Finally: a Stupid Question

Sunday night, Henry Fonda Theater, Rilo Kiley. Same band, same place, different celeb. This time I didn’t fondle Jake Gyllenhaal’s arm in a doorway. This time, in the same doorway, I was staring at Paul Rudd.

It’s a magical doorway, folks. Try and stand in it, and the boys — they just appear.

But my point here is that suddenly Rilo Kiley has a lot, like, alot-alot of fans. And they’re youngish girls who wear glasses and skirts, who sway and coo, who enjoy dancing like Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club, even though I’m starting to figure out that they may not know who they’re dancing like, or why that’s cool.

There are people who really, really, really want to bring back the Eighties. They’re wearing neon pink and putting their collars up. They’ve got bandanas on places other than their heads. They wear gigantic earrings and shag haircuts frozen with hairspray.

The rest of us, the ones who remember the Eighties, we don’t want to go back there again. And we’re fighting this fashion trend with every cell in our bodies. We’d rather wear the mistakes of the Seventies than go back to that time when socks lost their elastic and shirts lost their collars and gigantic belts held up absolutely nothing at all.

But I digress. So this group of young girls standing next to me, singing all of the words as loudly as they could (but only from the new album, none from the older albums), overheard me remark that the lead guitarist/singer Blake’s new haircut now makes him look exactly like Crispin Glover.

“Crispin Glover!” they started shrieking to themselves. “That’s who he looks like. That’s it!”

Then the “leader” of their group, the one who knew all of the titles to the songs and would announce them within one nanosecond of a note (I say this because I was, and still silently am That Girl), turns to her giggle of girls and says, “No, he looks like… Do you know who Corey Feldman is?”

Insert scratching of record sound here.

“Do you know who Corey Feldman is?” What kind of question is that? When exactly did that become a real question?

“Does television have more than three channels?”

“When I swallow something, will it go down my throat?”

“Were the Beatles a band or something?”

I mean… Do you know who Corey Feldman is? It makes no sense at all as a question. And also, she obviously doesn’t know who Corey Feldman is, because there’s no way he’d be mistaken for Crispin Glover. And it’s sad that we now live in a world where young girls dress like they’re in the Eighties because that’s when they were born and so they don’t know any better. But who is responsible for letting Corey Feldman become a “What movie was he in? That one with the vampires?” kind of guy. “Is Goonies the one with the guy from Lord of the Rings?”

These are not questions in my world, in the world I want to live in, in the world I’ve created. These are simple axioms that everyone just knows. You know the Coreys. You know Cyndi Lauper. You know You Can’t Do That On Television.

And her friends, they gave this quick nod like they were only pretending to know who Corey Feldman was. I don’t understand this. The boy lived with Michael Jackson. He was just on that reality show. It’s not like he disappeared entirely. He’s got some band where he sings about being a child star. Corey Feldman! Corey Feldman! I can almost understand not knowing Corey Haim or Corey Hart anymore. I can almost forgive that. But the Feldman? I don’t get it.

“What’s an Alf?”

These are the questions we’re going to have to answer soon and with every question another hair will lose its pigment, another wrinkle will form around your pursed lip. Some will be questions we simply can’t answer.

“Why did you spend so many hours playing Simon?”

Some will be questions that will take a very long time to answer.

“When you were little, did Madonna have a Japanese accent like she does now?”

Corey Feldman. Off the radar. Incredible.

Someone tell Ralph Macchio he should give it another try.

LA people: please come see me this Saturday at the Barnes and Noble on Pico and Westwood at 3pm. I’ll be reading and signing, and you can be sure it’ll be the most heckled Q&A of all time.

Aimee writes:

[readermail]I’m usually more of a lurker than a participator when it comes to the internet, but I’m writing in response to the post from Meeta regarding the Free Library of Philadelphia. I know your page is packed full, and if you don’t have time or space to post this, that’s ok, but I thought your readers should know that Governor Rendell is considering cutting 50% of the current aid to ALL libraries in Pennsylvania, not just Philly.

I went to my tiny local library yesterday and they had the information posted at the circulation desk. I asked about a wish list, but they don’t have one. They did say, though, that the best way to help is to do just what the Philly Free Library site says – write your legislators! So for those small town Pennsylvania pamie-philes who think Oakland is a world away, it can, and most likely will, happen to us. So write![/readermail]

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