Thu 8th May 2008
Ever see one of those college-set films with identical plots? 10 Things I Hate About You, Cruel Intentions... I'd go on but the memories make the brain ache.
Popular boy accepts bet from his jock mates to date unpopular (but blatantly stunning looking beneath those "awkward" glasses, or oh-so Goth clothing) girl.
Well, we are the dorky [but blatantly stunning looking??? - hmm, analogy seems to be falling down alarmingly early here] doom fan unpopulars. Torche are the popular boy - the Fonz, the Travolta Danny Zuko, the wolf in sheep's clothing. They are the spirit of pop punk - they are Alkaline Trio taking a bet with their punk mates, to see if they can oust us from the shadows, into the light to be mocked by all.
And 'Meanderthal' is the bet, the bait, the temptation. And we've fallen for it, we have been unclothed, stripped bare. And the masses, the mainstream point and laugh.
Yet, in the finale, as the sun sets on our college and the prom begins to play its final tune, all is not lost. King of the pile, cock of the class, the spirit of popular punk (Alkaline Torche Trio) stands up and defends us - "NO!" they bellow - we all turn to hear the oracle orate. They explain to all how 'Meanderthal' has become more than the bet, more than they ever imagined and means more to it than has ever come before. It is their new way of life, a medium for us all to congregate in spirit. "Accept me for my new path, if only we'd known we'd have been here before. And accept them [us] for what it has made them."
And as dusk arrives, a new dawn begins, and the DJ slips 'Healer' on the stereo, and we all dance in harmony. The credits roll, the song fades, and the picture returns for one last shot - our old geeky doom friend, smilingly content but a bit too drunk on sneakily stowed 20:20, ushered out by a bearded bouncer, growling warmly "Everything's gonna be alright".