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world according to daria
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IF TOTALLY REQUESTED, I WILL SERVE
 
SCOWLING FOR DOLLARS
 
PLAYING WITH BLOCKBUSTERS
 
IT'S ALL SO TAXING
 
THE SLICING AND DICING OF COUCH POTATOES
 
MS. SOFTIE
 
HOW TO BE A POSITIVELY NEGATIVE ROLE MODEL
 
WHAT'S OLD ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA
 
IS THERE A SPIN DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?
 
MUST-APE TV
 
PLEASE PASS THE PEACE PACT
 
BEAUTY IS IN THE THIRD EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
 
HOME SWEET GENOME
 
BUBBLE, BUBBLE, OIL AND TROUBLE

IS THERE A SPIN DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?

It's ironic, the way we never know how we appear to others. For instance, my market research team tells me I come off as a cranky, know-it-all curmudgeon. Distant, aloof and arrogant. Cynical, negative and smug. And -- as bizarre as this may sound -- some people apparently feel this is a bad thing.

I admit to having some problems with a my public image. Maybe it's because I've modeled myself after Bill Gates, aspiring to become a socially awkward misfit with poor eyesight, weird bangs and hundreds of billions of dollars (it's that last part I'm having trouble with). So I've decided to look to Big Bill's steely yet nerdish example for inspiration.

As the government threatens to break Microsoft into smaller though still inconceivably powerful parts, Gates counters the charges of ruthless, illegal business practices with... a makeover. He has been coached to make eye contact with the camera in inspirational commercials; to contribute large sums of money to non-controversial charities; and to acquire a haircut incrementally less bizarre than his earlier mixing-bowl-and-pruning-shears do. And it's worked. He's become the cuddliest rattlesnake around.

So I take my cue from Bill: it is time for a gentler, kinder Daria. A Daria that the public will come to know and love at a safe distance. The kind of Daria who inspires the young to dream, the old to cling to life, and the middle-aged to increase her allowance.

The best is yet to come. Unless it's all downhill from here.

I hereby pledge to undertake the following image-improving actions:

1. Kiss babies: Eventually. I plan to work up to it by winking at them and giving a thumbs-up.

2. Encourage innovation and opportunity: For example, lying on the couch watching TV encourages innovative programming that looks just as good vertically as horizontally, and creates an opportunity for someone to bring me a grilled cheese sandwich cut into triangles.

3. Consider plastic surgery: Some suggest removing my perpetual scowl, but I fear the possible side-effect of laugh lines. Flip-o-suction (removal of flippant remarks from everyday conversation) is a more likely possibility.

4. Modulate voice: From now on, I will speak with a soothing West Indian accent. Mon.

5. Highlight family togetherness: A photo shoot has been arranged and a puppy has been rented. Shots of harmonious antics will be available to the press. Please disregard obvious retouching.

6. Choose an inspiring slogan: "A Daria Who Dares To Dream" will be emblazoned on stationery, t-shirts, and those rubber things you use to open cans. (By the way, it's true. I sleep a lot.)

7. Make eye contact with the public: Preferably by peeking out from behind closed curtains.

8. Allude to baking cookies: My favorite recipe is on its way to the editors of Bitter Homes and Gardens.

9. Give lavishly to charity: I am pleased to announce the endowment of a new trust: the Daria Morgendorffer Foundation for Building Self-Esteem in The Face of Overwhelming Hostility. It contains $6.49.

10. Step aside: I hereby promote Jane Lane to the position of CEO of all my corporate undertakings. She will represent me in all dealings, public and private, as she is far more charismatic and friendly than I am. I will use this opportunity to rededicate myself to ongoing cryptozoological research and development of a thick skin -- while remaining a highly paid consultant, of course.

I just want to give a little back.


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