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What were we thinking?



ROX Episodes

Title: What were we thinking?
Type: production note
Date: February 23rd, 2003

I have to wonder what was going through my mind, or through the minds of any of the ROX crew, when we made this episode.

I recall clearly the concept for this show: It was to be the announcement, from me to my parents, of my engagement to Xy.

And in fact, that's what we did. We made this show, then Xy and I drove out to my parents' house one day and showed it to them. It was the first episode of ROX they'd ever seen, and the first they'd heard of our impending marriage.

My parents are not the most liberal people in the world. Some might call them downright conservative. (In reality, they're not very political at all.)

So why would I think this was a good way to communicate with them? The mere fact that J says “fuck” a couple of times, and I didn't edit it out, speaks volumes about my weird relationship with my parents at that time.

And then there's the moment when Xy says, “I'm very religious, and I like to masturbate frequently.” That captures Xy's character perfectly, of course, the imp of the perverse urging her to say the most inappropriate thing possible — a trait she shared with J, incidentally. But the video for this segment is blocked out with a graphic that says “Self-censored for our own protection.” There's a story behind that.

In the original video, Xy rubbed her crotch quite graphically when she referenced masturbation. We were actually on our way to see my parents when we thought better of this particular segment and decided it might be too much for their tender sensibilities. I stopped into Bloomington's community access television station and took advantage of a vacant editing station to replace the video with the “Self-censored” graphic while Xy waited. Then we piled back into the car and headed to my parents' house.

I must have known that this show would offend them. And I think it's safe to say that it did. They never watched ROX again, even though they would hear plenty about it in the media over the course of the next two years.

And so the question: What was I thinking? What were any of us thinking?

It's hard to explain now, but I think at the time I was so thoroughly convinced that my parents would never understand me or approve of me that I went out of my way to make sure of it. I suppose it was a way of saying, “You're right to hate me. I'm evil.” It was also a way to deny to myself how really heartsick I was over the huge gap between us.

My relationship with my parents would get even worse before it got better, years later. But I didn't nourish any hope at the time.

At one point I state that, even after our marriage, Xy and I “won't be living together.” That was the plan at the time, but in reality it didn't play out that way. We ended up moving into 344 South Dunn together with J and Worm about a month before the wedding.

This show seemed like a fittingly dramatic capper to our first season. At least I think it was the last show of the season... I can't find any record of an episode #33.

There are a couple other goodies here, including what may be the world's shortest music video: one second of Brown Betty!

For the actual wedding, see ROX #41, “Tying One On.”

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