Times change. Once, the boys and girls in school with their hair dyed black, or a neon shade of something unnatural; with faces that looked like they fell down a flight of steps with a tackle box; black corsets; Beetlejuice-striped socks; fishnet gloves; and white face-paint and heavy black eyeshadow were the dreary outcasts of midsized Western and Midwestern high schools.
Now they’re the cheerful, self-effacing popular kids who rule the schools with Invader Zim merchandise and holier-than-thou pierced noses looking down at you.
Recently, the teenage daughter of an old mentor of mine in Nebraska accused some of these monarchs of being fakes who buy their clothes from “Goth in a Can.”
Which brings me to my point: she picked up that extremely clever phrase from my twenty-one-year-old cousin, in New Jersey, whom she has never met.
Once, on a mallrat day in Central New Jersey (where being a mallrat is the official youth pastime) my cousin described the clothing and merchandizing franchise, Hot Topic, as “Goth in a Can.” I laughed my ass off, and used it whenever I could; which meant that I told my wife. She, in turn, said it to the teenage daughter in Nebraska in an effort to calm her popularity angst.
And, thus, language travels. How fascinating. I’ve also been tracking the use of the word “Fucktard,” which I picked up from my Canadian friend, babybaby, and recently heard it being used by my wife’s friend, Thora, to describe some fucktard.
So I’m intrigued.
Mostly, I’m joyful today, but angry and pained at the slow progress of the book I’m editing, where the author, who I don’t think has ever had sex manages to write, “Her libido was in lust with him,” and, “He just gave in to this telegenic strumpet and tried to enjoy her having her way with him.” He also describes copulation, as well as both the male and female tools for such activities, as IT. Real mature. The worst, though, is how he manages to remove any eroticism from the act itself, in passages such as (warning, the following is not intended for the young, the weak of heart, or the weak of stomach): “He was drawn like a magnet to her voluptuously exposed vagina, which he consequently penetrated with the zeal of a teenager.”