Friday, December 23, 2005

BBHC Top 10: My favorite posts of 2005

The new year approaches, which can only mean one thing -- COUNTDOWNS! On television. On radio. You can't avoid them! Not even on Barebones Hardcore as I count down my Top Ten favorite posts of 2005!

Moving down the countdown to number nine, my critique of the "straight edge" episode of CBS's Judging Amy. The show got cancelled a few weeks after this review. I was so bummed. I wasn't into the show or anything like that. I was just certain that the plot line of Amy's daughter being straight edge would yeild endless opportunities for comedy at Barebones Hardcore. I mourn what could have been...
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I finally got around to watching this week's episode of Judging Amy. I normally wouldn't watch this show, but there was discussion on the Livewire Message Board about this week's episode having a straight edge plot, so I plugged it into the digital recorder and figured I watch it for a laugh.

I was hoping that Amy would find out her 14 year-old vegetarian daughter was straight edge after being hauled into her courtroom in chains for fire-bombing a McDonald's, or at least hopping onto the counter and shouting the lyrics to MDC's "Corporate Death Burger." But the show is on CBS, and I'm sure such a shocking plot line would soil more than one pair of Depends.

As it turned out, Amy discovers her daughter is one of these crazy straight edgers after she gets a call from Lauren's Principal's office with news that her daughter had been suspended for staging some kind of protest in the cafeteria that involved her friends, $300 in hamburger damages and, (I'm assuming) a very pissed off cafeteria lady.

The next time the straight edge plot appeared in the episode was a confrontation in her daughter's bedroom. While snooping around, Amy came across a wad of $300 and immediately assumed the worst; the straight edge thing is too good to be true. It's obviously a ploy to trick parents into thinking their drug dealing kids are actually on the straight and narrow.

Amy: WHERE DID YOU GET THIS MONEY?!

Lauren: YOU'RE SEARCHING MY ROOM?!

Amy: ARE YOU DEALING DRUGS?!

Lauren: I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE SEARCHING MY ROOM!

Me: ...barf.

If I was the daughter, the answer would have been "I sold my fucking Chung King on eBay! Why do you have to be such a raging bitch?!" But noooooooo. As it turned out, her and the other 19 of her straight edge friends (damn, that's a crew) involved in the cafeteria incident each chipped in $15 a piece (by school mandate) to cover the damages of the protest.

Amy: (stunned into silence, realizing that her daughter is growing up and making good decisions) ...

Lauren: (silent, tearing up because her Mom didn't believe her at first) ...

Me: ...bleeeaurghhhh!!!

I first got into straight edge when I was 15 years old. The year was 1986. None of my friends knew about stuff like the Youth Crew or anything like that. We were all punkers and skaters who were into a mishmash of bands ranging from Minor Threat to Dayglo Abortions.

I was always dressing in stuff that I thought was cool, but was entirely alien to my Mom. She didn't get the stupid hair. The dog collar. The shirts that said Suicidal Tendencies, Agnostic Front, Circle Jerks and Dirty Rotten Imbiciles. She was concerned because this was a pretty radical departure for me. I got the gear and pretty much changed the way I looked over night, and it was really freaking her out.

After about a year, my Mom decided it was time to confront me, because with the crazy music, the freaky friends, and the new wardrobe, I was obviously on drugs. She burst into my room one day and scratched the needle across the 7 Seconds record I was blasting on my turntable.

Me: WHAT THE FUCK?!

Mom: YOU'RE ON DRUGS! DON'T DENY IT!

Me: WHAT?! MOM, I HATE THAT SHIT. I DON'T DRINK OR DO DRUGS. I'M STRAIGHT EDG--

Mom: DON'T TELL ME THAT! YOU'RE ON DRUGS!

Me: NO MOM. I'M NOT ON DRUGS! WHY DON'T YOU GET ME A PEPSI(a joke that went right over her head, but I found hilarious none the less).

My Mom was in a total frenzy. I had never seen her so freaked out about anything I was involved with. At one point, she picked up my copy of Break Down The Walls, held it over her head and, no shit, said "I heard on the news that this band worships THE DEVIL!!"

Of course I burst into laughter.

Of course I got grounded.

Of course I had to flee the house when my Dad came over to kick my ass for upsetting my Mom that badly.

With straight edge and punk being so completely seperated these days, I doubt parents would jump to such conclusions anymore. If you put the guys in The First Step in neck kerchiffs and plopped them down next to Boy Scout Troop 36, you'd have a hard time telling who was who. Nobody is ever going to look at that band, or anybody who jocks their style, and say "those dudes are on drugs."

I may actually continue to watch this show. If Amy's daughter is True til Death and the straight edge plot line continues, I'm guessing she'll be sleeping with members of Mental and Righteous Jams sometime in the next few seasons.

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