What’s Your Damage, Rivers?

April 22nd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

I once spent the better part of two years–during the furious shift out of my late teens–working through an epic collection of poetry. It spanned early observations of the incremental breakdown of my mother’s side of the family to the detritus of my first love, from guilt about sex to a love affair with drunken sunrises. Needless to say, it was a pile of self-indulgent shit, but it was my shit, sincere shit from my young heart and achy-breaky-burning soul.

I had the entire thing enclosed in a romantically battered leather file folder, which tied closed with a leather string and made the documents inside feel precious and ancient. My older sister stumbled upon it one day and asked if she could see what was inside, to which I acquiesced, half-hoping that she would be so moved that she would cry all over the leather file (adding even more salt-water character to its mahogany-colored exterior). I was exposing my insides; but in the presentational, on-paper way, my private thoughts for public display. I wanted her to tell me that the volume should be published, that I belonged in the Canon of writers, that my young age truly belied my incredible wisdom and cadence.

My sister scanned through three or four pieces and then smiled, saying, “They’re really good, Di. I like the one about the tree, you used really charming words. I don’t know if Mom would want to read that one about her sisters, though.” Then she closed the whole thing up and handed it back to me–a girl seething both with disappointment and rage. I threw my leather file in a drawer and didn’t find it again until last year, when I moved and was forced to rifle through 35 boxes of storage. And whenever she asked to read my writing after that day, I would only send her graded essays from college or my weekly music column, so that when she called them “good” I wouldn’t care one way or the other.

I guess, in some way, I can identify with what I call Rivers Cuomo’s interminable disappointment, a cloud that landed over him after he vomited up his deepest, darkest secrets and set them to cacophonous pop for his band Weezer’s 1996 sophomore effort, Pinkerton. Even though critics by and large found the album brilliant, the rest of the world was like, “Dude, this shit about asian chicks doesn’t sound anything like ‘Buddy Holly’” and refused to buy. Instead of giving everyone the finger and recording more weird Cuomo brianarrhea after that, he simply recoiled, spending years as a crazy hermit with a dark soul. It really didn’t seem like he would ever write again, how could he? He was probably too old to dream up surf hits, and no one dug his love of Madame Butterfly.

But Rivers did emerge in 2001, this time with a big fuck-you finger that came in the shape of this:

“You liked my blue album? Well, then: second verse, same as the first.”

Anyone that ever sat through a verse of his idiotic stoner anthem “Hash Pipe” could read between the lines: Rivers was in full rage mode. If we didn’t like his diaries, he was gonna give us what we liked. Skateboards. Weed. Cheeky hooks. Power chords. Rock on!

And it worked. People gobbled it up. So he did it again. And again. Fuck you guys, I’m gonna make more lame jock rock. Fuck you all!!! Cuomo is angry!

And it looks like, over 12 years after The Pinkerton Incident, he wants to do it yet again:

“Get it? The Red Album! Get it??”

And quite frankly, I’ve had it. And so now I need to speak directly to the guy.

Note to Rivers Cuomo:
RIVERS, I UNDERSTAND YOUR RAGE. NOBODY WANTS THEIR INNERMOSTS POO-POO’D ON. BUT DUDE, WE’VE ALL (ESPECIALLY THOSE OF US WITH HARDASS ASIAN FAMILIES) BEEN THROUGH IT, AND EVENTUALLY WE ALL JUST HAD TO REALIZE THAT NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO UNDERSTAND EVERY PART OF US, AND WE CAN’T JUST GO AROUND PUNISHING THE WORLD TO MAKE OURSELVES FEEL BETTER. SOMEBODY DOES LOVE YOU–THAT SWEET LITTLE JAPANESE (SURPRISE) GIRL THAT YOU MARRIED A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO–SO LET HER BE THE ONE TO “GET” THE COMPLEX BLARGHITY-FOO OF YOUR BRAIN AND STOP HAMMERING AT US WITH THESE STUPID, SEMI-IRONIC, TERRIBLY-TUNED, FUCK ALL Y’ALL RECORDS. I CAN’T HANDLE IT ANYMORE. IT’S BEEN OVER A DECADE. GET A THERAPIST. OR AS MY FORMER INTERN USED TO TYPE IN EMAILS, “THERAPITS.”

Anyway, later.
Diana

P.S. Ew, you’re such an icky Asiaphile which is still just such a bummer. Don’t tell me that’s an unfair accusation!! I didn’t come up with the concept for the El Scorcho EP cover, did I?

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