Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pauline Black

I've been reading this book Women of the Underground: Music and I'd say I've never heard of at least 75% of the women interviewed in the book. Still, some of the interviews are really interesting, and Pauline Black was both a woman I've never heard of before and a very interesting interview. In the interview she talks a lot about her introduction to 2-tone ska and a lot about how, coming from her background and having the personality she has, the ideas on race and gender that were being manifested by the music scene at the time were a real lifesaver for her. There were problems in the scene then and there are problems in the scene now, but she was raised in an environment where she was lead to feel inferior for being black and lead to feel incapable for being female, and then ska came out and it was like 'No Pauline! We want you to be part of this! We want you to headline, because you kick ass at this!' and it's a really interesting thing to think about.

So I decided to look her up, because I'd never heard her band, The Selector, before. Here's the first thing I noticed: Nobody, I mean nobody, loves 2-tone ska more than Pauline Black. It might seem sort of stagnant that she hasn't really branched out in all this time, but I think it's honestly really awesome that she's still doing the same thing she loves in much the same way after all these years. It's not like anyone ever told Nicola Tesla 'Hey, why don't you branch out from this electricity stuff and try something new?' And she's adorable. I don't mean that in a belittling way, but she really is. Her personality is so cute, and so fun, and at the same time she's a stone cold badass. I hope I'm as cool as she is when I'm almost 60 (I turn 29 in two weeks).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Loretta Ross

So I started watching Anita Sarkeesian videos on youtube, and as kind of a 'know your enemy' type thing I watched a couple of videos that countered her points. For the most part, these videos had arguments that I didn't find sound and struck me as typical of the things we have been hearing from anti-feminists for a long time now. I don't wholeheartedly agree with what Anita Sarkeesian is doing myself, but the backlash against her is full of logic that I consider bad and sometimes seemed more interested in attacking Sarkeesian personally than coming up with a justified counter-argument.

So I watched a few videos like that, and I watched the same crap I usually watch on Youtube, which includes but is not limited to The Whitest Kids U Know (who can make jokes concerning gender that are understandably controversial), and speeches by Christopher Hitchens (who is a dead man that I agree with aproximately 100% of the time when he's not talking about women), and music by Frank Zappa (ditto) and it's pretty clear suddenly why every other video that youtube 'Recommended for you' has been about why feminism sucks and is bad because  it tells men not to rape women which must mean it thinks it's totally okay for women to rape men or some shit like that.

In case you hadn't guessed, I don't really want to watch some loser talking about that kind of garbage for hours on end, so what I've been doing is going through and watching various feminist speakers that I recall enjoying from my college days, in the hope that maybe youtube will get the point and stop trying to show misogyny down my throat.

And I recalled Loretta Ross, a woman whom I'd enjoyed a speech by back when I was like 19 or 20, though I hardly remember what it was about. I looked her up, and she is just right on. The speech I watched of hers tonight is a little out-of-context and longer than most youtube videos people have patience for (or at least I have patience for) but totally worth watching.