Amoeba Music has now assigned Punk its own section. I would have loved to have been at the boardroom meeting when they decided this. I'd like to ask, what took them so long, while simultaneously asking them why they need to change something that ain't broke.
The definition of punk music has always been up for debate. Some believe genres overlap while others believe that only hardcore equates to true punk. Some believe punk is fluid just as other genres can be fluid and some do not.
I'm a girl, who rarely cries, but yet I've cried three times this month. Frustrating, liberating, exhausting and confusing.
I've listened to this poem many times over years, but tonight it prompted crying spell number three. Below is an example of the brilliance that is slam poet, Buddy Wakefield.
Buddy Wakefield performing "Pretend" at Wordstock 2008 in Portland, Oregon
Pretend / On this side / There's a monkey
Makin' bass / In a jug / With'is tongue
Pretend / On this side / There's a pitch black woman / Dressed in a slow
Who looks so much like the night time / She almost turns blue in the sun
She's gonna carry us through this tune / With / Huntsville, Texas / And The
Soul-Lifters Gospel Choir.
That's my back-up diva.
Pretend / Behind me / There's just one / Big / Bang.
Now it's you.
Pretend yer just bein' yerselves.
Pretend ya live for a living.
Pretend / Inside yer skin / You've got a friend / Who's willing to give you
everything you ever wanted
In exchange for all you've ever been.
Pretend you're more obsessed with this moment / Less with the way it ends.
And / For a moment / Pretend / This is a plywood lemonade stand
With a sign on the front / It reads:
I got no more lemons / Just my OPINIONS / yours, for a DIME-A-DOZEN today
And they'll always be on the table / But only some gonna set ya free.
Now here's where I'll needya to believe
Believe that here stands a man who pretends not to fall apart
Who gets so mad / His lips peel back / When we give out slack to the dark
Who gets so God-solid nervous / Yer gonnawannatalkabouttomorrowagain
That he'll pretend to stand and listen / With a sharp look on'is face
While a monkey plays BASS / BASS
With a back-up diva / Pullin' back-up faith
For this one-man / Cross-universe / Relay race / To try and be more than
Beginning and ending / Moment by moment / Rolled over / Re-birthing again
Because history is repeating itself in record time, y'all,
And we gotta stop actin' like nothin's happenin'
When we've got 6-billion dawning truths setting 6-billion different suns on
But we 6-billion gods are all still up-in-arms over what it will cost to
So that YOU can be ME forever / My friend / At the same time I get to be YOU
So ya can rock me, Brother Rock
And you can soothe me, Sister Soothe
Like one / Big / Bang -
Beause I don't believe the big bang really happened yet.
I think a small bang mighta went pffft.
But the big bang / Is just on its mark / Gettin' set
And is REALLY / Ready / To go
Kinda like a slow tornado / Growin' / Larger than 6-billion words
Movin' faster than a sky that flies farther away / From every square inch of
us racing birds -
It looks a lot like it would if just / One brain / In the heart of this
place / Rose up
To the actual size / Of the actual voice / It actually contained
Into just 1 head / Singing just 1 song / With a word
And 6-billion looks on its face -
To see a monkey play BASS / BASS
To feel a back-up diva / And'er back-up faith
Like one / Big
Instead of mom, she’s going to call me “Point B”
Because that way she knows that no matter what happens, At least she can always find her way to me.
And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands
so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “oh, i know that like the back of my hand.”
She’s going to learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face,
wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach,
but getting the wind knocked out of you is
the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.
There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry,
so the first time she realizes that wonder woman isn’t coming,
I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself.
because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers
your hands will always be to small to catch all the pain you want to heal,
believe me, I’ve tried.
And “baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, i know that trick,
you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back
to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire
to see if you can save him or else find the boy who lit the fire in the first place
to see if you can change him.”
But I know that she will anyway
so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate & rain boats nearby
because there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix.
Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix
But that’s what the rain boots are for
because rain will wash away everything if you let it.
I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat,
to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind.
because that’s how my mom taught me,
that they’ll be days like this,
“they’ll be day’s like this my momma said.”
When you open your hands to catch
& end up with only blisters & bruises,
when you step out of the phone booth & try to fly
& the very people you want to save are the ones standing on your cape,
when your boots will fill with rain & you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment
& those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,”
because there is nothing more beautiful than the way
the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline.
No matter how many times it’s sent away.
you will put the “wind” in win some lose some,
you will put the “star” in starting over & over.
no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute
be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.
& yes, on a scale of one to over-trusting
i am pretty fucking naive but I want her to know
that this world is made out of sugar.
it can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out & taste it. “baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier
but your papa is a warrior & you are the girl with small hands
& big eyes who never stops asking for more.”
Remember that good things come in threes
& so do bad things & always apologize when you’ve done something wrong
but don’t ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.
your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing
& when they finally hand you heartbreak,
slip hatred & war under your doorstep
& hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism & defeat,
you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
But mostly, I dislike the word, because so many use it in reference to a vagina. It's a word that is highly favored within pornography and pornography turns me off for a myriad of reasons, all stemming from the strong arm of patriarchy. "Do this to my pussy, do that to my pussy." In mainstream porn a woman's pussy belongs to men.
But when it comes right down to it, pussy is not a sexy word. It's childlike, and if a child were to say it, he/she may actually be referring to a cat. Or, in this day and age, a child may actually have the vague understanding that some adults call vaginas, pussies.
Pussy, is also used to cut down those who are perceived as weak. It is an insult most often hurled at men by other men. Don't like sports? You might a pussy. Maybe you like sports but you missed that shot? You might be a pussy. Are you afraid or hesitant about anything? Are you gay? Pussy, pussy, fag..or pussy.
Women also buy into patriarchy. That is how ingrained and influential patriarchy is. There are plenty of women who believe that what they perceive to be a weakness in men, essentially means that they are pussies.
As of late the word pussy has been used a heck of a lot, within the media. If you are utilizing this word lately, you might be doing so with much passion, gusto or a whole lotta kick!
Most of us are aware of the story surrounding the Russian punk band, Pussy Riot. The band consists of about 16 women, but it was five who decided to protest against the rule of Vladamir Putin; all knowing that the consequences could be dire. Three of the female quintet have been sentenced to two years in prison for the 40 seconds of mayhem they caused in the church that they used as the venue for their scene. Only three were arrested as it was supposedly difficult for authorities to identify the women, as they wore brightly colored balaclavas.
News papers all over the world, and news broadcasts all over the world, are freely using the word pussy. Pussy Riot has prompted a high acceptance of the word, although I imagine it is temporary. The word is used in context.
A word that some see as crude and vulgar, or sexy, or patriarchal, has now become acceptable; daring; awesome. I find this to be interesting. I've never been one who fancies the art of reclaiming language. It is a subject that has come with much debate within sociopolitical forums. To do it or not to do it. Okay or not okay.
There are those who try to reclaim many words which are often deemed offensive and ridden with oppressive histories. Nigger, faggot, and bitch, are a few.
As a woman, I have never sought to reclaim the word, bitch. There are plenty of feminists who make this effort. Efforts via day to day conversation and efforts via the media.
For instance, Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture, is a magazine which reflects said effort. I find it to be a good magazine that aims to, "forge connections between the messages we get through the media and pop culture and the commercial agendas of the corporations behind them." Although, they've received a lot of flack over the years, they remain true to their belief that bitch, is a compliment and representative of a strong female force.
Another example that comes to mind is the vibrant and bold energy that is, musical artist, Bitch. Bitch, formerly of Bitch and Animal. Bitch and her Animal (Animal Prufrock) used to perform a song, entitled Pussy Manifesto, which was a favorite among fans.
Just yesterday, I watched one of my favorite films; Chasing Amy. Those of you who are familiar with the 1997 Kevin Smith film starring Joey Lauren Adams and Ben Affleck, may recall a scene where Alyssa is asked to sing before an audience at the lesbian club, (which is no long open) Meow Mix, in New York. Her friend who asks the shy Alyssa to sing, demands in a loving and sassy way, "Get up here and sing, bitch!"
I'm sure you can think of a zillion and one examples of your own.
All over the world, women and men, gay and straight have been chanting pussy. Fellow musicians such as Paul McCartney, Bjork and Madonna, have been backing the women of Pussy Riot.
I think the point that the majority of us get, is that it's not about Putin and it's not about girls kicking ass. It's about freedom of speech. A right that we all have and one that cannot be taken away. But some governments will make you pay their price.
It doesn't matter if you like or dislike the word pussy. Pussy Riot must be free.
I imagine that pussy will continues to leave a poor taste in my mouth (no pun intended). It's a word I do not embrace. To some a word may just be a word. To some I may be a pussy for allowing a word to get to me, or for being uptight, or some other form of weakness that is perceived from whomever uses pussy in an attempt to cut down.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova wears a shirt that is now being sold on Cafe Press.Photo credit unknown.
I may not embrace some of the sentiments and belief systems behind the word's execution, but I do believe that we all have the right to say it.
"A folk song is what's wrong and how to fix it, or it could be who's hungry and where the mouth is; or who's out of work and where the job is; or who's broke and where the money is, or who's carrying a gun and where the peace is."
Within the binding rules of patriarchy, men have certain jobs to do. Men are assigned a role of domination on major fronts. On a physical level, some might argue that men have the tougher role between the sexes. It is men who tend to handle areas of brawn and labor. For the most part, is is men who work construction, men who work in mines. For the most part, men are our firefighters, men are our machinists.
Essentially men are most often, physically stronger that women. I have no problem admitting this. Patriarchy encourages men to be the aggressor, which may contribute to a man's initiative or desire to fight, defend, or overpower. Even so, the fact remains, that men actually develop muscle and bulk in a way that women do not. Even most female muscle builders, develop smaller muscles than their male counterparts. A woman's lack of testosterone contributes to that.
Being that women are most often physically weaker, plus the fact that patriarchy takes advantage of that fact; women are often seen as the sex that needs physical protection. Because of this, society believes that one job of men is that of protector.
Sometimes I wonder if it must take practice for men in the military and men on our police forces to work alongside a female partner without the feeling that the woman might slow them down or that they will have to look out for them, more than they would another man. I know that if I were a woman, working along side a man in that arena, I would feel like I had a lot to prove.
On July 20th, James Holmes entered an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater and opened fire on unsuspecting patrons. Matt McQuinn, 27, Jonathan Blunk 26, and Alex Teves, 24, used their bodies to protect their significant others. Each man died.
The tragedy of the Aurora shooting is certainly not the first time men have come to the rescue of women. As a feminist, as a woman; I cannot help but wonder what drives a man to protect women. Is it the engrained idea of gender norms that prompts a man to take such risks? Or is it possible for gender to be removed from the equation?
In college a psychology professor provided my class with a book that was meant to spark conversation and debate. The book spoke to author's belief that being born male meant having embrace certain obligations. One was that men must be protectors for women whom they don't even know. That if a woman is in jeopardy, a man must immediately assist or put the woman's safety first before his own. This certainly created stern chatter within the room.
I've always had a difficult time speaking up in class. In true introvert form, I kept my mouth shut as my brain was flooding with thoughts. Not only did I not have the energy to speak my mind, I didn't have the energy to defend myself. I knew that jaws would drop if I were to admit that I didn't completely disagree with the author.
A man's belief that he must sacrifice his own life for a woman's is partly due to patriarchal forces and partly due to the very real fact that women are often physically weaker than men.
As a teen and early adult, I worked at a Borders Books and Music store (may they rest in peace). One month the staff was in a tizzy as there were news reports of a man attacking women in near by parking lots. The managers encouraged the female staff to walk to their cars with a male staff member. I found it interesting that the men were volunteered for this, and not asked. I remember wondering if the men felt obligated or if they felt that the request was fair and logical.
I think the belief was that an attacker would not strike against a woman who was paired with another person; particularly if that person was male. But what if an attacker didn't care? Suddenly, two lives are at stake.
In August of 2011, I wrote a piece on this blog entitled, Chivalry: It May Not Be Dead, But Should It Be?. I speak to the definition of chivalry and question if chivalry is a necessary act. Some women (myself included) feel uncomfortable or even insulted by the idea that a man must treat a woman, "like a lady." Treating a woman like a lady, suggests that a woman is limited to a man's definition of "lady." Chivalry ultimately stems from a sexist view point, even if the intention is to show affection and respect.
A man sacrificing himself for a woman in need, can be considered an act of chivalry. A woman assisting a woman in need is some how deemed an act of sisterhood or simply a benevolent gesture. Person to person, heart to heart. If we dig deeper we might entertain the idea that a woman might assist another woman because there is the on going idea that women needs protection, no matter what. Or perhaps a woman shielded by a man, might feel that it was indeed his job to leap over her.
Is it possible for a man to shield a woman from bullet fire with the straight forward mindset, that a person is to help another person because we share this planet and every human life has value? I'd like to think, yes.
McQuinn, Blunk and Teves, are no doubt heroes. Their friends and families have every reason to beam with pride. I myself, feel humbled and proud of those men.
Being that I am not connected to shootings on the same emotional level as the citizens of Aurora, I suppose I have the luxury of being able to examine these rescues largely, on a sociopolitical level. While others are mourning; I am analyzing. This is not to say that I am not affected by what happened or that I am insensitive to the effect that the event has on the city of Aurora.
It is up to men if they want to examine the concept of self sacrifice. Some may not even find the topic important, as self sacrifice is common place, or perhaps they feel they will never find themselves in a situation where they have to shield a woman from bullets.
The solution is not for men to pull back, when they see a woman in danger. The issue is that we must dodge the myth that masculinity and heroism are one.
Get this great shirt at Tendu! It reads: "Keep Calm and Tendu On." A tendu (tahn-doo) is an extension of the leg to the front, side or back, either repeatedly or in a single movement.
This shirt is meant to celebrate the second birthday, of Tendus Under a Palm Tree. It is a website/blog authored by a professional dancer in Miami. She shares information about technique, ballet in mainstream culture, and lean recipes.
My new watch. I've fancied Hello Kitty watches over the years but never purchased one as I rarely wear watches. I often find myself needing a watch but usually fall back on using the time reflected on my cell phone. After laying my eyes on this gem, I decided I could make room in my life for it.
I love this piece as it appears to be a bracelet and can be worn as such.
But surprise, surprise, Hello Kitty reveals the time. The bracelet is surrounded by black roses. The black contrasts nicely with the gold.
The watch will arrive in this pink box. To purchase this time, visit Sanrio.
1 year of freedom for the West Memphis Three. The three had remained in prison for 18 years as they were wrongfully accused of murdering three boys. What freed them was a deal that required that the three plead guilty to the murders, while the State of Arkansas claimed that the evidence against them the three was weak.
According to the New York Times, Jessie Misskelley lives in Arkansas, is engaged and is studying to be an auto mechanic. It is Misskelley who lead to the three's conviction in 1994. Throughout the media it has been said that his confession was due to his fear and a low I.Q. He is engaged.
Jason Baldwin is working toward a law degree in Seattle. He is married to one of his supporters.
Damien Echols is married to one of his supporters. He wrote a memoir, called Life After Death, and it has yet to be released.
I believe story telling is an art form and blogging is a medium in which to share stories and ideas. Within this blog I hope to cover a spectrum of topics. From the serious to the silly. Here you will read my views and inquiries about subjects such as feminism, other various socio-political issues, psychology, spirituality, sexuality, and general interests such as film, art and music. You will also be exposed to my obsession with cupcakes, tea, books, Hello Kitty, and quirky day to day journeys. I enjoy learning from others as I am constantly attempting to introspect, grow and evolve. During this process I will be jotting down musings on this blog. Pull up a comfy chair and a spot of tea and join me!