The Times They Are A-Changin'

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Jody Barsch

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Post by Jody Barsch » Nov 16th 2003, 8:34 pm

In "Off the Wagon" when Amber is talking with Rayanne as she prepares for her performance and Amber tells the story of her and Bob Dylan, to which rayanne responds with, "And then he stiffed you," I always thought that she meant they slept together. However, the other morning when I was dressing for work and listening to Blonde on Blonde, it occurred to me that maybe she meant he didn't leave Amber a tip. Any thoughts?...[/i]

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Post by Jack » Nov 17th 2003, 3:52 am

I've always taken it to mean he didn't tip her. In the context of the event (Dylan being rich and famous and Amber being a waitress), I'm certain that's what it meant.

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Post by Megs » Nov 17th 2003, 10:14 am

Yes, I believe it meant that he didn't tip her.
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jan 4th 2004, 4:42 am

Okay, so when I titled this thread, I chose a Bob Dylan song (other than coming from an amazing song), first, obviously, because I was writing about Bob Dylan, but secondly, because these specific lyrics indicate a change in thinking over time.

So, not to trivialize the song, but what are ways that your thinking has changed about the show?
Not so much in terms of: “I used to hate Sharon, now I like her,” or “I used to fast-forward the parent scenes, but now I think they’re hysterical,” but rather how you might have understood a line or a scene one way, but now understand it as something else (such as sex versus no tip – see post above).

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the story of my life is starting my sentences out with, “I used to think…” such as, “I used to think the title To Kill a Mockingbird was Tequila Mockingbird. (It seems like most people have one for the chorus of “Tiny Dancer”)

So here’s mine for My So-Called Life:
The scene: In “Pressure”, when Angela is at the abandoned house with Jordan and she sees Rayanne, Rayanne shouts out “keep your shirt on” as she leaves to catch Tino.
What I thought in high school: That although Rayanne was in a hurry to catch a ride she knew that Angela was nervous about having sex for her first time and shouted back some advice – keep your shirt on! This made sense to me because Rayanne is sexually experienced, but often sleeps with guys she doesn’t really care about; keeping her shirt on might be a defense tactic, keeping it business only. Keeping her shirt on might be a way of making Angela feel more comfortable, or even in control. It especially made sense at the time because as audience members we know Angela is self-conscious about her chest size.
What I later realized: Rayanne is telling Tino to wait, like, “hold your horses” – “keep your shirt on”. I get it now. I have to say though, I kind of liked it better the other way, it gave you more to think about anyway.

Anybody else got one?
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Post by igor » Jan 5th 2004, 2:08 pm

This one may be a bit lame,but I'm going to say it anyway.i didn't really notice it before but a lot of things in "Betrayal" have a sexual undertone.I might be blowing this out of proportion, but for example when Rayanne and Jordan are talking that night and he is asking about Angela, Rayanne says "If you mean, where is Angela, she didn't come.It's like usual"( hey,did anyone else notice how Jordan "closed his eyes like it hurts to look at things" just then)
And later Corey is asking Angela to help with the painting and her reply is " Yeah.Let's do it"

Oh, yeah when Sharon and Rayanne are in the bathroom, and Sharon says "That's right.So she would know, because that's what you do, when someone is your friend".First I thought she was talking about Rayanne, that it is her custom to treat her friends that way( Sharon also knows something about Jody Barsh) .Then I thought that she is talking about herself like "that's what you do when someone is your friend" ; you try to protect them, you warn them.I have to say I'm still not sure which of the two posibilities are true. I think it's the second one, but I really can't be sure.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jan 6th 2004, 12:46 am

Sick Boy wrote:hey,did anyone else notice how Jordan "closed his eyes like it hurts to look at things" just then
I LOVE that moment!!! Basically I love Jordan in that entire scene – starting with him drowning himself with beer in Louis’s. I love that he seems to be in actual pain from not having her. He is struggling with the fact that he wants to be with, but not quite ready for all that that entails, and now is realizing that he might have jeopardized any chance he once had with Angela. He notices her flirting with other guys, he his embarrassed that he has to ask Rayanne (someone he doesn’t even really like) if Angela likes someone else, I’m sure he’s embarrassed too that he cares. Jordan closes his eyes as if in pain when he hears that she’s not there because (A) he hadn’t said anything about Angela at that point and yet Rayanne knew what he meant (he sees that it is showing that he cares, something that is difficult for him), (B) this highlights the nature of their relationship – they are different: Jordan goes to go out, to parties, clubs etc., while Angela usually has to be convinced to do these things. Jordan knows that it is “like usual” for Angela to not come, and it seems to just put salt in the wound (excuse the cliché) of knowing that things probably won’t work out for them.

Jordan feels so desolate in this scene, “not drunk enough”, he is clearly drinking to avoid dealing with the situation with Angela. I am not championing drinking to excess as a solution to one’s problems, nor am I excusing him for sleeping with Rayanne, but all the same, this scene shows Jordan as vulnerable, and that I find sexy.


Sick Boy wrote:First I thought she was talking about Rayanne, that it is her custom to treat her friends that way( Sharon also knows something about Jody Barsh) .Then I thought that she is talking about herself like "that's what you do when someone is your friend"; you try to protect them, you warn them.I have to say I'm still not sure which of the two posibilities are true.
I hear what you’re saying about how Sharon might be referring to Rayanne in those lines, an idea I had never considered, but I am pretty sure it is your second possibility – telling Rayanne that telling Angela is something “you” meaning all friends, and specifically Sharon herself, does for a friend. If Sharon was saying that betraying a friend is something Rayanne does to her friends, she would have stressed different words and used a different tone of voice.
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Post by emmie » Jan 6th 2004, 11:36 pm

when I first heard about the DVDs coming out, I didn't have my annual MSCL marathon. and because the process took so long, it was over 2 years before I watched an episode. I took them over to a friend's house so that I could create a new fan. watching the show as an adult for the first time, and with a newbie, I looked at everything differently. before, I had always identified with Angela because we were so similar. but after having more life experience, I began to look at the other characters and see their perspectives for the first time. and I loved this, seeing the show from other angles. speaking of marathons, I think I need to have another. it's been almost a year since I last watched. I wonder what I'll find this time?




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Post by Clockwork orange » Jan 7th 2004, 2:24 pm

(A) he hadn’t said anything about Angela at that point and yet Rayanne knew what he meant (he sees that it is showing that he cares, something that is difficult for him), (B) this highlights the nature of their relationship – they are different: Jordan goes to go out, to parties, clubs etc., while Angela usually has to be convinced to do these things. Jordan knows that it is “like usual” for Angela to not come, and it seem put salt in the wound (excuse the cliché) of knowing that things probably won’t work out for them.
I completely agree with your A) point. I guess he also thinks about some things from the B) part of your comment.But I don't think he really cares about Angela not being a " let's go out and get wasted" person". I think he actually likes that about her. Jordan asks Rayanne who is she here with because he knows that she is Angela's best friend which basically means that they hang out together a lot ( altough Jordan realizes that Angela is not a party animal,he also realizes that Angela goes places with Rayanne-the loft, to the movies, get something to eat-Louie's doesn't strike me as a party place,notice the "barbecue" and "chicken" signs, it's more like a place where you can get something to eat or have a beer,shoot pool etc...).So, when Rayanne says that "it's like usual " that Angela is a no show, he "closes his eyes like it hurts to look at things" because he keeps seeing her with "that guy, Corey" ( notice the way he says this person's name) and if she's not with her annoying best friend......Soooo, he is jealous and furthermore drunk(I assure you, that is not a nice combination) and a LOT of weird and not very plausible things can go through your head in that frame of mind.

And for those of you who think J&R were incredibly to each other, I assure you he would have done with Mrs.Kryzanowski if she was there.( Yeah, and I'm like the sickest person)
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jan 7th 2004, 8:43 pm

Clockwork orange wrote:But I don't think he really cares about Angela not being a " let's go out and get wasted" person". I think he actually likes that about her.
I agree. I do think though that there is a hint of despair in his eye-closing, despair at this thing between them ever working out (not so much because she doesn't go out, I'm sure that doesn't bother him). I think too that he is bummed to hear that she isn't there. I totally agree with you that he asks Rayanne who she came there with in hopes of hearing that Angela was there.
Clockwork orange wrote:So, when Rayanne says that "it's like usual " that Angela is a no show, he "closes his eyes like it hurts to look at things" because he keeps seeing her with "that guy, Corey"
I disagree that he closes his eyes here because he is thinking of Corey. I think he is a disappointed (and everything we talked about above, item A and everything...), and mentions Corey in a change of thought. Still on the subject of Angela obviously, but I do not think that the eye-closing is directly related to Corey, Corey is an after thought after e does this.
I do think that Corey makes im slighlty jealous and uncomfortable, and which then makes him more uncomfortable. I LOVE how the next dy at school leavign his locker Jordan kind of walks in a little circle to avoid Corey.
Clockwork orange wrote:And for those of you who think J&R were incredibly to each other, I assure you he would have done with Mrs.Kryzanowski if she was there.( Yeah, and I'm like the sickest person)
I totally am from tha camp arguing that Jordan can hardly stand Rayanne, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that Jordan would have slept with ANYONE, especially Ms. Kryzanowski (she accused him of having a walkman in the halls :P ). Jordan hardly seems sexually crazed in this scene. I am not saying that he absolutely wouldn't have slept with another classmate had Rayanne not been there and someone else had been there, but I do think that there is a reason Rayanne and Jordan found themselves together in the backseat that night -- Rayanne was feeling insecure about her audition and wanted to feel more like Angela -- safe and cared about; Jordan was feeling alone and discouraged, frustrated and longing for Angela. Jordan pretends Angela's friend (who is talking about Angela and innocence, which he clearly finds endearing) is actually Angela, which permits Rayane in turn to pretend that she is Angela.
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