Chaos Angel Spanner
Interlude 7: Pop Will Eat Itself
Interlude 7: Pop Will Eat Itself
Here comes Minty Fresh with her entourage, rushing onto the stage to the deafening glass-shattering screams of tweens and TwiMoms come to worship the pop idol manufactured for them by the great god DisneyPop™. The idol and her dancers affect the illusion of spontaneity with absolute military precision enforced by an army of choreographers, their seemingly casual costumes precision machined to the specifications of highly paid in-house fashion designers, her voice trained and toned as her body in two-hour daily boot camps commanded by the world’s top vocal coaches, her songs prepared for her by the Hollywood songwriter elite and rehearsed to perfection, all to the greater glory of the great god DisneyPop™.
Settle down in your luxury box seat, switch the window to monitor mode, turn up the volume, and do your dirty deals shielded by the illusion of perfect innocence, brought to you by Disney Corporation, the Melodia Consortium, and the all-powerful Fashion-Industrial Complex.
The nobility of the kingdom of pop falls into two tribes:
The Pop Princesses sing of your childhood ideals and capture your innocence, directing the romantic dreams of little girls and grown women toward the frothy and calorie-laden animated confections of the Disney Cineminium™. You know them. You cannot escape them even if you turn off your television. The merciless guardians of the public innocence want them to direct their devotions to the God of the Nation; but the great god DisneyPop™ is a jealous god who brooks no charmless rivals like Jesus America. The flavor of the month is Minty Fresh.
The Bad Romancers molest you with their lyrics and their look. They are the mouthpiece of the Fashion-Industrial Complex, singing dancing supermodels who sex up your camera eye and sell you a bill of goods branded Gucci, Gaultier, Hilfiger, Versace. Be decadent, be full-tilt psycho diva, be a pretty corpse shambling up the catwalk; Melodia Consortium’s got a patent on your flavor — Lady Gaga, Lady Sovereign, Princess Superstar, Queen Latifah — Ke$ha, M.I.A, Madonna, Rihanna, P!nk, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Róisin Murphy, Charlie Richter-Thomas—
Charlie Richter-Thomas? scandalous niece of the infamous Willa? Didn’t she ditch her manager, burn her contract, sue her record company, declare war against her overbearing stage mother — none other than Chief Shepherd Drusilla Becket AMERICA! herself! — and watch her career crash and burn? Her and the love of her life, her adoring sister Desiree. It is forbidden to mention their names in the presence of the Lords and Baronesses of the Fashion-Industrial Complex. Ask about them within the armoured arcology walls of Pretty City™, and all you will get is silence. She sings ill always of the great god DisneyPop™ because she is his psycho ex-girlfriend.
Look carefully, squint your eyes, or you won’t see a third way coming. Music and fashion will always be the passion in the free zone of the Style Underground where La Loca Fantoma, clown princess, erotic angel, stretches out her shimmering ruby wings for all to see. She watches you, sings to you, makes love to you through your liquid crystal screen. She will not sell her soul to the great god DisneyPop™. She will not sell her body to Pretty City™. She is in control, and she’s got the legal warrior she needs to fend off the never ending assaults by the barbarian hordes of savage corporate lawyers the Fashion-Industrial Complex sends to pirate her copyrights.
In the summer of 2013, La Loca Fantoma duelled Minty Fresh on stage for the first time, peacock angel and tinkerbell princess. Minty captured the heartless minds of DisneyPop™’s bean-counting technocrats. But La Loca Fantoma was a bomb in the half-exposed human flesh, far too sexy for her age, too dangerous for even Pretty City™. By a miracle she escaped the merciless tabloid eye Lord Murdoch sent to persecute her half-sisters for love of their Mommie Dearest. She rocks your style in the confident knowledge that the kingdom of pop will eat itself.
And now she issues Minty Fresh a fresh new Challenge...
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Copyright © 2011, 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2, 8/4/11: All new material. Prose style inspired by Barry N. Malzberg’s 1973 New Wave science fiction novel The Men Inside and Pat Cadigan’s 1986 cyberpunk short story “Pretty Boy Crossover”.]
[Revision 2.1, 8/8/11: Completed the list of pop stars. The original list came out unfortunately too white, which created a subtle continuity error with Part 10.5 and Part 10.6 in the ensuing chapter, Part 11.3 three installments after that, and the very character of Shira Thomas herself two paragraphs after the list.]
[Revision 3, 10/23/11: Text revisions and one significant revision (where once Charlie “always sings ill of Jesus America” she now “sings ill always of the great god DisneyPop”).]
[Revision 3.1, 8/17/12: Added a few “™s” back for cyberpunk authenticity’s sake; updated the short list of fashion designers.]
[Revision 4 Final, 8/30/12: Reordered and updated the list of pop-idol names for sound and idea and to lead up to Charlie’s; added trademark symbols to all occurrences of “DisneyPop” and “Pretty City” edited the wording in select places.]