Lindsay Zoladz details the campy and vulnerable “Tumblr teen-girl aesthetic” in her latest Ordinary Machines column: “For girls who are aware that our culture expects them to be benignly happy, shiny objects—smile for me, baby—there can be a defiance in not only embracing sadness online, but cultivating a kind of ambiguity as to where the performed feeling ends and the ‘genuine’ feeling begins. Enter Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence—a record which seemed to emerge fully formed from this aesthetic.”
“cultivating a kind of ambiguity as to where the performed feeling ends and the ‘genuine’ feeling begins”
an earlier pitchfork post about LDR’s latest called it “a concept album from a concept human,” and while I’m not sure what I have to say about Ultraviolence yet I would like to note that I remain fascinated/thrilled with how central Authenticity (and lack thereof) is central to so much discussion of Our Motorlodge Queen.
I freely admit that I probably read too much into LDR-as-actor but in my estimation that lack of authenticity is at least 60% of the point of what she’s doing, and I find this endlessly delightful.
here is something that bugs me, although I am not sure if I am on stable ground in that. consider this, from a recent Economist blog post about mounting restrictions on abortion providers. emphasis is mine:
Few truly believe that these restrictions are rooted in a desire to make abortion safer for women. Instead, they are plainly designed to frustrate efforts to get an abortion at all. Perhaps this makes some sense if your aim is to protect families and preserve the sanctity of life. Yet it seems odd that groups that claim to be pro-life are so often antagonistic to efforts to help women avoid unintended pregnancies in the first place. Many still cling to discredited abstinence-only programmes and claims that the “the hook-up culture is the culture of death”.
how many? are they the same people passing the restrictions? how do we know? they sure seem like the same people, in my larger conception of tribes and the opinions those tribes hold, but the more I think about it the more flimsy that seems.
part of this is on me (I am too lazy to look really hard for comprehensive surveys and similar) but I think this is also about how articles about this sort of thing are written. to put it broadly: no one ever seems to ask people directly about the things they are wiling to imply in later paragraphs. basically, any and all arguments that include “aren’t these the same people who” seem to me to be more and more suspicious.
"I recently managed to completely let go of my past."
“What part of your past was the hardest to let go?”
“A missed opportunity with a woman. She believed in me more than I believed in myself, but I wasn’t ready to commit. She told me: ‘If you keep on like this, you’re going to end up old and alone.’”
“How long ago was that?”
I feel like the main lesson of this blog is that people are so desperate to unburden themselves of their pain that they’ll share their deepest old wounds with practically anyone who asks, even some strange bro who approaches them on the sidewalk asking to take their picture. I once talked to this great doctor doing STD research in black communities in the Deep South who told me that he would begin all of his patient interviews just by asking people how they were doing or how they were feeling. He said the number of seemingly hardened people who would break down in tears simply because someone was genuinely asking them how they were feeling was astonishing. Therapy should be free.
I do not think the above is untrue, but I am uncertain how it manages to coexist with how difficult it is to ask so many friends/associates how they’re doing and get anything other than some variation of “fine.”
been reading this and it is very Book About Lesbians From 1961 but it’s got some gems:
"Habits of self-abuse can be responsible for homosexual leanings."
FALSE. Since the beginnings of man, self-abuse or auto-eroticism has been blamed as the cause of almost every type of physical aberration and mental illness—ranging from acne and death to asexuality and dementia praecox. So it is not surprising that many intelligent people point to self-abuse as the root of lesbianism. Yet it was Dr. Kinsey who established that close to 98.6% of our population—both male and female—have engaged in self-abuse. Surely no one will claim that this proportion of the population is homosexual.
well, you know. maybe some day, mr. wade. with god on our side.
Against Me! singer Tom Gabel reveals plans to begin living as a woman in the new issue of Rolling Stone. Gabel, who has dealt privately with gender dysphoria for years, will soon begin the process of transition, by taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis treatments.
Gabel will eventually take the name Laura Jane Grace, and will remain married to her wife Heather. “For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news,” says Gabel. “But she’s been super-amazing and understanding.”
I think there are some Against Me! fans who read this blog, so here’s some news (h/t Alfred Soto).
Sorta tempted to go through the band’s old songs and read them in a new light, but I think that would probably just lead to me saying something stupid. So: good for her.
2) Right on, good for you, Laura Jane Grace.
3) “If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman / my mother once told me she would have named me Laura / I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her / one day I’d find an honest man to make my husband" - The Ocean.
so I saw Against Me! live last light and the grin on Laura Jane Grace’s face when she sang the above lines might just be the widest, brightest grin I’ve ever seen in my entire life
as a sidenote
If you preach a violent, hateful ideology—“those people over there aren’t even human, they are the cause of your problems, and they deserve to be hurt, Something Must Be Done”—and then respond to someone taking that ideology to its logical conclusion by doing murderous violence to the people you’ve vilified with “Oh, but that person is crazy!” and distancing yourself:
1. Sure, you’re maligning people with mental illness and participating in a culture that does them harm, but also,
2. at best you’re tacitly admitting that you don’t really believe the vile nonsense you spew, that only someone with a tenuous grasp on consensus reality would believe what you’re saying is literally fact rather than rhetorical-effect insincere hatemongering,
3. and at worst you’re saying, well, there’s a time and a place for murder, and this one was off-schedule.
And either way, I hope the rest of your life is wasps.
point number two is particularly interesting to me, and for a great many groups the question “how would this group be acting if they thought the things they said were true” is a fascinating one
From Sasha Fletcher’s “Porch Light”
So Dear Wendy Dear Becky Dear Lisa Dear Liza
let’s tell ourselves a bedtime story.
One where the bears gather at the shore
and just stare at the ocean
with this look in their eyes that says we are going to swallow the fuck out of you
and the moon comes down because the ocean is going crazy with terror
and the bears look at the moon and the moon looks at the bears
and there we are in the background, with our hands on the plunger
and a sincere desire to effect a powerful and lasting change
on the direction of our lives, to eat more roughage, to exercise regularly,
to attempt to live in a manner that does not profane grace,
basically we want the kind of lives that can be seen from space,
but listen: fuck all of that. Because right now we are going to go
and eat a mountain, and then fuck that mountain, and then go to bed
like no one has ever gone to bed before, because we are alive
and that’s that. End of story. Get happy.