I just want to help you - let me put on your skin and fight your battles for you.
I’ll group thoughts by cases with some general thoughts at the start, so it’ll get progressively more spoilery the further you read. Drop out as you wish. Also if any of this seems like I’ve overthought it or whatever I think you’re underestimating how strongly I feel about the series - I’ve loved it for five years without being discouraged by the fandom, it’s the only series I’ve ever actually felt compelled to write fanfic for (even if I never finished it.) You could arguably say that I have “feels” about Ace Attorney.
your absence starves me.
i long for you, i long to gorge on your presence
i no longer eat flesh but i long to
sink my teeth into yours,
to run my tongue along your skin
and taste your sweetness and your sweat.
i want to overdo you
and make myself sick with you,
make myself sick of you
in the hope that this will be the last time,
that i won’t need you any more.
but in a few days i will be hungry again
and it will be you that i crave.
Hi, Miley. I always find beginning letter-writing-situations the most unnecessarily tricky part, so I’m just gonna bite the bullet and pretend that we’re somehow on first-name terms, and also that you’ll actually end up seeing this.
There’s a lot of things that I want to talk about with you, and I mean talk about, rather than say, which is why I’m pretending you’ll read this. I’ll start with the positives, in the hope that’ll keep you hooked. I think you did just fine at the VMAs. I think Robin Thicke is a piece of trash and you should probably stop spending time around him, but the fact that the visual associated with his shitty song in the collective memory is now of a sexually active and enthusiastically consenting woman with agency rather than the blank, passive and at times visibly uncomfortable objects in that music video is great. You’re a role model to young women, and you’re saying that if a man thinks there are “blurred lines” as to your consent then you should clear things up. Following your example, I guess I’d kick him in the crotch instead of grinding on it. Generally, I think you’re a good role model with regards to sexuality. I’m glad you’ve grown out of your Disney persona on what seems to be your own terms, and that you don’t shame other young women or cling to a silly Madonna/Whore dichotomy in your music like a certain other singer, the one who was the innocent victim at the VMAs all those years ago and is still somehow untouchable for it. Most of all, I’m glad that you seem to be happy and healthy, and that you haven’t let the media convince you that the only way to get rid of Hannah Montana is to self-destruct completely.
I think those are all totally sound reasons to applaud you, but I don’t think I’m not biased. I think I want to think the best of you because you do, in a lot of ways, remind me of me. You’re my age – not exactly, but the average age of my friends, I’d say. I own a stupid animal onesie as well. We both happen to look pretty great with the whole cropped blonde hair and red lipstick and leather look. We’re getting into conjecture here, but I imagine your friends in high school also came to the consensus you had the best bum when idly comparing physical features – and I imagine those friends were also predominantly white. And I imagine when you listened to Yeezus for the first time, you didn’t think “oh dear, this is awfully misogynistic-” you felt like me and thought “this is great and it makes me feel invincible.” I imagine that because I know that, like me, you’re completely enamoured with hip-hop and the culture surrounding it. I think you find it as empowering and positive and liberating as I do, and the most optimistic part of me thinks you’re trying to erase the stupid racist myth that hip-hop culture is all about a vision of black masculinity that stands at odds with any sort of feminist or queer agenda.
But Miley, I know that I am not the same as you, and trying is not the same as doing. I’m prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, since your life is a lot more active than mine. You have things like interviews and photoshoots and press conferences that mean you don’t have the time to spend in bed reading articles about intersectionality and race politics all day. I don’t think you’re following dream hampton on Twitter, although you could probably manage that one with ease. She’d probably call you out, but it’d be worth it.
You see, I just really want to be able to believe you’re trying to do the right thing. I know attractive young white women in pop are basically schooled to borrow from minority culture that the mainstream wouldn’t be “ready” for in its unfiltered form – I can’t pretend my favourite Madonna song isn’t Vogue, shamelessly plundered from queer dance culture as it is, and then there’s your peer Lady Gaga, “empowering” everyone from Muslim women to the physically disabled by trying on their everyday existence as stage costumes. And I know you don’t think that black women twerking is trashy or shameful. Nonetheless, with each passing day, with each new photo or song or dance routine, I find it harder and harder to believe that you don’t understand why it’s wrong for you and your wee bum to be heralded as the “twerk queen” when the women who invented the dance are vilified for it. You’re no fool, Miley. You must know Justin Bieber’s not the person to make a song about it with, but then again, at this rate I imagine it’ll be harder and harder to find the right people.
Miley, I want to be able to cheer you on without conflict. I want to see a video where you stand back and let black women twerk while you applaud them, rather than showing you “validated” by them as your backup. I want to see you grind on Big Freedia, not Robin Thicke. Even more, I want you to work with Janelle Monaé and Mykki Blanco and Njena Reddd Foxxx and maybe to put the twerking aside for a second and let your musicianship and your radical attitudes, not your bodies, be the focus of your performances. But to get to that stage, Miley, you’re going to have to become the sort of person they’d want to work with.
You’re going to have to learn. And more than anything else I want you to be willing to learn. I know I’m not you, but I want people to call me out on my behaviour when I’m getting it wrong, and I hope that’s one of the things we have in common, which is why I’m pretending you’ll read this. You could be so damn cool, so inspiring, so challenging, if you’d take some time out to learn, and you could still twerk in your bedroom all you want.
I’ve seen people use “your satire isn’t good satire if it goes over people’s heads!” in discussions about offensive humour way too many times. I've seen it from people I like and respect and I've seen it from people who I've also seen reposting literallyunbelievable in the past, and we need just take that line out back and put it to rest forever.
I don’t believe in “it’s a joke!” or people misusing “irony” or “satire” to justify acting like assholes, but it compromises the strength of your argument so badly - A Modest Proposal goes over reader’s heads to this day and that is effectively The Textbook Example of a satirical text. Additionally, the line is often used either in the sense of “I didn’t get that this was satire, so it’s bad satire,” which makes you come across as viewing yourself as some sort of God-like authority on Good Comedy, or “the masses won’t realise it’s satire, so it’s bad satire,” which makes you come across as incredibly patronising.
Satire should be a subversive form of comedy, and the audience finding it difficult to know how much to take at face value can be a form of that subversion (it can also not be - basically, whether or not the audience “gets” it is in no way an indicator of whether it’s “bad” or “good”.) There’s obviously a lot of shades of grey here - depending on the writer’s background, they may be able to make jokes that would be uncomfortable or offensive coming from a more or differently privileged person - but the simplest litmus test for “good” satire is to look at who’s being laughed at. If the ‘victims’ of a satire are the people who would be victimised in real life, then nothing is being subverted, and that’s where your problems start.
this is an amalgamation of points re: various stupid things white people say when they’re talking about rap that i’m just going to collect all into one place so i don’t have to keep making each one as a separate post every time anyone says the word “macklemore/himanshu/twerking/bitches” etc
i hate myself and all that is representative of myself
i hate the clothes and the make-up that i use to leave an impression of me upon strangers
i hate the drugs that i say i take to make me “more like myself” and i hate the drugs that i take to get away from myself
i hate the scars on my arm and my thigh but i hate every inch of unbroken skin even more
and i hate the owner of every pair of lips that have ever touched it
i hate every line in a song or book or film that i have identified with, as if those lines can in any way justify the catastrophe that i am
i hate every adult who ever told child-me that i was talented or special, and even moreso i hate every one who passes that lie to stunted grown-me, still refusing to shed her child’s skin
i do not know if i hate this hatred more than my inability to act upon it
First up, recommended reading (like, pretty much ESSENTIAL reading) for anyone interested in the discussion around hip-hop and misogyny is bell hooks’ essay Gangsta Culture, Sexism & Misogyny: Who Will Take the Rap? so if you haven’t, read that first, since I’m writing this strongly informed by hooks’ ideas. [approx. 1000 words]
I’ve seen a bit of discussion of the misogyny on Yeezus. Not much, though. More just kind of a few acknowledgements that there’s misogyny on Yeezus. I get the feeling that most of us kind of care more that it’s a really fucking good album. I know I do: when I heard the line “It’s leaders/and there’s followers/But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower,” my initial reaction was “fuck that’s an amazing line, I love Kanye so much” followed shortly by “maybe I shouldn’t like that line considering my proud identity as cocksucker and conviction that we’re one of the most misrepresented and thoroughly awesome groups in society? Nah, it’s a great line though.”
Boards Of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children
(featured track: Roygbiv)
Music Has the Right to Children is an impressively multipurpose album - unless you’re particularly hyperactive, there’s rarely a bad time to listen to it. It’s an album that’s started days and closed nights, accompanied me on long walks and while wrapped under covers, in tears and in embraces.
The album has moments of incredible, flooring beauty, but the music on it is never quite comfortable enough to slip into the category of ‘background music,’ losing the listener’s attention; juddering, confusing vocal samples and plaintive-sounding minor-key arrangements stop the music from ever losing its edge. Aurally, it’s swimming in deep, perfect water: it’s immersive and intensely pleasurable, and it’d be a terrible decision to fall asleep.
Of all the things going for it, what makes it feel criminal to leave Music Has the Right to Children out of any discussion of ‘important’ or ‘landmark’ albums is its structure. It’s incredible how perfectly an album composed of field recordings and samples fits together with seemingly no sounds out of place: while I don’t consider myself strongly synaesthetic I find it impossible to talk about this album without visualising it as a perfect pyramid. Roygbiv is the album’s obvious apex, two and a half minutes of incredibly evocative and striking music that work better as an individual track than any other on the album. Despite that, it is very much of the album: Boucma works perfectly as a stepping stone into it, and I find it incredibly difficult to let myself just enjoy those two and a half minutes without hearing the rest of the album.
It’s almost unfair to describe Music Has the Right to Children as an ambient album. ‘Ambient’ carries connotations of blending into an environment, while Music Has the Right… creates its own: an environment in which ideas about what we might find comforting or cliched aurally are challenged and where the listener can feel elated, scared, melancholy and safe at once.Played 49 times.
There’s a nice little running gag in Stewart Lee and Richard Herring’s surreal late-nineties chat show This Morning With Richard Not Judy, which I’ve been watching lately because a significant part of my brain hasn’t yet entered the current millennium. It goes like this: The show starts. Lee introduces himself: “Hi, I’m Stewart Lee,” and Herring follows up with something along the lines of “and some people call me the Space Cowboy!” Ever the straight man, Lee challenges it, and while Herring initially resists, his persistence - “listen to the question, the words in it-” inevitably leads Herring to admit that “No, I am Richard Herring,” usually with some admission about the tragicomic nature of his life attached. This is always followed up with the same protest. “You always spoil everything I do!”
Bizarrely, the experience of being a girl on the internet and trying to do just about anything publicly feels remarkably similar to being Richard Herring in that routine, except a rational Stewart Lee is replaced with a usually faceless horny dude, or occasionally a faceless angry dude, and it’s not funny.