Back in February, I had a great idea for a theme party: analog. The desire to throw this party came from two places. First, my small town Republican upbringing had kept a Sansui* VHS player in my possession for approximately a decade too long. And second, the longest Minnesotan winter of my life left me secluded in Nordeast Minneapolis and made me pine for the faces of friends I had barely seen since the first snow. So I bought fancy cheese from Surdyk's, baked a vegetarian lasagna and ordered my best pals to pilfer their parental's stash for home movies and TV specials with commercials from the 80's and 90's.
I took this assignment very seriously and traveled 83 miles south myself. I found a cassette circa 2002 containing both Daria movies taped off The N (the cassette also had amazing clips from Degrassi, a Jason Mraz music video and some knock off TRL "shout outs" from Canadians). This was my prized find from the whole experience, besides the Mark Twain claymation cartoons.
Fast-forward to this weekend, I find myself unable to join my friends as they take a day trip to the Kinnikinnick River, my boyfriend working overtime covering the Royal's visit to Los Angeles and the heat keeping me trapped next to two panting dachshunds and a Holmes tower fan. I worked a great deal on a new poster for Bark at Art, but I thought I should leave something for my partner, Jared A. May, to do, so I popped in the Daria tape and started to reminisce.
I related to Daria far too much as a teenager: too bookish, too honest and completely invisible to everyone in Pine Island, MN. I definitely carried the complex. I often drew the characters in the margins of my notebooks, but after the show ended, didn't think much about it. Until the series re-released in May 2010 on DVD, when I took on the personal goal of remaking the characters to fit the 21st Century:
Daria was as far as I got. But the narcissism of the millenial culture (was Daria a millenial? Technically, yes) drove me to be far more productive in making Daria caricatures of myself and my friends.
So more caricatures are in the works. I'm wish-listing the box set of Daria DVDs on Amazon and am generally accepting my childhood exclusion as a positive experience on my adulthood. As most would agree, it does get better. And those torturous days of being too smart for my own good did pay off. At least in entertaining my friends.
*Just kidding, a Republican upbringing would never allow for me to buy a Japanese product.