#4: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Reality TV, a period piece, Stan as a noun & verb, and Poison

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A Poisoned Reality


In the beginning, An American Family created the turmoil and drama that are integral components of modern-day reality television.  Establishing the controversial genre, cameras followed the Loud family as they navigated daily life, falling victim to the [now-legendary] Reality TV Divorce Curse in one short season.  

The Louds whispered in 1973 so The Osbournes could scream in 2002. Once Ozzy set the crazy train in motion, other musicians quickly hopped on board.  Everyone from Gene Simmons, Flavor Flav, Brett Michaels, Dee Snider, and more signed up for “Celebreality” life, giving audiences a backstage pass to the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. Fact is, sex, drugs, and reality television make a pretty rockin’ trinity — the bold, exhibitionist, DGAF performances that once drew massive crowds to stages worldwide also made these stars masters of reality.  Unfortunately, fame costs and the payment is much more than sweat.  Despite gold [metal] ratings, many of these stars later expressed regret for participating in the productions, citing damaged personal relationships and weakened reputations at wrap.  


Reality TV generates rocky results for fans as well — studies show that mass consumption of content that glorifies humiliation, vulgarity, gossip, and bullying can actually make viewers hella aggressive in real life.  

What’s more, increasingly outlandish storylines and heavily edited stunts continue to up the stakes not only for on-air talent, but for influencer wannabes as well. Kids seeking overnight celebrity attempt, and fail, to leap tall buildings in a single bound with smartphone cams a-rollin’. Meanwhile, guerilla warfare plays out on TikTok as more and more folks come unglued — all in the name of fame.  It’s enough to make you bang your head…


Is reality TV more of a thorn than a rose? While the genre is known for catapulting unknown legends to the promised land of champagne wishes and caviar dreams, most viewers are more addicted to the spectacle than the success. Who doesn’t love a trainwreck — an arm’s length diversion from the demons lurking in our own closets? And, with so many flavors to love, producers continue to set the world afire. Much like rock ‘n roll, reality TV is without a doubt here to stay.

Sing it with us now, “I hate myself for loving you”.

P.S.: Rumor has it, Meat Loaf is the latest rocker to fly like a bat out of hell towards the confessional chair. Let’s just hope his rock and roll dreams do come through.


New Jack City / Mario Van Peebles, 1991

Videodrome / David Cronenberg, 1983

The Man Who Fell to Earth / Nicolas Roeg, 1976

The Go-Go’s / Alison Ellwood, 2020

Moonstruck / Norman Jewison, 1987

Periods: Taboo Again.

Still using periods? Then let us tell it to you straight. The youngsters may change the way you feel about that period. Text messages read differently than words on a pad — and periods are making everyone uncomfortable these days. 

Turns out, Millennials and Zoomers can agree on one thing: using periods to conclude a text is passive aggressive and insincere. 

Is this real life? Don’t just take our word for it. Mad scientists conducted a study on a body of students reacting to the same text message, with and without punctuation. The results were  — yeech! 

Let us break it down for you:

That’s fine

Read: “Things are cool as a summer’s eve! Go forth, enjoy yourself!” 

That’s fine.

Read: “The Redcoats are coming! Prepare for battle!” 

Get it? Got it? Good.
Reality is, the kids are now telling us to watch our tone. That’s fine.

P.P.S.: Don’t let flow concerns cramp your style, ditch the period and add a line break instead.

P.P.P.S.: Courtney Cox brought periods mainstream in 1985 via this Tampax commercial. Disrupting the typical programming cycle, she was the first person to use the previously unmentionable term on national television. Now that’s something!


noun. an overzealous and/or maniacal fan of a celebrity, artist, brand, product, or athlete

verb. voraciously loving someone or something to a point of obsession

“Stan”, a slang term made-internet-famous by the real Slim Shady, hails from Eminem’s breakout hit titled, you guessed it, “Stan”. The song tells the terrible tale of an obsessed fan, Stan, who loses his mind throughout the rhyme due to repeated snubs by his favorite rapper. Stan meets his untimely demise in Em’s video, immortalized as the ultimate stalker fan, a “stan.”

Nowadays, seems all the kids stan for something.

They're committed. They're dedicated. They're diehard. Think Lady Gaga’s “little monsters,” Justin Bieber’s “beliebers,” and members of Beyoncé’s “beyhive.” - Nicole Lane for Your Tango


Tip: Program the below cheat sheet into your TI-83 ;)

  • CORRECT: I stan for Lionel Richie

  • [SOMEWHAT] CORRECT: I am totally a Lionel Richie stan

  • AVOID: Lionel Richie is such a stan

  • [DEFINITELY] AVOID: I love stanning for Lionel Richie

Remember: we stan for The Fast Times stans. Always.

“Every Rose Has Its Thorn”

Frontman Bret Michaels gets vulnerable in Poison’s most powerful power ballad, revealing his six-pack abs and his tender side. As part of the glam metal scene, Poison upended the tough leather-and-denim heavy metal vibes by introducing a more feminine-skewing repertoire — we’re talking spandex, lace, and maybe some Maybelline.

Maybe everyone’s not born with it. Slash, the legendary guitar hero (of GNR fame), famously refused to wear makeup after making Poison band members blush during his audition to join the group. No makeup, no gig — thus, the young solo slasher was forced to tip his tophat on a different stage in paradise city. 

"As I was walking out of the audition, C.C. DeVille was walking in. He had on pancake makeup and a ton of hairspray. I actually remember thinking right then, 'That should be the guy.'"  - Slash, per Ultimate Classic Rock