Monday, February 27, 2006

Do YOU know Gladys Kravitz?

A rude, albeit clever comment said something like, "Are you living in a time warp? Are you stuck in the 1960s? How many 20 year olds actually know who Gladys Kravitz is?" I had referred to Gladys Kravitz as the prototypical Yenta, who was a character on Bewitched from mid-60s to early 70s. Right when I read the comment, I remembered part of my Jr HS and HS life trying to figure out some kids.

There is a significant difference between girls who listen to Goyishe music and watch TV for their enjoyment, and those who do so to simply exhibit rebellion, and to ooze "cool." When you ask them to list their favorite artists, they are likely to call on Eminem, Pussycat Dolls, Rhianna, Ciara, Mariah Carey (thinking that she's a new artist, LOL)Beyonce...anything that is cool and played on Z-100 at that given time. If you ask,"Well, what do you know about Billy Joel?" They ask, "Who?" and look bewildered. PLJ plays too much old stuff for them, so they don't want to know all that stuff. After all, walking around singing "Jenny, I've got your number...867-5309..." from Tommy TuTone (however you spell it, LOL) will not deem them as cool. They must be singing, "Oooh, boy you lookin like ya like whatcha see, won't you come over and check up on it, I'ma letchu work up on it..." from Beyonce.

I clearly remember in HS, there was a group of "cool" teenagers singing POD in the hallway. I should have asked them if they knew Elton John's "Candle in the Wind." (either one-the Marilyn Monroe or Princes Di)

It's clear from what someone knows, and what someone listens to, what their true intentions are. They might actually enjoy the music and listen to Classic Rock and old stuff, and rare songs from artists that they like. A few years ago, I had "Vacation" from the Go-Gos stuck in my head. I walked around singing it all the time, people musta thought I made it up. Ya can't really accuse someone who was born in 1985 of trying to be cool when singing a song from that year, or thereabouts.

The same goes for TV. Sure they don't know who Gladys Kravitz is. Because Bewitched is NOT cool. But I'm sure they'll list you all the contestants on American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars. I remember discussion about the Bachelor surrounding me in HS, but luckily the only names I know from there are the tire guy--Firestone, Ryan Sutter, and Trista Rehn. (Was that the Bachelorette? Whatever)They'll be able to tell you what's going on on Desperate Housewives and The OC--(aren't babysitting jobs the best??) But ask them anything about the Cosby Show, or All in the Family (my personal Favorite)or Roseanne, (my other personal favorite) they'll look at you like you're watching the wrong TV.

It's clear who has the genuine interest, and who watches it simply to be considered "cool." When I discuss TV with my people in Brooklyn College, it's clear they have an interest in shows beyond what's on in 2006. Perhaps these young Jewish teenagers use current TV as a tool and nothing more. They need to show that they're not LIKE everyone else. Just because they're wearing a uniform, no boots, no sneakerish shoes, and no stripes on their socks, it doesn't mean that they're just like the kid next to them who doesn't even know about American Idol altogether. (If that's possible, anyway.)

So basically, why familiarize yourself with Mike and Gloria Stivic (WHO??) when you've got Rory and Logan?

28 Comments:

At 2/27/2006 9:51 AM, Blogger Air Time said...

I have been readint this blog a while but never commenting. In general I find this blog to be an interesting different perspective.

But I don't get this post. What is the difference if someone watches All in the Family on Nick at Nite or the O.C. on Fox.

Sounds to me like you are a pop culture snob, and want to show that your television watching habits are better than those of your peers because you do it for the right reason, and have a sense of pop culture history, whereas many of your peers only watch so that they can be trendy.

I have no problem with TV watching, but it seems to me like you are only trying to say you are better than your peers because you have been watching TV longer and have a greater appreciation for TV shows that were cancelled years ago.

At the end of the day, you and your peers are still watching TV for entertainment purposes.

What's the difference?

 
At 2/27/2006 10:24 AM, Blogger Angry Miserable Dater said...

I sort of agree with "air time" on this one. From a Jewish perspective, you're no better or worse off watching to be cool or because you actually enjoy the stuff, with two caveats:

a) the trendy stuff is generally more trashy than the classic stuff. Hey, Bewitched is a lot cleaner than Desperate Housewives. And James Taylor's lyrics are much cleaner than Eminem's. But there are filthy classics out there too. Just ask any AC/DC or GNR fan. So ultimately, it depends on the content.

 
At 2/27/2006 10:34 AM, Blogger Angry Miserable Dater said...

b) In terms of quitting TV or goyish music, it's much easier when you're doing it for "cool" reasons than because you actually enjoy the stuff. For example, when many of my buddies went to Israel and flipped out, they had no problem quitting Metallica, Korn, Ozzy, and Marilyn Manson. But as for myself, Carlebach, MBD, and Shwekey couldn't get me unhooked from Billy Joel!

 
At 2/27/2006 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those LOLs thrown in are annoying.

 
At 2/28/2006 6:24 AM, Anonymous Know it All said...

You can't generalize. Unless a person admits that she only listens because it's cool, you have no way of knowing whether or not she genuinely likes the music. Same with TV. I'm an American Idol nut, and not because I think it's cool - I just love the show.

 
At 2/28/2006 6:57 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

So whats your take on Cheap Trick, Michelle .. I personally like 80s music on VH1, and can't stand Milennium garbage.

And the guys were so cute back then, now they all look like dirtbags.

 
At 2/28/2006 1:38 PM, Blogger Elster said...

I don't this has anything to do with jewish kids trying to ooze cool. HS age teenagers don't know from good culture. They have to be introduced to it. Sorta like hey, if you like The Strokes, you'll love Zeppelin, or hey if you like The OC, youll love Beverlky Hills 90210. Teenagers have no idea what's good. They have to be told by someone else. it's only later that they develop their own sense of style/.

 
At 2/28/2006 3:14 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

anonymous-I only counted 2 "LOL"s. get over yourself. Anything meaningful to contribute to the argument?

 
At 2/28/2006 4:33 PM, Blogger Jewboy said...

Interesting take. I've often bemoaned the fact that teenagers like all the crap out there in today's music world and TV as well while ignoring what I feel are the classics from past years. I feel that rock 'n roll has declined since the '60's, and few groups can even approach people like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. In terms of TV, reality show are stupid and your average sitcom makes me sick with all the sexual references. TV today is sex, sex, and then some more sex. Disgusting. Your point is valid, but what Elster said also has some truth in my mind because when I was a teenager, I needed someone older to turn me on to classic rock. Once I found it, I loved it. Part of your claim that kids want to be cool is probably true, but their ignorance of past pop culture is also just that-ignorance.

 
At 2/28/2006 4:50 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Jewboy, I understand.
My point is that I don't think these kids care. They don't want to know. They just want to be cool and do what's cool. So even if you introduce them to something better, they won't take to it, because it's not "cool." This only applies to those who are doing it solely to be cool and rebel against their parents and schools, and/or to fit in.

 
At 2/28/2006 5:31 PM, Blogger Jewboy said...

You definetly have a good point. A classic example is the proliferation of white and Jewish kids who like hip hop. I still haven't found any redeeming value to rap; I guess if one is black it's more of a cultural thing. But I find it funny how middle to upper class Jewish kids seem to think this stuff speaks to them. Or they just don't pay attention to the lyrics, which is another all too common problem with today's youth.

 
At 2/28/2006 8:12 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Michelle,

"They need to show that they're not LIKE everyone else."

Couldn't it be claimed that you do the same thing when you look down your nose at those uncultured swine? You laud your enjoyment of Bewitched as some prestigious entertainment accomplishment, but it could very well be argued that you only went to Nick at Nite so you could be different from (and feel superior to) those mere followers of popular media whom you target.

 
At 3/01/2006 1:52 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

I'm a sucker for old things, TV shows and music, I can’t name one song that's in at the moment.
I'm the prototypical uncool guy, so I definitely remember Gladys (liked the first actress better!)!
Bewitched second season is finally available on DVD and so is the ill fated spin-off Tabitha!

 
At 3/08/2006 12:03 PM, Anonymous Chani said...

I don't get it. Why do you care why they watch & listen to they watch & listen to? You could be right & you could be wrong about their motivations(it's probably a lot easier to get hooked on music that's being played on z100 than music on some obscure station or that nobody listens to)but do you think Hashem really cares?

 
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At 10/09/2006 5:55 PM, Anonymous justcallusbloppy said...

its funny cuz everytime u say the names of not so recent actors i kind of AM going "uh, who...?" but its just cuz im not from that age! i am in the age of rory and logan what can i say- i dont know about these kids u speak of who are just trying to be 'with it' but i think its pretty normal to just know the people of your times.

 
At 5/13/2007 1:44 PM, Anonymous a junior said...

its funny cuz i dont think of myself as one without genuine interest but i really just only know the new stuff, *sheepish*

 
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