Archive for February, 2016

Whilst I’m Getting Political

February 15, 2016

In my opinion you can be political and try to keep the status quo, you can be political and try to change things, or you can be a lazy, non-thinking so-and-so and passively support the status quo.  I’m not very keen on the first and third.  Even if you’re boycotting certain companies you are being political.  If you’re choosing your words carefully for fear of offending or oppressing others you’re being political.  If you detest racism or sexism you are being political.  If you don’t think then you’re not… only you’re because you’re choosing to be ignorant and support the status quo.

Amazon.  Don’t buy off them, they don’t pay corporation tax at the level that they should given the profits they make off of sales in this country (the UK).  OK do buy off them, but only if you’re never going to use our roads, hospitals or schools, and are never going to rely on the state to protect your property rights.

What other companies should I boycott for being immoral?

Petrol Girls – ‘Outspoken Feminists’

February 15, 2016

I read this last week –

http://tipping-point.co.uk/2016/02/02/petrol-girls/

In it the writer Steven Farkas says “The quartet may be outspoken feminists and…”

I made contact with Steven.  He stands by his choice of the word ‘outspoken’.  I spoke to one other person and he saw no issue either.  Both agree that outspoken means forthright or vocal.

I took it as a bit of a dig… not necessarily deliberate (indeed Steven confirmed it wasn’t and I have not the slightest reason to doubt him.)

But “Outspoken” means “frank in stating one’s opinions, especially if they are shocking or controversial.” [my emphasis, first online definition I found].  There is nothing wrong with being “frank” (unless you’re that tosser trying to stop the kids having fun with drugs of course).  There is something wrong with the idea that there is something shocking or controversial about believing that women aren’t second class citizens.

I’m not a massive expert on feminism, but my take on it is that equality for women is not shocking or controversial.  Perhaps some ‘feminists’ do hold shocking and controversial views, but I suspect that if they do they are not really feminists, they’re an absolutely miniscule minority of man-hating bigots that, in the scheme of things, do nothing to off-set the misogynistic bullshit and patriarchal society all around us.

Imagine there are two people with very different views on bringing up children.  John is an outspoken advocate of beating your child if he even looks like he might be about to do something naughty.  Keith is an outspoken advocate of doing one’s best to support your child, love him all you can and give him the best possible start in life.  Only they’re not both outspoken advocates.  Advocating beatings is outspoken and (very) controversial.  Advocating supporting and loving your child is not outspoken, it’s fucking obvious.  Keith might be forthright and vocal but he isn’t outspoken.

By calling them outspoken feminists Farkas is (unwittingly) re-inforcing the idea that feminism is something on the fringes, something to be debated.  It isn’t, its fucking obviously right.

I dunno, maybe I’m making a fuss about nothing, but my gut feel is that “straight talking decent people who [obviously] don’t believe in oppressing people on the basis of sex (or race or sexuality for that matter)” is probably pretty accurate, without being loaded in any way.  “Vocal Feminists” likewise.  “Outspoken feminists” implies to me, whether intended or not, that standing up for women and active feminism is a little close to the edge, that people doing such a thing are doing something that can be questioned, can be regarded as pushy.

I’d be curious to hear people’s views, but more than that  I want people – especially those who write – to think about what they believe in, and try their best to fight for what they believe in when they write, or at the very least don’t cause harm.

I know that in the scheme of things this is a very small point but it isn’t without merit.  Steven would argue there is no harm, but sorry, there is.  Even if only 5% of people draw the inference I suggest, and only 5% of those subconsciously use it to help justify their prejudice against feminists, then it has helped moved society in the wrong direction.  Language in very important.

Tonic Youth

February 1, 2016

Yesterday I went to the Boileroom – they had a little record and ‘zine fair on.  Glad I did, picked up a couple of records and chatted to a few people.  I’ll try to remember to post a reminder when the next one comes along.

The last stall I got to was tucked away in the corner near the entrance.  In typical Wildeye fashion – kinda cocky, far too opinionated, probably patronising, don’t give a fuck, which is good in some ways, not so good in others – I asked the girl behind the table what it was all about.  She said something about a her fanzine (Ladyfuzz – great name), how its not too political (I think that’s what she said), how she’s in a band called Kamikaze Girls, and how Petrol Girls are one of the best bands in the UK at the minute.  I responded (probably) by talking shit and (definitely) opening up a cut on my finger and bleeding all over my shopping list and her pen.  I did buy her fanzine though (issues one and two, available here – http://ladyfuzz.uk/).

So I get home, get googling, get listening.  There’s plenty more to say, but for now I’ll keep it simple.

“Tonic Youth” is an absolutely superb song by Kamikaze Girls.

I love punk and a variety of noisy alternative music.  But I fucking love pop too.

There are two bands I’m reminded of.  One is Nirvana.  They rocked and they were a pop band.  The other is the Boo Radley’s – specifically Icabod and I yet again (Swords of Thought reminded me of them a couple of weeks back).  Icabod and I was the sound of the brilliant pop band they would become making a fucking racket.  Superb.

Kamikaze Girls don’t sound like either, but they are noisy, they rock, and they’re a pop band, albeit with a much more modern sound than the two old bands I mention.

I really hope that they have a load more songs of this quality.  If the rest are half as good they’re still a damn fine band.  I would have listened to more but I stuck “Tonic Youth” on repeat.

And another thing.  Is there anything worse than pop-rock?  Rock that has been watered down for a pop market?  How about rock-pop – music that rocks in a totally non-watered down way, but is still pop?  Is there anything better?  Or is that just punk-pop?   Or is it pop-punk?  I forget.

Oh Yeah.  Black Heart in Camden, February 13th with Petrol Girls – go see them.

Comet Gain…

February 1, 2016

‘Cos I mentioned them to someone yesterday…

Note to Self

February 1, 2016

Dear Wildeye

You really love this song and have done for fucking ages.

Now please just do yourself a favour and spend some serious time exploring the Jacobites and Nikki Sudden back catalogues.  And then think about Swell Maps too.

Yours

Wildeye