Friday, May 4, 2012

Apparently It's Karmic Retribution Time

My daughter is a One Direction fan. You know, One Direction, the boy band that was formed after the members appeared separately on The X Factor?

Violet: "That guy--what's his name?"
Me: "Simon Cowell?"
Violet: "Yeah, Simon Cowell. He told them to form a band."

I know this information is true because Orla, another third grader, told it to Violet. One Direction is the new thing in Violet's class. I am not entirely sure that Violet had heard a single one of their songs before she became a fan.

I made it through princesses.
I made it through Hannah Montana.
Taylor Swift is still happening, and I am surviving that ok.
This, I am not so sure about.

"Mommy," said Violet, bounding off the bus. "Niall is single!" Or maybe she said Harry is single. Whatever. I explained that his marital status is irrelevant, because of the simple fact that she is nine years old. Violet pointed out that he is 22, and when she is 22, in 13 years, he will be 35, and that sometimes people who are 22 and 35 date. At least she got some math practice in.

Hairstylists take note: Dude second from the left, and dude on the far right.
Here is a picture of One Direction. You can tell that it is One Direction, because right behind them on the wall it says "One Direction."

Here is a video of One Direction on SNL. It is worth watching just for the hair. I would seriously love to read an interview with the genius who created those hairstyles. After showing the video to me, Violet asked, "Did you like the song?" I told her that I was too obsessed with the hair to notice the song. She nodded understandingly. She told me a story, possibly apocryphal, about the guy with the combover: "One day he woke up, and his hair was straight, so he started crying."

According to a post on entitled, "The Latest Details on The One Direction Nickelodeon Show":  "The credibility of One Direction could be aversely affected by a scripted show, and the management are keen for the band not to seen in too much of a young light – avoiding the types of fandom that surround Big Time Rush and the Jonas Brothers." (I cut and pasted that, so the typos are not mine.)

I would hate to see the credibility of One Direction adversely affected. Or aversely affected. But they have to know that their fans are nine-year-olds who have never heard their songs.

I can't.
One Direction, listen up, I have five words for you: New Kids on the Block. Here is a picture of New Kids on the Block.

Back in the late 80s, early 90s, I wrote a negative piece about New Kids on the Block, at the height of their fame, that made me the Salman Rushdie of New Kids on the Block fans. I received bags full of hate mail, when hate mail still came in bags. One included a voodoo doll. The accompanying letter explained that the offended NKOTB fan had placed a pin through my ovaries so I could "never bear children to follow in my footsteps."

It's coming true.

P.S. When I was nine, I adored the Bay City Rollers. Here is a picture of the Bay City Rollers.


  1. Another inevitable phase. My kid's moved on to crushes on adult men on TV, and it's also somewhat disturbing. (Also I meant to comment on the "pink" post, just to say that as you may have noticed, I am in favor of pink hair.)

  2. I remember your negative NKOTB article! I agree(d) with you 100%!! God look at the amount of hair gel in that photo. I shudder to think what my kid (who is only 15 mos. old right now) is going to listen to when he gets older. Personally I was not much into bubblegum pop as a kid but I certainly listened to more than my share of weird, random stuff.

  3. I might be insane, but I saw them on Saturday Night Live and I didn't think they were SO bad...

  4. hahaha! well i have a nine-year old son and this band are his new style icons (jeeesuz)

  5. I remember your negative NKOTB article and I was so hurt because I loved everything else you wrote, but that one cut me to the core. But I wasn't mad enough to send hate mail. I was too busy devising a plan to meet them.

    (ahem) Anyway, because of my NKOTB & pop music childhood, I have vowed never to mock tweens/teens for their musical idols.

    By the way, I just now blushed and chuckled at that NKOTB pic. I might be 39, but inside beats the crazy heart of a 16 year old!

    1. Kimberley, Now I feel bad! I should have said in the post that I regret making fun of NKOTB! I don't mean to make fun of the teens and tween fans, and I would never let my daughter know how I feel. But boy bands are such easy comedy. And it is funny to see how history repeats itself: the ridiculous hair, the sweet clothes, and always the five guys. Maybe it goes back to cave man times in some form.

  6. I believe this is my favorite thing you have ever written.

    My kid is more tween-culture deprived, which has its own set of difficulties and mortifications...

    1. Thanks Marjorie. To paraphrase Rebecca Moore, as a writer you stake out your territory. I guess boy bands are my territory.

  7. At least your daughter didn't catch "Bieber Fever."

  8. Thank you for this--so hilarious!

    I have no idea who those kids are, but, trust, I knew NKOTB. Oh, did I ever. For about 85 seconds, and then it was back to R.E.M.

    But those 85 seconds were pure blissed out hormonal hysteria.