21 September 2006

25 my harsh mistress and mariah carey


i love writing. it's where i'm most alive and most comfortable and most me. but sometimes writing is a shitty tough thing. it can be a bitch. a really, really mean bitchy, bitchy bitch.

i'm supposed to be writing about faux2. it's supposed to be me, right now, writing about faux2. i know this and all i can think about is mariah carey. mariah carey as marilyn monroe. mariah carey and the american dream. mariah carey and tommy matolla. mariah carey and gangsta rap. all i want to write about is mariah carey. or maybe elvis impersonators or tabloids or the fall or the cute dog in the park or how much snow we might get this winter. so really, right now, i want to write about everything in the world but faux2. but mostly, i just want to write about mariah carey.

because when i couldn't sleep the other night, all i could think about was marilyn monroe and mariah carey. to me, there is no one in modern american life quite so monroe as mariah carey. the public image of monroe, a comic genius, reduced her to little more than an erotic freak. it would seem that's the public image path mariah carey has either been pushed into or is plodding down. she has a truely astonishing vocal talent yet has, lately at least, been most often celebrated in the mainstream for her bosom and repeated weightloss/weightgain. admittedly, this is partly her own doing- the woman has a weakness for some slutastic clothes and slutastic clothes can be unkind. but it's unfortunate that someone talented to that degree should be limited to an image largely defined by physical change and slutastic fashion. because though we forget it, images are so often almost always very wrong.

i wanted to write about mariah carey not just because of monroe, but because when i couldn't write tonight, all i could listen to was mariah carey. i don't know how this was supposed to be helpful but at least it didn't hurt. it would have been far, far worse to have suffered a michael bolton relapse and gone flying into the arms of his greatest hits. mariah carey seemed the safest, most respectable indulgence. for the eleven-year-old me, her someday video was definitive. i recorded it off vh1 and would sit there, inexplicably wearing a t-shirt twelve sizes too big, watching mariah carey with her curly hair, strutting about what i guess was supposed to be a deserted high school, brazenly wearing an off-the-shoulder black shirt. this was epochs before i found vogue and jackie and bootcut jeans. it was an innocent age in which she seemed so avant garde.

but i thought i had gone beyond mariah carey. i didn't believe she could possibly have anything for twenty-five-year-old me. the great Love Not Fear Wardrobe Revolution has left my closet a realm of unparalleled awesomeness. the yellow skirt- the thing i own most likely to be allowed admission to heaven- dwells there, so no slutasticness allowed. then i listened to mariah carey again. and again and again and an embarrassing number of agains. and i realized maybe i was wrong. because when writing was a really, really mean bitchy, bitchy bitch, mariah carey was there, as she (and the jackson five) said she would be. mariah's got my back, bitch.

25 comments:

Les Savy Ferd said...

I'm sorry Ol!ghn. Never made it past the photograph. Fell right in that ridiculous canyon of flesh, thought I'd scrabble my way out, hung on for dear life to the obligatory crucifix bling, finally surrendering to the darkness--suffocating between the unsurprisingly unyielding bazooms.

oline said...

my favourite thing about my friend lindear is that until two months ago, she actually believed it was pronounced bazooms.

am sorry to hear you've fallen, dougO, and can't get out of the photograph. how very Aha.

JJerm said...

i'm not sure what i want to say about ms.carey. on the one hand, she can take credit for some of the best pop songs of the past 15 years. on the other hand, she is to blame for 90% of the bad singers out there now who equate great vocals to going on nonstop, off-key vocal runs. so i'm torn.

ms. carey's last album was all beyonce beats and the vocal prowess was largely put on the back burner. i wonder if this is where she has been longing to go for so long, into this hip-hop realm where the voice counts, but the beat counts more. i wonder if there is protection in that. no longer are you up front, the object. now it's the songs that bear the brunt.

monroe tried to hide behind miller for a bit, but even that didn't work. how much longer until mariah learns that society has a way of pulling all train wrecks front and center, eager for fingers (and tongues) to wag at?

nick said...

how very Aha! i loved that you said that. that is still in my list of top 10 videos ever.

oline said...

looking at this from a pillbox perspective (because really what other perspective do we have?!), ms. carey is an odd blend of marilyn (ie. the best of a type) and jackie (ie. the first of a type). so perhaps she was the first and best of her type?

haven't heard her albums post-1998 (glitter, though, was unspeakably hilarifying), but her interviews in random fashion mags are always fascinating. she comes off as very much the lost little girl who, at the same time, is a tough broad extremely pissed about the caricature she's become, even though she helped create it. which would be monroe through and through.

switching to a different pop path- that Aha video was magical. and for some reason i always just assumed the girl was debbie gibson, which only made it even more magical.

Bombsy said...

While I feel guiltily responsible for your recent adoption of "damn" and "bitch", I must say that there is something about you southern girls that renders your profanity adorable. I am envious, i daresay.

nick said...

it would seem, bombsy, you picked up the ya'll & passed on damn & bitch. fair trade, no?

oline said...

don't feel bad, bombsy. if anyone is to be blamed, it is the prof. who allowed me to use "bitchery" in a paper on francis macomber. from then on i've been much more scandalous. this week that damn article about that damn band for that damn website is very much to blame for the excess of adorable damns. a damn fair trade to be sure.

Bombsy said...

Darling, did you see That Damn Band is playing friday night? Um, yeah. I'm there if you are.

oline said...

we've got a PlanPlan to go see the band ManMan tonight. and i did see that damn band is playing tomorrow but if am to be having FunFun with ManMan tonight, be a responsible sleepy working girl tomorrow, a wild white trash red bull shooter saturday and a hair dying second story-goer on sunday, think i'd better be stays-at-home-on-friday-night-oline or i'll be damn crazy oline by monday.

nick said...

you are so covert... =)

oline said...

croftie and i have just right now this very moment relocated our dying pact to friday so i'm not not stays-at-home-on-friday-night-oline but am thrillingly dying-pact-oline instead and hair colouring, of course, prevents that damn banding. (and mister nickOlas, am sure i don't know what you mean!)

oline said...

that not not would imply i'm still stays-at-home-on-friday-night-oline. please interpret it in the spirit of ManMan to mean mean that i'm just just emphatically not not SAHOFNoline.

Bombsy said...

what?
wait, do you wanna go or not? i am so confusedfused.

oline said...

confusedlie,
those three rambling, convoluted comments were meant to signify a no no. which would mean let's do skip it this time round.
can't-just-say-what-she-means-oline.

oline said...

how do we always wind up discussing the evening's plans? all roads seem to lead to either what we're doing tonight or what we're doing this weekend. even a discourse of mariah's musical and iconic worth led back to the fact that i'm busy tomorrow night. apparently in my house, people make plans.

nick said...

i plan to go to the grocery store on my way home from work, if anyone was curious.

Meggie said...

Here's my thoughts (yes, thoughts!)

1. I remember you before the bootcut jeans. I remember how long it took you to discover bootcut jeans. I've got blackmail material, my dear.

2. Mariah actually owns the piano that Marilyn grew up playing on. She's obsessed with her. Random celebrity trivia that I know.

3. Plans are good.

oline said...

meggie, it's a comfort to know that we've come through all these years to wind up with the same random celebrity trivia. i know you remember me before bootcut jeans. and i praise heaven every day that predated digital cameras or there would be a whole heap more of incriminating evidence. but i think it was a good thing to have gotten all that out of the way. to have taken appalling fashion to such an extreme and worn the 12 sizes too big shirts with the tapered leg jeans and brown loafers during the decade of bad hair. it exorcised the demons and by comparison, i've looked impossibly beautiful ever since!

Meggie said...

I do have a scanner... And a picture of you and Amy in matching blue and white shirts at Centennial. I also have some pictures from Page. Hmm...

oline said...

if you dare, there'll be sooooooo much trouble!

oline said...

forgot that partner and i were forever unintentionally matching! oh we were awesomely lame. but that doesn't top the time we traded clothes at school because what partner was wearing was so much more expressive of who i was that day and vice versa. burn the pictures from page!

Meggie said...

I refuse to burn the pictures from Page! THey were fucking hilarious! Ooh... What about the DC picture? You know the one. The really long one. Ah, the DC trip. When Sara Gere tried to throw me off the boat. The memories... And nobody has any idea who we are talking about. *laughs*

oline said...

forgot sarah tried to throw you off the boat. that must've been right before she tried to slap me. why were we so dramatic in the 8th grade?!

Meggie said...

No, no my dear friend. There was no "we" were so dramatic. It was a selected few (and you know who I'm referring to). Everytime we turned around, it was drama of some sorts.