“One of the most destructive and disturbing narcissistic personality disorder
traits is a severe lack of accountability.”-selfgrowth.com
Based on the Brock Turner grotesque court ruling, I was already working on
this when I got wind of the Cat Jones piece on the King Woman/Wax Idols vs Pentagram situation. Not only is it fucked up but also the fact that Kristina Esfandiari’s Miserable record is one of the best albums in all music for 2016 just underscores how much lack of respect it takes to make someone so cool “invisible”.
So here it comes…not another fucking think piece, I know. Fine. Don’t think.
I shouldn’t have to write a think piece after Neill from Krieg already wrote his well known entreaty to not treat women like “sperm receptacles” piece.
But let’s call it a trust your gut and cut the bullshit piece.
This is about how narcissism creates a culture of no accountability. We all
grew up probably loving some 80′s cock rock but that is a frail foundation to
build a spiritually connected society on, as much as I will forever love
Girls, Girls, Girls.
Look, party rock is cool sometimes. I love Andrew WK. But you have to face the issues
also (like not having Nazis at Santos Party House). And it isn’t like El Duce and The Mentors parading around as “rape rock” would still be that cute if he hadn’t been hit by a fuckin’ train and was still doing that crap in 2016.
One caveat for this article. For the sake of objectivity, while it is NEVER
irrelevant, try to forget your preconceptions, gender, race, biases or trauma
for a moment. Imagine a tabula rasa where much of the horrible shit we’ll be
discussing is more optimally hypothetical and not a sad fucking reality. I’m
not taking the “All Lives Matter” stance or disempowering anyone. While All
Lives Do Matter, all people have not suffered the same exact situations.
While every race and gender has suffered something, it doesn’t make the
We have to acknowledge and validate one another to actually heal or evolve.
So…How do you have hyper contextual debates in an alarmist society where
people have legitimate concerns and deserve respect yet when our attention
spans are shortened each day towards tweets, click bait, fight or flight,
ghosting instead of talking things out and hyper marketing that still wants to
promote products through the rapid paced internet white noise and often does
so by catering to lowest common denominator impulses or gross demographic
archetypes? Where a Presidential candidate says “Look at MY African American”?
Seriously, evolving the national convo on #rapeculture in USA land of Nelly
“Hot In Here” soundtracked Bud Light Straw-ber-ita commercials = daunting AF.
So just for a moment acknowledge yourself but also try and put yourself in
the shoes of the other. This is ABSOLUTELY more directed at the cis rape
happy culture than demanding victims still freshly raw and emotionally
scarred must forgive their assailants, rather it is…everyone beyond being
good or evil has a certain programming, belief system, hormones or
healthy/unhealthy view of sex, context, boundaries, etc.
But, yeah…how do you break through to the side that thinks anything goes? The side of tweeting bros
that don’t see any White Privilege in the Brock Turner ruling when meanwhile
blacks as young as 13 regularly get mandatory minimum sentences for selling
weed, considered medicine in much of the world?
My friend Jesse Smith, a writer at The Kingston Times, summed up well the
Turner ruling on Facebook today, writing:
“I understand when rapists get light sentences based on a plea agreement.
Often the victim doesn’t want to endure reliving the experience in court, or
the case has some flaw that might lead to an acquittal. But this guy was
convicted following a jury trial after making the victim testify and undergo
cross examination. He faced up to 14 years in prison and got six months in
county instead. This is a holdover from Victorian times when courts believed
that prison was a much worse experience for a “gentleman” of refined
sensibilities so they should get a lighter sentence than a member of the
lower classes convicted of the same crime.”
I think creating more entertainment like the recent Mad Max that can appeal
to masculine and feminine (far too outmoded categories/virtues these days) or
making intense music that is socially aware but still rocks such as
Ascend/Descend’s ‘Trigger Warning’ is a real way to start.
I believe the underground and once hyper marketed “alternative” scene can
really help to promote spiritual or at least awareness growth to help change
rape culture or at least have a better conversational platform for social justice growth.
Or it can make
things way worse. Heck, I remember an ex saying the most violent frat boy
mosh she ever witnessed was at a scary Blink 182 show where girls were being
grabbed and people were being trampled.
Heavy music can remind us of our divisions and anger, providing a healthy
outlet. It can even promote a sort of connectivity, such as Devin Townsend’s
Ocean Machine record which has a sample that deep down we’re like most other
I recently talked to Candace from Walls Of Jericho about sexism in metalcore.
Here’s an excerpt:
I was just watching a Viceland thing and it had YG and Kendrick Lamar. And
the song was moving and about their friends who had died but then the second
verse ruined it about girls saying “less talk more sex” from “bitches” and I was
like, C’MON! Such selective social awareness. You gotta still respect the
ladies. (makes Pac Man dying sound).
Candace: Oh no! Yeah, there’s no substance to that. When sexism came into hardcore
it was so bad. What brought me into this kind of music was that we were
supposed to be open and non judgemental…yet I’m judging (laughs). But you’re
supposed to feel free from that in the music scene. Allow each other to have
your own thoughts.
Selective social awareness is a real thing. There is a whole article on
Brocialists making the rounds, fittingly.
I spoke on the phone with Amanda Pearl Daniels (ex-Enabler) recently for
advice after I had been really panicked from stress and manic for weeks and
had unintentionally code switched/triggered someone I really care about and
who I feel terrible I upset by being sort of unaware at the time how clingy I was
seeming, despite some communication confusion and a desire to make sure this
person was ok after enduring some rough recent stuff herself.
The conversation with Amanda turned to a discussion of how people can be
triggered by daily stress or people being short as well. How good environments are important when you are trying to function again.
I myself have been raped and have lot of other trauma. I spend a lot of time kind of being
mellow and away from people until I feel mindfully capable of not soaking up
too much “dark matter” and can kind of mingle, do the hard stuff and face the
day. Sometimes you don’t have a choice and have to be zen. Amanda was talking
about leaving a job that was just too grossly dehumanizing and not conducive
to her own well-being.
We can’t always “baby” one another - such a disrespectful term- and have a functioning society but we can
have standards. And respect people are sometimes carrying a lot of trauma. I am also all for freedom of speech but you also can’t expect to have no blowback if you are a remorseless pig.
Years ago blacked out after a devastating personal loss I groped a friend I
deeply valued. I can only assume I thought it was a partner who I had a
consensual two way lack of boundaries with on a regular basis. I know I was
shitfaced beyond belief and yet still haven’t had a drink in years out
of grief. I have been a feminist my whole life and an activist as well as a
very sensitive closeted bi/manic depressive so I very much believe in sacred
space. But it is also SO important to stand accountable when you have erred.
I very much hurt myself as well as the person I scared that day and so I get furious at people who have no remorse. It’s fucked.
The Bill Cosby victim blaming, Donald Trump, even Hillary Clinton slut shaming Bill’s
conquests…it’s all so fucking gross. If we have no art or intense music or
platforms to address these issues there is no chance for healing and
communication. Things spiral out of control…micro/macro.
Isaiah 52:7 reads:
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
For some people, Christianity represents being molested. It is not “good
tidings”. For others, it reminds them of happy days at Sunday School and
being told someone loved them and would save them and they were safe. Likewise some people find liberation in being sexually explicit or making porn and others find it degrading.
For many, people who have spirituality or even atheists who profoundly feel
things but are skeptical, they have to find comfort where they may or outside
of The Bible and with the “core message” of love thy neighbor and the parts
of The Bible that aren’t full of contradictions, social programming and
dropping flaming mountains on gays..Jesus did hang out with the whores and
thieves and poor, right?
So yeah, some people actually get their connection and unity from MUSIC and heavy music at that.
My first concert was Rage Against the Machine with Cypress Hill, Seven Year Bitch and Funkdoobiest. It was multi-cultural, jammin’, seriously fun and mind opening.
I can’t tell you how much comfort I took from Primordial’s “Heathen Tribes”
when I first heard it, with a verse about needing no walls and being able to
experience a holy feeling from nature or how we’re all “hewn from the same stone“, if I recall the lyric.
Or when after my twins weren’t able to
be born safely my friend Rebecca from SubRosa offered to sing “House Carpenter” for
them at a NYC show as she knew it was important to me (though I didn’t get to
attend the show in the end). Or how cool it is to know the Black Yo)))ga
collective or SunnO)))’s unique drones and yoga etc. are ritualistically
helping a lot of people with trauma or drawn to the more goth or metal
subculture’s find a “cool” way to let go and find some calm.
This can be a culture that supports.
Likewise, I was bummed to see a song called “Raped By Darkness” on the new
Gruesome album, a band I really love. Or those infamous “I am the raping
nigger” lyric on that Lord Mantis record. Perhaps that song was about perceptions
and social fears, but it sure came off as insensitive.
I was thinking back to the 90′s when people were accused of trying to be
“freaks”. Actually stable kids were dying their hair or getting lip piercings
for fashion’s sake. Real outsiders and minorities kind of bristled at this
sometimes. I can understand that but also see value in accepting culture
collage while also never forgetting the origins of those cultures. Or you end
up with situations like idiot Trump followers who think he is anti-
establishment and they are entitled to “their country” when, um, last I
checked Mexicans are just migrating north and we white folk had to SAIL here
and use SLAVES to get set up on the freshly Indian bloodied ground. So, which
America are we making great again?
I am an independent politically. I believe in freedom like a lot of libertarians but also find many of them to be hypocrites when it comes to reproductive rights. I am not anti-gun (responsibly) but also believe very much in a woman’s right to choose and run her own body. That the rich should pay fair taxes. That generalizing under any circumstances is UNHEALTHY.
By that I mean not all big government is inherently bad, there just needs to be a solution based system in place rather than congressional gridlock and lobbying. That would include fair taxation, which admittedly we are very far from having. Society is probably going to burn but we have to try and tend to one another…or we are like animals running from a forest fire. Or is that the smart thing to do?
I think smaller scale solutions and community activism and local business growth and legal weed are great ways to start improving things. Many ideas of socialism work and other areas capitalism works fine. The core is having compassion, productivity and a general community connectivity from a local to national stage. We need to also promote those values in our art or we will simply eventually stop giving a fuck about one another.
The world is bad enough as it is and doesn’t need help.
SO down here on the fringe in some of the ugliest places, where some of the darkest music is made, where outcasts are supposed to go…can we please show some of these self-righteous types that acceptance and tolerance and respect is actually fucking COOL?!!
And not just by every once in awhile making lists showing ten women in rock or a token black band or whatever.