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Bubblegum Angst

aka N'Sync Denial

by Leslie Phillips

Bubblegum Angst. You could have it. You could be in the midst of a deep seeded psychological repression and not know it. How can you tell that you have it? And, more importantly, what is it? To explain Bubblegum Angst one must refer to Freudian theory. Freud said that in order for us to protect ourselves against anxiety or stress our egos produce various types of defense mechanisms. One of the most common types of defense mechanisms comes in the form of repression. Repressions are those issues, events or emotions which our egos push out of our conscious minds. We are not aware of most of our repressions because the ego has stored them in our subconscious memory. But we can be offered the occasional glimpse of many of the things we repress. Bubblegum Angst is a product of the defense mechanism called "Reaction Formation". Reaction formation is a defense mechanism that distorts those impulses of our ids which are unacceptable to our egos. These distortions lead us to display totally opposite behaviors than the original impulse of our ids.

Am I losing you? Let me put it to you in English: you may not really hate all of those Bubblegum singers. You may secretly love them but are too embarrassed to admit it. Therefore, you develop a violent disliking for them. You snarl when you hear "I want it that way." The thought of Britney Spears makes you want to spew. The Backstreet Boys make you want to barf. Get my drift now? Can you identify with these unwarranted loathings of pop stars? Do you ever wonder just why you hate them so much? They never did anything to you (unless you are that guy that gave A.J. all of those horrible tattoos--your business must be really hurting now!). So if you are puzzled by your pop star prejudice look no further. The answers to your deepest psychological mysteries are about to be revealed. The following quiz will help you to determine just where your repulsion lies. You may have Bubblegum Angst. You may have a repressed love of all things bubblegum. If this is so, there is help. There are many others out there like yourself. You are not alone. But before we go down that road you should take this quiz. Find out if you do need help. Then again maybe you're okay. Maybe you are just one of those people that hates others for the hell of it.

Note: In order to take this quiz you will need a pencil & paper (unless you have a really great memory & have great math skills--which the author of this quiz certainly does not). Write down your answers (e.g. "yes," "no," "Paula Abdul rocks my world," etc.). Remember to jot down those bonus points while you're at it. After you're finished continue onto the score section below. There you'll be able to tally up your score and find out where you stand in regards to Bubblegum Angst.

What is more disturbing? New Kids period?
Or New Kids goofing with each other's tails and mullets?
Hard to say.

The Quiz

    1. Finish this lyric: "Shake your love...."
    2. Name Debbie Gibson's perfume. Add a point if you bought it. Add another point if you thought it smelt good.
    3. Did you ever find yourself wearing both a vest and a black hat at the same time?
    4. Were you secretly overjoyed when you found out that Debbie (now "Deborah") was starring in "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway? Add a point if you went to see her.
    5. Name all five New Kids on the Block.
    6. Were you hurt and angry to find out that Tiffany was dating New Kid Jon?
    7. Did you know the exact birth date of each New Kid? Add a point if you annually celebrated the birthdays. Add another point if you still do.
    8. Did you first hear of some guy named Frank Sinatra through New Kid Joey?
    9. Did you catch Tiffany during her Mall Tour?
    10. Finish this lyric: "I think we're alone now..."
    11. Tiffany's first album included two songs that contained the names of which two New Kids?
    12. Do you remember when Tiffany ran away from home? Add a point if you feared that she eloped with New Kid Jon. Add another point if you cried at this thought. Add 2 points if you are also a male.
    13. Did you think Paula Abdul had a good singing voice?
    14. Did you start answering your phone saying "Hola" after buying your first Menudo album?
    15. Did you, at any point in time, get your hair cut like on of the members of New Edition? Add a point if you do not have Afro-friendly hair.


    1. "I just can't shake your love." 2 points
    2. Electric Youth 2 points + 1 if you bought it + 1 if you thought it smelt good
    3. yes 3 points
    4. yes 2 points + 1 if you saw her
    5. Danny, Joey, Jordan, Jon, Donnie 1 point per correct New Kid
    6. yes 2 points
    7. yes 3 points + 1 for celebrating it + 1 if you still do
    8. yes 3 points
    9. yes 3 points
    10. "There doesn't seem to be anyone around...." 2 points
    11. Danny & Jon 2 points per correct New Kid
    12. yes 2 points + 1 if you feared elopement + 1 if you cried + 2 if you are male
    13. yes 3 points
    14. yes 2 points
    15. yes 2 points + 1 for non Afro-friendly hair

Award yourself +10 points for completing the quiz. This further shows that you still harbor an interest in Bubblegum Pop.


60-45: Bazooka Joe. It's time for an intervention. You've got Bubblegum Angst and you've got it bad! You have pictures of Nick Carter under your bed. On the occasional Saturday night you prefer to be alone...to watch your old "New Kids Live" video. You only like Robbie Williams because you have fond memories of his days in Take That. It's time to get some help. You've got to work through these issues. If you don't, you may end up like Blink 182. Yes, you could end up on national television running around naked. (Public flashing is a common sign of reaction formation, otherwise known as Bubblegum Angst. The boys of Blink 182 are in the severe stages of the psychological problem). If you feel as though you are in danger of harming yourself or others because of your problem please contact me immediately at candy@urbandigital.com. I will get you the help that you need. "Step by step. Ooo baby. Gonna get you some heelllllppp."

44-20: Mint-a-burst. You are on the edge. You suffer from a slight case of Bubblegum Angst. You clearly hate the bubblegum bands because you do have a slight history of bubblegum fandom. But you also clearly hate them because...well, just because. (Freud never discussed the semi-bubblegummers in his discourses). My guess is that the other portion of your hatred lies in either jealousy (of their fame and/or beauty) or you simply just find their music to sound worse than fingernails on a blackboard. It's up to you to decide what you'd like to do about it. Although you will find yourself singing along to an old Paula song if you hear it on the radio, you are not in any real danger. You certainly don't engage in public flashing (see above) and are not a danger to yourself or others. But, if you still feel as though you need help and want to work things out take some time to accept your love of NKOTB. Think things through. You'll be "hangin' tough" in no time.

19-0: Carefree Sugarless. You simply just hate people for the hell of it. You don't need help for Bubblegum Angst. According to Freud, you are quite healthy and very "in touch" with your emotions. Your id and ego have nothing to hide from one another. Hurray for you! You are "livin' la vida loca".

If you're a child of the 80s, visit our 45 rpm retrospective;
or read A Fixx Encounter: One Drink Leads to Another;
or, for a look at the current state of pop, read Max Burbank's look at the scary future of boy bands.

If you still swear you swoon for rock singers instead,

visit our music archive.

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