Last night I watched Almost Famous and grudgingly remembered Philip Seymour Hoffman’s brilliant diatribes against friendships between journalists and their subjects.
“Be honest and unmerciful,” Hoffman instructed his protege sternly, and that’s how I try to roll. “You’re going to have lots of friends in LA.”
And I do — enjoying both Ari Fitz and Ashley Ceasar’s virtual presence (the only presence that matters) in my Twitter feed. Affection didn’t stop me from rubbing my hands together with glee when their lovely publicist emailed an exclusive clip of Ari and Ashley’s first televised fight on the upcoming episode of The Real World: Ex-plosion. Fresh reality footage of lesbian couples fighting irrationally and slightly drunk, “HURRAH!”
The 80 second clip shows Ari and Arielle angrily walking in the same direction, then tossing about menswear while hissing, “It’s not about fault.” Have you ever noticed how silly other people’s arguments are? I’ve noticed. We don’t see the incendiary incident, but we do discover that Ari smiles when you yell at her WHICH WOULD DRIVE ME INSANE. The last thing I want when I’m upset is someone statuesque smirking down at me. I’d be tempted to regress into childhood and kick Ari’s shin. But maybe that’s a personal issue since I was the shortest girl in my class from elementary to middle school.
Ari and Ashley’s bickering can be summed up thus:
Ashley: You’re wearing our dude roommate’s clothes.
Ari: Yeah, I mean partially.
Ashley: Who are you?
Ari: Imma show you all my cool boys clothes.
Ashley: I don’t know you.
Ari: You know me.
Ashley: But I don’t know know you.
Ashley’s predilection toward femininity comes as no surprise to me because during our interview Ashley murmured, “I prefer femmes” and I preened. Here comes the part where I grasp for deeper meaning in another meaningless clip of reality television. First, I suspect Ari wearing Tom’s sweater isn’t the root of Ashley’s frustration. Ashley’s probably frustrated with Ari’s aura of genial indifference, which makes her soon somewhat aloof. Ari’s androgyny allows her to look strikingly different, and that malleable exterior is probably tied to inner flexibility. Ari knows Ashley is more attracted to Ari when she looks feminine, so if she’s dressing masculine Ashley might wonder a. why Ari is putting less effort into looking good for Ashley and b. who Ari wants to attract in those clothes.
To me, Ari looks like a lesbian who didn’t put in effort before going out because she knows she looks good in anything. She’s either lazy or terribly confident. Or both. Ashley and Ari seem like extremely organized people. Ari thrashes about boy jeans, Ashley makes of the mistake of saying “fault” and Ari is like, “Whose fault? You said fault!” and Ashley tries to backtrack. Apparently Ari and Ashley read the same advice column instructing couples “not to frame things in terms of fault.” Ashley storms away and for a moment Ari Fitz don’t-give-a-shit grin crumples and she begins to cry.
You can watch the whole thing go down on The Real World: Ex-Plosion tonight on MTV.