Hugo Schwyzer: human Ipecac.

•December 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m willing to guess that pretty much every gal who’s pursued women’s studies academically has met a tool like gender studies professor and “feminist” Hugo Schwyzer: a dude whose feminist work primarily consists of delivering glancing blows to wide-open targets and then expecting all the ladies around him to reward him with high-fives and handjobs because he deigned to acknowledge that gender inequality is a thing that is bad.  It’s not news that feminist writers who simply repackage shit that’s been circulating for decades can make it big, especially if they’ve cultivated internetz fame first (ahem, Full Frontal Feminism), but the gender dynamic in Schwyzer’s case makes it especially bothersome.

And that’s not even getting into his past.  Hold on, I got myself a bottle of wine this afternoon and I’m going to need to uncork that before I continue.

…oh cheap Riesling, you’re my pal!  ANYWAY.  So, Schwyzer, by his own admission, is a former drug addict who ;once tried to kill both his girlfriend and himself;, and early on in his academic career engaged in creepy and inappropriate sexual behavior with his own students (sleeping with four of them on a field trip, for example).  Granted, all of this shit happened quite a while ago, but Schwyzer continues to address these events in ways that are, to say the least, bothersome.  His tone when writing about his attempted murder/suicide comes across as wheedling self-pity, and although he claims to regret sleeping with all those students, his website still proudly notes that he is rated as the hottest professor in American on ratemyprofessors.com.  Um…

So, anyway, not a fan.  You know what else I’m not a fan of?  High traffic feminist blogs publishing fawning interviews; with pieces of shit like this, and then, when people get angry at giving a well-known creep a platform, freaking the hell out about how MEEEEAAAN everyone is being and gosh, can’t they see he’s CHANGED

Yeah, no, sorry.  Yes, people can change, even after committing heinous acts.  But when a dude who has an abusive past like that attempts to reinvent himself as some kind of feminist champ while still displaying such problematic attitudes towards his past behaviors, I.  Am.  Not.  Buying.  It.

This is why I prefer my heavy metal dude pals to dudes like Schwyzer: because I know that when I call them on gender shit (which, granted, isn’t all the time…picking my battles, etc.) and they say that they are considering my point (which, again, isn’t all the time, and sometimes we just end up disagreeing because such is life), I know that they are actually considering my point because we’re pals and they respect me, not because they’re desperately jockeying for ally points and trying to build up an image as someone who “shatters gender myths.”  “Never trust a Nice Guy(TM)” is a swell motto to live by, I think.

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•September 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Shorter everything Harmony Korine does: “Teehee! Poor people are so funny! Bonus points for the jaw-droppingly awful faux-Native American costumes! A little late to jump on the obnoxious hipster headdress trend, but ah well, I guess when that was happening our Harmony was too busy trying to shock upscale audiences with footage of teenage black girls drinking malt liquor. Oh please, you edgy chap, SHOW ME HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES.

Joe Biel is a toolshed, part a billion

•September 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So between two jobs and library school, I barely have time for my fun pastimes like this anymore, but I would like to drop in quickly and share this nonsense, which was sent to the woman who booked the Dinner & Bikes tour in Lawrence Kansas and then canceled when she found out about Joe’s abuse history. For context, Elly is Joe’s lady friend and tourmate.

“Please consider this email a formal request for a retraction of your defamatory statements about Joe Biel, Microcosm Publishing, and the Dinner & Bikes Tour.

Also attached is an invoice. We had agreed to a $150 guarantee for our event in L…awrence. But because for such an event we would expect to make at bare minimum $300, and because the cancellation was not in good faith, I am attaching an invoice for the larger amount. Payment is due immediately.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I hope that we do not have to take this to the next level.

Elly”

So yeah, trying to extort hundreds of dollars is totally punk. I guess? Har har har VOMIT.

I just discovered the world of social justice on Tumblr

•June 25, 2011 • 9 Comments

…and I just FUCKING HATE EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW.

Okay. Okay. I can’t even…bourbon. Where is my bourbon.

OKAY!

Anyway. So. It is times like these I am grateful for my intelligent, politically aware friends I know in real life, and for the work they do and the discussions we have. I am really, really happy that most of these awful “social justice” blogs seem to be created by shut-ins who do nothing but yell at each other on the internet, about two main subjects:

1. Hijacking the language used by groups that are actually oppressed and applying it to their decidedly non-oppressed identity categories. My previous entry refers to the appropriation of queer politics by asexuals, and I won’t repeat myself here…but guess who also is fighting the Man who is keeping them down? PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT THEY ARE FUCKING HALF-ELVES WITH GODDAMN CYBORGS AND VAMPIRES LIVING IN THEIR HEADS I am not joking, not even a little bit. For the record, in case I did not make this crystal clear: Yes, I am making fun of you and your identity. And if you think having the cast of a B-list sci-fi movie inhabiting your brainspace is something that other people are bound to respect, if you think that it OPPRESSES you when people maybe don’t think that’s anything other than a delusion…um, sorry? I don’t care. I don’t know when “social justice” became the same thing as “not mocking my tender feelings,” but I am decidedly not on board with that particular line of bullshit. I don’t wish to minimize the effects of bullying, but I will say this: someone telling you off for appropriating the identity politics of an actual marginalized group (and yes, identity politics have their drawbacks of course, but that’s a lengthy diatribe in and of itself which I will spare you for now) is not the same as someone being gay-bashed. Jesus shit, internet, REALLY?

2. Head-scratching debates over language. I guess the current thing is “-phobia” and how that is ableist, apparently? This about sums up my feelings on that issue. I would also like to note that while exploring the etymology of words is important (there’s a reason I don’t say “hysterical”, for instance, unless I am making a sarcastic reference to Womb Furie or what have you), it can also be used as a derailing tactic. If someone calls you out on something, pick out a word they used with arguably shady etymology, and let’s spend the rest of the time discussing THAT! WHEE. Or, you know, not. I would also like to point out that some of us don’t spend 99.9% of our time on the internet, or we use most of our internet time watching ’80s metal videos and Drunk History episodes (Oney Judge FTW!) and thus are not up on the evolution of language debates in the feminist/social justice internetosphere, and acting like everyone is familiar with all this crap is a totally obnoxious assumption to make.

OK, moving on, what is your opinion on Venom’s “sexy” songs, internet? I say Cronos writes “sexy” lyrics like a basement-dwelling virgin. My friend Aaron says it’s more like he had sex once and caught a scorching case of herpes. We agree, however, that this is probably the most awesome Venom song. Thoughts?

sexytimes

•May 27, 2011 • 1 Comment

Oh, I have been pretty much the worst blog writer EVAR. It’s ok though, I’ve been filling my days with work and bike rides and awesome books and music-playing and journal scribbling, so I don’t feel too bad about neglecting the internet world.

Sometimes, though, I can’t help but notice some things.

1. So, how about people co-opting queer identities, huh? This gal, for example. I don’t know whether to laugh mean-spiritedly or just froth like a latte made of pure hate. While the original white privilege checklist is a useful tool to point out the (subtle or obvious) ways that racial discrimination plays a role in a person’s life, and people have certainly used that template to start good conversations around other axes of power (class, gender, what have you), it seems like some people are so fucking desperate to attach an oppressed identity to themselves that they just come up with lists of petty annoyances which they’ve reclassified as “oppression” (for instance, the god-awful “Adult Privilege Checklist” floating around which gets all indignant about children having to wait for food in restaurants and not having a say about how their houses are decorated). Yes, asexuals are marginalized to some extent, and there are all kinds of awful popular ideas about sexuality floating around these days. HOWEVER: you don’t have to be asexual to be marginalized by fucked-up cultural ideas around sexuality – just because someone has a sex drive doesn’t mean that they aren’t harmed by the ideas that (for example) dudes are automatically entitled to women’s sexual attentions; or that a certain set of identifiers (being lower class and/or being of a certain ethnicity, for instance) indicates a voracious sex drive; or that any kind of non-conventional sexual identity needs “correcting.” And sorry, but it’s NOT “oppression Olympics” to point out that while queer folks have been mocked, fired, persecuted, beaten, and killed for being queer, that kind of widespread, brutal oppression has not happened to asexuals. Yeah, invisibility sucks, and can make a person feel awful. It’s also not the same as, y’know, constantly fearing for your safety.

And seriously, how ignorant is it to talk about “sexual privilege” like sexuality is seen as this universally awesome thing? Last I heard, queer folks being open about their sexuality doesn’t go over too well, and a lot of the time queers are ENCOURAGED to be asexual so they don’t give in to their filthy urges. What about people who are maybe not conventionally sexy, whose desire is deemed joke-worthy and disgusting? Maybe don’t attempt to write a privilege checklist when you clearly have not been thinking about how privilege plays out in the vast world of human sexuality. (Also gross: the person who wrote this telling queer folks expressing anger about her identity appropriation to “shut the fuck up.” Seriously?)

2. And the Crunk Feminist Collective wins again, for this post on SlutWalks. While I am in favor of the stated aims of these walks, something about them left me a bit unsettled but I couldn’t think of anything intelligent to write about it, and the Crunk Feminist gals did. ALSO! Actual good discussion happening in the comments. GOOD DISCUSSION. IN COMMENTS. ON THE INTERNET. Awesome.

3. How much does Angel Witch look like Spinal Tap? Whatever, I love this song.

stone deaf forever

•February 16, 2011 • 1 Comment

Motorhead. Motorhead. OH MY GOD, MOTORHEAD. Also, Lemmy is astonishingly well-preserved for someone so old and so full of various recreational chemicals.

One thing, though. Using my short-girl powers, I had muscled my way to the front, and was going nuts and enjoying myself. I was shortly joined by a lady who stood next to me, screaming Lemmy’s name over and over and making clutching gestures, looking like she was literally trying to throw herself at him. She disappeared in short order – not sure if she was whisked away backstage or just kicked out for being drunk and fucking obnoxious. Now, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday, and I know Lemmy’s reputation with the ladies. (Though anyone who dismisses him entirely as a misogynist ass is ignoring the way he treated female musicians [Girlschool, for instance] with respect when very few other people in the metal community did. I cheered when he said “People said Kelly [Johnson] played pretty good for a girl…fuck that, she was GOOD.”) But still, that shit just fucking bums me out. Really? That was your goal when you walked into this building? Why? I’m totally pro-boning, of course, but chucking yourself at some dude just because he’s in a legendary band is just sad.

I don’t know. Every time I see a famous or famous-ish metal band I see shit like this, and I hate it but I’m also not down with twerpy sexist remarks about groupies (the “lol, dumb trampy bitches” kind of shit), and I know it’s not really a good thing to be overly concerned about strangers’ sex lives. Still, though, I see women like Pamela Des Barres say stuff like “well, I had fun, and I wasn’t being exploited, and I would totally let my daughter to it,” and I’m really not sure I buy it at all. While I’m not clutching my pearls and insisting that lots of sex with famous band dudes will lead to pill-popping and shame and death, and I know that ladies who make a habit out of such things generally know what they’re getting into…why not aim a little higher than that? In a way, I think of it the same way I think of people who play Rock Band all day instead of actually learning to play guitar. Why be some withered old rocker fellow’s muse/fuck-jar when it’s much more fun to rock out yourself? Maybe that’s trite, but I drank so much shitty well whiskey last night I can’t really come up with profound insights right now.

Also, I’m surprised I can even talk right now, given the way I tore my throat screaming along to “Killed By Death.” Thank goodness for small favors, I suppose.

not grumpy, for the nonce

•February 15, 2011 • 1 Comment

Three things:

1. First spring thaw, here in Minneapolis. The end of winter in Minnesota basically feels like this:

Yeah, fuck you, old man winter. For the moment, I have slipped free of your skin-flaying frosty grasp. (And yes, I know there’s probably going to be at least a couple more snowstorms before spring really happens, but let me have my moment here.)

2. I got into U of Wisconsin’s MLIS/Archives program.

3. I have a ticket to go see Motorhead tonight.