This morning I was flipping through the channels as I got ready for work, and there was a 30 Seconds to Mars video on MTV. 30 Seconds to Mars, in case you don’t know, is a band fronted by Jared Leto, who played Jordan Catalano on My So-Called Life.
I didn’t watch the video (I only watch videos with Cloud), but little teenage girls watch MTV, and they like to learn everything about cute boys, and they also discover old trends (like 80’s clothes) and wear them and think that they are cool and original when really they are just being teenage girls and that’s why we love them.
Here is my point: I am willing to bet that 95% of the girls who watch MTV have no idea what My So-Called Life is. They will see Jared Leto and his assy hair and his tight pants and they will think he’s hot. Then they will google the hell out of him. And then they will discover the greatest show in the history of all time and the dreamiest boy to ever appear on television, ever.
When I was 13 or 14, I dyed my hair for the first time. It was bright orange like Angela’s. Soon after, that show came out and everyone started telling me that I looked exactly like her. Even the translators in Guatemala told me that I looked like “that girl from the American Channel”. I wish I had a high school pic (besides the one from prom) so you could make up your own mind, but whatever – here’s Angela:
To top it off, I was madly in love with a boy who looked just like Jordan Catalano. He had the same vacant, dreamy stare, the same soft voice, and he liked to lean against things and look bored. So when I was 14, my life basically depended on whether or not Angela and Jordan hooked up, because it meant I could get a guy who looked like that.*
I have no doubt that these little girls will fall in love with Jordan Catalano. That they, like all of us, will think everything about him is adorable, even the fact that HE CAN’T READ. They will discover the art of sexy leaning. They will baffle their male friends by sighing and squealing every time he comes on screen. I mean, we know he is ridiculous, but he is so ridiculously good looking. Sigh.
However, I think it will be impossible for them to separate Jordan from Jared Leto, the lead asshat of 30 Seconds to Mars. My generation understands the purity of Jordan Catalano. We knew him way back when. We can separate the way we felt about him at 14 from the way we feel now. It’s like, seeing Michael Jackson today vs. listening to Thriller.
Before the guyliner…
Before the mullet…
Before he hooked up with that Justin-stealing hussy Scarlett Johansen…
And before he murdered John Lennon with Lindsay Lohan…
…we knew Jared Leto as Jordan. Just… Jordan. Sigh.
My biggest hope is that those girls will identify with Angela and Rayanne somehow. Maybe they will attempt to dye their hair with Kool-Aid. Maybe they will find old issues of Sassy and still think it’s awesome. Maybe they will start collecting Doc Martens. Maybe some of them will think Angela has the coolest sweater in the world, like I still do, and then maybe Macy’s will make it and then I can buy it.
(Edited in 2011 to add: Tavi Gevinson is making the above paragraph a reality in every way possible and I love it.)
And then maybe, just maybe, they will rediscover grunge and make it cool again, and then I could get away with wearing PJ Pants at the office. We can only dream.
Jordan Catalano will always be my one true love. So now you know, and now I’m ending this entry so I can go eat candy. Happy Valentimes!!!
*Years later we ended up having a relationship EXACTLY like Jordan and Angela’s, which in hindsight is pretty awful – Jordan is kind of an assbag and I think she should have picked the other guy. But at the time it was delightful and I wrote like a whole diary about it, and we are still good friends (probably because we look nothing like Jordan and Angela anymore).