Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Words of Daria

Daria, for me, was the most amazing show on MTV back when that channel was still relevant. For those of you who weren’t part of the MTV generation, Daria is an animated series about a girl named Daria Morgendorffer, an unpopular but very smart student of the fictional Lawndale High School. I was also in high school when I discovered this show. I wasn’t like Daria, and my school was in no way like Lawndale High, but I could relate. I would always look forward to watching it every week.

Image is from this site.
I think MTV Philippines stopped airing Daria, or maybe I just stopped watching that channel, so I was only able to enjoy a few of its episodes. I have found out only recently that there were actually 65 episodes and two movies in its five-season run. Of course, I wanted to watch all of them. Thus, after managing to get copies of all Daria episodes and movies, I spent half of my “holy week” listening to the words of Daria.

I was holding a pen while watching the show, for I was jotting down quotations by Daria, the sharpest fictional television character. Here are some of Daria’s views on different facets of life, delivered in her signature, monotonous voice. (after the jump)

On self-esteem

Daria as Audrey Hepburn
After graduating three weeks early from self-esteem school, Daria has to deliver a speech in front of all students during an assembly. She says this:

“No one can battle a terrible problem like low self-esteem on their own…winning the fight against low self-esteem takes support from teachers, from friends, and, most of all, from family.”

On propaganda

When Jake, Daria’s father, asks her daughter about her opinion on news about the students who were agitated into stoning the Russian embassy (despite not having a Russian embassy in Lawndale) after hearing someone (Daria, actually) shares an anti-communist story, Daria says this sarcastically:
Jane as Whistler's Mother

“We’ve got to maintain constant vigilance against those who would manipulate us into actions we’d never take on our own.”

On modeling

Lawndale High’s principal, Ms. Li, enters Daria’s classroom to encourage students to join a model search. This is Daria’s reply:

“Isn’t modeling about dropping out of school to pursue a career based solely on your youth and your looks, both of which are inevitably declared over by age 25?”

Quinn as Hello Kitty
On death

Jane, Daria's best friend, asks Daria why she seems indifferent to the death of Lawndale High’s former football quarterback, who died after they jokingly wished him dead. A bit irritated, Daria tells Jane:

“I know he died! I'm sorry he died! But I'm not gonna pretend that he was some great person when he wasn't. People aren’t upset because Tommy Sherman died. They’re upset because they’re gonna die.”

On sunrise

Mrs. Morgendorffer as Lady Godiva
Trent, Jane’s brother, invites Daria and Jane to the flea market, where Trent will sell old vinyl records. Trent tells the girls that they have to be there early, to which Daria replies:

“There's nothing like watching the sunrise, except watching the sunset in reverse.”

On body piercings

Trent asks Daria to help him find a gift for Jane, who will be celebrating her birthday. They see a piercing parlor, and Trent asks Daria if she wants to get pierced. Daria says:

Mr. Morgendorffer as Venus
“No. It just seems too much like getting tortured for the sake of some subculture's notion of beauty.”

Daria, however, has her navel pierced that day, but it closes up the next day.

On her glasses

Daria gets contact lenses for driving, and people compliment her for dismissing her dorky glasses. This makes her feel guilty, for she believes that people thinks that she has become vain. Thus, she decides to wear her glasses again and says:

“I know my glasses set me apart. When I look in the mirror without them, I can't see a thing, but when I put them on and look in the mirror again, I think... ‘Never mind the glasses. You can see things that other people can't. You can see better than other people, so the hell with them and what they think of you and your glasses.’"

On being "edgy"

Brittany as Edward Scissorhands
Jake complains that he keeps hearing the word “edgy” from his clients but doesn’t quite get what it means, so his daughter explains it:

“As far as I can make out, ‘edgy’ occurs when middlebrow, middle-aged profiteers are looking to suck the energy, not to mention the spending money, out of the quote, unquote ‘youth culture.’ So they come up with this fake concept of seeming to be dangerous when every move they make is the result of market research and a corporate master plan.”

On relationship

Mr. DeMartino as Mena Suvari
Quinn, Daria's sister, asks Daria about her relationship with Tom, for Quinn noticed that the two don’t seem to celebrate their anniversary.

“Look, all that matters in a relationship is that you like the same pizza toppings.”

On failure

Jake considers himself a failure for not writing a song good enough for his standards. Daria comforts his anxious dad by telling him this:

Ms. Li as the Good Witch of the North
“You know what good is. That's how you know you didn't achieve it. That's a lot better than if you were putting out crap and thinking it was great. You came up short because you were aiming high.”

On how the make the world a better place

Daria reads to Jane her scholarship application essay. She refuses to kiss the ass of the company offering the scholarship, so this is what she wrote:

"In sum, my world would be made fairer through the simple step of eliminating all money. Politicians could serve the people they represent, instead of the ones paying for their attack ads. CEOs could stop fouling the planet and cheating their workers just to keep their stock prices pumped, and, of course, promising young students, such as myself, could actually study, instead of spending their time groveling in scholarship essays."

On her hormones

Stacy as Carrie

Helen, Daria’s mom, finds out that Tom spent the night with Daria in her room, and she fears that something happened between the two for they have “raging hormones.” Daria assures:

“My hormones don't rage. Oh, sure, they get mad sometimes, but then they just stop speaking to each other.”

On high school life

Tiffany as Bjork
On her graduation day, Daria receives the Diane Fossey Award for “dazzling academic achievement in the face of near-total misanthropy.” She delivers a short but meaningful speech:

“I'm not much for public speaking, or much for speaking, or, come to think of it, much for the public, and I'm not very good at lying, so let me just say that, in my experience, high school sucks. If I had to do it all over again, I'd have started advanced placement classes in preschool so I could go from eighth grade straight to college.
However, given the unalterable fact that high school sucks, I'd like to add that if you're lucky enough to have a good friend and a family that cares, it doesn't have to suck quite as much.
Trent as Daria
Otherwise, my advice is: stand firm for what you believe in, until and unless logic and experience prove you wrong. Remember, when the emperor looks naked, the emperor is naked. The truth and the lie are not sort of the same thing, and there's no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can't be improved with pizza.”

I wish MTV, or any other channel, would have more good shows like Daria instead of stupid ones like Jersey Shore. Better yet, MTV can just show reruns of Daria episodes. The show is timeless. I think even the new generation will relate to what happens in the show and will see themselves in the characters of the show. As for me, I see myself in Daria. She and I seem to have the same passion for pizza. :)

(Images of alter egos are from this site.)


Kata said...

If I could have a spirit animal, it would be Daria. And thanks for making the effort of jotting down her lines. Dapat lahat ng teenagers makapanood ng Daria :)

Karlow said...

yeah, they should watch it.

madami pang magagandang lines si daria, pero mas okay sila kapag pinanood mismo yung show, so di ko na sinama. gusto ko nga rin sana gumawa ng mga funny lines naman nina quinn at brittany. :)

Rachel said...

Now that you've shared this, pwedeng pashare na din ng vids na na-dl mo pag nagkita tayo? :D

Karlow said...

Sure, Rachel. Prepare ka lang ng hard drive na medyo malaki-laki ang capacity. :)

Anonymous said...

Puwede bang makahingi rin ng kopya? Effort mag-download eh. :D

Karlow said...

@Kata: Pwede. Sige burn ko na lang sa DVD then send ko sayo. Just give me your address, kahit PM mo na lang sakin sa FB. If may hard drive ka naman pwede rin para di ko na i-burn. 12 gig lahat ang file size. That's if magkikita tayo. Pwede rin naman kung may flash drive ka, pa-LBC mo sakin. :)

Jumar said...

welcome back to blogging, Karlo. i'm linking your blog to mine. =)