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Davis, California

Friday, February 23, 2024

Pants Optional

Once upon a time, everyone in the free world gave me a hard time for liking Avril Lavigne. Okay, look … I. Was. In. Eighth. Grade. AndComplicatedsounds kinda cute when played on the ukulele.

I have a point, I swear: The number-one cited reason for hating on Avril is that she’s a poser. Apparently her baggy pants and loose tie just weren’t punk enough for the punkest of Sid Vicious worshippers. But look around, spider monkeys, posers are running loose all over this pop stand! I bet at least three of you are only pretending to read this column so you don’t have to talk to that weirdo who sits next to you every freakinquarter. Or because you secretly think it’ll make you look smarter in order to impress said (cute) weirdo.

The poser is a ubiquitous fixture around these parts. There are many different types of posers who commit many different types of poser violations on the daily. Take, for example, the girl who shows up at the ARC in a perfectly coordinated outfit of magenta spandex, her hair done up meticulously, her face freshly powdered. She’ll make the rounds through the weight side of the fitness room to flirt with her bro contacts first before sauntering off to gossip with the treadmill chicks and ultimately leave without breaking a sweat. Exercise was never really on the agenda.

There’s also the library poser, who offends far less frequently. They usually show up around finals, when Shields becomes the new hotspot for the cool kids. Suddenly everyone is studying and everyone is stressed and everyone is deprived of sleep. It’s like, cool to be miserable. We all know because everyone insists on telling everyone how much their life sucks by updating their Facebook status every five minutes with a fresh newAlastair is at the library. FML!” And then,Alastair has two finals and is overcaffeinated and is gonna die. FML!” Many a poser will simply go to Shields to see who else is there and what they’re up to.

Posers also come in the form of wannabe intellectuals. You know, the kind of kids who want to have in-depth discussions and debates to show off how much they paid attention when their professor talked about varying policies in communist countries but actually don’t know jack shit about what goes on outside of Davis and/or the Arden Fair mall. That doesn’t stop them from yelling at each other while sitting outside Chipotle and using swank words likeMensheviksandAnarcho-syndicalism.The wannabe intellectual is the friend who insists on finding hidden symbolism in a Vince Vaughn film.

Perhaps the most recent breed are the lovely people who’ve gone green and made sure that everyone knows it. Yes, I’ve seen An Inconvenient Truth. No, I don’t want the polar bears to drown and I’m down to conserve our lovely planet; I just don’t see why I should be guilted into buying a $40 organic cotton t-shirt. There’s a line between wanting to do good and being an Eco-Nazi. Surprise surprise, the suits have turned a well-meaning movement into a corporate fad. It’s especially uncool when your green freak roommate flips out and lectures you on how aerosol hairspray is bad for the ozone layer but is seen later that day sitting idle in their car at the In-N-Out drive-through for a good fifteen minutes. They’ve always gotta flaunt how much more biodegradable their soap is than yours. Hey oh, remember that time I bought a red iPod and didn’t rub it in everyone’s face that I’m awesome cause like a dime of that went to some totally rad cause?

Fact: Everyone just wants to seem cool. There are all kinds of fads and chasers out there. If there weren’t, no one would ever have any real reason to buy a fanny pack. I’m not sure what’s more annoying, people who only like bands because no one has heard of them or the hardcore Beatles fans who only knowHey Jude.But it’s okay. I wish they would realize that there’s no reason to play such games of pretend. Be yourself. Come out and let the world know what a lazy, unstudious, nonintellectual, non-organic individual you are. Maybe they’ll love you anyway. Maybe.


Contact MICHELLE RICK at marick@ucdavis.edu. All the cool kids are doing it, y’know.


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