Back to the topic of the role of would-be Manic Pixie Dream Girls during the vulnerable phase of the 15-year excitement cycle, when their nursing-back-to-health services are not wanted while everybody is wallowing in a touch-me-not refractory state.
A recent post looked at a frustrated would-be MPDG, in Michelle Branch's song "All You Wanted" from the early 2000s vulnerable phase. It made me think that the manic-phase births like her perform some variation on the nursing-back-to-health theme during the vulnerable phase -- just not that of coaxing wary people out of their shells, as their signature role during the restless warm-up phase that follows.
That is, the resilient attitude that they acquired from imprinting on the zeitgeist of invincibility during their birth, in a manic phase, might be a lifelong trait that expresses itself in different ways, depending on what phase of the cycle they're in.
Another post has already shown how they lead a quasi-rebellion of carefree self-actualization during the manic phase -- not as mindless self-indulgence, but as a deserved vacation after tending to others' needs during the preceding restless phase, when they did their heavy lifting role as the MPDG proper.
Now I think I've finally figured out their role in the vulnerable phase. Everyone is too touch-me-not to accept her role as coaxing them out of their shells, encouraging them to achieve the most they can, and serve as a practice girlfriend in order for them to find true love by the end of their fleeting relationship. And it's just past the phase where everyone felt invincible, comfortable taking risks, interacting with others, and so on.
What is left to do, but send the message that this down-in-the-dumps doldrums, this social-emotional hangover, is not going to last forever -- and therefore, they should just try to ride it out, to believe that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Although you feel like you're drowning, do not let yourself sink to the bottom, because before too long, you'll be swimming back to shore. Just tread water for now.
To be dramatic, apropos of the emo vibe during the vulnerable phase, I'll call this role "throwing a lifeline to the drowning". It's not the same as commiseration, which does not presume an end to the suffering, and could easily be two co-dependent depressives remaining down-and-out together indefinitely. There has to be a silver lining / light at the end of the tunnel message. A reminder from someone who is seemingly not affected (or affected far less) by the refractory state.
It's as though they can breathe underwater and pass on some of their oxygen by mouth-to-mouth to the typical person who is barely treading water and whose lungs are starting to fill up with liquid. But it cannot rise to the level of an empowerment anthem, which assumes that they're in a normal healthy state, and just need a shove to accomplish great things. In this phase, she's just trying to keep them from drowning. The tone is only uplifting in the sense of helping them not hit rock-bottom -- not lifting them up to soar away on their own.
The person they're helping is not actually profoundly traumatized, they're just feeling a heightened level of anxiety, insecurity, and depression. These feelings stem from uncertainty -- what seems like unresolvable uncertainty -- and that in turn stems from social isolation. If they were socially and emotionally interacting with others, they would have a resolution to their uncertainty -- other people value them, like and love them, need them, and so on. But when they retreat into a refractory-state cocoon, this feedback from others vanishes, and they are left in a state of crippling uncertainty. So the would-be MPDG swoops in to deliver a clear, definitive message that they're worthy, and not to give up hope, as their anxiety etc. will eventually get better.
Related posts here, here, and here. Reminder that the physical profile is to establish that the MPDG is a corporeal rather than cerebral type, and that butt people are corporeal while boob people are cerebral. She is an earthly guardian angel, not a purely disembodied one.
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"Que Sera, Sera" by Doris Day (1956)
The least emo of the anthems, since it was the 1950s and people were about as far from drowning as could be. There was New Deal collectivism rather than neoliberal atomization, and the 50-year political violence cycle was at a nadir (between peaks circa 1920 and 1970). Still, the cocooning-and-crime cycle was in a falling-crime / cocooning phase ("Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" alienation), and the second half of the '50s were a vulnerable phase of the excitement cycle.
To assuage the anxieties and insecurities of her Fifties audience, Doris Day delivers a message, not of fatalism, but rather not stewing in one's own doubts and depression, and that everything will work out well in the end.
As with all MPDGs, she was born during a manic phase (early '20s), and was an hourglass-shaped butt woman rather than boob woman.
"Lean on Me" by Bill Withers (1972)
Also during the New Deal era, though right at the peak of political violence and civil breakdown. Instead of inflaming those tensions further, Bill Withers (born during the manic phase of the late '30s) promoted solidarity and fellow-feeling, while also playing a role in the vulnerable phase of the excitement cycle to keep people from hitting rock-bottom. There's a light at the end of the tunnel because we're all here to help each other out with whatever problems we may encounter.
A close runner-up from the same phase is "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel (1970), both of whom are sad-boys born in the early '40s, not manic-phase births. There's something slightly off about this one compared to the others, though, in that it's not encouraging an inner-confidence in the listener, as a kind of pep talk. Its message of reassurance is that the singer will shield and protect the listener, who either will not have to give back in the same way, or does not need to find or cultivate that inner-confidence that the other songs encourage, like a motivational speech. So, perhaps sad-boys and sad-girls are good at commiserating, but not motivating others to find an inner strength that they might not be sure they actually have.
"I'll Be There" by the Jackson Five (1970) is another example from this phase, although more in the context of a bf / gf than a generalized motivational speaker, therapist, or nurse. Still, worth including. Three of the five are manic-phase births (early '50s), while two are sad-boys (late '50s). The two lead vocals are split evenly between a manic (Jermaine) and a vulnerable-phase birth (Michael).
"True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper (1986)
Now that we're getting solidly into the neoliberal era, and its collapse in collectivism, these anthems are going to get a lot more emo, as the audience finds itself in a far more precarious situation, no matter what phase of the excitement cycle they're in. That inclines them toward a hysterical response, compared to the more unflappable entries in the genre from the New Deal era.
Just a few years earlier, Cyndi Lauper had delivered the prime example of MPDG behavior during the manic phase -- the carefree self-actualizing anthem "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (1983). But what a difference a few years make, when it crosses the phase boundary into the hangover of the second half of the '80s. And yet she couldn't keep her fundamentally resilient free-spirited nature from expressing itself, she only had to modulate it to cater to the new needs of an audience that was slumped over in a refractory state, and needed motivation not to let themselves go under for good.
She was born during a manic phase (early '50s), and was formed like the rest (hourglass butt woman).
It's really too bad she didn't have any big hits during the late '70s or the early '90s, which were restless warm-up phases that would have allowed her to play the role of an MPDG proper. Still, it's illuminating to see her perform iconic entries in different variations on the underlying MPDG theme. As far as I can tell, the only MPDG to shine through all three phases of the cycle is Avril Lavigne (more on her in another post).
"Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel from the same year is a close second for this phase. And like Cyndi Lauper, he's an early '50s birth. The featured singer in the chorus is Kate Bush, a sad-girl born in the late '50s, and I think it's her tone of commiseration, rather than leading and motivation, that makes this one sound halfway like "Bridge Over Troubled Water" from the sad-boy duo extraordinaire. Maybe it would have equaled "True Colors" as an anthem in this genre, if the featured chorus singer had been a more resilient manic-phase birth with a strong inner-confidence, for example Annie Lennox (early '50s birth). Kate Bush as the singer doesn't detract from its aesthetic merit, just saying that its inspirational role is not quite as powerful as "True Colors" for this reason.
"Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera (2002)
The trend of neoliberal atomization to produce hysterical and flailing responses to adversity is even more evident, and the MPDG's task all the more demanding to steady the audience's nerves and reassure them of their worthiness. This one relied the most on her branding outside of the song itself, to establish the "not like other girls" persona -- crucially the video, where she has multi-colored hair, facial piercings, and edgy clothing, unlike bubblegummy blonde peers like Jessica Simpson. Not to mention all the outcast groups showcased in the video. And this was just after the success of "Genie in a Bottle," whose title helped to establish her image as a social-emotional deus ex machina for a sad sack who needs some major help.
Christina Aguilera is a manic-phase birth (early '80s), and an hourglass butt woman, like the others.
"I Believe in You" by Kylie Minogue (2004) is a fairly distant second for this phase, but there's something about this genre that's unmistakably there. It's in a bf / gf context, like a disco-danceable take on "I'll Be There". And yet the ethereal vocals and synths keep this from sounding like any old bf / gf song, and lend a more universal sky-level point-of-view to the singer, as though she were a goddess or guardian angel. Of course, like the others she's an hourglass butt woman born during a manic phase (late '60s).
"Scars to Your Beautiful" by Alessia Cara (2016)
Not only has neoliberal atomization reached new lows by this point, but wokeness and civil breakdown have begun to accelerate toward a new peak (which would be reached circa 2020, rivaling the last peak circa 1970). That's why I've featured the official music video, with its insane levels of wokeness that interrupt the lyrics themselves -- as a reminder of how fucking emo the late 2010s vulnerable phase was. Easily the most hysterical micro-era since World War I / the late 1910s.
As a consequence of wokeness, this song explicitly only caters to half the population (girls), unlike its not-too-older relative "Beautiful," whose video made sure to include a scrawny straight white guy whose body dysmorphia was channeled into weightlifting and obsessive mirror-gazing. But then the Aguilera song was from a near nadir in the civil breakdown cycle.
Like the others, Alessia Cara is a manic-phase birth (late '90s), and an hourglass butt girl, unusually for someone of Eastern Med background (Calabria), who tend to be skinny boob women.
There are no second places or honorable mentions from the genre during this phase, due to the breakdown of not only civil relations -- which had also happened circa 1970 -- but of the American empire and its culture as a whole. American culture finally bit the dust in 2021. (An upcoming post will elaborate, but I have been cataloging this all year by looking at how "contemporary hit" radio stations have stopped playing songs from the current year, and are frozen in 2020 at the latest, but generally the 2010s and earlier.)
But even by the late 2010s, we had already felt a strong impression that the culture-makers were finished with making American culture, had minimal interest in appealing to a broad universal audience, and were going to simply go on an originality strike, and cope by serving an increasingly narrow provincial audience of libtard strivers.
Still, credit where it's due -- the Alessia Cara song is the final entry in this genre, as opposed to the total absence of entries that will characterize the indefinite future void of Anglosphere culture.