"you look terrible and i look great, post it on your tumblr"
"you look terrible and i look great, post it on your tumblr"
after i posted the last post with the quotes about masculinity in it i saw this chart in a retweet ballet school made of an article on huffpo
the john w. thompson article talks a little bit about the phrase “the patriarchy hurts everybody” and how it’s useful but also kind of reductive in a way that’s potentially misleading, the article in general was really helpful to me in thinking about feminism especially in the context of The Thing That Happened when pitchfork bnt’ed “on fraternity” and summoned up the tidal wave of internet nontroversy that it did
in retrospect i think where i screwed up the most was not thinking about how women were going to respond to stuff like the name “dead girlfriends”. i was at a tegan & sara show recently and i was talking to someone who is part of their crew and she was asking about what i did and i tried to explain and when i got to the part where i had to say that at one point my band was called “dead girlfriends” i was just like wow you know in the 6 months or whatever that i went about my affairs on this earth believing i was going to have a band called “dead girlfriends” i pretty much never once thought about the extremely inevitable fact that i was eventually going to have a conversation with someone like this and cringe while saying the name that is associated with the work that i do in my life that contains the greatest concentration of my heart and soul
in comics there’s this storytelling trope that is usually called "women in refrigerators" but is also sometimes referred to as “dead girlfriends” relating to the way that female supporting characters are often killed off, raped, depowered, or otherwise victimized as a way of developing the character of or heightening the drama for male characters who are close to them. it’s like, male writers attempting to provoke a reaction in male audiences, with female characters and by proxy the feelings of female readers ending up as collateral damage. i guess that’s not really dissimilar from what i was doing with the name - what was meant to provoke male audiences ended up provoking a totally unwanted and terrible reaction in female audiences, which i could have avoided doing if i had stopped to think for even one second about how a woman would react to it (“of course claire suggested that this was a bad idea initially but i didnt listen cuz im a butt” - claire). i think that qualifies as irony, i don’t know. on the vh1 pop-up video for alanis morissette’s “ironic” they quote an english professor who says none of the situations described in the song actually constitute genuine irony so who even knows really
so that’s why i changed the name to “default genders”, that’s why the name “dead girlfriends” is stupid and that’s why i totally regret using it in the first place
as far as the actual content of “on fraternity” goes, there was an article by claire lobenfeld on stereogum that invoked bikini kill’s “we don’t need you” in order to attempt to take down “on fraternity” on the grounds that male feminist polemic is unnecessary because the riot grrl movement already existed/exists and that feminist messages are most effectively delivered by women. i wouldn’t really disagree that feminist messages are most effectively delivered by women. in the john w thompson article i quoted in the post below this one he kind of talks about how men advocating against the sexual assault of men by other men doesn’t really fall under the umbrella of feminism - that as a victim of sexual assault himself, he feels safe in feminist spaces, supports feminist causes, and gets a lot out of feminist literature, but that he realizes that feminism does not exist to advocate for him because he’s not a woman. that sexual assault by men against women is a different thing than sexual assault by men against men and that you’re in danger of steamrolling some pretty important distinctions and facts about privilege if you attempt to equate them.
so i mean the criticisms that michelle myers and others had of “on fraternity” - “it’s so obvious”, “i’m not interested in hearing a man tell me what i’ve been screaming for years”, “this information is nothing new to anyone who’s done a first year women’s studies course” - like, sure, definitely, i get that. it’s just that like, i am interested in hearing a man say that stuff. i grew up fatherless and the earliest, most impactful lessons about sex any adult men ever taught me were in the context of me being abused by them. the things i say in my music and on the internet are, by and a large, things that earlier in my life i needed to hear another male person say. the volume of destructive input i was getting from all sides about how adult men are supposed to behave was so overwhelming to me when i was younger that it wasn’t until i was exposed to old testament take-no-prisoners rhetoric on the level of andrea dworkin’s “intercourse” that i was finally able to grasp how vital it is to end sexism, to end rape, to end abuse. i think hearing male voices saying that stuff would have made a difference to me, so that’s what i used mine to do. maybe the songs i made did a shitty job of getting the point across, i dunno. i think they’re good, despite what the asshole spin editor who made sure that the title of their interview with me was “james brooks: i totally failed” wants you to think but whatever i made them of course i do
in the other piece i linked, ann friedman talks about how primitive conversations about masculinity and male gender roles in 2013 are compared to conversations women have about femininity, because feminism forced women to start having them decades ago and men are just starting to get around to it now. as a male sexual assault victim, there’s a lot of work i have to do in order to figure out how to talk about it and how to create safe spaces for myself that probably looks a lot like work that feminists started and finished decades before i was born.
maybe that work is distinct from feminism and another name for it would be helpful. maybe there is already another word for it and i just don’t know what it is and i could have used it to make it clearer that i was not just regurgitating ideas i’d been exposed to in the abstract about things that happen to women. i survived things and i am here and i was almost not here and i am not saying you should care or that i should get a cookie or a bunch of tumblr likes or anything else i am just saying i am here. i am still here. if i could somehow deliver that message to myself ten years ago it would make all the difference in the world and i’m not gonna act like anything i’m doing is vitally important to anyone but me but maybe there are people out there who are sort of like me ten years ago who may get some semblance of a thing out of hearing it. and i dunno i mean a bunch of people bought my thing and kathleen hanna told me she was not horrified by it so i feel like maybe it is not the worst possible thing in the world if i keep doing it
i sort of quit the internet for a month during the middle of the period when the controversy was still happening and during that time i told a bunch of people who were in contact with me privately that i was quitting music or quitting tumblr or some other lame self-servingly melodramatic rhetoric because it all really freaked me out and i was ashamed of how dumb the name thing was and afraid that it looked like i was explicitly courting controversy to gain notoriety for myself or that i was making my girlfriend look bad or that i was wrecking the experience of being a fan of stuff i have done for people who were fans of it by creating a situation where they were going to have to be on the defensive whenever they talked about me for the rest of time. but i didn’t quit caring about any of this, i didn’t quit doing the work, i just want to do a better job of it. nietzsche says perfection is totally out of reach for humanity because we are a transitional bridge species and our whole purpose is to struggle and that as individuals we will never live to achieve the thing we are all struggling towards, so i know i will never do a perfect job of what i am trying to do but i hope that i can get better at it and that i never stop getting better at it.
sorry this ended up being longer than i meant for it to be
The rarer, and perhaps more honest position, is that anti-sexual-violence work isn’t meant for men and never really was, at least in the sense of advocacy. Men are still privileged; we must still take responsibility for anti-violence work among ourselves. But the inclusion of male survivors in the context of anti-sexual-violence advocacy is an awkward retrofit. The anti-sexual-violence movement, such as it is, was built over decades by female feminists, particularly radical feminists, particularly radical lesbian feminists, particularly around college campuses and other such places where safe spaces could be fashioned. The safe space, and its inherent gendering, was critical. Observe the history of any venerable Take Back the Night movement within a community and chances are good that it will have been women-only before a certain point in time, if it isn’t still. That fact speaks to the purpose of anti-violence work, as articulated through radical theory, as a specifically gendered movement.
- “making a terrible sort of sense”, john w. thompson at the toast, 2013
What’s striking isn’t the lack of consensus on what defines masculinity now, but the utter confusion about how to go about doing so. That’s because America is finally getting around to having the conversation about what it means to be a man that, decades ago, feminism forced us to have about womanhood. Women still face social consequences when they don’t conform neatly to gender norms, but many of even the most ideologically progressive men are just now starting to talk about how to break with masculine stereotypes and still hang onto a sense of gender identity.
- "what does manhood mean in 2013", ann friedman at the cut, 2013
grimes written interview - Corona Capital
i just want to point out that i was fairly drunk while filling out this questionnaire
also this is my handwriting
one of the most important artists of this or any era
The nontroversy starts with a tweet or a quote ripped from an interview. It only needs a line or two because a paragraph might complicate things. The miscreant is then forced into representing an extreme position. A swarm of outraged tweets and thinkpieces descend on this caricatured version while the miscreant cannot defend or apologise for what was said because it wasn’t really said in that way, and any attempt to clarify what was meant appears craven and disingenuous. By the time the storm blows itself out, it has usually achieved 0.0001% of sod all.
- why politicians and celebrities never say what they really think, dorian lynskey in the guardian, 2013
whoa i had no idea this existed this fucking rules also i love “joseph gordon-levitt earnestly practicing in the mirror before an audition to play dave gahan in a depeche mode biopic” as brandon flowers’ new stage persona love this love this love this
"sam’s town" is the name of a casino in henderson, nevada which is kind of like an outer suburb of las vegas where all the casinos are older and dustier and smaller and have to do things like have really cheap buffets to pull in customers who are mostly not tourists but local gambling addicts posted up at the penny slots for 12 hour stretches kind of dazed and relatively motionless like borg drones hooked into the charging stations on cubes. i lived by myself next to it in a house that was mostly empty except for a stereo and a computer and a mattress for a few months in 2001 after the nearest high school had blocked my admittance because of their overcrowding and the failing grades i’d registered in every subject since moving to the states and getting placed in classes two grades below me because nobody could get ahold of any information about my credits from canada and no one was sure if they’d even be transferrable if they could. i taught myself to make music by chopping up short wavs of bass notes i’d made by typing frequency values into a wav generator underneath pitchshifted recordings of a single note played on a $10 acoustic guitar into a $10 radio shack microphone in sonic foundry acid which was like a consumer grade protools/pre-garageband piece of music editing software that sony eventually bought and rebranded as sony acid. i saw the first music review websites i had ever seen while searching for information about whether or not the international noise conspiracy was as good as refused because i was on dial-up and there were only so many hours in the night and i wasn’t sure if i wanted to use up a bunch of space in my audiogalaxy queue to find out for myself oh my god can you remember when the internet in general was really excited about hearing music it had never heard before instead of being like weary and cynical and irritable and deeply concerned about whether or not the potential popularity of something was going to translate into shitty 10 cents a word blurbing gigs or not ugh ugh ugh ugh
someone on the official marilyn manson message board sent me powedered dxm and i would get really messed up and listen to autechre and unwound and whitehouse and fiona apple and neu! and cibo matto and aaliyah and portishead and broadcast which was a pop album that was on warp records which seemed like an earthshaking development in those quainter more innocent times and xtrmntr and loveless and the new order comeback album get ready that had “crystal” and guest vocals by bobby gillespie and billy corgan on it. one day i walked to sam’s town to get lunch from the mcdonalds and two girls who lived down the street called out to me saying HEY YOU’RE CUTE COME HERE and i blushed and didn’t even look up and while i was eating i looked across the food court and saw my mom’s old boss and his family, a partner in a mining company who was married to a minor thai pop star who would later go to prison after being indicted for fraud by the SEC for luring investors with falsified information that was posted on the company website i designed for them i guess as a hail mary during the hearings at one point they remembered that i had done the website and tried to imply that me and my mom might have been up to no good and she had to go testify and say that we didn’t know anything anyway he didn’t acknowledge me i just ate my fries and left
i downloaded jeff buckley and elliott smith and modest mouse on audiogalaxy too it never made sense to me i’m not talking shit on your truth i’m just telling you mine
the killers are named after the fake band in the new order “crystal” video i guess they were forming around this time sometimes i wonder what high schools they went to and if it was maybe the one i couldn’t get into and if i would have been friends with them if i went to that high school instead of the ones i had gone to and been invited to be in better bands than the ones i had been invited to be in which included a metal band called pestilence that didn’t ever do anything beyond covering for whom the bell tolls in a garage and drawing posters of theoretical future concerts with skeletons in sleeveless denim vests soloing during an electrical storm and a sub-orgy goth metal vanity project called the domination game that was a musical compromise between a guy i knew who wore dimmu borgir t-shirts and a guy he knew that borrowed bebe clothes from all the goth girls he was secretly simultaneously dating
the canonical best killers songs are “human”, “read my mind”, their cover of “four winds”, and "ride"
i think that time basically stops in the pokéball so the real worry i guess is what happens to all the pokémon that are in pokéballs after the trainer dies and can no longer summon them
that’s so sad to think about. hopefully in the pokemon universe, if that happens, that trainer’s friends or family will release those pokemon.
but what if something happens like a bunch of sailors get shipwrecked in a terrifying storm and their pokeballs are all floating around the ocean? though i feel like some pokemon are able to force their way out. this would not be the ideal situation for a fire type, though. or really any pokemon that cannot swim, fly, or float.
well the abundance of pokémon centers in all known regions of poké-earth indicates that pokéball usage might be heavily regulated at the government level - it would explain a lot about why parents are so laissez-faire about letting their school-age children go off alone on continent-spanning journeys if pokéballs contained some kind of RFID tag or GPS beacon letting a central pokéball authority know which pokémon are contained within which pokéballs and which pokéballs are registered to which trainers, so that pokémon-related crimes can be swiftly prosecuted and in the event of a trainer’s death, unclaimed pokémon still trapped in pokéballs can be retrieved and re-released into tall grass
even if pokéball tracking doesn’t extend to NSA-esque levels of forthrightness there are probably still security checkpoints at most major airports and seaports to make sure that all pokémon and pokéballs are accounted for, and features like online trading and the new pokébank system indicates that pokémon who are contained in pokéballs are still accessible from the central servers that all pokémon not in your current party are stored on, so investigations into the wellbeing of and the possible necessity of humanely retrieving/releasing pokémon who have been idle for too long are surely an option
James, You would be a great prof. Prof. Deadgirlfriends
"professor deadgirlfriends" sounds like hugo schwyzer’s username on whatever website carlos danger was using though