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My So-Called Feh

A few years ago, either on a BBS, or on somebody’s OLJ, I remember reading a post about “Guilty Displeasures.” Stuff that the poster hated, that everyone else in her social sphere loved and revered. What had sparked this particular person’s catalogue of petty disgust was Ani DiFranco, who was practically rervered as a goddess among her friends, but who left the writer going, “eh, whatever.”

Well, the invitation to my fiesta of “meh” is a TV show that aired about a decade ago, got massive publicity and lots of rave reviews and a huge angsty following, and was mercifully, summarily cancelled.

A show called “My So Called Life.”

Even the title is a whiney gripe of low-grade dissatisfaction.

I shall be burnt as a heretic here, but I detested that show and was glad to see it go. “Oh, moan, my life is such a pit of danky, doomy, despair. I dyed my hair red to annoy my mom. Oh, my friends are freaks and tormented. Woe, woe, angst, weep.” Been there, done that, ate the tee-shirt. I think I *was* still in highschool when the show was out, and so it struck me as just painfully mundane.

I am sure that part of the reason I hated this show so violently is because I was in the midst of coping with my own particularly shitty highschool existence, and wasn’t really interested in seeing a bunch of pretty Hollywood actors reinact a fictional shitty higschool existence. The same reason I don’t watch horror movies, “psychological thrillers,” weepies, and medical dramas. There’s enough horrible shit going on in REAL life, why should I seek out to be traumatized for entertainment?

Circa 1994-5, I was: accused of being a lesbian, taunted daily as I tried to go about the business of getting my feeble education, having my personal property vandalized, being bored out of my wits, and wondering if I might just as well top myself or of I could make it until May, when graduation would exonerate me from the crapworld that was HHS. My life was already a pathetic episode of teen angst and social cruelty. For entertainment, I wanted to see really fake stuff, like Clueless, Pauly Shore farces, and “Dazed & Confused” which portrayed teen life as something entirely other than what it is–fun. Reality was strict parents, rude classmates, lousy music at school dances, on-again-off-again friendships, ugly clothes, and a lot of days were nothing really happened. “So-Called-Life” was too close to reality, boring, sad, stressful, and kind of hopeless.

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