Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hump Day Treat, Back to School Edition

I'll be honest: I've had reservations about The Donnas from the very first time I heard them. There was just something about the allusions to cutting school, and the obvious lifting of the whole 'Ramones'-same name bit, and the shameless combination of leather and leggings that just didn't sit right with me. As you've probably already guessed, I was a nerdy kid, and I doubt I would have gotten along with any of The Donnas, despite a mutual interest in classic rock. I probably would have been a bit scared of them, frankly.

I was in grad school when I came to appreciate The Donnas for more than their incredibly luscious hair. I was up late, engaged in yet more Herculean-type labor that my department claimed was required in order for me to obtain my degree, and that awful Jawbreaker movie (you know, with Rose McGowan and Marilyn Manson) was on the television. The Donnas were onstage in the prom scene at the end of the movie, just as they've always been, but for some reason I really paid attention to them that night.

For the first time, I really listened to the lyrics. "I don't care about going to school and I don't care about having friends and I don't care 'cause I'm a rock'n'roll machine." For the first time, those words made sense to me, and I realized that I'd gotten The Donnas all wrong. I'd written them off as hypersexualized slaves to classic rock's sexist dogma, the kind of girls who spend all their time partying and chasing guys so they don't have to really face themselves. But that's not what they're about -- from their first record, The Donnas set themselves apart as those 'weird girls' who care more about music than about their looks, their social calendar, or their reputation. Which is kind of awesome when you think about it, and something I personally can understand.

The Donnas will never be my favorite band; they're a bit too classic rock for my taste. But I do completely admit to breaking out this song every time I go back to school. So scribble some lyrics in your notebook, dry some elmer's glue on your hands, forge a note to get out of PE, or whatever it is you have to do to get through class, and enjoy The Donnas on this fine hump day!

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