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Team Starkid (and friends!): Internet memes go to Vegas

28 Nov

One day, Las Vegas musical reviews will all be things we can blame on the Internet. When that happens (i.e., when we’re all old), Team Starkid will probably be the daily 4pm show at some casino just off the strip. And, in that distant future, whatever it is that they are (and “a musical-theater comedy troupe perhaps best known for a spoof musical of Harry Potter and a show about dicks” is still probably the simplest of the vaguely accurate answers available), might actually make some easy-to-explain sense.

Until then, however, it’s probably just best to say that Team Starkid means a hell of a lot to a lot of people, most of whom seem to be between the ages of 14 and 20. And while the group has talent, drive, and some composers who absolutely know how to write a song you can’t resist (even when you very much want to), they really are the last thing on earth you ever expect to see at Irving Plaza or the Gramercy Theater.

They’re not a rock band; they need an editor; not all their performers are at all suited to a venue of that type or scale; and they tend to under-utilize their talented women despite having a legion of female fans and a lot of songs that are designed to, and I think actually do, make young girls feel good about themselves.

But really, Team Starkid’s fans (who are known as Starkids themselves, if you weren’t confused enough already) don’t care about any of that. And neither do their detractors. The whole thing seems to be one of those things that you either have receptor sites for or you don’t, and so the quality details largely just don’t matter.

I pretty much don’t have those receptor sites, and yet, catchy, catchy, catchy, and I may have “Boy Toy” stuck in my head for the rest of my natural existence (which is unfortunate as there are some visuals from the show burned into my brain to go along with that I didn’t need at all; thank you, Joey Richter).

But that lack of receptor sites didn’t stop me from spending all weekend in a cloud of Team Starkid festivities. After not being able to get tickets for a single show (and I wanted in for the Charlene Kaye, who was probably best served of all the performers by the big venue, and Darren Criss factors), I wound up with tickets to all three shows in the NYC-area and an assortment of friends to hang out with — some were in from out of town for the event, while others were dutiful journalists on the job. As a bunch of people largely in our 30s, I think a lot of us guiltily felt a bit too knowing at times to really want to relinquish ourselves to the experience.

And yet….

The thing about Team Starkid that is super weird for me, is that for the true fans, it’s this incredibly meaningful and joyous thing and the live shows over the last month have just been an amplification of that. But for me the whole thing was actually a little bit melancholy.

That may be, to a certain extent, my natural temperament, but listening to Starkid Meredith Stepien explain, before launching into “Coolest Girl in the World” that one day everyone in the audience would find their “weirdos and magical Darren Crisses too” just kind of made me sad. At fifteen, I wouldn’t have believed her, and I wondered if any of the girls in the audience she was talking to did either.

But I suspect they did. Starkids (the fans) are happy, or at least seem to try hard to be happy. I was sort of a ball of despair at their age, and so, observing their experiences at these shows (for fuck’s sake there was a bubble machine and a streamer cannon) is super weird for me, but I’m certainly glad for them.

Ultimately, the show was a lot of fun, even if it dragged hard in the middle for someone who wasn’t fully committed. Certainly, it was interesting as an event. At three hours in length for the Saturday shows, and four on Sunday — thanks to the presence of The Gregory Brothers, the folks that bring you Auto Tune the News, and a mini-set by Criss — nothing about the experience was about tight narrative. Rather, it was a collection of Internet memes, random hopefulness, in-jokes, and short attention span theater in which everything has meaning, nothing is deadly serious, and everything feels…. mostly really good.

For me, who first started using the Internet back in 1990, Team Starkid is probably most interesting as another step in legitimizing the Internet as a place where things happen and where real connections are forged. It’s an idea that seems obvious to most long-time Internet users and those who have grown up with the technology. But it’s one people outside the digital generation are often suspicious of, questioning whether the friends, creations, and ideas formed and explored here matter.

If Team Starkid can sell out a 21-show tour in minutes (seriously, getting tickets for this was hard) and The Gregory Brothers can have me singing the turtle fence song in my kitchen days later, and one day there won’t be anything weird about either of those things? Well, that’s a paradigm shift worth noting.

Ultimately, though, the shows turned me introspective towards the moments in which I was young enough for all my friendships to be easy and desperately intense. I had no idea what college would be and was just sure that a chosen family was waiting for me, easy and instant. It made me wish a little bit that I could go back to that moment and have the experiences of my teens and twenties with a more open heart — and with a bit more wisdom and luck — than I actually did.

This, of course, was aided and abetted by Criss’s more wrenching moments on stage (“Home” on Saturday and the whole of his mini-set on Sunday), which reminded me of just how good he is at selling exactly what I’m buying. As a performer he breaks my heart even when my brain is screaming at me about what a damn savvy marketer he is. It’s a little funny, and probably why I’m never more interested by what he’s got on offer than when he’s performing songs either explicitly about fame and fannishness (“Sami” and “Sophomore”) or arguably repurposed to be about same (“Teenage Dream”, “Home”, “When You Wish Upon a Star”).

For most of the audience, there’s a damn good chance that Team Starkid and their very many friends was their first concert experience. I hope they look back at it fondly when they’re checking out that review in Vegas in thirty years. Certainly, I suspect it’ll all make more sense in the narrative of their lives than my own first concert experiences, which included The Eurythmics (so cool, but I was nine and my parents were just dragging me along so they could go), Starship (I know, I know), and A-ha for my 13th birthday.

Even when they were happening, I knew those shows had no particular place in the story of me; I suspect for Starkids the experience of seeing this tour has been entirely different and will, actually, probably matter a great deal to their personal stories, at least for a little while.

I hope so.

It seems like a pretty neat damn thing to actually have receptor sites for.

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31 Responses to “Team Starkid (and friends!): Internet memes go to Vegas”

  1. Red Stapler November 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    I think being the kinds of teenagers we were is a lot easier now. The access to other people who share your interests (already much easier in my adolescence than yours, but still nothing compared to today’s) is huge, as well as a greater sense that the things that mean a lot to you are “cool.”

    While being queer, or socially awkward, or whatever may be an issue in your environment will always cause strife, it’s a lot easier to love the things you love and not get shit for it.

    I think Starkid is a perfect example of that, given how young they are.

  2. Carrie November 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    The other thing about Starkid fans, as someone who is old as hell: not only are they happy, they’re also just incredibly innocent, I think. And I mean that with all of the non-icky connotations. There is just a very simple sweetness and enthusiasm that seems to be at the center of their experience with this group, and I can’t judge it, but I’m also just way too old to understand it. And I feel like it goes beyond the regular boy band enthusiasm thing; the way that TSK has made real attempts to stay transparent to their fanbase has made the experience much more resistant to the usual fan cynicism that sets in after a while.

    The thing is, re. feeling “mostly really good” – none of it feels REAL, at least not to me. Am I just too old for experiences that one-dimensional? Or is there some element of real pathos up in there SOMEWHERE that richens the experience and that I am just missing? Because I feel like I get a lot of stagey pathos but nothing that really ever properly tugs, that gets me all the way down in the gut, except for when it goes hopelessly meta. Maybe I just don’t get musical theatre the right way. Or maybe I’m just old.

    Oh, hell, that’s probably it. Maybe Starkid’s brand of pathos is like that mosquitoy ringtone thing. (Please note that just that reference *itself* is like five years old.)

    Even so: still kind of want to write the new dissertation about these kids.

    • RM November 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

      I’m struck by how the fans seem innocent in a way I didn’t feel like I was allowed to be as a teen in the 80s — like, _so_ uncool; even my parents would have been embarrassed on my behalf by Starkid (fan) style innocence. And I follow lots of people who are Starkid fans on Tumblr, and I’m fascinated by how that innocence is totally juxtaposed with them spamming my dash with like hardcore gay porn. Were the 80s just super gross because everyone was doing cocaine and we all thought we were all gonna die in a nuclear war or are the 2000s/2010s just super fucking weird in a way we don’t get? I feel so confused.

      • Carrie November 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

        I think for a while it was fashionable to blame kawaii every time innocence and porn seemed locked together in some head-scratchy way; maybe that’s still true, and we can just blame Japanese cuteness aesthetics for, like, pretty much everything everybody under the age of 21 is into.

        In short, as usual: fuck if I know. There is surely a cohort effect here, but also: I mean, I teach undergraduates, and I am at least 70% sure that they aren’t all Hello Kitty rimming addicts, or whatever. (You’re welcome for that mental image, by the way.)

      • Rikibeth November 28, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

        I’m going with BOTH on your 80s/21st century contrast.

        I spent the weekend at Universal Studios Orlando with my teenager, doing the full Harry Potter immersion. And, yes, my 16-year-old unashamedly cried when the full impact of stepping into Hogsmeade hit. A kid who learned to read on the Harry Potter books in kindergarten, and who was deeply disappointed not to get a Hogwarts letter. It was the same sort of crying I did when I got that first view of the Shire in the LOTR movies — Tolkien was MY childhood myth and hope. I have to admit, I got a little sniffly at the floating candles effect in the Great Hall.

        And when we were at the Marvel part of the park, we both embraced the whole “get pictures with superheroes” deal. Which I might have felt obliged to act too cool to do in 1986. Then again, I don’t know — I did have my parents get a picture of me with the Fourth Doctor waxwork at Madame Tussaud’s that year.

        The queue stuff for the Hulk coaster had some bits from the cartoon. Including a sequence of a nuclear bomb test. I flinched and said “I really didn’t need to see that.” The kid knows it was one of my permanent nightmares but really had no concept of how ingrained it was, or what it felt like to have a president who joked about “we begin bombing in five minutes.”

        And this 16-year-old who wanted to not come home from Hogsmeade is also a slash writer in several fandoms, a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan, and queer along axes I would barely have been able to conceptualize in 1986, despite my own nascent queerness — and is not an outcast for any of it, as far as I can tell.

        You know what I think, having typed that out, might have something to do with it?

        I grew up expecting the bombs to fall, but I didn’t know when. The uncertainty had me convinced I’d never see 30.

        My kid, and kids of that cohort? The towers fell when they were five, six, seven… their disaster has already happened, and everyone’s still HERE.

        I’m not surprised if that makes them a little bit random and willing to embrace childish wonder and hardcore porn in the same thought.

        Does this make any sense?

        • April November 29, 2011 at 9:38 am #

          “My kid, and kids of that cohort? The towers fell when they were five, six, seven… their disaster has already happened, and everyone’s still HERE.

          I’m not surprised if that makes them a little bit random and willing to embrace childish wonder and hardcore porn in the same thought.”

          I have never even thought about it in that context. I’m weirdly stuck in the middle of the age thing – I’m 26 and married, and have been for 4 years, but some days I still feel very, very YOUNG. I think everybody in their mid-20’s IN their own personal disaster right now (or, most of my friends are.) Because the towers fell when we were like 15, 16, 17, we lived through it, and then we got to watch our dreams die and now we’re all wallowing in debt and reaching for things that we can’t quite touch but desperately, desperately want to, and for me at least, Starkid and Glee and the whole fandom phenomenon is like the best form of escapism EVER. Because it feels good and it’s this strange, surreal thing (are the Starkids even real? I didn’t get to experience the SPACE tour, so I’m still not entirely sure…) that makes life seem not-so-bad, in part because there are other people on the internet who love them just as much as you do (even though no one else you know in real life has a fucking clue who they are) and who are escaping from the absolute clusterfuck that is everyone’s life right now just like you are.

          I don’t know if any of that made any sense at all, but there you go.

          • Rikibeth November 29, 2011 at 9:54 am #

            Yeah… I can see how being mid-teens then, and mid-twenties now during the ongoing economic crisis, would encourage escapism from a mundane world that has shown over and over again that it can’t be trusted, rather like the success of Busby Berkeley movies during the Depression.

            It sounds to me – and I might be getting this wrong – that you’re not embracing the fandom with the same sense of innocence that R says the teens are. You *want* everything to be all right, where it sounds like they *believe* that everything is going to be all right, somehow.

            Me? I was sure I was doomed anyway, so I wanted to have a good time before I went. The Rocky Horror weekly bacchanal was part of that, and a way to claim queerness in a world that insisted over and over again that queerness was a death sentence. Goth was embracing the notion that we were dead already… and vampires were sexy, elegant, GLAMOROUS dead people.

            I’m rambling. But there you go.

            • April November 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

              You are so right – SO RIGHT – about the fact that I *want* everything to be all right, but I am cynical because I *don’t* trust the world (because it’s never given me a reason to). And watching the younger teenagers who *do* believe that things are going to be okay just makes me horribly sad. Part of me wants to shake them and be like “Oh my GOSH, wake up and face reality before it breaks your heart like it did mine!!” and part of me wishes I could have that kind of innocence back.

          • radicalawe November 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

            I am actually much younger than you – I was nine in 2001 – but I have always been the youngest in very nearly every group of which I’ve been a part: I have four older brothers; I was always at least a grade ahead in school; and right now, I am not doing college (even though I graduated from the kind of high school from which EVERYONE not only goes to college but goes to great colleges), which means I am working, if only part-time – and most of my fellow yoga teachers are at least middle-aged.

            Where does that leave me? I am obviously young enough that nuclear warfare as a serious possibility has almost never crossed my mind, and even young enough that I couldn’t really form a coherent response to the attacks on the World Trade Center. I did, however, respond to my vague knowledge of the “War on Terror” in my journal with something like, “I am so angry! Why are we bombing Afghanistan? How can we do that to other people when we know just how awful that feels?!” For me, the disaster was only fleetingly the attacks themselves: the disaster was the paranoia that followed, and the “war on terror” was only increasing the emotional terror I was experiencing. I was scared not only of planes crashing but also of being forced to strip naked and/or be touched everywhere in the middle of an airport because some random guy decided you were suspicious. I never flew between 2000 and 2011, so it took a long time for those images to be proved false to my mind… Actually, the way terror most closely touched my life was trivial: I was scared to open the mailbox. Anthrax, post-bombs, biological warfare – what if, what if?

            Now the fear has morphed. The war has stayed overseas for years, I probably kept up with news about it more thoroughly when I was nine and watched PBS with my parents, and my worries are largely financial. My parents are waiting for the bank to decide on what terms we are going to leave the house for which they can no longer afford the mortgage payments they’ve been shelling out for the last thirteen years. Supposedly, there is an awful lot of money and maybe even compassion out there, but none of it is for us. Most of the time, I am just confused. Do I pour my effort into my dreams and try to have a life I really, truly think is worth living – or is that a waste, because just as I was programmed to believe as a child, I will never be good enough and/or lucky enough to have a dream come true? This question is complicated for so many reasons, one being just that I have had a LOT of dreams of widely varying levels of feasibility, another being that I have little in the way of knowing if any of these dreams would satisfy me “in the flesh”… and even though I’m not really a child any more, I still do believe that I am not good enough. Not to mention the map for my life was always “go to college, and your degree will determine your job,” so if I do forego a degree I am also foregoing my instruction manual for getting what I want out of life. Anyway, I’ve wasted a lot of time letting my confusion, indecision, and lack of faith in myself (self-hatred, really) rule – and I am living in fear not because of war, but because of a scarcity that is still hard for me to grasp, sitting here in a country that still likes to pretend it is rich in a way that actually matters.

            Sorry I’ve lost the plot of this post a bit. But wow, despite my HP and Glee obsessions, I have not even remotely gotten into Starkid… yet somehow this post and its comments turned out to be all kinds of interesting and relevant. I haven’t even gotten into the innocence/optimism/naivete schtick…

        • RM November 29, 2011 at 10:03 am #

          This makes a lot of sense and made me cry. Because yes, of course. Like when I had to keep explaining why Watchmen was so personal and scary for me when it came out. It was allegory for me, when for my younger friends it was just story.

          This was also helpful, not about Starkid (whatever, I had a lovely weekend, not on the list of stuff that keeps me up at night), but about the fact that most of the people in my life are in their 20s and experience the world very differently from me. We argue, when we do argue, often about politics and confrontation and the obligations of queerness and a lot of other stuff that just makes me so frustrated and I’m sure isn’t making them happy either, and now I’m like oh — we’re coming at the world from two entirely different mythologized event horizons that didn’t quite happen. Of course there’s this set of stuff we don’t know how to meet on the middle on.

          I’m moved. Thank you.

          • Rikibeth November 29, 2011 at 10:18 am #

            I’m glad it makes sense.

            And, Watchmen, definitely. I went to see the movie with a friend in her early twenties. She was quite startled to see me clutch the armrests and freeze in wide-eyed horror when Nixon said “we go to DEFCON 2.” She was sympathetic and solicitous, but those words would never hold the same terror for her as they did for me.

            One of the things I often find myself saying to my mother (usually in the context of supporting my child’s queerness – my mother does not reject, but often needs reassurance that her grandchild is not doomed to tragedy from it) is “The world is a different place from the one you grew up in. It’s even a different place from the one I grew up in.”

            I need to remember that those two sentences have broader application.

            • RM November 29, 2011 at 10:26 am #

              One of the hallmarks of this year for me as been a certain self-criticism about not bringing more joy and self-confidence to my creative life — would I be more successful if I were just more buoyant about things? And really, aside from the complete bucket of fail that are what-if’s, it’s also worth giving myself some slack for the realities of growing up in the world of Regan and Thatcher. We had all the best parties and made a lot of terrible choices, because we never worried about the consequences to anything. We didn’t sing songs about “Last Friday Night” and shrug it all off as joyful youthful indiscretion because we were never sure there was going to be a next Friday night. It’s very weird. And I think our generation as a rule Does Not Talk About This — at least that was my discovery on LJ when I got a thread going about this sort of shit in the wake of the Watchmen film.

              Sorry Team Starkid, we took your awesome joyous show and it made us talk about nuclear apocalypse.

              • Carrie November 29, 2011 at 10:31 am #

                *There’s* the pathos I was looking for. Gosh I feel so much better.

                • RM November 29, 2011 at 10:34 am #

                  You are too funny. Patty literally rolled off the couch onto the floor laughing about the “Hello Kitty rimming addicts” line last night.

  3. sqwook November 29, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    This whole comment thread makes me cry.

    I’ve always been an embracer of child-like wonder, and yes, it was perilously uncool of me in the 80s & 90s. Thankfully, the definition of ‘cool’ changes dramatically once you’re beyond school.

    “You *want* everything to be all right, where it sounds like they *believe* that everything is going to be all right, somehow.”
    I somehow want everything to be all right by the force of us all believing we can make it be all right.

    • April November 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      “I somehow want everything to be all right by the force of us all believing we can make it be all right.”

      I wish that would work. I wish soooo hard, which is why I’m on tumblr and livejournal and why I have fallen head over heels into fandom and the community it brings.

      And then I have to go back to the real world and I cry because dreams don’t come true most of the time.

      • sqwook December 1, 2011 at 9:57 am #

        Ah – that might be the difference – I’m not seeking a particular dream. Mostly I want a happy life. And I choose to believe that there is tons, TONS, of good in life. ❤

  4. Beth November 29, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    This comment thread is so interesting. I remember having actual nightmares about nuclear apocalypse after “The Day After” aired on tv. My kids are so young that I haven’t thought much yet about how my relationship to the twin towers will be compared to theirs where the events happened before they were born. Much like WWII held completely different meaning for my grandparents generation than for me probably. I’m going to have to think on why I’m so weirdly drawn to what DC is selling.

  5. April November 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    (Oh and also? My reaction to what DC sells SO HARD, and so WELL is mainly crying. I literally sobbed over my laptop on one really bad day while watching a video of “When You Wish Upon a Star” because Darren’s dreams DID come true and mine HAVEN’T and it’s just fucking HARD and I want to believe SO BADLY that they can but I just CAN’T. Basically, he makes me have a lot of feelings. Like, really, really REALLY intense ones.
    ….watch me spamming your comments. Whee!)

    • Anastasia (@brilliant_snark) November 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

      *hugs* Yeah, me too. I think we’re brain twins, really. All the feelings. Wanting to believe. Everything.

      (…joins in the spamming)

  6. Anastasia (@brilliant_snark) November 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    I just want to hug everyone in these comments. And possibly every Starkid ever. And OBVIOUSLY all the members of Team Starkid. I think April best sums up where I am…in my early thirties, I’m closer to her mindset then those a few years older than me, yet I’m close enough to still GET it, having had more older friends than friends my own age. Escapism, and that WANT for everything to be this good, while still not being able to release the skepticism, distrust, and cynicism is exactly right.

    But the crying at Universal when entering Hogsmeade? That’s me too. I did that. Actually, I cried just BEFORE, when I was standing with a bunch of fans at a con, waiting for them to let us in, and someone started singing “Get Back to Hogwarts” and the WHOLE CROWD joined in.

    Back on the original topic, I continue to experience Team Starkid exclusively through the internet and am both jealous of you AND incredibly happy for you that you got to experience this. Thank you, as always, for sharing your thoughts.

    I feel like I had more to say, but I’ve lost it somewhere. 🙂

    • Rikibeth November 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

      Oh, that must have been something, with the crowd singing. I had something like that happen to me, at a My Chemical Romance concert — I love them and I am not ashamed at all. This was at a “radio birthday bash” concert, after the Black Parade album had been released but before the full tour had commenced — small venue, too, Lupo’s in Providence, think old movie theater. It was before the show started, and the sound system was playing what I would later learn was the pre-show loop for the Black Parade — good stuff, including Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died,” which could merit a post all its own — and the loop rolled around to Green Day’s “Basket Case.”

      Everyone started singing along. And it was uplifting and tear-inducing all at once — it felt like a mass affirmation that yes, we are all screwed up, and we are going to muddle through ANYWAY.

      I don’t know if the teenagers in the audience felt it. I, at 36 then, most certainly did.

      • Anastasia (@brilliant_snark) November 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

        There’s something huge about moments like that, with a whole group singing along or reciting lines or repeating. Or even just EXPERIENCING together. You’re right, it’s an acknowledgement that we’re all screwed up or weird or a little off, and it’s OKAY somehow because we, in that group, in that place, share it. It does make me curious how different ages experience that. Like I said, it made me cry, but the kids? Maybe it just made them bouncy and happy. I wonder.

        (Don’t worry, I love MCR too.)

        • Rikibeth November 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

          I can go on at essay-length about how The Black Parade was the past decade’s answer to The Wall, which, yes, I know some of that was absolutely deliberate and I love them for it, but anyway, the thing about The Wall is that the note of hope at the end is incredibly muted and dim, barely there after all the anger and pain, and with The Black Parade you walk out on “Famous Last Words” with that defiant, triumphant “I am not afraid to keep on living.”

          I’m not counting “Blood,” really. 1: hidden track. 2: it reads to me like a goof, like “Her Majesty” at the end of Abbey Road. Even for a goof, though, it’s pretty affirming — laughing in the face of discomfort, at least.

        • Rikibeth November 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

          oh, different point, on the group singing/reciting lines/repeating, and a teenager’s experience thereof: that was part of the power of Rocky Horror, for me as a teenager. It didn’t make me cry then; it made me feel powerful, energized, BELONGING. Because Rocky Horror was an outlaw thing, then, and being part of a group hurling those rude, blatantly sexual lines into the air was an act of defiance and solidarity, or at least that’s how it felt to me at the time.

          Maybe it might have made an older person cry. I don’t know. It just makes me nostalgic, now.

    • azurelunatic December 6, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      The joy of my fish playing around in Pottermore made me cry. It’s very much for them, and I’m too old and I left the canon behind long ago. I will never get to go to Hogwarts.

      But making sure that my fish get to have that experience is one of my purposes in life. When I was their age and younger, I had me, and I had the other out girl in my year, and eventually I had a few people I could talk with in e-mail, and then a crowd of people who could be mostly trusted for mutual defense and being too big a crowd of rabble to generally mess with.

      I didn’t have the world-will-end-soon vibe, in part because the worst of it was over before I became old enough to catch on, and also in part because Fairbanks is one of those towns that goes “Huh, maybe the rest of the world will end, but we’ve got a good six months of supplies and a sturdy growing season, I bet we can muddle through somehow” and carries right on. Someone has to feed the dogs, apocalypse or no. The Lower 48’s wacky survivalist is a well-prepared eligible bachelor, oo are those solar panels?

      Most of the time, my fish have someone who understands at least some of what they’re going through available within a few hours on Twitter, if not a few minutes. Some of them still even have that sense of wonder instead of that sense of dread, and I want to keep it that way for them.

  7. Lola November 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I always feel like I’m enjoying the adolescence I wanted to now, in my late 20s. When I was a teen (mid-late 90s) I wanted nothing more than to just revel in popculture of the Starkid type but it either wasn’t there, or it was too uncool or inaccessible. The world was just too cool. Everyone was convinced that every problem int he world had been conquered. Computers were getting faster by the minute, the internet was there, there were booms everywhere, big wars were over and everyone was on-top. We were riding for a fall, but the overall feel of this environment was cold – there was no room for innocent joy.

    Anyway, I wanted joy. I wanted to be having fun with something. I ventured into early internet fandoms for shows like the xfiles, found fanfic etc but when I tried to share these with the people around me quickly realise it was not to be done. Now I’ve come full circle and am doing what I should have done all those years ago, thanks in part to shows like Glee and groups like Starkid just existing. My god if these had existed back then my life would have been a lot less difficult – I spent years in a state oscillating between confusion and self-hatred, which was made worse by the fact that the exact thing I was wondering about was the exact thing my peers, hell even my PARENTS were telling me was wrong.

    Starkid? It provides a sense of belonging to anyone who enjoys it. The kids with the receptors, as you put it, are doing what I wish I could have done. They’re immersed in something they love, that makes them feel like they can dream, that makes them feel like they’re ok.

    I think I’m a little bit resentful, to be honest.

    (wow that wasn’t a nice way to end my comment sorry… but at least it’s not apocalypse?)

    • RM November 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      As someone who spends more time than I’d like being a Bitter Old Queer, I get the resentment thing. It’s cool. Apparently we’re having the saaaaaaaaaad Starkid thread over here. I’m both moved and amused.

    • Diane December 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

      “Starkid? It provides a sense of belonging to anyone who enjoys it. The kids with the receptors, as you put it, are doing what I wish I could have done. They’re immersed in something they love, that makes them feel like they can dream, that makes them feel like they’re ok.

      I think I’m a little bit resentful, to be honest.”

      This is how I always feel watching Starkid–conflicted. I revel in the talent and the joy they share, and I rage at the thought of how my college years/20’s/and early 30’s were shaped by a much more rigid group of “friends” who drove me to suppress much of who I was–to the point that when I went to a Bon Jovi concert shortly after separating from my husband, I–who had been a cheerleader and loved dancing in high school–couldn’t remember how to let go enough to move with the music.

      Now I see my step-daughters going through many of the same things I experienced in high school. They are geeky enough that we routinely watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along-blog together and if they were my age we would be close friends. I cross my fingers that they and my sons will “find their ‘weirdos and magical Darren Crisses too.'”

      On a slightly different note, after years of reality T.V. personalities, I find the genuineness of these young adults as refreshing as their talent. They might not all have what it takes to continue in this business, but I am sure they are inspiring other gifted youth to follow their dreams. I want to believe in that world where anything is possible.

  8. Anastasia November 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    “…that one day everyone in the audience would find their “weirdos and magical Darren Crisses too” just kind of made me sad…”

    I wish I’d been able to hold onto that belief. It might have made my entire life far, far different.

  9. Luanne April 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I’m going to be awkward here, posting a reply to a… post? That went online four months ago. I don’t know what to call it…
    I’m fifteen, and a big StarKid fan. Unfortunately, I happen to be one of the many fans who doesn’t live in America, and so doesn’t ever get the chance to see them live.
    I’m not sure why I lke StarKid so much, to be honest. They’re funny, talented and genuine people, but I’ve come across people like that before. A lot of StarKids are older than me, because while fans my age are the most prominent fans, there are more fans at college overall. And because the fandom as a whole tends to be more mature than people realise, the fandom is often not as innocent. Yes there’s an innocence about us, but even a lot of the younger fans are people who’ve matured in a certain way. People without friends, or with a bad home life. It’s rare that the popular kids like StarKid.
    I think a lot of their appeal is that they’re fans just like us. If the writers of A Very Potter Musical met J K Rowling, I’m sure they would feel the way most of her fans would feel.
    Not to mention that they proved it’s possible to follow your dreams. At the moment, I get the feeling that they still haven’t found their feet in the world, and a lot of their success is due to chance and talent in equal measures. They’re doing a new tour this summer, with higher ticket prices, which I think is because they’re struggling. The last musical they did was a parody, which they can’t and won’t charge for, so they need money to do more shows.
    I’ve been rambling for ages, and forgotten what my point originally was.
    They’ve brought people together, and inspired them. The fans have an innocence about them, but it’s a good innocence. It stops us from worrying about little things like what we look like, and helps us focus on what we want in life. It makes us believe that we can do anything, because we can do anything. That’s…
    I’ve really forgotten what I was saying here. I’ll just post this for people to… probably not read, and see what happens.

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