Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where The Emo Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are debuted this past weekend and, if you're anything like me, you think it's okay to eat pizza for dinner two nights in a row. Also, you may have seen Where The Wild Things Are, based on the classic children's book, with a story primarily revolving around a James Gandolfini monster and his monster friends crying, hitting things in frustration, and generally being sad all the time. Sure, it all takes place in a depressed kid's imagination, but that doesn't undo the fact that they all act in a manner befitting a 13-year-old that insists he's just not "understood."

The "Wild Things" dance to the latest My Chemical Romance album.

But director Spike Jonze ("z" instead of "s" because z's are cooler, and "z" before "e" because dyslexia's also cool) can't shoulder all the blame, because the Tony Soprano monster and company are far from the first screen horrors that just need to take a chill pill and cut the whining.

King Kong was on his way to mainstream success as a celebrity, but instead got all mad when people starting snapping pictures of him (likely because they weren't moody monochromatic close-ups for his MySpace profile) and went on a whiny rampage through the city which ended with him dying the most melodramatically theatrical death of all, being shot down by tiny planes and falling off the top of the Empire State Building. Really, dude? Was refusing to sell out really worth it?

"I do this for the art, Dad!"

Dracula has pale skin, dresses all in black, and only rarely goes outside and only at night. He's like the sole inspiration for Hot Topic, and I half expect him to pop out of his coffin one morning wearing a glow-in-the-dark Misfits shirt or an ironic Thundercats tee. We know you didn't watch Thundercats as a kid, Drac. Take off that tee. As for why Dracula's more emo than goth, well, he's a rich dude whose thirst is never satisfied with a voice that sounds on the verge of tears at all times. Not only that, but he's all about crummy dinner parties where he makes everyone watch his grand entrance on a staircase. Attention-hound. Quit using eyeball-hypnosis to make people be your friends, Dracula, and join a youth soccer league or something.

You didn't play Battletoads, Dracula. Don't act like you played Battletoads.

Since the Phantom of the Opera lived in an opera house, his music of choice was playing slow organ ballads and likely half-committed In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida covers where he'd give up just a quarter of the way through. Just imagine if he'd been haunting a Tower Records-- you'd hear nothing but Fall Out Boy and Coheed and Cambria. Sure, the phantom was born deformed, and that's sad. But he also had an incredible singing voice, and instead of embracing his gift and using upheaval of false expectations to his advantage (a la Susan Boyle, or Joey Ramone), he seized a construction-related accident at the opera house (apparently he was one of the original builders) as an opportunity to live in the catacombs beneath and basically pretend to haunt the place. Really, he just should have negotiated better worker's comp. Phantom seems like the kind of guy who'd "just know" exactly what people would say about him before he'd do anything, so he wouldn't even try.

"I just want to be left alone, so I'm gonna make lots of noise and jump in the way of your plays and sneak into your bedroom at night and start a blog and stuff! But leave me alone!"

Basically, inherent to monsterdom is an intense emotional overreaction to being put down in some way, which typically includes lots of hitting, yelling, and general violence where a normal person would have found a more talk-based way of solving the issues. Well, at least they're all better than Godzilla. That bleeding heart environmental activist could never get enough attention, but instead of just joining Greenpeace, he's killed thousands of people and has been fighting giant moths and robot versions of himself for more than fifty years.


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