Creator Dan Levy envisioned it as yet another show about a mother and her wild teenage daughters in star-studded, superficial Los Angeles—in this case, the mom was supposedly home-schooling the girls and basing her curriculum on the self-help film The Secret. But shortly after shooting the pilot episode, Alexis Neiers, one of those daughters, was arrested and charged with being part the “Bling Ring,” a group of teens who allegedly robbed the homes of celebrities, including Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton. To this day, Alexis denies that she was involved with these crimes, but the case and the ensuing publicity resulted in one of reality TV’s funniest (and saddest) moments: a weeping, clearly high Alexis screaming, “Nancy Jo. This is Alexis Neiers calling!” while leaving several hysterical voicemails for Vanity Fair journalist Nancy Jo Sales, who wrote that Alexis wore “six-inch Louboutin heels to court” when she actually wore “four-inch, little brown BeBe shoes."
— My interview on VICE with Alexis Neiers about reality tv, her plans to become the next Dr. Drew, and how much Sofia Copolla sucks.
Midway through my trip to Berlin, I walked to the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe with my friend Amber*. She said the memorial was a maze designed to make visitors temporarily loose their friends, as Holocaust victims lost their friends and family forever. But to me the memorial just looked like rows of walls. Short walls, tall walls, medium walls; walls, walls, walls. I didn’t experience the architect’s vision till I slipped down an icy hill.
I stood up, and I slipped and fell again. I stood up, and Amber was gone. I felt anxious.“Help! Help!” someone screamed in the distance.
Is Amber hurt? Wait. Am I hallucinating? Am I traveling through time? I thought. Was the architect that good?
I heard the smash of a skull—or is it a bullet? I wondered—against a wall.
I ran after the noise, around the corner, where a teenage boy held a girl against the memorial’s grey wall. He shoved a snowball in her mouth. She leaned her cheek against the wall, to let her mouth bleed or because all those feminist columnists were right and young girls are more submissive now because porn has infiltrated our culture.
Nope. She just leaned her cheeck against the wall because she was teasing her dick thang; she punched the boy in the face, listened to him scream, slapped him on the face—and then sucked his lips for what felt like eternity but quickly ended when someone threw a snowball at both the girl and her dick thang’s faces.
I found the scene offensive—we were at a bloody fucking Holocaust memorial—but also relieving. I hadn’t traveled back to the Holocaust. The architect wasn’t that fucking good. Teenagers had simply done what teenagers do to every public space: They had turned the memorial into their sex den.
And that was beautiful. The wonderful thing about teenagers—the thing I envy about teenagers now that I’m no longer a teenager—is they rely on intuition. They give fuck-all about social morale. And that’s why this shouldn’t have been shocking, but it still was. I’m twenty-one now, and I had simply spent so much time visiting museums and monuments—seeing dead people’s houses, war torn churches, and graveyards that stored famous dude’s corpses—I forgot how today’s world works. I mistook Europe for a continent that’s nothing more than the place where a bunch of important historical shit once happened—which it is. But it’s also a contemporary society where the real world happens.
*Name changed to protect my friend’s identity.
— Actual Grindr profile description.