Rock of Love: An Analysis

Even though I watched most of “Rock of Love 2” (I started the season late), and was well aware all the while that I was witnessing some horrible portend of doom, I didn’t really figure it all out until last night, when I watched the “reunion special”. This post-season wrap up was a concentrated dose of R.O.L. in which Riki Rachtman (good to see you!), fresh from the Ricki Lake Training Camp, psychoanalyzes every member of the “cast”. This lasts approximately 5 hours. At one point the old one sings. It is perhaps the most surreal television program I have ever seen.

New shit has come to light, man. And that is the fact that Brett Michaels, formerly thought to be just a lame ex-butt rocker, is actually the world’s biggest misogynist. And no, I am not one of those neo-feminists who sees gender bias in everything. He truly hates women and loves to see them suffer. It helps that he, as he admits on more than one occasion, LOVES crazy girls. This helps because crazy girls are more than willing to do whatever he says, including, but not limited to, giving him lap dances, allowing him to photograph them scantily clad, playing FOOTBALL in the MUD and then HOSING EACH OTHER OFF, and taking turns making out with him in the back of his Hummer limo. If he were just a normal 46-year-old doosh, they would not fall for this. I mean, the guy plays acoustic air guitar. But he is Brett Michaels, former lead singer of one of the most inexplicably popular butt rock bands of the year most of these girls were born. For some reason everyone involved thinks that makes this OK.

In a way, Brett Michaels is a genius. An eeeeviiiil genius, but a genius nonetheless. He has found a way to find large groups of his type of lady (crazy strippers, both professional and amateur…and TV HOSTS, also crazy) and assemble them in his fantasy environment (a mansion littered with pictures of himself and stripper poles, no shortage of booze or motorcycles) and make out with them and/or sleep with them, sometimes in FRONT of the other girls, but always in front of America. Every week he is allowed to dump one of them without any of the real-world recourse (i.e. they continue to call him and stalk him and throw drinks in his face when he is on a date). Eventually, he settles on the one that he feels he can sleep with about 15 more times before quietly dumping her and gearing up for the next season of the show.

I’m not letting the ladies off the hook either. It’s pretty clear that each of them wants something from this show other than “love”. Some of them want to “break in” to the biz. (Megan being the newest career reality show slut. I am so angry at myself for ever rooting for her bitchy ass on “Beauty and the Geek”.) Others just want attention (Daisy) or to be told they are pretty on national television (also, Daisy). Their success is pretty much directly proportional to how good they are at convincing Brett that they “are here for him”. Yet I hear the word “competition” at least 250 times per episode. So perhaps some of them are really just tired of their amateur volleyball league and want a new hobby.

If you had shown me “Rock of Love” in 1990, I wouldn’t have believed it. I would have thought you were showing me an extended scene from Paul Verhoeven’s new film, or something penned by Margaret Atwood about a dystopian future. I would have laughed. Sure, I laugh when I watch “Rock of Love” now. But it is that hysterical cry-laughing that you do when you can’t fully process the horror that you are witnessing.

Cheers, Brett Michaels. You really have reached your full potential. You are not only allowed to be a total cad with no social consequences, it has become your job.


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