MSCL and TWoP/Tomato Nation

Found a reference to "My So-Called Life" in a book, movie, tv show or somewhere else? Then post here!
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MSCL and TWoP/Tomato Nation

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Nov 6th 2007, 8:18 pm

Although we already have this thread in the tv forum full of references to MSCL in the TWoP recaps, I felt this warranted a separate thread in the media subforum.

In the Mondo Extras section at Television Without Pity, Sars has a MSCL-related story entitled Tomato Dance: A Memoir.
Red Menace
{Extra} TWoP Co-Editor In Chief Sars will do anything for you may have read in the men's room. How is this My So-Called Life's fault? That's an excellent question.
Below are the MSCL-related sections, but I highly encourage you to click on the link to read the entire story (it's only three pages long, so even if you're normally a tl;dr kind of person, it's doable!) and see the pictures!
I don't remember where I first read about My So-Called Life -- in Sassy, most likely, back when Sassy still rocked. But I definitely remember reading a little preview piece that raved about the show, so I made a mental note to check it out.

I don't remember when I joined the listserve about the show, either. I do remember that I had a Compuserve account, one of the ones with a string of numbers instead of a name, and I remember that I had to connect to the internet via a 2400-baud connection, and I remember my brother bitching at me every night to quit tying up the phone line we shared because the My So-Called List generated hundreds of emails a day and took forever to download. I was living at home at the time, working for my dad, treading water, split up from my friends and freaking out about the crappy job market, and My So-Called Life gave me something good to care about.

And we "listies" cared about it, intensely, constantly. We argued passionately, without cease, about the show, back and forth, on and on: whether Patty and Graham would have gotten divorced, where the Rayanne/Sharon friendship might have gone, which episode is the weakest in the run ("Weekend" is the majority choice, but I always voted "Halloween"), and of course whether Angela would have gone with Brian or Jordan in the second season. Which we never saw, and of course we argued about that, too -- whether the programming chief at ABC at the time, Ted Harbert, was evil or just weak-willed, whether Claire Danes's unwillingness to sign a new contract had spelled certain doom for the series, where we should send the sternly worded postcards we'd written, and so on.

So, you could say that I've associated television -- television I had fervent opinions about, positive or negative -- with the internet since the very beginning. And I do mean the beginning, because, again: 2400 baud. Half y'all probably don't know that term, so let me define it for you: "slow." Slow as Siberian molasses. We didn't have boards or forums, or blogs; we had listserves and newsgroups. Everyone's email address was some jumbly encrypted-looking hot mess, and Netcom was a big player in the online world. You wanted to search for something, you used Lycos. No iTunes, no Facebook, no IM, we had to walk to AOL uphill both ways in the snow and fight off the "I love you" virus with our loose-leaf notebooks.

...How did I come to wear a tomato costume? And what does that have to do with TWoP? Well, it's a very long story, but here's the short version: I challenged the readers of another site of mine, Tomato, to raise $40,000 in one month for Donors If they could raise the 40K in time, I promised to dress up in a tomato costume for an entire day -- and to do a dance in Rockefeller Plaza, specifically the little sidewalk dance Angela does after Jordan kisses her for the first time for real.

Then it got really awesome -- Claire Danes herself, who's raised a goodly chunk of money for Donors Choose her own self, got wind of the Tomato Nation challenge, and donated prizes to the contest, and $7,500 of her own money to the challenge goal.

With a little help from the former Angela Chase, Tomato Nation readers smithereened that benchmark, raising not just forty but more than a hundred thousand dollars in under a month -- thus, the tomato costume, and the Angela dance, which you can see by clicking through to this entry. It is, alas, truncated, because I couldn't do the dance correctly without kicking some unsuspecting passersby in the slats. Tempting, but I could do without an assault conviction.
You can see the video of her dance here!
Natasha aka candygirl ::

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