Soothe Your Millenial Despair with 10 Hours of Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows

The Guardian, bless their liberal cotton socks, are currently doing a series on the problems besieging my generation (i.e.us lucky sods born between 1980 and 1995ish). Hello, my name is Alicia. I'm a Millenial, and that means I am fucked: 

A combination of debt, joblessness, globalisation, demographics and rising house prices is depressing the incomes and prospects of millions of young people across the developed world, resulting in unprecedented inequality between generations. [from here]

This is the story of basically everyone I know.  Honestly, it's a relief that somebody is starting to pay attention, and show how really very bad it has been, it is, and will likely be for a whole generation of us. I pray to the gods, goddesses, pixies of national zeitgeist that every single person who espouses unhelpful, paternalistic, bootstrapping "advice" about jobs, careers, mortgages, savings, Millenial self-indulgence, etc will read these articles and now knock it the fuck off.  But it is damn hard reading, particularly if you're oh-so intimately aware of this stuff already. I literally scrunched up my eyes when reading the Guardian's coverage, a sour lemon stuck in my craw, even as I nodded my head in solidarity. Yes, this is true, and this is urgent. The models of adulthood, career progression, social status that were proffered for older generations no longer exist for us.  Show some empathy. And use your greater portion of - well, mostly everything - to help us out. We'll be running the retirement homes, you know? I sure needed a palate cleanser after wading through my existential Millenial despair. So, I self-medicated with my usual drug of choice, "shit on the internet" (TM). May I present to you a deluxe find: ten full psychedelic hours of pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows. Make sure to turn your volume up to full, your housemates will need to listen in too I imagine. This might not make you feel better directly, but it will distract you and/or trigger underlying medical conditions. You're welcome! Come the ensuing generational war, I vote for this as our anthem.

 

Ke$ha, James van der Beek, and Unicorns

This is definitely one for the "Old News" tag. In February 2011, Ke$ha released the track "Blow" from her Cannibal (2010) album. It's a classic Ke$ha tune, including namedrops for glitter, dirt, and dancing manically till you drop. (A+ would recommend for running playlists the world over.) However much the song conforms to the Ke$ha oeuvre overall, the video is something special. Here, we have:

  1. Laser guns

  2. Unicorn-douchey rich people hybrids

  3. A cameo by D̶a̶w̶s̶o̶n̶ ̶L̶e̶e̶r̶y̶ James van der Beek, heart-throb star of ye olde teen drama Dawson's Creek (RIP 1998-2003)

  4. James van der Beek and Ke$ha (newly crowned President of Uzbekistan, apparently) engaged in an all-out laser gun war for supremacy

  5. Rainbow rays "bleeding" out of wounded unicorn-douchey rich people hybrids

Seriously, what more could you want? At about 2:41, Ke$ha and van der Beek have a beautifully odd face-off:

K: Well, well, well, if it isn't James van der Douche
v d B: I don't appreciate you slanderBeeking my name, Kah-dollarsign-ha.

They then go on to discuss the deliciousness of Munster cheese, termed "edible lactose gold" by van der Beek. Apart from its exigent and awesome surrealism, I love this interchange as it draws attention to the constructed-ness of both stars' public personas. Ke$ha has long been known in my house as "Kay-dollarsign-ha", as we joyously milk the "silent" dollar sign for all its worth. To feature this so prominently in one of Ke$has's own videos reads like unabashed and most likeable self-deprecation on the singer's part. Yup, she inserted the dollar sign. Nope, that's not what her birth certificate says, let's all move along. As for van der Beek, he's not appearing as himself per se - it's another occurrence of a star playing a version of themselves, so here it's James van der Beek acting as "James van der Beek".

      Just a year after "Blow"'s release, the actor stars in a similar role (sans lasers / unicorn hybrids, sadly) in the TV comedy "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23".  It's rare that Wikipedia get's something so right when it describes Fake James as "arrogant, self-centered, and shamelessly self-promoting as he takes on increasingly bizarre roles to revitalize his career". Frankly, his performance as, well, "James van der Douche" - complete with episodes littered with "Dawson's Creek" references - were the best bit of the show. (For other actors-playing-versions-of-themselves TV, see Matt LeBlanc in the phenomenally good Episodes, also starring Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.) 

      By ramping up the surrealism to mammoth proportions, the video to "Blow" reveals, I think, a truth about both van der Beek and Ke$ha's existence in the public eye. As they are playing "themselves" in the video, so too are they playing a role for - or being forced to play a role by - a gossip-hungry audience. It's interesting to note that after the "Blow" singer received treatment for eating disorders this year, she decided to ditch the dollar sign from her name - she now goes by Kesha, her birth name. I have no idea what motivated her decision precisely, nor is it my business to know really. But, from the outside looking in, it appears to be a shift away from an uber-constructed popstar identity to one that more closely resembles her inner life.