April 24, 2008

Dear VH1 Thanks.

Have you been watching Rock of Love 2? If the answer is no, I say to you, "Why the hell not?" This is quality television here people. This is the ugly, seamy underside of social criticism splayed out for all the world to see. Next to Flavor of Love...Rock of Love is downright classy, and this season of Rock of Love actually has a very pro-woman and, dare one say, pro-feminist conclusion. Listen, I know that whole paragraph has left your jaw lying on the ground and possibly your panties in a bunch, but I'll say it again. Underneath all the Brett boners and skanktastic antics, the actual underlying message of Rock of Love is surprisingly progressive. I'm as shocked as you are. Let's tackle it together one boob job at a time.

The premise of the show for those of you "too good to watch TV" is that Brett Michaels of Poison is looking for love in all the wrong places and has decided to kill two birds with one stone. He could revive his failing career and reconnect with a new generation of pop culture consumers while doing the rock star equivalent of speed-dating. If I concentrate and tune into the zeitgeist, I can almost hear the pitch meeting for this show still vibrating in the aether. Brett starts with 20 girls and whittles his way down from there. The 20 girls encompass your usual rock and roll stereotypes: the whore, the porn star, strippers and groupies. For spice, there's your psychotic emotionally troubled girl, the naive virgin waif, and the sultry foreigner. Take this heady blend and add in musicians, tomboys, career girls, and sorority chicks; insert a bloaty, bewigged, and fake-tanned has-been of a cock/rockstar, and voilà you have the makings of reality television genius.

Let's take a look at some of the major characters this season. One really has to start with Angelique who is completely and utterly fake in every way; her career consists of porn and exotic dancing. She has had many plastic surgeries which she loves to talk about in her classic Pepe LePew accent:

Zee doctors did my breasts too small, so I had zem redone biggair and bettair. I love my leeps; I had zem done, so they would look really good sucking cock on feelm.

Yes, Angelique is completely and utterly false and a construct of jiggly silicone bits, BUT she owns that shit. She knows exactly who and what she is, and she revels in it. Her favorite pastimes are being naked, sucking ze cock, rubbing her genitals all over the public, etc. She is completely connected with her erotic and animalian side, and she has no shame. She enjoys her life and lives it to the fullest. I personally find her a little gross and skanktastic, but I have to give it up to Angelique for all her false bits; she actually is a real human being with fire and passion. She has a sense of humor; she gets the joke; she collaborates with the society of the spectacle yet does not become a victim of it.

Even with her sex positive attitude though, Angelique gets booted on the 3rd episode. Theoretically, she is the perfect construct for a rock star girlfriend, in the vein of Pamela Anderson gone a little wild, but in reality, she is not the kind of woman many men would want to settle down with and raise kids. She is fun to visit with but not a keeper, but she is true to herself and loves herself and celebrates her sexuality. There is no shame in Angelique, and so you laugh with her and not at her. You become infected with her joie de vivre. You celebrate her as a self-made woman and have to admire her for her honesty and frankness and unabashed sexual joy.

Let us move on to my girl, Kristy Joe. Let's be totally honest here people. Kristy Joe had that shit in the bag, and she absolutely could have won the whole shebang. Kristy Joe took herself out of the race, and like she so eloquently said, "Those sluts should totally thank me." Kristy Joe was the hot emotional mess of the ROL house, and she played her game supremely well. By constantly having emotional storms, KJ monopolized most of Brett's time as he felt the need to comfort her and talk to her one-on-one keeping him from having the free time to get to know the other girls as thoroughly. Is being a hot mess considered a positive here? It is in the sense that it is positive to acknowledge that having emotions and passion makes a person more attractive (I know it makes my panties wet), but drama can get tiresome. I do consider the idea that a woman can have baggage and life experience and that makes her a well-rounded individual and highly desirable as a positive message, since so often the ruling patriarchal culture constantly bombards us with the message that our worth as women and our life experience makes us "used up" or "tainted" and is worth nothing in relation to our ability to look like a fresh-faced and nubile 18-year old.

Of course both our, the viewer, and Brett's ability to consistently put up with KJ's drama is demonstrated in this handy graph, and as you'll see, our and Brett's ability to put up with her shit is directly proportional to her hotness:




It is a sad cultural truth that physical beauty is always a factor, but to be "hot" in the Rock of Love house is not really enough. Everyone is attractive; you have to be to get to this level of play, but you need something more to make you stand out from the general "hotness" of the molded out of plastic crowd.

Besides being a "hot mess", Kristy Joe has children and is a mother figure as well as a divorcé. During the taping of the show, she was "legally separated" from her 2nd marriage and headed towards a divorce. Yet, these common factors that are usually looked at as negative and subtracting to the overall sexual desirability of women, pre-existing children and multiple divorces, does not seem to really factor too much into Brett's obvious attraction and fascination with this woman. The subplot that binds the Rock of Love together this season is that honesty in a person is the most desirable trait and that everything can be forgiven if you are a sincere person underneath all the requisite hotness. Finally, I do give big ups to KJ for choosing to leave the ROL house to get her shit together at home. Finally, a woman who prioritizes her children and her home life above temporary fame and a possible venereal disease.

Let us discuss the final 2 girls as it is the conclusion and final judging of the Rock of Love 2 itself that overcomes any ambiguities to bring a solid message of hope in this far too plastic world. The last 2 girls left to stroke Brett's bewigged bandanas softly into that good night are Daisy and Ambre. There could not be two more diametrically opposed personality types. On the one hand you have Ambre who is admittedly older than your typical groupie girl. Ambre is a fully-realized woman of 37. She is smart, moral and funny. She has her own career path as a TV host. Then we have Daisy DeLaHoya born Vanessa Mossman. There is absolutely nothing sincere or real about Daisy in any way. She is a little girl lost who was kicked out or left home before she was 18. Daisy is a 25 year old stripper. Craving the attention she didn't get at home, Daisy has gone down the checklist and constructed a persona guaranteed to get sexual attention from the males of the species: fake tits, fake lips, fake blonde extensions. She's not very smart, in fact, at times she acts almost functionally retarded and even Brett (not the brightest bulb himself) has to wonder if she even understands the simple questions he is taxing her tiny brain with as her replies make no sense and sort of trail off into either sobs or unintelligible baby talk. Daisy at her best is the human equivalent of an inarticulate real doll. She is a sexual construct that fucks Brett as often as possible, yet tries to tell us and Brett that she doesn't constantly use her sexuality to get ahead. O rly? Then why'd you get those fake tits, honey? Then why did you start hooking up with Brett from day one? Daisy is not a whole person, and she inspires pity. You can tell she thinks she has done all the right things to get attention; she has played by all the rules. Be sexually available? Check? Get giant fake tits? Check? Tramp stamp tattoos? Check. Daisy has no substance underneath the plastic though. She doesn't get the joke or even understand that she is the punchline. Her worth is solely measured by how much other people want to fuck her, and she has kept too many secrets from Brett like the fact that she still lives with and supports her ex-boyfriend in a one bedroom apartment, or the fact that that she had a brief flirtation with CC Deville (barf). Daisy is not believable as a person because she doesn't even know who she is. Poor Daisy is a constant victim, the kind of person that life happens to, and underneath all the trampy clichés you see this fragile unformed child. Daisy is looking for someone to save her and using the only lure she has, her sexual availability, to find that person.

Given the choice between a real woman and a fake sex toy, Brett shockingly chooses the real woman, Ambre, because in his own words, "She is the total package." And Daisy? Daisy is the empty candy-coated shell. Does this stop him from fucking her one last time? Nope. He'll fuck her; shit most men will hit it with a conventionally attractive and sexually available woman, but he doesn't want to spend his life with someone who has no substance underneath all that bullshit. Does he use Daisy? Yes. Does she put herself in a position to be used? Yes. Being available to be used is pretty much all she has to offer, and everyone else but Daisy herself knows it. This is the caption to Daisy's picture gallery on VH1, "Our massive photo retrospective tracks Daisy’s every move on Rock of Love 2, from the first episode to the last. She may have rocked Bret’s libido, but not his world. Do these pictures show how she fell short?" Ouch. Because yeah, they kind of do.

Listen I'm not going to try and argue that Rock of Love isn't a misogynistic trainwreck you can't look away from. It reels you in; it's hypnotizing, mostly because you're shocked that anyone would still humiliate themselves to sleep with Brett Michaels. Yuk. It does not show women in the best of light. This is all true. BUT. BUT. BUT. The final message is a triumph for real women everywhere and is pro-feminist. The idea that an independent career woman over 30 with all her original bits and a functioning brain and an actual personality can be more attractive than this fake whorish construct of nubile idiocy with giant knockers that we have been told by Playboy magazine and Girls Gone Wild and fucking Hooters restaurants is the sexual ideal...is groundbreaking. I applaud you Brett Michaels. I applaud you Rock of Love. I say thank you for all the real women out there, and Ambre, sister, well done. You really took one for the team; thank you for taking Brett off the market. According to the reunion show, they are still dating, and there are no plans for a Rock of Love 3. We'll see how long that lasts, but still, bravo VH1 this once you didn't totally shit the bed.

8 comments:

Hbee said...

Best...Chart...Ever!!

Robin said...

Spawnette and I love Rock of Love... well, that and The Girls Next door... nothing like a group of mindless skanks... only Bret gets to use and dump... Hef gets to use, photograph and dump them.... and Barbie Benton did NOT age that well... well, I guess neither did I :(

ROCK OF LOVE!!! (makes sign of Satan on his forehead while bobbing back and forth...)

Debbie said...

amen sister. i hope your women's studies prof gave you an a cause bravo bravo. so well put. all the time put in? well worth it!

Jason said...

I'm here via blog explosion and I've got to admit that I don't usually have very high expectations on the blogs that I stumble upon from there. There are a lot of boring, poorly written and trite posts about reality shows floating out there. This is not one of them. You really hit the nail on the head and did it in a way that managed to get this jaded and cranky blog reader hooked in the first few sentences.

teh Beauty said...

Thank you Jason! That means a lot to us here at Voltron central. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you come back soon.


Look ma, all that college paid off!

Brian said...

Another Blog Explosion cruiser, and now I want to watch the show. I thought it was all about vapid women and an egotistical rock star. No one told me about the fake tits!

UnitedStatesAirForceAuxiliaryMember said...

Neat site!

RS3 said...

Princess, I must say...Fuckin Bravo to you. You turned a turd into gold. you expertly hit that ROLNail right on it's head. I strive to write about drinking, Movies and comics as well as you write about almot what ever you write. Plus you bring the sexy. Bravo.
Granted you did not talk about my favorite ROL girl Nathan Explosion rather Inna Bretts Tank of love. she Looked like the lead singer for Dethklok from Adult swims Metalocalypse. if you don't belive me google Nathan Explosion's image and Inna...it's brutal!