Bad (so bad that it’s good?) romance

As a youngish academic in English I should adhere to many cultural stereotypes. I should “use” my television as a decorative art piece and never actually watch it. I should sport shoes that promote foot health like a good pair of Birkenstocks, or a Dansko clog if I’m feeling fancy. I should revel in French film and have a taste for curious and inventive cuisine. And I should probably refrain from employing self-coined terms like “mo-mo” when proper names for such objects (“remote control”) already exist.

Although the list above is clearly exaggerated, it’s still difficult for me to not measure myself by an imaginary yardstick of academic propriety. Or by more general yardsticks like adult sophistication, for that matter. As a result, I feel ashamed that I consider Television a part of my family and that my favorite shoes are 4+ inches high and stained with the blood of tootsies intensely dedicated to sparkle motion. I feel guilty that I prefer watching the cartoon adventures of an orphan boy and his favorite pirate (they live in a whale!) to more edifying cinematic encounters. And while “Top Chef” remains a must-see program, I take more epicurean delight in mixing various other junk food desserts into my ice cream than in spinach foams and genius takes on ceviche (seh-whoochie?!). As for language, I love me a $10 word as much as a Rachel Zoe-ism. What’s a grown-up material girl to do?

And thusly, The Idler intervenes.

Since part of The Idler’s mission is to cross out the “guilty” in guilty pleasures, “PopHeart” will be a space to explore and explain the pop cultural experiences we live and love every day. My contributions to this site will talk about fashion, comedy, art and women’s roles in various kinds of media. In upcoming installments you can look forward to a review of Lady Gaga in concert (replete with photos of little monster couture), my attempt to look fab for fall on little to no cash-money and an ode to the time of my misspent youth, ahh, the 90s.

I hope you’ll join me in my feats of derring-do as I quest for the holy grail of pop culture diva-tude. You might want to wear comfortable shoes…and maybe bring a pair for me? Size 7. Got anything in a retro sneaker?

Anyhow, Idle Away!

14 Responses to “Bad (so bad that it’s good?) romance”
  1. AVGW says:

    Welcome, Ana! I (as a fellow luster of super high heels) would love it if you posted a pic per column of your favorite shoes :) And perhaps the many misadventures of said footwear.

  2. Jill says:

    As a former English major, I know the feeling–I want so badly to be a hipster. But I love television and Harry Potter and high heels too much for that. Looking forward to reading more!

    • ana says:

      oh, you should hear the hipster bashing–i get an earful all the time. i think it’s quite possible to be a well-educated, empathic, political and well-dressed hipster. why does hipster have to mean snark-a-doo jerk or hater?

  3. emilyodge says:

    Really good read. I’m an English graduate too and i’m all for joining the search for “diva-tude”!

    • ana says:

      thanks! it’s nice to hear other people out there can relate. it can feel pretty lonely in the ivory tower sometimes.

  4. Carol says:

    I look forward to reading. When I was little, I refused to wear pink because society wanted little girls to wear pink. I didn’t like things that little girls liked – I liked to play sports and get dirty – so no one was going to make me be girly. At some point in college, I realized that I can be both. I can like power tools and football AND dresses, skirts, and cute shoes. And I think it’s even better that way! Doesn’t that make me more interesting?

    I think your “conflicting” interests make you much more interesting than someone who fits into the regular mold. You are you. Nothing wrong with that.

    P.S. You are the person that made me realize that I can love pop music and rock music simultaneously! I can’t thank you enough for that Justin Timberlake CD on my 22nd birthday. Opened a whole new and fun world : )

    • AVGW says:

      I feel like I should plug my work on The Idler — “Rounding Third,” where I write about baseball, and sometimes poetry.

      It’s always been strange to be looked at as an alien species simply for being a girl in a dress complaining about the defensive lapses on my silly beer league team, or railing about the issues in the Tigers bullpen, etc.

      Is it the new Madonna / Whore complex? A subset? I mean, c’mon, peeps, its 2010! Can’t we wear 4 inch heels and have a fantasy football team? Can’t we wear 4 inch heels and still be academics, still be intelligent, and not be alien?

      Dare I say, what I learned in my first brush with post-colonialism as an undergrad — OTHER???

      (PS, why aren’t there any boys jumping into this?)

      • Gavin Craig says:

        Because I don’t have the ankle or calf strength to do anything more than love heels from afar. :-) But I’m digging where this column wants to go. I’m really looking forward to reading more.

    • ana says:

      Carol, I soooo love that you enjoy using power tools and building things. I love that you have a football watching room that you might also watch Sex and the City in for oh, i don’t know, 32 hours straight. And I just retold the story about the Halloween where you almost jumped into a boy fight. I’m thinking about writing a Ladies Who Kick Ass column–maybe you should be in it. : )

  5. I dont’ know if it helps you to know that while it was on the air, America’s Funniest Home videos was my favorite show, but it was.

    I only wear heels on special occasions.

    • ana says:

      “we’ve got laughs from coast to coast, to make you smile….the red white and blue, the funniest things you do, america, america….this is you!” i’ve got your back, TC.

      you boys are joking about the heels, but don’t knock em til you’ve tried em.

      • It the risk of sounding like I’m trying to justify watching AFV, I really did learn a lot about what reads as “real” from watching that show.

        Also the scored, each of the themed montages was a mini-master’s class in how to use staying just half a step ahead of the audience for comedic effect.

        Now the same sort of stuff is all over the YouTube, but somehow it’s not quite the same.

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  1. […] first column was “Bad (so bad that it’s good?) romance.” It discussed the ways in which I feel I should be more sophisticated, refined, adult and all the […]

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