total geek. And appears to have actually read Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, so would be useful when I do Modernist Literature next year.

The American that I was in total denial about until I sat down to think about this is Paul Banks. The lead singer of Interpol has disappointed me twice live, but I wouldn't be averse to sitting down with a bottle of red wine and talking about obscure albums that he's heard and I haven't, obscure books that I've thrown across the room and he's finished, and how I really can't be bothered making an effort to be 'obscure' anymore. I was in denial about Banks because he seems way out of my league (because y'know, I'm having dinner with Depp and Flowers won't stop sending fucking bouquets.) and also because he kind of looks like all those really annoying art school boys who spend three hours doing their hair (I am sure Beckett does that. However, someone who uses the word 'existential' in the wrong way in one of his songs can be forgiven. Clearly art school didn't suit him the way it didn't suit me)

So. Yes. A list of males I would engage in conjugal relations with. Or would I? What I was thinking about when I was eavesdropping on those schoolgirls today (who should have been in school, not on the 14.27 train) was that they were talking exclusively about the physical aspects of their to-be conquests. Whereas I was thinking (far too seriously) about how long it would take me before I threw red wine all over Paul Banks for suggesting that perhaps "Paper Soldiers" was a good movie. (I concluded it would depend on the quality of the red). And really, do I want to be drinking wine with Paul Banks when I could dancing and talking all night with Paul Smith, who probably is the musician for me (remind me to post the zine thing I did on Maximo Park, please)? Is it because I'm older and realise that looks aren't everything and that sex is inevitably not what Hollywood frames it as? Or is it because I have too much time on my hands and would rather be thinking about boys than Colonial Latin America? Is it because I'm a natural conversationalist who isn't really ever satisfied? I'm inclined to think so.

I think celebrity attraction starts out as a sort of physical thing (those hips! one thinks) and then as you slowly realise that the odds of that person ever showing reciprocated interest is very very small, and that you only really know a quarter teaspoon of information about them, it becomes kind of boring. Perhaps this is why Pete Wentz is the object of affection for so many girls and boys - he's constantly blogging and tweeting, and there's a sense that one really knows him (even though I'm sure alot of it is just conjecture). But I don't know Oliver/Sean's favourite coffee blend, or Roddy Woomble's favourite thing to do on a Sunday, or if Johnny Depp likes vacuuming, or if Brandon Flowers has ever played pub trivia or if William Beckett hates tomatoes or if Paul Banks secretly loves the Harry Potter series. I don't really know anything about them, and that's what puts me off thinking too much about them. They aren't real to me, and I'm much rather someone real.

I'm sure all this had a point. Maybe I'm trying to say that I think objectifying celebrities is a little cruel, not only to them, but to ourselves as well. I was so sure my first relationship was going to be perfect. It wasn't. It was messy and awkward and hysterical. We were expecting Hollywood and we got something closer to a Monty Python sketch. And with all the maturity that 21 years gives me, I think that was better. And when I look at my friends relationships, which are quiet lovely little things that have their hysterical moments (Beard thinks yams grow underwater. Liz rolls her eyes), I feel that sort of warm feeling that Romantic Comedies are always trying to inspire within me, which makes me feel queasy. I'm not saying you shouldn't settle for less than the Grand Narrative of Love, but you should realise that the little moments, the little people, are far more real than whatever simplified thing the magazines and novels and movies have taught you. Sometimes I feel like our idea of love and relationships are being ruined by all that.

All that said, I'm sure I'll end up in Scotland again sometime soon. Sean Biggerstaff should be on the look out.


I did something today that I haven't done since the 6th Harry Potter book had me in tears. I threw a book across my room and nearly broke my window. I have shitty aim. The book was Marion Bradley's "The Mists Of Avalon", a title that sounds more like a face cream. It's (yet another) book about the Legend Of King Arthur, except told from the perspective of the women. Which would be totally great, if it wasn't so bloody rubbish. It's medieval Mills and Boon. I can't work out who I want to kill more - Gwenhwyfar, who is the wettest wet blanket christian I have ever met or Lancelet, who is like medieval Paul Banks, Morgraine who gets angry and sulks alot, the Merlin, who is nowhere near as amusing or wise as the Disney/TH White Merlin (or the recent BBC Merlin), Irgraine who magically went from being a loyal pagan to obsessed with Uther, Christianity and being a bad mum or Mordred, who hasn't turned up yet but I'm sure will be very annoying. My favourite character is six year old Gareth, who has two lines. And I kind of want to take Marion Bradley's Arthur and give him a hug and tell him that yes, I understand its all very upsetting, but he is the greatest king Albion has ever seen, and as such should not have married such a bloody wet blanket, and he should get more angry more often. Ugh. I think it might turn out to be worse than Beloved, if I ever bother finishing it. I have to go watch the Disney version again to remind myself that the Arthurian legend is about chivalry and friendship and battles, not bloody moaning about snake tattoos and babies and Saxons.

Oh, for the record. I did end up doing the Colonial Latin America Reading. Much more interesting than anticipated.


Blanket said...

I know absolutely nothing about Pete Wentz except that he once posted his genitalia on the internet which should fall in the category of an under the underwear over share.

reilly said...

Hey! Where can we make this exchange, I'm tired of waking up because I'm sweating!

Thank you! I'm doing the shorter version - I think the longer one is supposed to be a housecoat.

lizzle said...

I almost gave myself a heart attck yesterday because I thought I saw Pete Wentz in the city. Then I realised it was just a sad man with ill fitting pants and too many lip piercings.

word verification: pyrocksts
I read it at skyrockets...

Blanket said...

pyrocksts in flight! afternoon delight!

why is there a wheelchair man next to the word verification box?