🎀 Boy bands, pop culture, guys talking into a camera πŸ‘¦

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 :: Tagged under: blurb culture pablolife. ⏰ 4 minutes.

Hey! Thanks for reading! Just a reminder that I wrote this some years ago, and may have much more complicated feelings about this topic than I did when I wrote it. Happy to elaborate, feel free to reach out to me! πŸ˜„

🎡 The song for this post is Say You'll Be There, by the Spice Girls. 🎡

This was getting pretty popular on my feeds:

A few reactions!

Man, these guys are going to be doing this until they're old men. Like that guy we keep making jump naked into a swimming pool. Not complaining! Just wonder how its gotta be lol.

We were a Backstreet Boys household. Annalisa is 4 years younger than me, so we had the prime demographic during boy band fever. I was starting to grow armpit hair, mystified by this concept of "cool," and had just emerged from what many therapists consider the event that most broke me away for good from the world of the Easily Happy And Socializes Well, so I was in no mood for sincere fandom of anything.

…but, I'm a performer and a queen at heart, so of course I loved pop music. Here's a picture of my diary from just before I turn 13:

An old diary entry saying "Well, I'm not so bummed out anymore. Sure, my parents are still blowing lots of $, but now we are at Rehoboth Beach, where arcades rule the land (heh heh heh!). I can't wait to hit the waves! Oh yeah, though they're not my favorite band, I scored Backstreet Boys tickets. While I try to hide it, I do like them and believe they're very talented. I can't wait to break the news to my sis on her birthday. Well, I'm also psyched about my b-day, In the world, the big thing is Pokemon. I like it a lot myself, but I'm not as dedicated…"

Quarantine means oversharing, folks! Also, I didn't score those tickets, my parents did for Annalisa, and IIRC she took a friend with them? She said it was great. Also, on the next page, I drew my favorite Pokemon Abra, which you can see bleeding through.

I never verbalized anything remotely like that, I was a year or two away from being a horny gamer listening to White Suburban Kid rock like Sublime, Limp Bizkit, and Kid Rock. The White suburbs "counterculture"… it's Bad!

But as Coco and Gentefied and literally all pandering Latino-targeting media will have a character say at some point: "Family comes first." So my nascent depression and angst was not going to keep me from being a good older brother to my sister. I've seen Spice World over a dozen times (she would ritually put it on after school for a few months. Mel C forever). I've seen Billboard Dad and instinctively don't trust British people named Nigel. Her favorite BSB member was Brian, which I thought was a little refined, not going for the Nick train (no hate to Nick fans). Mine was Kevin, because I thought cool guys had facial hair and dark hair.

Listening to the music years later, I think N'SYNC's pop holds up better. I think it's generally more kinetic; even BSB's dance tunes (Everybody, Larger Than Life) don't bounce as much as Bye Bye Bye or Tearin' Up My Heart.

Pop culture is a meat grinder for its performers and it's weird and barbaric that awareness of this doesn't change anything. Screech, Britney (came away super awesome and well-adjusted considering, but is locked up!!), Michael Jackson, Aaron Carter. Like, man, how awful is it that I'm watching that video glad they're all doing okay? I know AJ had substance issues, and there's probably lots more I don't know. Fuck Lou Pearlman and the people who exploit talented kids.

Anyone remember the Boy Band zombie western?

My favorite BSB song is probably Everybody (Backstreet's Back), which also has a delightful video, and is always a hit at karaoke for a shy group.

Online video

Via Waxy.org, Andy Baio calls this video "John Krasinski doing his best Ze Frank, way better than I expected it to be":

A few reactions!

Both Ze Frank and John Krasinski are both Brown alums! Go Bears! 🐻

As much as I have college pride (in that I don't, really! Fuck Brown! You'll never get another cent from me!), I can't fully disengage from the things that made me happy to go, which is the kind of things you see in these two: Ze Frank has been making awesome media for over a decade but got his BS in Neuroscience; John Krasinski is exactly the nerdy type of Brown literary type to adapt, produce, direct, and star in an artsy set of skits based on David Foster Wallace essays.

Also, John Krasinski was strong in the running to be Captain America before Marvel decided to repurpose the Human Torch from the Sony Pictures movies. I wonder how different that timeline would have looked for Marvel and John's career.

Ze Frank did "the show", which I was lucky enough to see when it was happening live, when I was living in Brown's dorms. The biggest thing from that was probably the "Earth sandwich" sketch, which has been copied several times.

Anyway, I didn't care so much for this Good News thing (I suspect I would have liked it more if I saw The Office), but you might like it. Was just reacting to Andy's one-liner with weird facts.

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