a thing that i weirdly miss about lower allston is biking to the star market, so big and always so weirdly empty, and wandering around (the way each footfall seemed to echo) and always ending up at the discount produce shelf, buying a bag of potatoes and a bag of apples for a dollar each, then biking back through dusky homey streets where people i would never meet lived quiet unbothered lives.
phrases and themes the nytimes includes in an article about bushwig that has a headline about how bushwig is “pushing the boundaries of drag”:
- “it may seem that all aspiring drag stars are slick and waxed, not a polyester hair out of place. But not in Bushwick.”
- “burgeoning neighborhood”
- “an unpretentious, artist-run space”
- “boho borough”
- an uncomfortable middle ground between condescending to bushwick as being ~*authentic*~ for showcasing drag art even though the queens are sorta messy and probably kinda poor, and a real-estate-section like winking nod to bushwick being a Cool Place for Hip Young People to move to
- implications that drag has its origins in anything other than fringe culture
things the nytimes does not discuss in said article:
- any meaningful insight on what drag boundaries might be and how bushwig is pushing them
- any meaningful history of nyc drag
- any discussion on how drag is changing with changing attitudes about gender norms
i know i shouldn’t expect any better from an nytimes piece but like, why do you even bother? why bother writing about fringe communities (or ANYTHING) if you are going to wipe your narrative all over the piece and not actually delve into the perspective of the people you are writing about?
"I think the essence of drag is saying no. Your body says, ‘You’re a man,’ and you say, ‘No.’ Your head says, ‘You’re going to go bald now,’ and you say, ‘No.’ Society says, ‘Who do you think you are, faggot? Go get AIDS and die,’ and you say, ‘No, fuck you — for the next five minutes I AM Beyonce and I OWN society.’ To the command that we all be more pious and more polite and more serious and more respectful, the drag response is to say, ‘No.’ Because we’ve seen your piety, and we’re not impressed. Your piety is just more drag."
"Gender is a complex animal, part nature, part nurture and part mystery. If more people allowed themselves to play around with what they thought the acceptable range of personal expression to be (in terms of identity, attire, creativity), we would all have more more self-love and compassion for everyone… Playing around with gender — this thing we’ve been falsely taught is fixed, inherent and reliant on binaries — is one of the keys to liberation."
"art without markets, drama without a script, narrative without progress, other goals for life, for love, for art, and for being"
reading halberstam’s The Queer Art of Failure, thinking a lot about this today in light of warren’s amazing note on the P4k review for Ontario Gothic, about sacrifices made in the name of legibility/validation, about recognizing “success” (as it is traditionally represented) not as a magic state of being but as a title awarded by concrete parties with tangible identities and vested interests (generally in capital & hegemony)
[source: Jack Halberstam - The Queer Art of Failure]
Anonymous said: Thoughts on pitchfork review?
It really hurt to read if I can be totally honest. it came at the end of what was the worst date on our tour where some of the craziest things happened; finding out a family member had been in a head-on car collision, someone in our van having a mental breakdown, the show in Austin getting cancelled due to weather, Owen Pallett’s drummer throwing out his back and having to sit the show out. Some of these things are far worse than others and I feel like a piece of shit for talking about in the same breath as music criticism but reading it after all those things came up yesterday made it feel a lot more devastating that it should have.
I don’t know, I am fairly unguarded with a lot of things like this and it really bummed me out to see him talk about something I put my whole self into for three years in such a disparaging way that invoked things like disparate levels of class, especially when my friends like Owen and the Orchid Tapes families are negatively implicated in a lot of what’s said there.
Ultimately I will try and pay it no mind, because I don’t expect a straight-white-dude critic at Pitchfork who is, above all else, notorious for being a mean-spirited writer to understand what I’m trying to do with my music, especially when I know so many other people do. I will try and turn it into an exercise of considering, but ultimately emotionally distancing myself from the effects of both criticism and praise alike. I feel like it is an all-or-nothing game with this sort of thing, and I think as both a label-operator and as someone who makes music, this is important.
I’m starting to think that Orchid Tapes / Foxes in Fiction isn’t something that I should continue trying to fit into an arena like Pitchfork. We’ve been having a lot of conversations on this tour about music writing and about what is considered objectively good in the minds of writers at places like Pitchfork, and I’m starting to see how that criteria sometimes disfavors people who are outsiders, or queers, or women or who are mentally ill; things we have tried to be inclusive about with Orchid Tapes forever. We’ve done so well because of smaller press and our amazing supporters, and I feel like maybe I tried to take too many steps forward with Ontario Gothic because I believe in it so much and am so in love with all my friend’s work on it. I’ve been thinking about this sort of stuff and how it implicates our release for a while, and I think it may be the time to do some thinking / decision-making and take a step back for the sake of maintaining what is important about the label.
The review opens with “At no point during Ontario Gothic does it sound like an album that would be subject to outside expectations, let alone hype.” and closes with “That speaks to the appeal of Orchid Tapes in the first place, a collective that stands to snag the interest of anyone invested in the concepts of “punk”, “indie”, “scene”, and “DIY””. Both of these statements miss the aim and intention of Foxes in Fiction & Orchid Tapes so grandly that the rest of the review kind of loses power on me. I’m not making or releasing music with the label I founded to satisfy expectations or play into ideas of hype, I am doing it for people who are mentally ill, who are queer, who are who are young and living in an awful small town and need a connection with music, for disenfranchised and marginalized people who have been in similar situations to me where music was able to help me though it and ultimately inspire me to start something like Foxes in Fiction or Orchid Tapes. If one person at an institution-as-website doesn’t get that, that’s fine.
i look at the woman next to me, the one
who told a dead man to die more considerately and
i remember that to live in america is to attend
a funeral with complete strangers
"Another thing to distrust is the tendency to relate the question of homosexuality to the problem of “Who am I?” and “What is the secret of my desire?” Perhaps it would be better to ask oneself, “‘What relations, through homosexuality, can be established, invented, multiplied, and modulated?” The problem is not to discover in oneself the truth of one’s sex, but, rather, to use one’s sexuality henceforth to arrive at a multiplicity of relationships. And, no doubt, that’s the real reason why homosexuality is not a form of desire but something desirable. Therefore, we have to work at becoming homosexuals and not be obstinate in recognizing that we are. The development toward which the problem of homosexuality tends is the one of friendship.
Between a man and a younger woman, the marriage institution makes it easier: she accepts it and makes it work. But two men of noticeably different ages-what code would allow them to communicate? They face each other without terms or convenient words, with nothing to assure them about the meaning of the movement that carries them toward each other. They have to invent, from A to Z, a relationship that is still formless, which is friendship
To me, it appears certain that in the United States, even if the basis of sexual misery still exists, the interest in friendship has become very important; one doesn’t enter a relationship simply in order to be able to consummate it sexually, which happens very easily. But toward friendship, people are very polarized. How can a relational system be reached through sexual practices? Is it possible to create a homosexual mode of life? This notion of mode of life seems important to me.
A way of life can be shared among individuals of different age, status, and social activity. It can yield intense relations not resembling those that are institutionalized. It seems to me that a way of life can yield a culture and an ethics. To be “gay,” I think, is not to identify with the psychological traits and the visible masks of the homosexual but to try to define and develop a way of life.”
[Michel Foucault, Friendship as a Way of Life]
decentralized actively constructed counterhegemonic relational affinities
is the new ‘we must constantly be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down’
all day err day