Memoirs of an Evil Genius
Conquering the World, One Martini at a Time

Judging a Book By Its Extremely Attractive Cover
2:58 p.m., 2003-01-20

So I decided to take my picture down from Hot or Not and call it the culmination of a three-day experiment. It was an arduous decision that took lots of thought and...okay, that's all bullshit. The fact is, I just decided it was stupid and childish, and played right into all the superficial rhetoric I've shunned since my mother sat me down and informed me that it's what's on the inside that counts. And I swear it wasn't all about sour grapes, either.

I mean, I've come to the conclusion that the very concept of that site is so juvenile that I'm not even going to tell you guys that at one point I was receiving an average rating of 9.8 -- oops! That just slipped out.

Seriously, though, I saw that and my ego just about blew right through the roof. I started looking at myself in the mirror and practicing my rakish smile, I dressed a little more insouciantly, I walked a little jauntier, and I started to really equate my self-worth with the stupid 9.8 I'd been assigned by a bunch of people with nothing to do but judge strangers based on a grainy snapshot uploaded into the ether of the internet.

Then my score dropped back down to the 9.4 I'd been familiar with previously, and I got depressed. Depressed, people! Because I had a 9.4! A 9.4! I'd suddenly turned into one of those assholes that pitches a fit because they got an A- in biochem. I had a friend like that. Every time she'd start pouting about her allegedly "bad" grade, while I sat there staring at my big, fat C, I just wanted to reach over and clap her face inside her be-stickered three-ring binder and really give her something to whine about.

Then my score dropped to a 9 and I started staring at the column on the graph that represented all the people that thought I was a '1', and I began to feel insecure. I mean, what if they were right? I mean, obviously there were people who gave me higher scores than that, but there were people out there who took one look at me and decided I was unattractive. And of course, because I'm human, I immediately sided with them. Suddenly, the thought that people out there were averting their eyes from my image because I was so repellant was consuming me.

Then I decided to cut that bullshit out on the spot. I mean, how stupid am I? Is 9 my score, or my freaking IQ? I mean, the concept of asking a culture with some seriously twisted ideas about body image and the correlation of looks and human worth to rate you? That's asinine, and I should know better.

Hell, maybe I got those 10's because people felt sorry for me, but maybe I only got 1's because people have a problem with skinny, tattooed boys. What's funny is that I started receiving e-mails from the Hot or Not server letting me know that people wanted to meet me -- you know, based entirely on my appearance -- and they give you all these links. So I start clicking them, just to see who liked what they saw, and discover that about 75% of them were punk types and "sk8trs" (DAMN YOU, AVRIL LIVIGNE!), with the technicolor hair and piercings and stuff.

I guess it just goes to show what comes of judging people based on their appearance, right? I'll freely admit that I've crushed on more than a few punks (and I own a Sum 41 album, so I'm totally hardcore), but punk is a whole subculture that I just really don't fit into. I had a lot of punk friends in high school, and I was way too whitebread for them. However, like I said, you take factors like Skinny White Boy and Tattoo and Piercing, throw it together, and out pops Punk. I guess I can't fight logic like that. Let me just go grab my sk8board and we're Audi five!

Bottom line is, it was really nice to know that there are people out there who think I'm a perfect 10, but that was countered by the knowledge that there are also people out there who think I'm completely fugly. Which, frankly, I already knew. I mean, that's what the world is all about, right? One man's trash is another man's treasure. I think I'm great (sometimes, anyway), and that's what matters. All those who gave me a 1 can go eat number 2, if you know what I'm saying.

One thing I found particularly interesting was the number of people who described themselves as "subversive" and "non-conformist" who had their pictures out there. It just goes to show that no matter who you are, appearance is something you worry about. And, of course, physical attraction is important in a romantic relationship, but I don't need to have a romantic relationship with the world at large, y'all. I just want a steady, preferably passionate relationship with one person who thinks I'm a 10, you know? Preferably someone who's a 9.5 or higher, of course. Just kidding.

Oh, and I also came to another sobering realization this weekend: if you're not Aimee Mann's latest album, Lost in Space? You suck. You SUCK! I mean, this album is so damn good, it makes everything. Else. Suck.

Rarely do I find an album on which I love every single song (examples include Blondie's Parallel Lines, Sheryl Crow's Sheryl Crow, and Liz Phair's Whitechocolatespaceegg), but this is one of them. I'm relieved, too, because after loving her previous albums, Bachelor No. 2 and Whatever, I was terrified that this would break the streak a la Alanis Morrisette's sophomore outing, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. I loved her first album, but thirty seconds into track one on her second, and the bloom was already off the rose.

Anyway, the problem is that I love Lost in Space way too much. At three in the morning last night I was falling out of my chair, completely dead-ass tired, mumbling, "Can't...fall asleep...if you sleep, you can't hear Aimee Mann!" I've also embarked on an all-pudding diet, because chewing drowns out the stereo. That's how good this album is. We punks won't listen to anything else.

2005 by Dr. No, all rights reserved; you break it, you buy it.

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