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2006.02.08

[Call_&_Response_#_10]

You guys, I have a question for you, but before I ask it, I want to make a few things perfectly clear:

  1. I do not have a CRUSH on Trent; what afflicts me is something far, far worse.
  2. I do not care if you think that's creepy.
  3. Any protestations of a self-righteous, castigating nature posted to this blog are absolutely hilarious. Please post millions of them, haters, and know I love you almost as much as I love Trent.

With that out of the way, there is this one thing I am BURNING to know. Yesterday, our illustrious reader, the enigmatic "C", expressed his/her tendancy to disdain those who "harbor crazy, creepy celebrity crushes," and then the WTC reader bearing my personal favorite handle, GreatBigFatBitch, defied that castigation with a bold-faced, unashamed avowal of the fact that she does indeed harbor such a crush. Good enough! But, my question is this: what EXACTLY is so "crazy" and "creepy" about a celebrity crush? 

I once had this really, really, horribly intense crush on this guy I didn't know that worked in my local cafe for MONTHS. Oh, the delicious torture I continually suffered as he smilingly whipped up espresso after espresso, and frothed milk, all with those burly forearms of his! Is that creepy? Or, is it NOT creepy because he's not a celebrity? When I was a girl, I had a ginormous crush on e.e. cummings and a total obsession with Mr. Darcy, a dead American poet and a fictional character, respectively.  Creepy?

My Oxford American Dictionary defines the word "crush" as "a brief but intense infatuation for someone, esp. someone unattainable or inappropriate." Now, I think that definition shoots the whole notion my having a "crush" on Trent right out of the water, because as inappropriate and unattainable as he arguably is, I have suffered the slings and arrows of true love for that bitch for over 10, roller-coaster years now, with, it must be admitted, varying degrees of intensity. I know I suffer from true, yet unrequited, bone-deep love for something about Trent Reznor that is as real as all the things I don't know about him, and if you think you can change my mind about that, you haven't been paying attention to this website. Creepier than a brief, intense crush? Maybe.

Whatevs.

In service of my hopeless passion for Trent, here's what I do: I buy his records, go to his concerts when I can, read his interviews, and consider his work. I also entertain myself by writing about him, and think about him naked, sometimes. What's so awful about that? It's not like I live in his bushes, carve his name in bloody gashes on my forehead, or buy vials of his sweat off e-bay and drink them.

Seriously: is it truly so wrong to love a man like Trent from afar? Why?

Posted by Dierdre ~ in call_&_response / with_questions | Permalink

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Comments

I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, because, like you said, you're not doing any of the following activities:

-living in his bushes
-carving his name in bloody gashes on your forehead
-buying vials of his sweat off e-bay and drinking them

When people start doing that, THAT'S when it's creepy and scary and any number of other descriptive words you could use.

Posted by: Kim | Feb 8, 2006 3:46:52 AM

You should’t spend your time with this people Dierdre...
No matter what you say for them, they just can’t understand...may be because they don’t are through these things...

I agree with your idea of “put your thoughts on the paper”, cos there are feelings that we just can’t keep on the inside, but in this shitty world that we live, we have to keep this kind of feelings and thought just for us, or we have just to take this kind of people...

Even here in Brazil people act this way....it sucks, but what can we do?

Still doing what you do, cos you’re feeling good doing this, so it doesn’t has any problem.

Posted by: Júlia | Feb 8, 2006 3:57:04 AM

Here's what's creepy: Trent has no sack.

Posted by: Dom | Feb 8, 2006 4:07:38 AM

What...wait...they sell that on EBay! :)

D there is nothing wrong with what you have for Trent. I'm sure many people harbor the same types of feelings (varying intensity of course) but the difference is that you post your intensities on a website which makes for an easy target. And while most people keep such burning desires to themselves because of potential flack that they would catch by exposing their soft spot and thus deflating their ego, you seem to thrive on it. It seems that the haters who criticize you almost reaffirm the fact that this "crush" (for lack of a better word at 6:30am) is real and it ain't going away any time soon (nor would the rest of us want it to).

And the haters who read every word of what we write and post how pathetic we are on other sites are going to berate us and say that we are feeding into your delusional madness by telling you that nothing is wrong. But the fact is that there truly isn't anything wrong. I wouldn't be so bold as to say that Trent (his music, shows, interviews, photos, etc) are a waste of time but rather something so delicious to take up our time with. What a boring place it would be if we had nothing else to do throughout life but bump from one site to another berating other people who feel a passion for something that we cannot grasp because we ourselves cannot latch onto anything that takes more thought to write than "eeewww...you have a crazy, creepy celebrity crush" or some such shit. (Not picking on you C, you were just freely available) But that IS the place that we live in and if they want to perpetuate it then I suppose we'll have the last laugh when the haters look around and realize that they are the only Cheerio in the box of Fruit Loops. Isn't life better with color anyways? And with that I gotta run cause I am now SOOO late for work!

Posted by: Iris | Feb 8, 2006 4:53:04 AM

And one last thing...have I perhaps stumbled across the enigmatic C's full name? If not, I would still like to dub you Sir (or Miss) Cheerio.

Posted by: Iris | Feb 8, 2006 5:08:56 AM

Hooray for Dom and his testicular fixation! Did you do that just for me?

Posted by: maise | Feb 8, 2006 7:00:40 AM

Well, I think I've touched on several of the points I'm about to make over the past few months, but since we're broaching the topic again...

First of all, let's all start with the understanding that Dierdre is not "stalking" Trent Reznor. There is neither breaking-and-entering nor accosting nor are there any other intrusions besides the things posted on this website. I would like to think that if he felt terribly threatened, he would have taken action by now. Can we discuss the issue based on that supposition? Great.

The concept of celebrating an unattainable, unrequited love is nothing new, and indeed has been around since the Middle Ages, when it was known as "courtly love."

In essence, courtly love was a formalized system of admiration and courtship, modeled after feudal obligations of fealty translated to the part of a "gentle" knight towards an unavailable lady, usually a person married to someone other than the admirer, and generally of higher status. Courtly love was the idea that a noble man would dedicate his life to the love of a lady. Such a love could not exist within marriage, it was believed, but had to be love from afar, but not so distant that it could not also include consummation.

Societies and values do change, but that doesn't sound terribly creepy or crazy to me.

Next, we turn to the late Middle Ages/early Italian Renaissance, where Dante "stalked" Beatrice and Petrarca was "insanely obsessed" with Laura:

When he was nine years old he met Beatrice Portinari, the daughter of Folco Portinari, with whom he fell in love "at first sight", and apparently without even having spoken to her. He saw her frequently after age 18, often exchanging greetings in the street, but he never knew her well. It is hard to decipher of what this love consisted, but something extremely important for Italian culture was happening: as it is in the sign of this love that Dante gave his imprint to the Stil Novo and would lead poets and writers to discover the themes of Love (Amore), which had never been so emphasized before. Love for Beatrice (as in a different manner Petrarca would show for his Laura) would apparently be the reason for poetry and for living, together with political passions.

I don't think that, as awesome as it is, Wearing These Chains is going to be the basis for a new language, as "La divina commedia" essentially created modern Italian. However, I don't think Dierdre is that terribly "out there." She's clearly harkening back to traditions that our culture has lost what with our instant gratification and all.

Finally, I am personally a sucker for the quixotic--what appears to be impractical and crazy is actually very pure and noble in its idealism and beautiful for its perserverence in futility. We all love it when it's Cervantes telling the story, but many people shy away from it in real life. I have always had great sympathy for the benign transgressors in life, maybe because for a long time in my life, I was a reviled outsider. In some ways, I still am. Anyway, as I make compromise after compromise after compromise in my own life in the name of love and paying the bills, it's nice to talk to someone who still has one, pure wildly unrealistic dream. And no, that dream is not stopping her from "living her life," as many of you like to presume. For me, it's a lot like The Fisher King, one of my favorite movies ever. Who's the crazy one? Who needs healing and redemption? Who the fuck knows? I love New York in June, how about you?

Posted by: maise | Feb 8, 2006 7:36:20 AM

P.S. And let's not forget our book discussion because I busted my ass to finish it last night.

Posted by: maise | Feb 8, 2006 7:41:25 AM

FUCK! I forgot it was WEDNESDAY!!!

Book discussion will have to be pushed ONE DAY, because I am only half-finished with my post!

WTC Bookclub is hereby pushed to Thursday. I hope you can forgive me, Maise!

Posted by: Dierdre | Feb 8, 2006 7:53:09 AM

Oooooh, look who was all blaming it on Bex!!!!!!!

Posted by: maise | Feb 8, 2006 8:06:20 AM

Maise, I love your WTC thesis of "courtly love." The fact is, and you all can tell me I'm a headcase after I type this, but the way I see it, I'm doing Trent a favor, here, by seeing everything that's best about him, and reconfiguring his pieces and parts into something beautiful, that, even if it isn't strictly REAL, is built of real elements, real qualities he does have.

But, WHATEVER.

I really appreciate you guys, who support what we're about, here at WTC, because if you haven't figured it out by now, we're Wearing These Chains OF LOVE around here, and those that don't like it can fuck off. Having said that, though, I'd really like to hear the arguments as to exactly what is "creepy" and "crazy" about a celebrity crush -- even one that is not so loftily pursued as Petrarch and Dante's... and mine.

LOLZ.

So, what of it? What's so fuckin' crazy? C, are you out there? I'm dying to know.

Posted by: Dierdre | Feb 8, 2006 8:06:23 AM

I have found that with love and life and wedding plans, no matter what you do, someone thinks that you're doing it wrong and has no compunction in telling you.

Posted by: maise | Feb 8, 2006 8:25:39 AM

Holy shit! I dared to say that professing to be in love with someone you've never met is "crazy" and "creepy." If I'd known my throwaway comment would set you all atwitter, I probably wouldn't have bothered.

Look, you can feel however you want to feel. I can acknowledge that your definition of love is different than mine, and that it ultimately doesn't change a thing. But I am never going to be able to get on board with the notion that one can be in love with someone they've never met. Period. Seems unyielding, I know, but until you know someone through your shared experiences, I just don't think you can truly know that person. It's fine if you disagree, but keep in mind that more people feel like me than you, so you can expect the "haters"/unbelievers to keep on coming. It's too irresistible.

So really, you're going to have to stop letting it get to you so much, then writing long explanations about how and why you don't care. The lady doth protest too much!

One last thing: Do you ever plan on meeting Trent? If so, when? If not, why not? If you do meet him, what are you going to tell him?

Posted by: C | Feb 8, 2006 9:07:52 AM

Well, I have my own loves and issues, and I support Dierdre's quest, but I am curious in a noncombative, nondefensive way...how do you define "to meet"?

Does it have to be an in-person thing? Do you have to know a person really well before you can fall in love with them? Can you be in love with someone you've never seen but corresponded with? (Translating into today's common refrain, "Uh, we met online.")

To me, there is a difference between "falling in love" and "loving." Falling in love is easy as shit; loving is extremely difficult and almost too painful to be worthwhile. (Note that I say "almost" before the Optimists' Club jumps all over my ass.)

I've fallen in love a bunch of times, even with people I haven't met. If that person is attractive to me, and something about that person sets him apart from everybody else in my eyes, and that person seems to be a genuinely good individual, then I might just fall in love with that person.

I think that to love takes more time and care. I have truly loved only a small number of people, with varying levels of success (read: 90% failure and rejection). I don't know that love automatically has to be a two-way street. I have truly and deeply loved people who most certainly did not love me. As frustrating as that experience is, it was all worthwhile. (See: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind")

Posted by: maise | Feb 8, 2006 10:00:26 AM

Exactly, maise. Right on. C., why is your definition of love so... well, definitive? There are all kinds of love, and that is a little bit of wisdom which is thousands of years old.

I think it is entirely possible to love someone you've never met, especially when they have such a powerful public persona. Rock stars themselves often talk about the rush of being onstage and "feeling all that love" roll in from the audience. Are they not experiencing a sort of love? Do they not send a version of that love back to their audience by giving 110% to their performance, as Trent often does?

It's especially easy to be in love with artists, since they communicate a piece of themselves to us. At least the good ones do.

Now if only Trent would communicate with us through endless postings to nin.com of utterly nekkid rock hard cock pixxx, my love would be vouchsafed.

Posted by: Baal Glyttr | Feb 8, 2006 10:52:48 AM

I say express your feelings all you want. Not hurting anyone. Not stalking Trent. Feels are something we can't control. I think it's actually good not to bottle them up.

Those that throw stones probably harbor something of the sort towards someone or something..and are too chicken to admit it.

I think it's all part of human nature to feel things like this.

D. happens to be a creative soul and it gives her inspiration & an outlet for her own self expression. The attributes of Trent that he allows us to see speak to her. Nothing wrong with that!
*****************
Okay, if I have one more day..I MIGHT be able to finish the book..I'll do my best...but I have to go to the gym tonight, and I have a few other things to take care of too...but I'll buckle down and read read read!

Posted by: bex | Feb 8, 2006 10:56:42 AM

C, I'm not protesting, I'm asking a question that truly interests me: what's so creepy about crushes on people you don't know?

I guess, at this point, that I've met my coffee man, but I don't know him HALF as well as I know Trent, who has been pouring his heart out into my ear for more than a decade. I think it's totally arguable that, as Baal says, it's easy to love artists, because they tell yout he thing that's most essential about them with everything they do, and show something that you might not see in some person you "know" on a more everyday basis, but doesn't express what's in their hearts with that kind of considered, artisitc clarity.

C, you dared to suggest that having a "crush" on someone you don't know is "crazy" and "creepy", but that's practically the DEFINITION of a crush. If you meant "being in love" you should have said, because that's different, isn't it?

Whichever it is, I think yours is a knee-jerk reaction, and yeah, you're right; more people will agree with you than will agree with me. But, just remember this: more people buy records by Mariah Carey than buy records by Trent Reznor. More people voted for George Bush than for John Kerry, and more people are fucking idiots than have carefully considered, informed postions on anything.

Who was it that said "Seek not the favor of the multitude?" Immanuel Kant, I think. I'm with that.

Posted by: Dierdre | Feb 8, 2006 11:16:54 AM

Doesn't she go by Moo-riah Carey these days? God, I hate that whore.

Posted by: Baal Glyttr | Feb 8, 2006 11:22:23 AM

I think Maise was quite correct in her "falling in love" and "love" paradigm. Falling in love is a helluva lot of fun. It's easy. It's also has little to nothing to do with knowing a real person.

The fact that we can fall in love from afar so easily just speaks to this; we see people, and they stand out for various reasons -- the way they look, the things they say, the way they move. The way we intimate that could/should/must be. It's great because it's pretty much all smoke and mirrors; there's not a concrete awareness of the other person -- there's a sense, but that's all -- and we fill in the blanks ourselves.

Then if you get to actually loving somebody... well that's a whole different ball of wax. Because then you get to know the real them. All their baggage. And it makes you vulnerable. Which brings up your baggage. And their reaction to your baggage. And your insecurity about their possible reaction to your baggage. Or any of the other possible good/bad/wonderful/apocalyptic permutations that person-to-person relations entail.

Ultimately, though, it seems to me that Falling In Love is something you can do from afar. Loving, is something you kinda need somebody else to do it with. Now, I know some of you will whip up neato little metaphors and examples that utilize the word "love" to prove that this is IGNORANT and almost BLASPHEMOUS of little old me (i.e., "feeling the love" of an audience), but if you think that digging a rock star is the same thing as loving your mate, you're kinda fucked to begin with anyway, so there's no point in arguing with you.

Liking somebody from afar is well and good and human. "Falling in love" with them, using Maise's definition, and mine above, isn't bad either. I think we've all been guilty of it from time to time.

However, when people start using these crushes as their focal point, as a way to supplant the lack of emotional connection with real human beings they know -- you know, actually "know for reals", Not Just Listen To Their Music/Read Their Books/Watch Their Movies And Think They Totally Know Them Because Their Work Says Everything About Them know them -- well that's problematic. I wouldn't say it's creepy, though. I'd say it's sad.

And C? Keep on fighting the good fight, my son.

Posted by: Gabriel | Feb 8, 2006 12:02:49 PM

Gabriel, you fuckwit, if anyone around here is trading in "neato little metaphors" it's you. My whole point was to take love out of those tidy contexts. I said that there are all kinds of love. The kind we feel for our mate(s), the kind we feel for our friends, the kind we feel for cornstarch-covered rockstars with tight, sweaty rigs and gigantic brains, etc.

So fuck you for *willfully* missing the point again.

Posted by: Baal Glyttr | Feb 8, 2006 12:33:09 PM

I'm with Baal on there being all kinds of love in the world. I've run the gamut:

Married love, dating love, celebrity crush love, misguided love (and lots of it), unrequited love (and lots of it), friend love, family love, chinchilla love...there's room for all that and more in a single heart!

If the implication is that Dierdre has no love for anything or anyone other than TR, then from what I know about her, I believe that's inaccurate. I also don't believe that it's accurate to say that her Trent love isn't "real" love. It may not be the *same type* of love as her love for her past boyfriends or current Brit boytoy or obsession with Mr. Darcy, but it's not some sort of unauthentic emotion, whatever that would mean. I think this whole time we've been debating the comparison between pomegranates and kumquats.

Posted by: maise | Feb 8, 2006 12:38:48 PM

The point is, dearheart, that bandying about grand proclamations such as:

"I know I suffer from true, yet unrequited, bone-deep love for something about Trent Reznor that is as real as all the things I don't know about him..."

is kinda silly. And parrying with "new definitions" of love, which everybody here seems so fond of doing whenever it suits them -- if only to protect their precariously balanced psychological viewpoint -- is foolish, and a waste of everybody's time. I mean, I can rename questionable things in my habits to mean all kinds of positive stuff -- I can name my intense masturbation habit "self encouragement" -- in order to validate it, but the truth is, jerking off 11 times a day is a little excessive. Pomegranates and kumquats, perhaps, but the truth is I should spend that beat-off time going outside, and talking to real people.

As I said in my previous comment, there is no point in arguing this difference in opinion, as you all have formed such a lovely little eco-system to support one another with this shit. But to me, it sounds like the lot of you are just jerking off. And the objects of your undying affections are nowhere to be seen.

I'm sure that's all wonderfully literary and tragic to you, and you can pat yourselves on your collective back for the depth of your soulful understanding of love, true art, and human nature -- which you feel is so far above your fellow man's -- but you're all still just typing about a man you've never met on an internet messageboard. And the exclusivity and pomposity of the elite here, come to true light over a mere matter of weeks since my departure, smacks of a very different type of NIN fan site, one that Dierdre and I used to fight in unison against.

Posted by: Gabriel | Feb 8, 2006 2:02:18 PM

Gabriel, as ever, you leave me utterly perplexed. What exactly is *new* about this state of affairs? YOU created this website!!!!!! Were you somehow unaware of Dierdre's feelings on this matter? Has her position on this topic altered drastically since, oh, Day One? Have you not known this about her for, like, 10 years now?

Holy shit, my love, when Dierdre was planning to get *married* to a *real* person, there was no end to your railing about her *betrayal* of *Trent*...not that she was making a bad choice, but that she was betraying the cause!

Like a month ago, you were delightfully absurd, spending just as much time as the rest of us obsessing over a goddamn rock star. Now all of a sudden, you're Mr. Pragmatism and Good Sense? "Well, I feel terrible about the plight of *you* losers, but now that I am a functioning member of Society, I spend my time in a more healthy, wholesome fashion."

Posted by: maise | Feb 8, 2006 2:16:16 PM

In *non-schizophrenic* news, what the fuck is up with the new band picture on "Current"? I burst out laughing as soon as I saw it.

What an awkward arrangement of people.

Posted by: maise | Feb 8, 2006 2:34:11 PM

"As I said in my previous comment, there is no point in arguing this difference in opinion, as you all have formed such a lovely little eco-system to support one another with this shit. But to me, it sounds like the lot of you are just jerking off. And the objects of your undying affections are nowhere to be seen."

Fucking WORD, dude. I'm just glad to know someone else feels where I'm coming from. You guys can argue all sorts of tangental BS (I knew the "different kinds of love" counterargument would inevitably come up, but I didn't address it initially because the post was too long as-is) but it's pretty transparent at this point. Attacking Gabriel or myself is recrimination, not rebuttal.

maise: I think it's pretty lame that you're trying to bust Gabriel to take the heat off yourself. After all, he DID fly his ass all the way out to see Dierdre in friggin' Europe — how many of us have friends that would do that? Calling his friendship into question is just more distracting silliness.

Dierdre: I noticed you didn't answer my questions. Was that deliberate?

And lest this become a Mars/Venus issue, it might be worth mentioning I'm a chick.

Posted by: C | Feb 8, 2006 2:44:55 PM

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