Thursday, August 11, 2011

Canonicized lameness

Something that's really been bugging me about entertainment targeted towards preteens and young adults lately is that I frequently can't tell if it's being ironic and satirical or if it's actually trying to represent how young people act and think.

I'm thinking mostly of Disney Channel sitcoms. I'll see the young teens on that show saying things like "Wazzzzuup, muh homeeeez? We's gunna party fo' sheeeeezle!" and the audience is expected to laugh at it, but then I recall that when I actually was surrounded by people of this age- around the time when Shrek first came out- they would say these things as if they were simply the sort of things you said.
What I'm trying to say if that it seems as though it's trendy to lame and dorky- that it's cool to be a poser.

There have been many times when a character on TV will use a word or phrase I've never heard before, and they act like I'm supposed to know what they're talking about, without any context. It usually doesn't sound like the way real people talk (which, admittedly, isn't something I'm fully knowledgeable of).
One example I can think of is from an ad for the cartoon Johnny Test- which is a cartoon I'm surprised still exists, considering that when it was on Kids WB, I watched one episode and found it incredibly dull and stupid- and the main character uses the phrase "ice cream mouth". He says it with such conviction, it's like it's supposed to be as common as "brain freeze" or "milk mustache". Since when did people who aren't four-year-olds get ice cream all over their faces, anyway?
And I've been hearing people on TV use the phrase "ice cream headache" instead of "brain freeze"- almost as if "brain freeze" is copyrighted or something. Saying "ice cream headache" takes twice as long to say, so I'm thoroughly unconvinced that anybody uses it in real life.

It's become increasingly frustrating not knowing what's real and what's a parody. Sometimes I suspect that the people who write this stuff are secretly brutally mocking their audience while being the sort of swill that they actually go for. You can't expect me to be interested in modern trends, but I would like to be able to glimpse at it and understand what the heck is going on. It's like when someone tries to be sarcastic but isn't very good at it.

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