How She Almost Became My Buggles (Part I)
How She Almost Became My Buggles:
The untold story of a lost debaclyptic segment
Everyone likes regular features, right? Stuff that happens in cycles gives us something to look forward to. They make us feel safe because it proves the world is reliable. I, for instance, like the "Good Eating" section of the Chicago Tribune. Others like to be told about nutty things that Andy Rooney noticed during the week on 60 Minutes. Still others get all hot when their computer does its weekly virus scan. (“C’mon Norton, find those naughty, naughty viruses. Grrrrr.) So, I was going to do a regular segment on my blog. It was going to be called "Imaginary Rock Star Girlfriend of the Month." Regularly, I was going to gush absurdly about some female rocker who was supposed to be my temporary companion in a way that others would hopefully understand to be ironic and self-effacing. Or maybe they would interpret it as creepy, which would probably not be entirely unjustified.
Part of the reason this would-be stroke of genius never got started was that it is, at its heart, kinda pathetic and would likely be an impediment to finding a real live girlfriend. Worse still was the prospect that I would immerse myself in the feature so much that I would pull a Nurse Betty and drop the "imaginary" from "imaginary rock star girlfriend." To paraphrase a frequent farkism, jailarity might ensue.
The other thing that kept me from implementing this was the pressure that of course went along with picking the right woman to be the first Imaginary Rock Star Girlfriend of the Month. You know, the one who would set the tone of the feature and really make sure to set a true gold standard for all future honorees to aspire to. I know what you're saying, "evandebacle, if you are worried about setting a benchmark for the quality of your imaginary girlfriend, then maybe the priority you give to you life issues may not quite be in order." I say, "Maybe, but you clearly know nothing about the importance of firsts in American culture." When I was a kid I asked my father whether or not Jackie Robinson was chosen by the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the color barrier in baseball because he was the absolute best player available. The answer was "No." Robinson was an excellent player, to be sure, but he was, more importantly, tough enough to take the inevitable racist abuse and do it with enough composure and dignity to prove to the more ignorant corners of society that African-Americans could play in the white Majors.
MTV is another fine example. Choosing “Video Killed the Radio Star” as their premiere was prescient. Was the fact that “You Better Run” by Pat Benatar was the second video of any consequence? Fuck no. Though, at the time, she might have made an excellent Imaginary Rock Star Girlfriend of the month. No matter. I had my charge. I needed the right rockin’ lady to start things off right.
Narrowing it down was the tough part. All I knew was that it couldn’t be Stevie Nicks (inside joke alert). My first inclination was to go with Kathleen Hanna. She had been a pioneer with Bikini Kill and therefore could handle all the pressures and scrutiny which would surely follow the First Rock Star Girlfriend of the Month. I very much enjoy her music. What guy wouldn’t be want his best imaginary girl to sing him lines like “I hope the food tastes better in heaven / I know there's lots of rad queer boys up there.” Maybe that wasn’t the best one to choose. Hmmmm. Anyway, without objectifying her, which Ms. Hanna assuredly would not approve of, I will say that she is an attractive (and strong) woman. And, to give her some added cred, she is dating a Beastie Boy. As we all know, the Beasties provided young Jewish boys like myself with role models when we needed one the most. They saved us from a life of Woody Allen nebbishism. So KH seemed like a good choice. But maybe not a great one. Too obvious I thought.
Imaginary Rock Star Girlfriend of the Month hopeful Kathleen Hanna in her early days...before she knew crushing debaclyptic rejection
I also considered Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She’s a little bit more of the moment than Hanna. She is kinda sexy, in spite of the fact that almost every photo I’ve ever seen of her seems to capture her making herself as slutty and unattractive as possible. In the end, I felt that she would not carry the title gracefully. As I have said before, Karen O seems to be a “VH1’s Behind the Music” waiting to happen.
I ran through some others, but. my choice, it turned out, was a bit more obscure, a singer who a few people have heard of, but most hadn’t. And one who seemed to have a far more consistently positive spin on the world than some might expect from me. Cute and perky. Somewhat different on the fashion front, but altogether the right fit. Who is it? The answer when we return…