Thursday, June 23, 2005

In honor of the release of Chuck Klosterman's new book, I thought I'd share an old piece of Friendster correspondence I had with him, dated January 5, 2004*, that transpired as I was reading his collection of essays:

Dear Chuck,
I'm in the middle of reading Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs. With a few small exceptions (your praise of Kid Rock, your dismissal of Major League Baseball as merely "a game"), I am very impressed. However, last night I read "Being Zack Morris" and found a glaring mistake: you claim that Saved By the Bell is "generally unremarkable to anyone born after" 1977. This is absolute lunacy. I was born in 1979, and SBTB is one of the most important and influential shows of my viewing history. I've seen every episode multiple times, can point out the fact that in your list of guest stars you forgot to mention that future Mrs. Sampras, Bridgette Wilson, appeared on several episodes as Ginger (who was always checking for lipstick on her teeth), can name the single most unsettling moment in the show's history (when the nerd chained to the fake oil tower simply to be between the school president and the head cheerleader asks Kelly if she's ever tried "nerd love"), and even, when asked a few months ago to provide a list of songs for a Prom Party, challenged the host to find the version of "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You," as sung by Jesse and Slater during the costume ball as Kelly is breaking up with Zack outside (she failed). My knowledge may be more in-depth than others, but I can GUARANTEE that everyone my age (and even 2 years below me) watched SBTB religiously. I don't think that many of my peers watched original episodes on Saturday mornings, although I did, but the two hours of after-school viewing of repeats was universal. While the characters were your age when you watched (at least in its original run), they were always older than my friends and I, which made them the cool kids we aspired to be when we grew up. SBTB quotes peppered, or at least made cameo appearances in, daily conversation. All the girls had crushes on Zack... all the guys loved Kelly. It was critical to me and my friends, and we're proud of it.
While I can agree with most of what you write, in the future please do not shortchange my peers out of being associated with Saved by the Bell.
Thank you.

His response:

"However, last night I read "Being Zack Morris" and found a glaring mistake: you claim that Saved By the Bell is "generally unremarkable to anyone born after" 1977. This is absolute lunacy."

This may be the greatest friendster message I have ever received. You are a mad genius.

In return, that may be the greatest Friendster message I have ever received. How sad is that? Quite sad.
How sad is it that I took the time to compose this message to him? Quite sad.
How sad is it that the message still rings true? Quite sad.
How sad is it that if I'm channel-surfing and come across an episode of SBTB (original, not New Class or College Years), I will watch it? Quite sad.
At least I haven't bought the DVD's. Yet.

*Note: this was also my first day working on TRL. Good to see how focused I was on the new job.


DoctorJones said...

GreenWeen -
You never fail to amaze me.

Angie said...

That was a fantastic little rant. By the way, I am 22-years-old, and watched the show religiously. Sadly, I even tried watching the movie specials and The College Years, but it had lost it's magic by then. I still find myself imagining that I am Jessie having a mental breakdown when I'm stressed, however. I picture myself wearing a leotard screaming "I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so...scared" in an overly dramatic fashion. Heh. Anyway, well done!