writing exercise: plugging julia allison
mygma had to answer the below question and obviously julia allison must be included in the answer:
If you were organizing a dinner party and could invite three people: a person from the past, a person from the present, and a person from the future, who would you invite and why?
I spent all day preparing for tonight’s dinner party. Actually, that’s quite a lie. Nearly half the day I camped out at the Union Square Wine Shop taste testing the selections of chardonnays, hoping that my choice would ease the evening’s awkward silences. Who am I kidding? Tonight’s dinner needs scotch.
Winona Ryder already BBM’d me—code for Blackberry messaged—that she’ll likely be 30 minutes late because her GPS system finds it difficult to locate her late 1980s, early 1990s self. To be clear, I invited the past Winona Ryder of the years 1987-1994, which is her career pinnacle of Beetlejuice, Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, and Reality Bites. Anything before or after will not be allowed into my apartment. I’m sorry but the rest of Winona is no good to me. And Julia Allison, former editor-at-large for Star Magazine and self-branded “new media personality”, expressed concern of Winona’s klepto habits. I assured Julia there will be none of that and that yes of course she may upload a live stream of our dinner party to her blog: Please feel free to visit julia.nonsociety.com at 8pm EST/5pm PST for your viewing pleasures. And my final guest, who hails from the future, is my 5 years from now friend Jane. We met at a friend’s wedding and bonded over our nostalgic love for the television program 30 Rock, which ended tragically over a product placement incident. No one, not even the great Tina Fey, should mess with mammoth Procter & Gamble. Following the termination of 30 Rock, Jane lost her sense of humor, most emotions, and became the epitome of a blank screen. She broadcasts her monotone, non-reactive videos across multi-platforms and is the future’s most popular multi-screen star: Mobile, video game consoles, traditional cinema and television, PC, laptop, etc.
And why am I choosing to dine with the past Winona, the present Julia, and the future Jane? Because these women represent the zeitgeist of their respective times. My eyes immediately regress to the Cameron Crowe/early MTV lenses of unfiltered close-ups, and quick cuts between actions when looking at the late 1980s, early 1990s Winona. She oozes rawness and Generation X‘s “ I’m in my 20s, lost, looking for love, but ever so hopeful that Pearl Jam or Smashing Pumpkins will score the concluding moment of my quarterlife crisis.” And even though tonight will mark my first in-person encounter with Julia, we’ve commented on each other’s Facebook walls a few times, I will probably imagine a YouTube frame around her figure during dinner. No one knew Julia before Web 2.0. And in fact, her self-indulgent personality may only be popular in a contained and restricted format like the Internet. How will my anonymous cackling blog comments go over face-to-face? Hopefully, Jane’s lack of personality will balance out Julia. Jane is actually not too familiar with Julia. The Web 3.0 of the future rejected Julia’s one trick pony of snark. 3.0 beckons for Jane’s malleability, in which audiences can project any of their feelings or opinions onto Jane regardless of the media format or environment they are in. The future is transient to the nth degree: The world’s conversations and consciousness change too quickly for a celebrity to cement a personality. It’s simply easier to let future audiences define you.
On the other hand, the dinner will not be enjoyable if it reads like a timeline. I only hope that these entertainment, media personalities will converse, collate and possibly collide for a fruitful evening. And if not, we could always break out more chardonnay.