Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From Best to Worst

I have been working on this stupid post, three sentences at a time, for almost a month. Instead of devoting the time to make it good, I'm going to wrap it up and give you a half-baked entry. Heidi discounted everything I said anyway by informing me that as I get older, I make more excuses for why I am falling out of touch with pop culture and society at an alarming rate... . Maybe Heidi is right (she usually is), the other day, Rivers Cuomo himself tweeted: "What could be more natural than becoming irrelevant to pop culture as you get older?" But this is all getting off-topic. This introduction was mean to serve as an excuse for fewer words typed, not more. Below is the half-hearted work that resulted from a text message to Kevin, to which he responded, "You should write a blog about that." So I did. And this is it:

If you ask any reasonable person born between 1977 and 1986 what the greatest album of this generation is, the answer will undoubtedly be "Pinkterton."

If you ask a person born in the same time frame, which movie is the greatest ever made, you will not be surprised to hear the common response of "Terminator II."

Between the ages of 14 and 18, Weezer was my favorite band. I knew every word to every song on "The Blue Album" and Pinkerton. My friends and I would blast the tape (were we using CDs by this point in history? I don't remember) over and over again while singing at the top of our lungs, "I'm tired. So tired. So tired of having sex" (none of us were actually having any sex, but we identified with what it might be like to grow tired of having sex if one in fact ever had so much that it grew tiresome. We were not having any sex because we were losers who chose to drive to abandoned railroad bridges to smoke cigars and discuss how cool we really were on Friday night, rather than going to the 'raging' party that we may or may not have been invited to in the first place).

Terminator II came out in 1991. My friend Nick Gordon and I would rent the movie about four times a week, and watched it so many times, that we actually tried to recreate the Debit Card machine that John Conner uses to rip off ATMs (it didn't work).

That's the introduction. Interest has been piqued, and the reader is now curious where this is going. This is the body of the argument, which will tell you exactly where "this" is going:

In the past year, Avatar was released and has already made more money than any other movie ever made.

Also in the past year, Weezer released another album which is probably comprised of songs about girls and drugs.

I have not seen or heard either of these products, and can assure you that I will not any time soon.

If you question my commitment to boycott things that I deem worthy of such abstinence, ask me how many times I have seen Titanic?

The answer is "0"

This fact has led to many arguments between my wife and I, so I will just move on quickly, without elaborating further. If she doesn't comment, know that she will argue, correctly, that I am pretentious about this, and would actually enjoy Titanic, but I am far too proud to cave in. I would agree, but continue in my arrogance.

While this could just become another blog post where I make fun of others, all the while sharing semi-intimate details about my life in a sarcastic form so as to not reveal to much of my inner soul, I will instead engage in an academic excursion that required research (imdb.com and wikipedia.org) and mental dexterity.

Weezer is the James Cameron of music.

Or, conversely, James Cameron is the Weezer of movies.

Either way, it's meant to be an insult. And more than an insult, this conclusion is meant to point the reader to the epic failure of both a band and a director to sustain what should have become respective Hall of Fame careers.

What makes me most sad about the fall-from-awesome that Weezer and James Cameron suffered, is the sheer sweetness of where they began.

Below is a list of some "major" James Cameron projects:

Avatar (2009)
Terminator III (2003)
Titanic (1997)
True Lies (1994)
Terminator II (1991)
The Abyss (1989)
Terminator (1984)
Aliens (1986)
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

Compare that with a list of Weezer's albums:

Raditude (2009)
Weezer (Red Album)(2008)
Make Believe (2005)
Maladroit (2002)
Weezer (Green Album)(2001)
Pinkerton (1996)
Weezer (Blue Album)(1994)

Notice any similarities?

The answer is a resounding YES.

Cameron was on fire in his early days. Rambo, Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss... These are all super-quality films that deserve to be praised.

Weezer was just-as-on-fire with their start: "The Blue Album" and Pinkerton are just as awesome as Terminator and Aliens.

But then everything fell apart.

For both James Cameron and Weezer.

Weezer has sold more than eight million records in the US to date. That's a lot. But it should be even more. After the splash of "The Blue Album," Weezer was ready to go stratospheric with their sophomore release. This did not happen. In fact, Pinkerton was labeled "one of the worst albums 1996" by a Rolling Stone Magazine reader poll. It was crushed by the media and fans alike, and Rivers Cuomo was either, a) replaced by an emotionless robot, or b) felt alienated and frightened by the rejection of his "intimate feelings" and decided to never write a good song ever again.

I'm not Chuck Klosterman, so I won't try. Suffice it to say, "The Green Album," and everything following has been one turd after another, wrapped in plastic and sold to stupid kids who keep thinking that, "This one will be good. This album will return to former glory."

I don't know what happened to James Cameron.

True Lies is actually a decent and watchable movie. Just like "The Green Album" was not the worst music I have ever heard (that title belongs to Morrissey).

But both True Lies and "The Green Album" represent a monumental shift in the respective careers of Weezer and James Cameron. Cameron and Cuomo have appeared to become so full of themselves, that neither can produce anything worth spending $10 on.

I don't know if Raditude is any good. I don't care. Just as I couldn't care less if Avatar is worth seeing. I get the whole "visually stunning" argument, but it's not enough to sway me. No thanks.

Both are too painful to watch. Both would bring up too many memories and leave me disillusioned in a way that I haven't felt since they killed Marissa on The OC and decided to have another season anyway... just because. Yeah, it was still The OC (the greatest show of all time), but honestly, it sucked.

I don't want to go through that again.

And here comes the conclusion, where I make one final push to get others on board with my irrational hatred of things that don't matter:

So there you have it, James Cameron and Weezer. If it was released after 1996, I want nothing to do with it. I don't trust you. And it's not even that you could ever regain my trust back, because I just don't want anything to do with you. Titanic may or may not be the equivalent of Maldroit, Make Believe or "The Red Album." I wouldn't know because I refuse to let myself be disappointed by either of you ever again.

You could make movies and music forever, as I'm sure you will. But I won't be buying it, and neither will the intelligent, socially-conscious, introspective, and attractive readers of this blog.

One final note, my favorite comparison of Weezer and Cameron was the fact that there are three "Terminators", and three "Self Titled" albums. This seemed perfectly symmetrical and interesting to me, but I couldn't figure out how to fit it in. Thus, this post script.