Since the start of lockdown I've been having some work stuff delivered to my house. Mostly huge boxes of records but on this occasion it was something for my boss - he was being sent a poster for his favourite film and when it arrived this morning, he asked me to open the package and send him a photo of the contents.
The innocuous film poster was present and correct, but the generous screen-print company had added a few extra "gifts" in!
Let me describe them...
Poster 1 :
Image : A naked woman riding goat.
Purpose : Poster for an all male band.
Poster 2 :
Image : A topless woman.
Purpose : Concert poster for a band with a really bad name created using "Generic Stoner Rock Name Generator".
Poster 3 :
Image : A woman laid on her back, head tilted back as if passed out, with a dress pushed up so that she is naked from the waist down.
Purpose : Concert poster for an all male band whose frontman was accused of raping a woman in her sleep only the previous year.
Poster 4 :
Image : A woman's legs shown from the knees down, red painted toes, passively hanging as if dead, covered in blood.
Purpose : Concert poster for an all male band.
Poster 5 :
Image : A closeup of a woman's face overlaid with a pram and the text "Pray For Her Baby". The woman in question was a real human being who was brutally murdered along with her unborn child.
Purpose : "Jokes".
Earlier this morning, I had been feeling good, positive about making music and regaining my health enough to do so... When I opened this package I just felt sick and sad.
Isn't it time to move on from this kind of imagery? At best, it's lazy and misogynistic. At worst, it's dangerous and misogynistic. I think it's both.
As a woman who has been playing and attending gigs for twenty years, I am not ok with the portrayal of violence against women as something to sell tickets to gigs by boring boy bands with mostly male audiences. Why should I be?
I want you to know that every time I see this kind of shit on display in your venue, or your studio, or on your band's shirt, on your psych-fest poster - I lose some respect for you. Because I know you don't respect me.
We can do better than this and it's well overdue.
I respect Taylor Swift even more after watching “Miss Americana”
how about you get fucked?
cool story, bro
people will judge you no matter what you do, so you might as well do what you want
the bread is all well and good, but it’s the video with the cat and the hand that slowly undoes the coat and the eye contact and …well, you know exactly what you’re doing, don’t you
this is going to be a killer DJ set if I do say so myself
I like to keep my sadness private, it’s a bit distasteful
brakes of Satan
nothing like opening the bin to remind you there’s no point in trying to make yourself look fuckable
you don’t have to lose your rituals
my husband is fucking HOT
Sometimes it’s easy to give in and think yeah ok, you’ve forgotten who/what/why you are and what it's all for anyway then you realise that you’re surrounded, still, by people who won’t allow any of those bullshit cop outs or excuses because they reset your whole being by transmitting their own; people who you love so deeply, truly and definitely madly... People so intensely talented and funny and full of passion and pain and history, who consistently and constantly surprise and overwhelm and inspire and give you so much joy that you think you can’t take it because it makes your imaginary insides expand too much and it hurts and it’s too beautiful and it makes you feel a bit sick actually.
The past two nights I’ve witnessed two different assemblages of such individuals put on and play album launch shows for their respective new offerings, which are genuinely some of the best music I have ever heard / felt and all (coincidentally) on blood-red vinyl...
Low slung Gibson,
you never saw my face
mask of hair.
We didn’t need to talk to communicate;
My tits were smaller then -
does rocking out make them grow?
I was seventeen.
Maybe growing up makes them grow.
I didn’t wear makeup and
my clothes didn’t fit.
We were perfect;
Out of focus / in sync
our friends were always there and
they were always excited, we excited them.
Some of the faces are the same and some have changed but not ours.
Some have stayed for the ride and some have slipped away,
but we knew them
and they knew us
and that’s enough.
I remember perfectly
every pavement I’ve laid on pissed out of my mind
every venue we’ve been the last to leave.
Every filthy dressing room
and the occasional nice one, very occasional.
Every perfect pack
and every argument about you being late
that fades away when we use our sound.
Every car doing it's best
and every journey;
every game of Trivial Pursuit.
The mountain passes
being taken advantage of -
it’s all in my DNA.
I remember when the internet was a place of excitement and freedom and possibility.
You could escape the small town and explore, share your passions, find new ones, meet the kind of people you imagined only lived between the pages of books.
I made friends for life back then, girls who became women all over the world.
I got to meet many of them in person, mostly when I was on tour with my band.
People who’d only been names on a screen up until then, in the flesh.
People who felt like family although technically they were strangers, who let us sleep on their floors and talk to their pets.
The internet feels different to me now. Suffocating and stressful. What was once a place of escape, where I felt that I could be more “me” than in the “real world” has been a symbol of the opposite for some time. There are no mysteries. Everybody can be found within a few clicks. It’s a world of aggression, not inspiration.
I used to write all the time, but even though it was something that I enjoyed and was beneficial to me, hypnotic, I stopped. One of the reasons, I think, is that being constantly visible to everybody in your life can stifle creativity and self expression.
And I’m tired.
I’m cutting out anything that I feel is negative. Or wasting my time - my time is precious.
I am trusting my intuition and doing what I need to do as a person, not what I think I should do as a self-employed creative.
I know there are small pockets of magic left. I will find them and ignore the rest.
So here we go. Dust Magic II.
Last night I dreamt of Montana;
wide open horizon, fresh cool breeze,
all I could hear was the grass.