Monday, November 13, 2006

don't fear the creeper*

goth creeper

So normally I wouldn't buy something pink for a baby girl. But, we have someone expecting in the RWJ program, and I have become associated with a pro-pink proclivity here.

Last year when I made my quasi-annual pilgrimage to the University of Iowa, there was a controversy there over its locker rooms for visiting football teams, which are famously painted pink because a former coach had read about the (hokey as far as I know) psychological evidence that pink stimuli makes otherwise aggressive people more passive and docile. Sometime after that, I was talking to another noneconomist fellow here about our trepidation about presenting in front of economists, who are known to be more masculine and "challenging" in the way they question seminar speakers. "My plan is to wear pink," I said, as a joke, explaining the psychological theory, but then it became one of those jokes that evolved a life of its own. When the time came to present, I wore my aggressively pink shirt.

My talk went well. Another one of the fellows had his talk received more roughly, especially by the economists, and went out and bought a pink shirt for the next time he had to speak to the group (which, indeed, was better received). So, anyway, when the expecting fellow expressed hope that the forthcoming daughter would not be one of those vacuous happy popular kids but instead would have a moody, gothy streak, I offered to get them something to help with the goth socialization as a shower present (in addition to a non-gag present, yes). Anyway, when I looked online and saw I could get a goth creeper in pink, I snapped it up, so she'll be ready in case she has to give any presentations from the crib to economists.

(Challege for the sociophilosophiconovelly inclined!: Identify that five books piled on the corner of my desk used to take this picture and win a coveted official JFW virtual kewpie doll.)

* I know I have posted before that every time I listen to Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" with any kind of specificity I marvel at how a song so completely freaking creepy could be an enduring hit song, but this post has me listening to it again right now and, once again, wow, so completely freaking creepy. I know it has the cowbell, but still. If I were a goth boy getting married, I would want it to be the song for my wedding dance, or maybe the second song after Ben Folds Five's "Brick."


Derve said...

Do you see yourself wearing a pink shirt at your real wedding?

Have you read those books, or do you let yourself put them down if they're no good?

Do things really come in threes?

A+ said...

Come on. You wouldn't seriously pick a song for your first dance about a young kid having to have an abortion and her boyfriend not being able to deal with it. Or would you?

I feel sad about the loss of pink from babies' lives. People don't want to be all gender-police, so they don't buy pink stuff for baby girls, but they also know damn well that a lot of people won't put baby boys in pink, either. So pink just sort of disappears, at least for a while. It's sad.

Anonymous said...

1) Causation and Counterfactuals (Collins, Hall, and Paul)
2) Backdoor to Eugenics (Duster)
3) Pop Co. (Thomas)
4) Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics (Parens, Chapman, and Press)
5) That one that stands between me and a virtual kewpie doll. Given the evocative landscape on the cover it seems unlikely that it has something to do with one of our obvious unaligned interests, like football or 80s music... I'll be back when I figure it out.

Lucy said...

A radio station at home once had a competition for the worst songs listeners had actually heard used for wedding dances. The winners were U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and Pearl Jam's "Better Man". I think "Brick" belongs to that more-generally-inappropriate category, but "Don't Fear the Reaper" would be a great goth wedding song.

I love the creeper (is that really what those things are called?)

jeremy said...

Derve: I will not wear pink at my wedding, no. Maybe a creeper.

A+: I mentioned "Brick" because, once upon a time, I dated someone and we would tell people that was our song as a way of being weird.

RPS: Brave of you to give away four of the five to your competitors. We shall see if anyone wins the kewpie doll.

Lucy: Creeper is what it was called on the Cafe Press site. I agree that "DFtR" is more straightforwardly goth and so maybe should be the first dance.

Anonymous said...

5) Time Matters (Abbott)

Please refrain from commenting on how ironic it is that I arrived at that one last.

jeremy said...

RPS: Congratulations! Your virtual kewpie doll (pink, even!) will be mailed from the JFW merchandising offices shortly.

christopher uggen said...

i've gotta add a geeked out addendum to the reaper reference. BOC was a critics' band from stony brook (the first lineup included r. meltzer, who wrote for everybody, and sandy pearlman, lately a visiting prof at mcgill). though they wrote with tongues halfway in cheek, the sweet la-la-la-la-la chorus comes off as creepier than anything that metallica ever wrote about death. everyone has covered it, but the elliott smith version might be the best. it is certainly the saddest.

jeremy said...

Chris: The iTunes store does not have the Smith version of DFtR. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I regret not posting earlier in defense of the cowbell in all its musical and superfan manifestations.

A goth friend in high school seemed to identify with the cowbell, for the manner in which many viewed it with indifference or disdain. (Listening to his rendition of, "Flight of the Bumblebee," on sousaphone also transformed the sound of the cowbell for me.)

Lucy said...

Elliott Smith live

jeremy said...

Lucy: Thanks!