July 24, 1983
I’m in love! Oh, Diary, I’m in love. I haven’t told anyone, only you. And you will keep my secret, won’t you? Oh, Diary, I’ve never felt like this before. The world just seems so much brighter and louder and so alive and it’s all because of him. Oh, I love him, Diary. I love him so much and it makes me so happy!
It’s every girl’s dream to be a beautiful bride. It’s as close as you ever get to being an actual princess. The billowing white dress, the mysterious veil that hides as it reveals . . . a glorious culmination of your existence up to this point. That’s what a wedding is. The height of being, of life. What could be better?
Well, I’ll tell you: A dangerous man, that’s what. A blonde, spiky-haired rebel on a motorcycle. A black-leather-clad man who will take you by the hand and pull you staggering toward him in your beautiful dress, then push a ring onto your finger until the blood wells up. Isn’t that what every girl dreams of? A white wedding?
I watch MTV for hours at a time, waiting for him. I wait for as long as it takes. One music video fades out, another begins . . . and my heart leaps when that guitar intro skitters across my nerves. I lean forward toward the TV, knees pressed hard into the rough carpet, eyes unblinking, brain on fire. I scrutinize every scene, his every move. What does it mean, the ring and the blood? I see the picture in my head on the way home from school. I think about it before I fall asleep at night. For me, there’s no intermediary between the man and the message. I don’t know what a director does. I don’t know who David Mallet is. Every image, every action is a secret delivered straight from the magical man with the sneer to me. I MUST decipher it to discover my destiny.
I used to sit like this on the carpet when I was 5, enthralled by Bert and Ernie and Sesame Street. Now I’m 15, and the world still comes to me in just the same way, via 21-inch screen. It has not occurred to me to question its authenticity. Cable TV is new and exciting. MTV is changing the world. Watching reality unfold inside a glass square is as natural as eating and sleeping. Those images tell the truth. Bert is a grump, Ernie’s a goof, and Billy Idol is the man for me.
“Sexual stereotyping comes to a glorious head in Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’ video, which opens with a chorus line of women in black leather waving their fannys at the camera.” (Kristine McKenna)
“Women are depicted in many videos as bitches, teases, castrators, and all-around sex things.” (Elayne Rapping)
“I shudder at the thought of analyzing Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding,’ with the wedding ring of thorns that makes the bride’s finger bleed, the coffins, the exploding kitchen appliances. This one would have made the Marquis de Sade’s top 40 chart.” (Marvin Kitman)
“They expect it, but they don’t like it . . . they want excitement, as long as it’s not at their own expense. They don’t mind if someone’s outrageous with somebody else.” (Billy Idol)
—Inside MTV by R. Serge Denisoff, p. 314
Oh, Diary, I hope that someday that can be me.
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