Dear omgdigitalpanic journalists, I have news for you: EVERYBODY would like to work from a safe space outside of capitalism.
I get it. You’re scared. Of robots and readers, of algorithms and austerity. But:
If you want to rage it shouldn’t be ‘us against the machines’ but ‘us against the machine’.
To spell it out: Not ‘us against technology’ but ‘us against the system’, not ‘us against the inhuman’ but ‘us against the inhumane’.
(just to make it really clear: system = how and why technology is used)
As much as I like self-reflection I am getting tired of your constant luddist ‘omg future of journalism is at stake’ crying.
One day it’s the digital readers, the other day google or clickbait sites. Never yourselves.
Stop the demonisation of digital. You have a once in a generation chance of reinventing what your work is about – use it.
At least you have a voice. Many others don’t.
And whenever you feel scared and like self-pitying turn your headphones up to the max and try dancing naked in your bedroom to this:
You all might know the scene in ‘Good Will Hunting’ in which the psychologist breaks up/consoles the genius juvenile Will Hunting by repeating over and over: “It’s not your fault”. I hate/love that scene and for a long time I had thought it’s just appealing to people who have been abused themselves in whatever way. ‘Hate’ because how dare Hollywood touch us there with its dirty hands.
Now I feel that – similarly to Audrey Hepburn calling out for “cat” in the rain at the end of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and like the endless repetition of “it’s alright” in Ted Leo’s ‘Little Dawn’ – it somehow manages to be both: cliche and whatever the antonym of cliche is, it breaks the cliche by making it unique again for a moment. By repeating those simplest of words – “it’s not your fault”, “it’s alright” and, yes: “cat” – over and over they tip the scale from empty sentimental gesture to brimming with emotion.
That vague feeling of being lost and scared that seems to connect many of us like an endless drone humming and vibrating underneath, a vague feeling of guilt, humming, like a far too tightly wound bass string vibrating so softly that we hardly can hear and feel it most of the time, but when we do, then it gives us that feeling within our stomach, the feeling that it’s always our own fault if we don’t ‘make it’. If we don’t earn enough money. If we don’t manage to control our body and looks. If we disappoint expectations. For some even just: if we let go. Those two scenes and that song manage to disrupt that for one sweet moment using the magic of repetition.
Or at least I like to think so.
A stroll through nightly suburb streets made me recall a line by Ingeborg Bachmann (or was it Jelinek? I think it was Bachmann.) about how the cruelest crimes happen behind those middle class suburbian walls. What looks like happy families through the illuminated windows of EdScissorhandian pastel homes turns into gruesome horrors in the corner of the eye. I like how quiet and peaceful it seems. I like the ‘seems’.
Back home I sit down and it suddenly hits me that the table I’m working at is the same table at which I sat for family dinners when I was a child. What comes to my mind is not the food, is not what we talked about, are not the familiar faces of my mother, my sister, my father. What comes to my mind is how the table used to tremble. How I felt the wood trembling under my fingertips, my hands, my arms. The table trembled every couple of weeks when my father tried sobering up and his body fought back. No Upworthy headline could suggest to you the tension that was in the air whenever he did so. No genre could capture what artists my mother and my sister had become in avoiding his eyes and making small-talk, skillfully zig-zagging around him, as if he was a blank, as if he didn’t sit there with us. They circled the most delicate patterns of topics he couldn’t use to start a fight into the icy air surrounding those family dinners. I just sat there scared and angry to my bone, scared of all of them, angry at all of them, wanting to scream: Don’t leave me alone with this tension! I don’t know how to play your games!
It was almost liberating when he exploded nevertheless – of course he did, they were artists, no magicians -, shouting at the top of his lungs what a horrible cook my mother was – which of course she wasn’t -, smashing pot and plate with delicious food on the floor in such big big anger and disgust and the deep longing for a powerful reaction. He stomped off, my mother and sister just shut up for a moment, then chatted on quietly as if nothing had happened. I was stone.
The tension. I haven’t in&exhaled fully until I was 19 and he was dead. It’s a small thing and I tend to forget it but it’s true: I used to never breathe fully. It was my way of making me smaller and if not invisible at least a little bit see-through. If no one sees you breathing, if your chest doesn’t move when you breath you’re not there. Melt into the background. If you do it right he won’t explode unto you. The tension. He was so powerful to me in those years. It was as if he could shoot me to the moon with a snap of his finger if he wasn’t careful. Not that I would have minded. Tiptoeing around the trembling table. Sometimes I think I love living in these suburbs because I need the constant reminder of what could happen if you don’t pay attention. You could end up in some sort of family with people you love and do the same shit to them. But not as long as you manage to keep this table from trembling.
My love/hate-moral-fight about hiphop strikes once again. Do I want to put up a show (= provide a platform and sacrifice time, energy, money, emotion – not necessarily in that order) for a rap act who uses ‘bitch’/’hoe’/etc. in their lyrics? Or – as it is just as common standard as half-naked women in advertising – do I bow down to the omnipresence and act as if that makes it okay with me?
If it was the kind of glossy hiphop that is just focussed on getting style and sounds perfect, you know, the kind to whom the sexual stereotyping of women comes as naturally and carelessly to their lyrics as the side-chain effect to their bassline and kicks, my answer was no. If they use it just because it’s en vogue, or even worse: because it’s considered cutting edge, I would say no. A few things would make that decision easy: most prominently the dilettant theory-lover in me that is well aware that language is not just a means of expression but also produces reality and the hair-tearing part of me that still can’t be but a feminist and of course the context in which I put up shows which is ‘culturally romantic’ (aka a leftist non-profit collective structure).
But now my dilemma du jour: Doesn’t it make a difference if it’s an experimental noise hiphop act that doesn’t glamourize the hoe-ification of women but whose music’s point rather is to mirror the ugliness and aggression of the world they are looking at? For me it seems to do, it’s a different kind of use that makes it okay. Or do I kid myself?
Srsly, I sometimes wish I was a nonefuckgiving gutfeelingtrusting businesstype male promoter. A fuck-morals-it’s-about-sound&doesitmakeanymoney… bromoter. If no solution there at least comes the title for this blog entry.
“No sound. No people. No clocks. No people. No fine. No people. No me. No people.
Stopped. Short. Grinding halt.
Everything is coming to a griding halt.”
See, this morning I could have chosen to wrap myself in silence and hide with endless cups of teas under endless layers of blankets watching endless episodes of Sopranos and wait for this bloody attack of anxiety and sadness to go away. The pure thought of talking with people, of interacting, of functioning as a basic human being, made me sick. Instead of crawling under a stone and hiding, this time I posted my self-pity online though. Thought a second about if it made me more vulnerable to go public with it and if it was like an emotional selfie.
Well, I quickly shoved doubts aside and did – and in this state of mind it’s a bigger step than you might think it is – a little self-pity posting on a social network of choice and somehow the tiny online interaction, resulting chats… just to have chosen not to be silent and invisible until it goes away.. somehow this punched a hole into that bubble of desperation et voilà: now, 5 hours later I feel almost human again. A bit soppy still, very fragile still, but much better.
Still not sure if I will make it out of my flat today but I don’t want to miss the Tiger Magic show. Oh my.
I don’t even know how these attacks come about. Had a nice day yesterday. Last night I was almost satisfied with how a remix I have made for a friend turned out, and also a poster layout for a show I help putting up in December seemed okay to me. Still: the next moment the abyss opens up and all of a sudden I feel down and worthless and lonely and sad etc. I even had a nightmare last night. This hardly ever happens to me. It had zombies. The slow ones. I woke up a couple of times in a kind of numb fear, scared to move and scared to sleep. I seemed to sink back into the same dream again and again. Was glad when it finally was dawn outside.
Anyways. To all of you who know these kind of days or moments: You’re not alone. I guess most of us have them, in all kinds of sizes and degrees. I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse.
Oh, and I can’t but end with this fabulous gif:
[Sorry - posting this in german as it's about a homophobic anti-feminist Hatemongerer coming to my hometown to spread her vile messages.]
Der Termin rückt so langsam näher und Protestideen nehmen langsam konkretere Gestalt an:
Am 3.11. stellt das CVJM Nürnberg seine Räumlichkeiten für einen Vortrag von Gabriele Kuby zur Verfügung, die bekannt ist für üble Hetzreden gegen Homosexuelle und gegen die Gleichstellung von Frauen. Und gegen Harry Potter. Finden viele nicht so dufte. Wenn es eine andere Religion wäre, hätten bestimmt schon einige von menschenfeindlichem religiösen Extremismus gesprochen.
Anyways – haltet die Augen und Ohren offen, und zeigt dass auch ihr die Hassrednerin in Nürnberg nicht willkommen heißt und es ziemlich uncool vom CVJM findet, dass er solchen Meinungen ein Podium gibt!
Hier noch zwei Artikel, die klar machen, für was sie so steht:
Germany, Duisburg, 9th October 2013: Arson attack on a house in which 42 Roma live.
Germany, Güstrow, 12th October 2013: Arson attack on accomodation of 120 refugees.
Germany, Gmünden, 18th October 2013: Arson attack on accomodation for refugees.
Germany, Wehr, 19th October 2013: Arson attack on accomodation of asylum seekers.
Police apparently in all cases: “nothing suggests political or racist motives”.
Germany, Schneeberg, 19th October 2013: 1500 people join torch rally to protest an accomodation for refugees.
One more: Germany, Oldenburg, 20th October 2013: Arson attack on a cultural center of Sinti and Roma.
“brennt die scheiße schon vorher ab!” – Stimmungsmache gegen Flüchtlinge
Fakten gegen Vorurteile
As I still hadn’t recovered from a cold I had feared last night’s SISSY BASS would crash me badly but then it hit me all like this: <3
It was wonderful.
Kuedo was a wonderful guest and played such a great daring and inspiring set. Love him for being so uncompromising. What a journey.
Wish I wasn’t so hungover and found more words for it.
Feeling happy and thankful today and love music and the people I share that love with.
Is there already a word for the kind of disappointment that you get when you click on a mysterious link from your favourite artist and it turns out to be just another advertisement screaming “GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!” instead of something meaningful, creative, culturally relevant?
If a song comes to my mind these days I often am too lazy to go over to my record shelf but search for it online instead. When I listened to Lindsay Lowend’s ‘Wind Fish’ it’s effervescence and sound aesthetic reminded me of Max Tundra‘s ‘Labial’. Haven’t found it online but came across this longforgotten synth fun(k) jewel – “Jump!”. Still sooo good.
As for Lindsay Lowend: It’s the solo work of ghetto funk duo Dads On Display‘s Antonio Mendez from Washington DC and it is futurist hiphop goodness with a prog influence that reminds me as well of wonky stars Rustie and Hudson Mohawke as of the synths aesthetic and humor of game music. The whole
‘Wind Fish’ EP (Symbols Rec.) is tasty. This is the track that brought ‘Labial’ to my mind:
This one is great too and the feminist me has already planned to edit the Lil Wayne(?) sample to say ‘boys in the kitchen’ using bits of Sabrinas ‘Boys Boys Boys’ before playing it out. We’ll see how that goes.