Here is one thing you should know about me: I love Beck.
But only as an artist.
Sometime in the last couple of years, I heard the definition of the word “demisexual” and finally understood something about myself that I never had before. At last, a perfectly good reason for why everyone expected me to have a crush on my favorite celebrity.
To explain this, I’m going to have to take you back to sixth grade, but first here’s what you need to know about demis, if you haven’t heard the term before. A demisexual is a person who does not feel sexual attraction for others unless they have formed an emotional bond. While I’m not much for labels, I think this one fits me pretty well.
So, anyway, sixth grade. Right. That was when I noticed music. Up until that point, music was just something that existed on the car radio, something my parents were into. It wasn’t until I was flipping channels at my grandma’s house and came across MTV (ya know, back when they showed videos) that music interested me. I loved music videos. I’m a very visual person. I love seeing how each artist would present their music in this expanded form. During my teenage years, I watched hour upon hour of music videos, aborbing all the madness of mid-to-late 90’s alternative music.
And I got a little obsessed with this guy…you know the type. Blond hair. Blue eyes. Two turntables and a microphone? “Where It’s At” was the first Beck video I ever saw–I was too young during the “Loser” days, and anyway, its popularity seemed to have bypassed my sleepy little town. So, here is the first glimpse I ever got of my favorite musicain of all time:
12-year-old me watched that and thought, “That’s fucking weird.” Or maybe “freakin’ weird.” 12-year-old me didn’t curse. Anyway, there comes a time in every kid’s life when they either deny their own weirdness, or embrace it. Yeah, I liked The Goo Goo Dolls okay, but this, whatever this was, was my thing. And I was going to own it. I spent the next several years of my life learning everything I could about this weird little Beck guy. I read fansites (and later made my own). I played his cds on a loop. I dressed like him.
So, naturally, everyone thought I was in love with Beck. My friends at school insisted that my interest in Beck was a crush. Grown ups, too. My mom took my magazine clippings to the craft store where she worked and had them framed for me. “I remember kissing my David Cassidy posters every night before bed,” she told me with an inflection that led me to believe she expected me to do the same.
I had zero interest in kissing Beck, in poster form or otherwise. I didn’t even think he was cute. Just the notion that everyone believed I idolized him for such shallow reasons infuriated me. Nor could I understand when a friend would casually mention how much they’d like to make out with, say, Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day. For me, musicians existed for singular purposes. Ear candy, not eye candy. One simply does not make out with Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day. Clearly my friend misunderstood what fandom was really all about.
Now I look back at my celebrity non-crush and realize that it was just a part of my demisexuality. I never fell “in love” with Beck because I never knew him. Those feelings were an impossibilty for me. I loved Beck, but in my own utilitarian way.
Over the years, my obsession with Mr. Hansen peaked then waned. Once upon a time, I used to babble about him so much that my friends would beg me to stop. But eventually I took those (still unkissed) photos down from my wall. And I certainly always will be a fan, but I have to confess that I listened to Morning Phase exactly once and thought, “This is not for me.”
But Odelay? Odelay was definitely for me.