Heathers: A Pop Epic
In the untroubled trimesters of our generations gestation,
Those innocent hours of unsurpassable pleasures:
Mallratting, car cruising; mini-golf going, keg rager hopping
McJob hunting, bike creek crashing, lazy day sitting, easy life enduring.
Those now nostalgic never ares, when we worshipped wantonly
At the prime-time rerun always was Swanson's dinner hour.
Heralding hallowly the majestic medium by our ancestors approved
Sacrificing hours to ensure a bountiful Fall Line-up.
In those half-lived lives; those dreary dreamy days due to
Nuclear free parents who purchased radioactive microwaves
Our generation was formed; living blissfully, blindingly.
What troubles were there for us, the babies of the boomers?
An unlabeled union of selfish indolence; individual inspired; apathetic
From Sex Generation to Ex Generation to X Generation.
How does the boulder at the bottom of the landslide learn to control
An apathetic awareness was our tragic flaw; We saw it and we didn't
Stuck in a time of sterile stories; played out plots; canned laugh
Hilarious horror, deadpan drama, car chases and gun fights.
And so we lived...
But a hero happened like none before; tons of tongues speaking,
thousand eyes peering
A variety of identities, to each of us different.
The hero who happened to mesmerize me; Wind on a Rider, she appeared
in the heathers.
Lovely speaking she told me a story, odd word warping:
"There once was a place made up much like your generation. It
was of your generation, to be sure. I existed in this Kubrikian landscape much as you exist now in your suburban middle-middle class bubble. I was
part of the controlling group: a bleach blonde bunch of neo-fascists who ruled
recklessly, using people up for the pure pleasure of seeing them waste away. I was part of them and I saw nothing wrong. I was named after
both a cartoon character and a Mark Twanian scamp who, like me, was hard forced to learn when he did something wrong. There was a person at this
place, this Westerburg, who was similarly named. We were once friends. But I chose popularity over honesty, because, well, apathy tends to those
pursuits easiest fulfilled and maintained by the majority to be most wanted.
And so I cliqued with, stealing from a Gaimanist comic I once read, for want of a better title for these furiatic harpies, The Kindly
Sour faced spitting, speaking her story in spattered strangenesses
I listened loudly, for truth told awakens apathy to killing curiousity.
Hearing harsh words I wanted to know: Kubrikian, Twainian, Gaimanist.
Quieting questions I continued to listen:
"Amongst these furies was a Dohertian bitch of the 90210 magnitude. She
was their bright red wearing, blond hair bleaching leader And not to be
confused with the green garbed Envious bitch in their midst from whence
I get the first's description. The third was more like me, a follower of
popularity, Yellow cloaked, a mark of cowardice And her inability to break
free from the apathetic urge to
Follow follow follow
She was just another Dittohead of this high school Third Reich. And I myself might have gone on unquestioningly, Happily forging handwritten
notes to convince the lower strata Their dreams had come true, Happy to
watch humiliation happen to those who worshipped us wrongly, But for the
Dark Horse who suddenly appeared in the cafeteria's corner Like some mythological creature my eighth grade boyfriend would have
known about. He was the Christian Slayer and his name implied ruthlessness
beyond measure. He was also called by a consanantic couple so as to confuse
the symbolic nature of his name and extend to it many possibilities."
She stopped her story; eyes deeply delving, soul searching.
Meeting this man; stopped by this stranger; she changed.
Wanting me to wonder, think this through. Wind on a Rider whispered,
"Strangers are strange in their ability to evoke change.
Understand this: He saved me from faithfully following the psycho pollster
But I was still a follower and this Koreshian leader cheerily charmed
me from my Inquisitional clique. The day he descended to distort my view
was the day we gave Miss Dumptruck a dream from a forged note I was impressively
proud of. He won me over easily enough as I asked him the poll question
of the day because he was a gorgeous guy. Just as I will win you with my
words because I am a gorgeous girl.
'On the day you inherit a million dollars, aliens come down and threaten
to blow up the Earth in twenty four hours. What do you do?' I asked. He
answered. And his answer was charming because he was charming. And I wanted
him. From this point on, the Rebel without a cause could do no wrong. I
went to a Remington Rager that night with the leader in Red. Have I told
you yet I always wore blue? The point of the party was to prove I was no
longer a Kindly One, no longer a Heather. While our Red Leader, forgive
me Lucas, was blowing like the North Wind, I was reciting my prepared speech
for suitors who want to go further than I am prepared to go. The refusal
of this preppie's proposition was to pave the way for strip croquet later
that night with my James Deanian obsession. I was blundering blindly away
from the Westerburg witches and found myself falling for a devil not even
Listening loudly, for truth told awakens apathy to killing
Hearing harsh words I wanted to know: Dohertian, Koreshian, Deanian.
Quieting questions I continued to listen.
After a pregnant pause of proportions immense:
"The next morning I killed my best friend...or my worst enemy. Have you
ever killed anything? Insects don't count for we consider them a collective,
never really dead cause annoying others are all around. Have you ever destroyed
individuality, a personality, a moment, unique in and of itself? Have you
made something irretrievable? It takes nothing more than an opaque cup
of drain cleaner. Something small can smother and smoke any fire causing
it to gutter and die. As the Michael Stipe named band Concrete Blonde blared
during Jumpstreet Johnny Depp images, 'God is a bullet. Have mercy on us
everyone.' And we did eventually use bullets, me and my Nicholsonesque
juvenile delinquint. 'Ich Luger bullets,' he lied to me, 'Tranquilizer
bullets that break the skin causing a little blood but no real damage.'
And so we killed because we couldn't cope. I couldn't cope with what I
An automaton habitually having the same conversation with my caretaker
mother and father. I followed rote routines requiring little of my own
thought. I was in the coolest clique in Westerburg but it wasn't what I
wanted. So I ditched their debutante debaucheries for sex with a psychotic.
And this smirking, eye brow arching psychotic couldn't cope with his inability
to connect to anybody because of his destruction worker father's frequent
'Seven schools in seven states and the only thing different is my locker
combination,' he complained to me the night of my old best friend's funeral
as my new best friend was being raped by her date in a muddy field of cowshit
and my date was passed out in puke. My Dark Horse psychotic, this JD, learned
to love destruction as the creation of the non-existent from various viewings
of violent demolitions his dad was damn proud of. JD and I, a dual Dr.
Frankenstein, creating a new creature out of the death of the old. In a
Cobanian twist, Fury #1 Heather Chandler in Red was canonized by our classmates.
Because of my dark horse's drain cleaner and my finely forged suicidal
scribblings. The bitch who the student body bowed down to and cowered from
as she headed down the halls became a misunderstood martyr who popped from
the pressure exerted on her by societal forces. Kindly One Red Leader Heather
#1 Chandler was out of my life and my feelings were hurt because she had
only become more popular. The reality of our generic generation hit me
full force. We were taught the stories to tell and exactly how to tell
them by disillusioned parents who put all their broken dreams on our backs.
Popularity is cool was a story.
People who commit suicide are profound and deep was a story.
Fitting in was a story.
Being beautiful was a story.
But they never taught us there were variations to these tales.
There were alternative versions of beauty,
Alternate visions of suicide,
Alternate vistas to fit into,
Alternate variants of popularity.
And we knew this all along though the apathy they instilled in us was
an amazingly effective narcotic. We just didn't care about the other stories.
We sat in front of their Boob Tube brainwashed with entertainment. The
Canonization of Heather Chandler was a twist totally Hitchcockian to me.
It was a Real Norman Bates in a wig shocker. But the bigger blow to my
idyllic idiocy was when we shot the high school football stars.
'Kurt and Ram killed themselves in a repressed homosexual suicide pact'
was the news the next day. I'd say I felt like I was living in a tabloid
news show, creating the Hard Copy and A Current Affair. But the television
infestation of supermarket checkout stand rag sheets had yet to happen.
And there I was. Veronica Sawyer burning herself with a cigarette lighter
sitting next to a sexy psycho in a still running car. I was finally awake."
Listening loudly for truth told awakens apathy to killing
Hearing harsh words I wanted to know: Nicholsonesque, Cobanian, Hitchcockian.
Quieting questions I continued to listen:
"Have you ever wondered why we see suicide as a romantic solution? Did
you ever daydream of a demise of your own origin and how it would affect
others? Did you ever think 'That'll show them?' Have you ever felt unloved?
Or do you feel anything, you of a generation mired in apathy? Or have you
truly despaired? Have you felt the cold comfort of a knotted noose about
your neck or the cold chill of razor on wrist? Was it water you dreamed
of drowning in, encloaked in something for once in your life? Or did a
free fall to forever haunt your heart? Which are you? I was none of them.
I was a murderer. There was no helter skelter blood on any Tately walls
but I was still very Squeaky Fromme-like in my deadly devotion to my Mansonesque
master. But, as I said, I was awake. I broke up with my boyfriend. You
smile at that? Such a simple solution is sometimes all you need. After
that, he went a little crazy and decided to turn our school into a McVeighnian
So during the slo-mo high school pep rally raucous of cheerleader underwear
and stamping feet, I was busy kicking the shit out of my ex in the boiler
room where he had rigged the bomb to blow. The fuse failed to fire and
I walked out. And so, standing on the school steps with an unlit cigarette
between my lips, I watched him shuffle by and stop at the bottom, the bomb
on his breast, and just before he blew himself to bits, I was finally able
to answer a poll question myself. Brenda Duke Heather Walsh #2 was now
wearing red, Heather Madonna Graham Tweety #3, my new best friend, the
yellow wearing wonder, so scared of something inside herself, was trying
to commit suicide because everyone else seemed to be jumping off that bridge.
Martha Dumptruck, the Heather's own personal Auschwitz, did a belly flop
in front of a car, also trying to commit suicide in, as Heather Duke, so
John Waynianly named, observed, 'Trying to imitate the popular people of
the school and failing miserably,' which earned a sudden slap from me and
her returned comment that I was out of control. But with all this mess
around me, standing stock still on the steps, smoking my cigarette now
lit from JD's fireball flash of death, I realized I was finally in control.
I walked into Westerburg, bussed Heather Duke on the cheek and Spaghetti
Western drawled, 'Heather, my dear, there's a new Sheriff in town' and
went home to have a Blockbuster night with Martha Dumptruck."
Listening loudly for truth told awakens apathy to killing
Harsh words I wanted to know: Tately, Mansonesque, McVeighnian.
Quieting questions I continued to listen
As she was slowly fading in a scroll of strange words.
"Know what I think? He needed someone. He was searching for someone to
share his secrets with but he never could find one. He told me right before
I shot him in the boiler room, 'The only place different social types can
truly get along is in heaven.' He was so deep in despair he wanted us all
to die. And the irony is, his was the only real suicide, and nobody cared."
Fading fast from view, quickly questioning Wind on a Rider.
"The poll?" I pondered. "The poll you answered at the end?"
Wind on a Rider smiled wistfully, cigarette smoking, she said,
"So now that you're dead, what are you going to do with the rest of your
Brunette hair blowing, Que Sera Sera singing, words rolling
The lovely lady, storytelling stranger, mysterious messiah, disappeared.
Lights came on, curtains closed and strangers shuffled by.
Wondering, what Wind appeared to them? Which tongue talking?
Which eye staring? Wondering how many left thinking and how many just
Some Day, Some Time