Sunday, January 13, 2013
I thought we were gonna party like it's 1999, you LIED!!
Now I'm not going to dive into much of my personal life from that year, because that's not what I want to focus on. I'll summarize it like this:
1. After 6 years on the East Coast, I moved back to Chicago, only to have next to NOBODY waiting for me.
2. My new house flooded more than once, and I lost half of everything I had ever owned to that point.
3. I lived down the street from various gang members, across the street from a racist with a gun my own size and more unwanted and unloved children than I had ever seen before.
4. My brother was diagnosed with JRA and was crippled for most of the summer, while a quack tried to use him as a guinea pig to test out new and dangerous drugs ~ because he was this asshole's ONLY mixed-race child.
5. My parents were constantly fighting, mostly because my dad was shoplifting women's goods ~ for himself. This was also the year I was told he wished the condom was strong enough.
Needless to say, I have nothing worth reporting personally from that year. I don't even have a photo of myself from that time, so I'm using an old picture I made on Yahoo many years ago. And before I skip ahead, I'd like to add that I was thinking of starting a petition, to have every home without central air torn down.
So anyway, this story starts in the summer of 1999. It was a few weeks away from the 9/9/99 MTV awards show, and I just wanted to get away from the Hell that was my life.
I was 12, not yet 13, and like many tweens, I spent my time watching MTV. Why was I watching MTV? Because the cable system I had still wasn't letting us have the channels that had wrestling on ~ no matter how many times my mom threatened bodily harm. And it was like another hour until Toonami on Cartoon Network, so that left me with this.
For those of you wondering what 1999 MTV looked like, there's a yearbook of it online.
In between videos and ads for TRL, I saw the MTV scene. Bunches and bunches of people in their 20's, hobnobbing with celebrities, dancing, partying, drinking and getting into all kinds of trouble.
Once the music started, I listened to Red Hot Chilli Peppers "Scar Tissue" which while one of my least favorite songs from them, really spoke to me at a time where stress was my middle name. Rob Zombie videos weren't played until after midnight, so this was one of the few rock songs I would have for a while.
Well that and Kid Rock anyway.
"Bawitdaba" boasted the lyric of "NOW GET IN THE PIT AND TRY TO LOVE SOMEONE" which was followed jarringly by an endless rotation of bubblegum pop and rap songs from Backstreet Boys, TLC, Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears ~ all singing about pre-marital sex, how often it can be obtained, the virtues of controlling-co-dependent relationships, dumping someone, trying to get someone back even after they treated you badly, drinking, clubbing and more sex. .. Wait some of these people had Happy Meal toys. HEY!!
This was followed by more scenes of partying and then the anthem of the upcoming New Year's Eve celebration ~ Willenium. An early leak from Will Smith, then all over Burger King windows with toys for The Wild Wild West.
Carson Daily's voice cracked through the partying with a tone similar to Ryan Seacrest, and his message just as inviting as a 3 a.m. infomercial with Tony Little.
"Don't you want to be like THIS?"
Yes, this was MTV's message. Don't you want to be like us? Have random celebrities hang around you like that, have shots of random neon liquids sent down your throat, party at all hours of the day and night with friends and strangers and then jump in a car with someone really hot?
At 12, I really did think this was what being in your 20's looked like.
Saturdays outside the house, wild parties, random celebrities, funky music, kissing, jumping off of things, crazy stories, I was convinced that if I could get out of my crappy neighborhood, this would be my life.
I'm 26 now.
I don't drink, smoke or do drugs. I don't even have the desire to start. I've actually grown to like my lungs being pinkish, my liver still working and my brain not looking like a moldy pillow.
I don't kiss people at random.
I'm never seen clubbing or at really wild parties.
My Saturdays are either at home or at a wrestling show ~ the latter being preferred of course.
I don't party nearly a fraction as much as I thought I would have by now.
The only things I actually did do from this list are listen to funky music (albeit in other languages) bump into random celebrities and get out of my crappy neighborhood. So at least I have that.
But I never got to have the MTV life.
Most of the people in my own age also got the MTV ideas I did, but none of us really attained the free-spirited debauchery MTV promised us.
We have an economy that sucked the fun out of our plans. Companies that sent away jobs promised to us, in favor of cheap, child labor overseas. So there's no way to even earn the money it would take to party like a rock star.
And the funny thing is?
.... I really wonder if I'm missing as much as I thought I did.
Reality TV has made me question where we are as a society, but it may have been a blessing. I saw enough of Jersey Shore to see what I'd look like if I did obtain that MTV life ~ the phrase "missing link" comes to mind.
In lieu of that MTV lifestyle, I have a clear head and a schedule just begging to be filled. I still got to meet the celebrities I wanted to, but I just don't party like they do on MTV.
I wonder if 12 year old me would be fine with that?