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Article: Exploiting Existential Angst
Writer: Cormy
Date Posted: 31/07/01

I admit it...I'm addicted. I can't deny it any longer. My life is dependent on watching fucking U.S. teen high school dramas. Every single fucking week. I first became aware of this horrible charcter flaw a few months after I became, well, let's say "uninvolved" with a girl I'd previously been going out with... Y'see, she & her friends were always talking bollocks about Dawson's Creek and the like, so before too long I'd been inevitably drawn into the whole thing, and was not only guilty by association but began watching it regularly too -a couple of weeks down the line and I was hopelessly devoted to Dawso & his minions. I couldn't bear to miss a single episode, I even began taping them. What the fuck had come over me?! So anyway, I was really getting into the whole DC scene and of course my friends were constantly ripping the piss out of me because of it ("I, eh, have to go home for my dinner and stuff..." -"Ah, no you're not, look, he's going home to watch Dawson's Creek! Go on, admit it, you are! Admit it!"). I tried to convince them it was purely 'cos of Joey (the foxy pouty chick). I even tried claiming it was Dawson. I mean, come on, the guy's a dreamboat. But I knew the truth...

So there I was, enjoying my weekly fix of teenage angst, but I knew I was okay, I reckoned I had things under control, I was in the goddam driving seat...I coulda stopped any time I wanted. But then, oh christ, those devious bastards, those evil fuckers, they introduced Eve to the programme. Y'know, the girl from Sweet Valley High (um, so I've heard...)? God, it was just too much for me. I started looking up DC shit on the 'net, watching every episode at least twice, making my friends watch it...fucking hell, I was even in there squeeling along with my sister's friends as I watched. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I eventually got my addiction under control and as the storyline & dialogue got progressively worse and worse my interest tapered off. I eventually stopped watching it completely during the break between seasons -I thought I was home free, but no, oh no, those fuckers had gotten a taste of my sweet sweet flesh and wanted more -pretty soon I was watching every little bit of suburban idiocy I could get my grubby mitts on. Popular, My So Called Life, That 70's Show...hell, I did 'em all. Those motherfuckers, they took over my life...and I let them. And yeah, yeah, I enjoyed every minute of it -the dizzying highs, the nauseating lows, the creamy middles. But I gradually got my shit together & my life back in order. I just didn't have time for all this shit and over the last year more or less stopped watching TV altogether (except of course for The Wonder Years & The Simpsons. Eh, and That 70's Show. Come on man, don't push me, I know my limits...).

That is until a few months ago, when I was killing time waiting for me mates to turn up before we went out. I sauntered cooly into the sitting room where I naturally acted all hip and, um, bodacious to impress my wee sister's friends and sat down inocently on the couch only to be shushed the minute I opened my mouth. And then it happened. Wow. They were watching can I describe it...this "TV show", set in early 80s American suburbia with all the essential ingredients -nerdy kids, disco kids, role palying games, cool rebellious teens, Atari 2600s, frightening amounts of ganja and of course, cheerleaders. Before long I had a new God...I've been watching it ever since. The name? Freaks & Geeks. It rules so fucking much! There was even an episode where one of the rebellious discontented kids gets into punk rock and is sat there listening to Black Flag before going to a hardcore show where I think Diesel Boy were playing (except they were called the Toxic Rat Turds or something, naturally),and this punk girl pierces his nose with a safety pin but he moves and blood goes everywhere and he goes home. Fuckin' A. Brilliant. Watch this show, people.

The funny thing is, I was under the impression that I was on my own in my nerdy loser kid ways until recently when I was shootin' the shit one day in Dublin wiv' me top punk rock (sorry...hardcore) mate Jamie from Sir K/D.E.B.T. and I told him (under a sacred oath of extreme secrecy with the prosect of severe beatdowns from my Crew was he to break it) of my one true weakness. And lo & behold, he admitted to suffering an identical affliction! Is this the mysterious Achilles Heel of punk kids the world over?! Admit you bastards, you watch them too! Jamie proceeded to tell me how Claire Danes & My So Called Life were almost exclusively to blame for dismantling his life and causing him to drop out of college... The whole point of this? Don't worry, don't worry, I'm coming to it... Y'see, I've actually got a theory on this whole thing -I reckon that our common enemy the capitalist economy & it's evil legions of multi-national corporations have commisioned all these programmes and are pumping vast amounts of money into the teenage high-school drama industry. They've undoubtedly got teams of writers working 24/7 on these and new, better, meaner series of TV programmes with which to control us and turn our dedicated army of punk rock activist troopers into a bunch of lazy slobs who won't get out of bed until sometime after 2pm, sit around all day listening to bad records, waiting for their dole money and complaining about anything & everything given half a chance...hey, wait a minute...this all seems a little familiar...oh bugger. Well, that's the theory out the window. Till next time kids, keep it Hasselhoff,


P.S. -Genoa was fucking incredible, more on that next time.