Sunday, June 14, 2009

5 reasons why Pattinson being a teen idol is a blessing for the world...

...compared to the usual suspects. 
Usual suspects like, let's say for argument's sake: Zac Efron. I don't mean to diss Efron (no wait... yes, I do - he's bugging me!), he's just a pretty good example for a no-blessing. 
The following - like always - are just my very personal self-therapeutical musings. I am already somewhat infamous now as the "creepy-vid-chick" due to the animated RPattz video... so it's too late to apply for the everybody's-darling-award anyway. I just let my thoughts flow and write them down.  
Since this is going to be long: English is not my mother tongue, so if I'm wording things a little odd sometimes, please take it easy...
So here we go, the five reasons are:

...which means he is no calculated pop phenomenon. He is a teen idol by accident which I think is the main reason for the overwhelming dimension of the Pattymania. He is or at least seems to be absolutely genuine. There was no executive team over at Disney's creating a popstar-profile along a carefully built-up target audience's needs. Noone polished him from tip to toe or drilled him ad nauseam to match a certain mold.
So we're not talking about "Forks High School Musical" here. Not even Hardwicke had something like "must not contradict and has to make teen girls scream" on her requirement list when casting for Twilight, I guess.
He just walks around the guy he is, witty, smart, modest, sometimes embarrased without trying to cover up, drinking, smoking, having bad hair days... can you imagine Zac Efron having a bad hair day?? (I personally think Zefron has a bad hair life - but his stylists obiously have a different opinion) Like all those Disney kids he is cut smooth beyond all bearing, inside and outside, while Pattinson is (and likely will remain) edgy in the best way.

I am not saying here Zefron has got no talent. He is well trained. But this I can say about my dog too. Just because someone can perform impressive tricks, that doesn't mean he is creative. My dog is a pretty good entertainer, it learns quickley and its will to please me and get applauded is just as big a motivator as are the steadily delivered yummy rewards. This doesn't make it stand out though. Every ordinary dog (if not brain-damaged) can be trained like this, some are more talented than others and can be taught to pull off awesome feats by command. "Good boy!"

Another maybe less disrespectful comparison taken from my own life (I know I'm trailing off, but whatever... these are my musings, aren't they) is my little amateur "girlgroup": I am very involved in vocal-coaching adult amateurs on a voluntary basis in my home town. Currently there's a group of up to ten "girls" at age 35 to 49... ordinary women - housewifes, mothers, cashiers, nurses, waitresses - who never before had cared two figs about music. Some of them even had, by common standards, obviously no singing talent at all (or at least none they had known about). The snag to my singing lessons is my ambition:  I aim on enabling my students to enter some stage and to win over an audience. It's not an easy task, especially because they only rehearse twice a month.
But if you have a minute or two: there is some footage on youtube, for example the Pussycat Dolls' "Dontcha" performed live by these "ordinary women".  Or their a-cappella version of "Running up that Hill" for four voices - really not easy to sing. Check it out and try to imagine what I possibly could bring out of them if they'd work on this several hours a day... if they were in their teens... if they had some musical history at all, like maybe a pianoplaying mom or something...

Ok. What I'm trying to illustrate is: the vast majority of popstars and so-called teen idols is quite mediocre, just very well trained in every neccessary way.

Back to Zac. He is admittedly entertaining (to the target audience at least), and so are my girls I dare to say. But are they intense? Are they touching? Are they unique? Charismatic? Me thinks no.
Hop to Rob. None had foreseen this measure of fan enthusiasm which can't simply be explained  by him impersonating Edward. (Remember the protesting of Twifans in the beginning when the cast was announced). He is just everything the Disney-dog-obedience-school-alumni are not. And that's a good thing and was long overdue. Let the kids have a real thing to adore for once instead of the pre-fabricated standards they were limited to for too many years now.

He likes Van Morrison. He played Salvatore Dali. He is making music with his indie buddies Foster and Bradley.  His unexpected Twilight fame pushed the small but lovely "How to be" to worldwide recognition. He is currently rumoured to be considered for the leading role in a Jeff Buckley biopic. These are just a few examples of how a whole new spectrum of musicians, performing artists and even the fine arts is opened to the youngsters while they focus on him. That's one of the biggest benefits to me: the broadening of the kids' minds and consuming habits. The mere discussion on whether he might or might not get the Jeff Buckley part made more people aware of this incredibly gifted artist than any publicity campaign could have acclompished...

(Ok, I can't really say this is something benficial from a sociocultural point of view, it's just something I like very much) 
I hated the pop culture of the nineties. They produced a lot of stars who were applauded for allegedly bringing teens and adults together, closing the gap between what the sons and daughters liked and what their parents were willing to bear. The music, the movies, the fashion... everything suddenly became so indifferent. I found it miserable to see these neat and clean boygroup members being a teenage girl's wet dream and her mother's epitome of the perfect son-in-law at the same time (a task fulfilled flawlessly by Zac Efron today).  I always believed it was a important part of coming off age to oppose the elders and to define your own identity through the clothes you wear or the music you listen to. So I hated this unite-the-generations-phenomenon.
Robert Pattinson now is accused of the same, due to the Twilight hype. But this time it is a little different. The vast majority of robsessed moms don't drag him to their daughter's wedding altar in their dreams but rather to their own bedsheet.  Maybe it's just my naughty nature, but I like that. Very much.


Let my play Alice Cullen for a sec and predict something here: While "Punxsutawney Zac" will go through his very own Groundhog Day over and over again (probably teen comedy pics until he's too old, followed by one or two hardly noticed attempts to really act and look like a actually living human being), Robert Pattinson will simply skip what I use to call "the male twilight zone" (no pun intended). There is a time in every male's life - famous or not - where they're no longer cute but not yet interesting (to the eyes of a female, that is). The duration can vary, but during this miserable period of time they are just indifferent if not boring. The rare thing about Pattinson is: he is already interesting while he still is cute.

And his fans acknowledge this. Where nobody really cares whether Efron took piano lessons some time (to be fair for once: he did!), people swoon about the dvd extras where Rob is improvising self-forgotten on the piano. And everybody is quite aware of his indie film performances before Twilight. He is already considered for more adult projects in the future, and there will be a life after "Edward". He will survive all the fuzz and will probably surprise us more than once and will go on to grow and mature as an artist.

When I first found out who the singer of "Let me sign" in the Twilight movie was (this was what got me into this, and I was like "No way... that KID?!?"), I was immediately alarmed. There's no denying that there is a history of extraordinary talented and sensitive young artist who have died much too early. The above mentioned adorable Jeff Buckley did, same as his unbelievably gifted father Tim Buckley, and I deeply mourned for them both. From Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin. From River Phoenix to Heath Ledger. And so on... and whether they died of wine and cookies or in an alleged accident, one could justifiably say: They died of showbiz.

//Alice Cullen mode on://  This will NOT happen to multitalented Robert Pattinson! //Alice mode off//

For all those who use to ask: Why is it always Lennon and never McCartney? - Despite that fact that there's more to Rob than meets the eye, he's quite a golden boy. He seems to be fundamentally positive and easygoing. If you look at the list above, all of these died-too-youngs had a more or less depressive edge to them, they didn't cope well with the consequences of their fame. Nothing like that can be observed with Pattinson. He deals astonishing well with all the hysteria so far. And, other than the Disney puppies, he's not told by anybody to pretend to be someone he is not (or if so he just doesn't obey). He can keep it real, and this is why he will make it.


Anonymous said...

I love your observations on the Golden Boy, Rob Pattinson. And I think you are right. I was just saying the other day that Rob is bypassing the transition period. He can play young but he doesn't look like a boy. Which, since I'm not a girl anymore, allows me to admire him without feeling too dirty. ;) I think and hope he has the chops and grounding to survive the Hollywood jungle.

reenbean said...

I hope you provide us with more of your insightful and amusing writing. The 5 reasons are exactly why everyone (including middle-aged moms) is going gaga over Rob. He is the most "real" personality we've seen in years. And he's beautiful to behold besides! He's obviously what so many people have been yearning for. Keep your musings coming, please!

AngieJ said...

Wonderful post, Betti. Another illustration of the non-comparison was when Zac (5/09) followed Rob (4/09) on the cover of GQ. It was like night and day - scorching hot, fascinating man vs. cute little boy. I admire Zac too, but he simply pales in comparison. And for the record, I love your RPattz video. I get it!

Betti Gefecht, the addicted said...

Thanks, girls (assuming anonymous is female too)!

to reenbean: You bet! ;-) I'm in a now-more-than-ever mood.

to AngieJ: Yep. I saw both GQ covers while researching pics for my little black and white illustrations. Quite ostensive...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making me feel better about my attraction to a man about half my age. It's nice to know that I am not alone in my admiration of Rob and his talent.

Wen said...

Love your insight!!!! I belive that Rob will go onto have avery successful career as long as he can remain as grounded and laid back as he seems now.

Anonymous said...

Terrific writing! It's my belief that any emotion/all emotions, no matter the age, is legitimate and not in any way 'wrong'. There's mindspeak (says nonono you must not)and there's soulspeak (says it's fine, it's allowed, it's real)! What differentiates is action. We're allowed to feel, to speak but only with our actions comes a restriction. We older gals already know that!!! Betti, please keep writing and expressing. And all you 'older' gals, keep on feeling and dreaming....'tis good for the soul!

Anonymous said...

I would agree even more if Edward was Jacob.

Betti Gefecht, the addicted said...

Found this in the cbox over at "Robsessed":

16 Jun 09, 05:38
Kindly read this blog. it's a very interesting comparison between zac and rob. a very intelligent point of view. it just fascinates me how a majority of rob's admirers are so well versed. It just goes to show that rob's admirers are intellectuals. way to go, robsessors!

You bet, Michelle! We're all so smart... we should be afraid of ourselves ;-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you I'd love for Rob to have a better representation in the management department we could see more of him like Saturday Night Live or a guest appearance in Third Rock...etc...I see Zac in some those shows..He has The whole Disney industry backing him up, What about Rob??? so far he has a third class Summit thing, I definitively want too see more of there any way to help him???

Anonymous said...

You bring up some good points...I have neither seen the Twilight movies nor am I a follower of Zacarama, but from an outsider's perspective: I sincerely hope both of their careers are fulfilling and what they want them to be.

I would be wary of making too extreme judgments or categorizations of either of them, for if Robert Patterson chose to reinvent himself, he might find himself on the "Zac Efron" end of a blog like this. According to you, that would never happen. But never is a long time.

Zac Efron is a great performer and entertainer. Robert Pattison is a brooding yet charismatic dramatic actor. They both fill two niches in show business that need filling. Others have filled those roles before, and others will fill them after they've moved on in life. That's showbiz.

Anonymous said...

Im glad someone finally said it like it is and u r so right kudos to u =]

uhyesplease said...

Holy smokes - I'm just reading these posts now linked from Cutie's blog!!! Why the hale was LTR reaming you a new one? I don't get it!

This post was great - I've totally had this discussion before, but you really put it out there perfectly!

And then the vid/song. Sweet! I loved both!!! And I love you! I'm such a fan!

There, done, about 3 months behind, but oh well.....