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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
The Young Person's Guide to the Beatles: Some Notes on the Beatles' Respective "Sexinesses"
One day, I will run out of things to say about The Beatles.
On that day, I will begin writing down everything I could possibly have to say about The Kinks. I will write feverishly and desperately. I will be scared for the well-being of my Future Self. I will use "writing about the Kinks" as a coping mechanism for "Having nothing to say about the Beatles anymore. Who am I?!?!?!"
Three weeks later, I will run out of things to say about The Kinks. I will have an intense emotional breakdown. I will feel purposeless. Then I'll get over it, learn a valuable lesson, grow as a person, and do one of two things:
1) Start writing about the Fiery Furnaces* a lot, or;
2) Become a novelist.
* You may remember that, at a point in time, I only liked four bands: The Beatles, The Kinks, Faust, and the Fiery Furnaces. Then, a few weeks ago, I'm Going Away by the Fiery Furnaces came out. No it didn't. Liz Barker e-mailed me some weird code, and then I typed the code into a website, and it gave me I'm Going Away. Now I'm hot property, and all these people in my life are like always harassing me to e-mail them Fiery Furnaces mp3s and I'm like "Yo! Chill out! I can't be everything to everyone, okay? You only even care about the Fiery Furnaces at all because I forced you listen to them in the first place!" and then I lose track in my head of what FFs mp3s I've sent to who and stress out about it and like my life's really hard okay? Anyroad, my point is- I'm Going Away by the Fiery Furnaces is really good. So good that Faust seem comparatively "not good at all," and, subsequently, have been knocked off the list.
I remembered something today. It is that I have been writing about The Beatles for a long, long, long time.
When I was sixteen years old, I wrote a short story about what life would have been like if I had been born forty years earlier. According to my 16-year-old self, had I been born 40 years earlier, I would have moved to London in 1967, where I would "refuse to love boys, even the ones that [I] think are so drop dead thin amazing gorgeous," "feed stray cats soy milk," "take long walks at night and buy pot from young men with junked eyes on street corners and smoke joints as the sun comes up," "go to bars and drink amaretto sours and watch the corners of [my] eyes turn red," and, inevitably, have all three non-Ringo Beatles fall in love with me! (Actually, not counting the Beatles and stray cats parts, I was right on the money about who I'd be in my early twenties.)
At the time, it counted as my "best writing to date." Earlier this evening, I unearthed it. It was in a box.
This installment of The Young Person's Guide to the Beatles, focusing on my opinions toward each individual Beatle's respective "sexiness," will be written in collaboration with "16-Year-Old Laura's Short Story About the Beatles Falling in Love with Her."
The Beatles are the perfect band because they are composed of: one (1) sexy genius, one (1) sexy non-genius, one (1) non-sexy genius, and one (1) non-sexy non-genius. This piece is subtitled, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Having Sex with the Beatles, but Were Afraid to Ask."
PART I. I WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH GEORGE HARRISON, AND FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT
Oh, to be Laura "The Posterchild for Celibacy" Jane Faulds in this prodigious, lyrical summer of 2009! Feel flows, but does anything else?
Not really. I write a lot, and prefer my own company to yeah like anybody's. I make nonstop fun of my sexual inactivity, but would literally (and by "literally," I mean "literally") rather commit painful, barbaric suicide than subject myself to a "one night stand" with any last one of those nasty, perverted creeps called "dudes." Just as I saw with such stunning clarity that night a few weeks ago when I got too drunk at the Black Dice show and got lost stumbling home in the pouring rain: I'm just, like, this person, who, like, so, like, badly.... um, needs to be, like, LOVED?
Just ask any dimestore psychoanalyst who knows what two plus two equals- as of a month ago, I have effectively closed myself off to the possibility of ever having real love by projecting weird romantic fantasies onto my idealized understanding of the Kinks' lead singer, forty years ago. But wait- there's more!
In my life, George Harrison is the Ray Davies of sex. Writes 16-Year-Old Laura:
George has stolen her body... He is a man of great beauty, a gentle beauty that begins at his smooth hazelnut hair and reaches down to his gnarled monkey feet. He won't speak much, not tonight. Instead, he will flash her looks across the table, looks like India through religious eyes. He will cheat on his wife without thinking and he will kiss her shoulders and she will feel so very beautiful. He will drag his knuckles down her back and he won't smile, he will look at her with intensity... he will lie with her, she'll look at his thin body and melt. He'll give off the impression that it's not calculated, that he is an innocent young animal who acts on impulse and strategizes nothing. This is not so.
isn't that hilarious? Isn't that the weirdest shit you've ever read in your fucking life? This weird bullshit semi-erotic prose about George Harrison written by fucking me when I was sixteen? YOU CAN'T MAKE THAT SHIT UP.
It may suck, but it's genuine, and kind of cool. I felt that. Before George Harrison, I never thought about having sex with strangers, and/or anybody. Before George Harrison, I was able to abstractly grasp how maybe, in the future, if I really loved him, I might want to do that, if I wanted to have kids, I guessed. But then Beatlemania hit. Like hundreds of thousands of 20th century women, I sat in my basement and watched their debut appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, and shrieked and cried and pulled on my hair. My "figuring out that sex exists" year was soundtracked by "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"; I just happened to be forty years late on the uptake.
The best thing to come out of my recent falling in love with Ray Davies is that it facilitated the development of my now-crucial "10 Minutes" rule- All I have to do to figure out if a dude is worth it or not is imagine myself spending ten minutes alone in a room with him; generally, it sounds like a living hell, and I figure out that he's creepy, and not worth it. Then I don't care anymore, and as such, have conquered my lifelong "I don't know how to exist without having a dude to obsess over" issues. Three cheers for self-improvement!
I feel guilty about wanting to have sex with George Harrison because he TOTALLY DOESN'T PASS THE TEN MINUTES RULE. The only reason why I would want to spend ten minutes alone with George Harrison is because he was in the Beatles, and could hook me up with fame, LSD, or John Lennon best-friendship. Otherwise, he's just a religious semi-Normie who is technically skilled at playing the guitar.
But he's hot, and sexy, and I want to have sex with him. I want to have sex with him for no reason, except for that I want to have sex with him.
Does that mean I'm slutty?!?!?!
No. It doesn't. I'm not slutty at all, anymore. George Harrison is just really sdfjhsdfqw43xa1&890-ly sexy. At any given moment, I would rather be having sex with George Harrison than doing anything else in the world, even writing about having sex with George Harrison! Having sex with 1967-1973 George Harrison is the best thing that could ever happen for me. I wrote the other day that my optimal state of existence is walking down the street listening to headphones, but I was only lying. My optimal state of existence is having sex with George Harrison, I'm just in denial about it, because it will never happen, because it is the wrong year, and because he is dead. This is sad on every count. I guess that's why "erotica" is "a thing that exists." Fantasizes 24-year-old Laura:
Drag your knuckles down my back, George Harrison! Don't smile, you Young Animal! LOOK AT ME LIKE INDIA!!!
PART II. I WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH PAUL McCARTNEY, AND DON'T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT
Later in the "story," "Laura" decides that she "has been bored and alone in a boring city and she doesn't need George's empty meditative sex." I wonder what "empty meditative sex" is supposed to be. I guess it was just me being sixteen and trying to describe what having sex with a dude who meditates would be like. That's funny.
After dismissing the "transcendental arch of the spiritual Beatle," "Laura" moves on to Paul McCartney:
They can see their reflections in their matching hazel eyes... their fingers intertwine and she wishes that she was a cartoon character so that her eyes could turn into hearts... she wants to dress up in red and pink and make Paul a crown of roses and skip down the road holding his hand.
Holy shit. That is so fucking embarrassing. Coming clean about anorexia is nothing compared to how difficult/humiliating it is for me to share that paragraph. But I must. Because it is FUCKING HILARIOUS.
LOVE THYSELF. That's the motto of the hour. I have more in common with Paul McCartney than I'd like to believe; I think, to an extent, I project my own self-love onto Paul, which explains why Wings are really hitting the spot these days.
I highly suspect that the experience of dating Laura Jane Faulds and the experience of dating Paul McCartney are strikingly similar. We are both cutesy and high-maintenance; pure-hearted megalomaniacs; smooth-talking, overbearing. We both depend on our eyelashes to help us get our way in life, and it works like a charm, so we have a skewed understanding of how/why this could be flawed. We are Canceminis. We are annoying.
But lovable! The only reason I don't think dating Paul McCartney would be 100% awesome from start to finish is because I think the awesomeness of dating me might be lost on someone so concerned with his own "using cuteness as a tool for psychological manipulation" agenda. But dating someone exactly like yourself is ten times cooler than dating some loser who you can't handle sitting alone with for five minutes. Which is why Paul McCartney is the only Beatle I'd ever date. And if I dated him, I'd probably let him sleep with me. And it would be cute, I bet. Those eyelashes!
No, I don't imagine that if I were dating 1967 Paul McCartney I would wish I was a cartoon character so that my eyes could turn into hearts. But I'd swoon, and it would be chill to date a dude who also likes to dance, skip, and be pretty in photographs. In Laura Jane Jerks Off to Revolver, I mentioned that Paul is also worth dating because he looks enough like me that we could feign sibling-ship and then creep out Normies by sloppily making out in front of them. Is that fucked up? Psychoanalyze me! Please!
Says the Mean Dimestore Psychoanalyst:
By claiming that Paul McCartney would be "awesome to date," Laura Jane Faulds is essentially crying out to the world, begging to be loved.
Rebuts Laura Jane Faulds:
You are so off the mark, Mean Dimestore Psychoanalyst! Your heart is a ton of bricks. By claiming that Paul McCartney would be "awesome to date," I am affirming to the world how awesome it is to be dating myself!
Which it is. Very much so. If I were you, I'd be wicked jealous, and not feel guilty at all.
PART III. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH JOHN LENNON, AND FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT
[Laura] realizes she is looking into the eyes of John Lennon. These eyes are shaped like half-moons in a melange of colours- it is hard to categorize them as being grey-blue, hazel-green, amber-gold, anything. They are every colour and simultaneously no colour at all. Laura's heart beats faster. Laura gets so sickly high from being around genius... she fingers her empty glass nervously and smiles at John anxiously. Her heart is beating faster than ever- if she were to have a heart attack, it would happen right now. She feels embarrassed about how much she thinks of John Lennon. How he's been her Beatle since the start, how she has three copies of In His Own Write, just in case. How she compares herself to him at least once every day, how she speaks of his genius with passion and dreams about him.
As a writer, I relate to dudes like Lester Bangs and Chuck Klosterman because they are musically non-talented, and so process their reactions to rock music in terms of emotion, coincidence, and nostalgia. It's a unique attachment- you love music, you adore it, but you don't understand it. I know the notes like I know German. I never know what key songs are in, which chord is which chord, or what is "good-good" (by "good-good," I mean: "10538 Overture" by the Electric Light Orchestra is "good-good," I think; "Louie Louie" probably is not). I'm grateful for this- I'm so used to understanding music viscerally that it seems like understanding it intellectually would kill a lot of the fun. Would I still punch the air, if I knew it was only "G"?
As a human being, I don't relate to dudes like Lester Bangs and Chuck Klosterman because, well- they're dudes. It's a shame how few sexy female rock musicians there are, but right now, it's mostly just making me pity poor Chuck and Lester. The only thing hotter than a hot dude is a hot dude playing a guitar, and I can only assume the same is true of chicks, if you're into that. For me, interacting with the canon of sixties rock is like walking into a hypothetical bar that would be my heaven, chock-a-block with fetching fellas who I get to scope out, then date (Ray Davies), make out with (KEITH MOON), have hot sex with (George Harrison), or roll my eyes at and ignore (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, every Rolling Stone except Charlie Watts).
I will listen to music made by sexy non-geniuses (Keith West much???), and non-sexy geniuses (What's up, Brian Wilson!!!), but non-sexy non-geniuses? I mean, sure, okay, fine, whatever- I can tolerate Ringo Starr solo as much as the next person, but really- what's the point? If you can neither blow my mind nor "blow my mind," I'd probably ignore you in a bar, so I may as well ignore you on my iPod, too.
Recently, though, everything has changed. Why? Because I fell in love with Ray Davies, and realized that there is, in fact, such a thing as a "sexy genius." Before I saw the light, and understood how deeply I want, I mean need, for 1970 Ray Davies to do fucked up shit to me sexually, I subconsciously enforced a "Don't Sexualize Geniuses!" policy. This is something that everybody does, I'm sure. It is in no way unique to me.
Because my "Don't Sexualize Geniuses! Except for Paul McCartney, kind of" rule was so staunchly in effect for so long, I never bothered to consider whether or not I wanted to have sex with John Lennon, because I wasn't allowed to want to have sex with John Lennon- because he is a genius, and it would be "disrespectful."
(Also, up until a couple of days ago, I was a very sexually repressed person. Upon turning twenty-four, embracing my femininity, and no longer not having a sex drive because I'm starving myself to death, this has changed about me. Expect to hear a lot more sexually-charged, often-lewd Laura Jane bon mots from now on, id est "I think vibrators should be free, since dudes don't have to pay for, like, their hands.")
I am now allowed to sexually fantasize about John Lennon (and/or anybody I want, because I live a rule-free existence) to my heart's content, but the tragedy of it all is that I totally don't want to! John Lennon has a great face (Oh! That nose! A nose to write about forever...), killer personal style, and basically the best personality of anybody who's ever lived. But I totally don't want to sleep with him! (I feel like it would kind of suck? He'd be distracted, or just bad at it? Or like we'd have way more fun just bumming around getting stoned and talking about how much we hate everyone?) And now I feel guilty about that.
Why all the guilt, Laura Jane? I am in no way "A Catholic." It's pointless. I just get a lot out of being a nice person, and sometimes I am mean to dudes by accident, and don't want to be. See- there are some dudes in my life, right now, that I could, conceivably, on some level, I guess, imagine myself "dating"- whatever that means. But I'm never motivated to do anything about it because, as much as I can see how it would be sort of chill for me to go out to a show, or get stoned, or both, with one of them, I know I'd never want much more than that, because they are not 1970 Ray Davies. Then, my behavior would count as being "coquettish," which is a lovely adjective, but a not-great thing to be. Pure as my intentions always are, I would be "leading them on"- and then I'd feel guilty about that.
Oh, to be Laura "The Posterchild for Celibacy" Jane Faulds in this prodigious, lyrical summer of 2009! Head over heels in love with myself, and holding out for 1970 Ray Davies. Things could be a lot worse.
Like, I could be alone in a room with Mick Jagger. Ew!
PART IV. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH RINGO STARR, AND DON'T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT
Frat boys love Laura Jane.
To frat boys, I am the perfect balance of "weird enough that I don't want to bone her" and "hot enough that I could perceive how a dude who is weird like her would want to bone her." Also, I can drink those motherfuckers under the fucking table, which they can't get enough of, because it emasculates them, and secretly, every frat boy wants to be made to feel like a pussy little girl. True story.
Ringo "King Dude" Starr is the coolest guy ever. He's not a frat boy, because he was a Beatle, but if he hadn't've become a Beatle, he very well may have become whatever the 1960s Liverpool equivalent of a frat boy was (A "spiv"? A "Ned"?) 1968 Ringo Starr would want to sleep with me even less than I'd want to sleep with him. He'd probably characterize me as being "weird like John," or "a bad wife."
Ringo Starr didn't even make it into 16-Year-Old Laura's Lamely-Erotic Beatles Fan-fiction. Writes 16-Year-Old Laura, "John, Paul and George have gone out to a sunken down London hole in the wall bar. Ringo does not equate into this story. Ringo is at home with Maureen."
All I want to do with 1968 Ringo Starr is bro the Helter Skelter out- sit in a backyard on a sunny day, eating chips and salsa, knocking back cans of Grolsch.
"How's Ray?" he'd ask, to be polite.
"I don't care," I would say. "Would you mind fetching me another beer?"
Tags: 16-year-old Laura, Chuck Klosterman, coming to terms with my sexuality on the Internet, dimestore psychoanalysis, Don't Sexualize Geniuses!, George Harrison, Grolsch, having sex with the Beatles, John Lennon, Keith Moon, Laura "The Posterchild for Celibacy" Jane Faulds, Laura loves the Beatles, Lester Bangs, non-sexy geniuses, non-sexy non-geniuses, Paul McCartney, Ray Davies, Ringo Starr, self-improvement, sex, sexiness, sexy geniuses, sexy non-geniuses, The Young Person's Guide to the Beatles
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