Joyce Manor vs. Stage Diving

Read: Alt Press – Joyce Manor shame stage-diver at show

Read: Alt Press – Joyce Manor frontman calls out another stage-diver during show

I’m curious what people think about this.

Is this not similar to what Kathleen Hanna did calling girls to the front?

I happen to think it is.

A lot of people are giving Joyce Manor a lot of shit for being “anti-stage diving” saying things like, “it’s part of the scene and you can’t take it out”, “don’t be in a band if you don’t want this shit to happen” and “JM sucks anyway” – Blah, blah, blah.

But you know what? They’re the band. And they make the rules when they’re on stage. It is a matter of respect (to the band and your fellow concert mates) and personal responsibility. People get hurt and it’s not pretty.

A few years ago, I saw Bayside at Irving Plaza. My friend and I were talking to a girl before their set. She might’ve been 4″10′ and a 100 lbs wet. But she was a huge fan of the band and wanted to see them up close. Once they began, we lost her in the pit and didn’t see her again. That is, until after the show by the stage door. Turns out she dislocated her knee and had to call an ambulance because she couldn’t fucking walk.

Even though it’s unpopular, I give Joyce Manor a lot of credit because not only is it about time someone said something about this, but they’re sticking up for something they believe it despite the status quo or giving in to what everyone else thinks. 9 times out of 10, I guarantee a lot of fans who end up getting hurt in the pit are women – which then discourages them to get up close and be involved in the show. I know because it’s happened to me.

I almost died in a pit about 4 years ago. And this is no exaggeration. I really thought I was going to die. I was probably in the middle of the crowd (not even up close – which now I come to realize that’s probably the safest place you can be: either all the way in the back or all the way up front, on the barricade), I had just turned 20, and I’m short. I think I’m about 5″1′. But my favorite band (Saves The Day) was playing and I felt absolutely compelled to get in there with a bunch of other die-hard fans and be a part of it – so I jumped in. I was fine until a couple songs in and the band picked up the tempo to an older track of theirs that everybody loved. I was pushed back with such force I couldn’t stop it, or get out. I immediately fell backwards and it was worse than a rip current. It wasn’t water I was in, it was people, and my limbs were flailing everywhere beyond my control, bending; I was being crushed. Over the music I screamed for help and held up my hands, hoping someone would pull me out. Lucky for me, someone did. I profusely thanked this angel for saving me, took a deep breath, and after the song ended, I squeezed my way out. I didn’t go in a pit for about 3 years after that happened – out of fear.

I’ve also seen people get hurt crowd surfing. I saw a show at Six Flags my freshman year of high school. Some guy was crowd surfing towards the front and there must have been some miscommunication or something, and he got dropped – hard. Probably from about 5 feet up. It was a hard fall. And I watched him just lay there, unable to do anything. Because what do you do? You can’t reach him, you can’t talk to him or help him get out. I’ve been kicked in the face, pushed and shoved at shows. And yeah, you can say it’s part of the scene and that this shit happens all the time – because it does. But what about the women (and non-“macho” guys) that want to get up close and see their favorite bands? What happens to them? Should they just not come? Sit out and feel non-included their whole life just because of their size? What kind of scene is that where the community you’re part of doesn’t give a shit about your well-being? We should be more friendly, supportive, check on each other and make sure we’re okay.

I’ve also been to shows where the pit/crowd surfing/stage diving experience has been great and not a problem namely, Motion City Soundtrack and The Julie Ruin. The vibe was different. I didn’t feel like I was fighting for air just to stand.

Joyce Manor isn’t even a band I would imagine stage-diving to (at least when it comes to Never Hungover Again). They’re a great band with good music, but the vibe is just not there for that kind of thing. This is a conversation that needs to be had and admire Joyce Manor for sticking to their guns and addressing this issue.

When the band you’re seeing is asking you to do something, whether it’s clapping your hands or requesting you not stage-dive, you should oblige – Especially when it’s something positive and potentially helpful to the show and/or the rest of the audience.

But what do I know? You be the judge.

Roe in TV Land

I recently started watching two shows: Broad City and Californication.

A friend of mine recommended Broad City, but I never followed up on it – ’til now that is, when I found out Comedy Central allows you to stream full episodes. I’m all about that. I don’t like starting shows in the middle. I like starting at the very beginning. That’s just how I am, you know? Especially since I don’t have a lot going on in the cha-ching ($$) department, it’s nice to politely mooch off my parents’ cable and be able to stream shows (legally) online fo’ free! Plus, Broad City just finished up their 1st season, so I don’t have that much catching up to do.

Californication is a show I’ve heard a lot about, but never got a chance to watch. Mostly because when it first came out I was way too young to be watching it. (My parents would have never approved…I’m actually not sure if they’d approve now. The show is very much on the sexual side. Let’s just say it’s not family-friendly. Ha!) But 2 episodes in, the characters seem to have the potential to be interesting and the writing, the potential to be good. I’m just kind of not into the fact that women seem to be literally taking their clothes off at every turn to get with main character, Hank. But we shall see how things progress. I’m giving it a shot.

I like watching TV for the writing. I think fiction is one of mankind’s great inventions; Storytelling is so powerful. Laughs are great too. And suspense keeps you on your toes. It’s like 45 minute vacation.

Who can say no to that?

Blind Rage & A Middle Finger To My D String

Something amusing happened to me today.

Now, I’ve written about how I believe the Universe speaks and sends messages, in what I suspect is a near parallel to how dream and the unconscious functions. At the time it seems some chance occurrence that was either so profound or incredibly frustrating, and you have no idea why the thing occurred. But I’ve found that if you wait these things out, you can accurately determine why the event took place. I’m still in a bit of rage of disbelief and it’s only been a few hours since it happened, so I’m still hypothesizing answers.

With that said, yesterday I was playing guitar in my room when my D string suddenly snapped off. I hate when that happens, and it’s happened to me enough times that I get immediately agitated when it does. And of course I have every other string in the house but that one. So I resolved to walk to my local music shop the next day to get another string so I could quickly replace it (I’m playing a open mic tonight).

So today, at around 11 o’clock, I walk 20 minutes to the local music shop and tell the owner about the string. I end up asking if it’s possible I could just get one string and not the whole pack because I just want to quickly replace it. I know if you change the strings it’s important to treat them like tires – You don’t know replace one, you replace all of them at the same time. That’s just really how it should be done.

[There’s another thing I should probably add here: I’m terrible at changing strings. I mean, I can do it as well as the average guitar player. Sure, I can string it through the tuning knob hole and turn the knob ’til I get the note I need, but within the past few years I’ve been adamant on getting the process right. There’s a certain way to do it so that it looks perfectly coiled (I also believe it’s better for the guitar when it’s done that way too). Imagine how the strings look on the headstock when you walk into a guitar store. I’ve been trying to do that, and every time I do I fail miserably. Only when I do it under the supervision of my guitar tech do I get it right.]

So he’s unsure of what the gauge of the D string should be (for my particular guitar) and hands me a .32 gauge (the thickness of the string, basically) and says, “Well, that should be close to what you need”. My heart seized up – I didn’t want it to be close. I wanted it to be accurate. I’ve strung my guitar with the wrong gauge before and kind of messed up the nut and my saddle. If they’re too fat, it’s not good for the guitar. But I payed for the string anyway and left.

When I left, I still didn’t feel right about it. I even went on Google to search to see if I could find the correct gauge. Long story short, I made myself go back and after telling my story, asked the guy if I could just exchange the string I just bought for a pack of strings (with the correct gauge) and pay the difference. “For peace of mind,” I said. It was no problem at all and he understood.

So I walk all the way back home to change the string. Turns out the whole time the .32 WAS correct. When you by a pack of .11 or .12 gauge strings, the D and A strings are the same size for both sets. (I also confirmed this online) So I kinda felt like an idiot. So I’m changing the string, trying to remember when my tech taught me, I’m winding the string and guess what? It POPS. The string fucking pops off and breaks. I wanted to cry and punch a wall.

That was the only D string I had. Not only that, but I could’ve saved $7 and just bought the original one he sold me!

Blind rage, I tell you. Blind rage.

Luckily, I have another guitar I can use for tonight (who’s strings hopefully won’t break on me) but I’m still pissed.

I ordered a new pack of strings online, and I guess I’ll have to see my guitar tech when they come so we can put them on together and can learn how to do this once and for all.

It’s just so irritating when shit doesn’t work out and goes wrong.

But to go back to my original point – So why did this happen? What’s going on here?

Is there a lesson to be learned? A point to be understood? Just random BS?

Maybe it’s a lesson in “we have no control”; Stop trying so hard; No matter what we do, the end result will be the same.

Maybe it’s bad karma – But to me, even that has a moral when it happens.

And I don’t believe in random chance.

I’m still pondering…and waiting for illumination.

Defend Emma Watson

Read: Vox – The sexual threats against Emma Watson are an attack on every woman

The title of this article really says it all.

This is appalling. An outrage. A war. A clear indication that everything is not alright, especially within the arena of gender politics.

I feel gutted; I do take this personally.

Watson is not the only one being told to “get back” by misogynists who wield sexual terror as a weapon. She is in the company of many other women, all over the world, who have made the decision to participate in public life and suffered the consequences

I don’t know why others delight in this sort of thing (4chan, et al). I suppose it gives misogynist predators a false sense of power, an elevated sense of self. And although I do not condone or support the taking of nudes photos (mostly because it is the 21st century, people! As seen here and on other occasions, if you take photos on your mobile or computer device, they do have the potentiality to be discovered! Nothing is safe), if said photos are said to surface Emma Watson should not be at all ashamed, as the female body is a beautiful thing, and she is a beautiful girl.

To those who decide to view said photos if they surface, you are participating in a degradation of our culture by objectifying another. It is a violent act to view something so personal, not intended for your eyes that it is by definition a violation, an invasion of privacy. It is a degradation of yourself and the pathetic human being you have become.

Though we’ve never met, I’ve always considered Emma Watson a friend. With her involvement within the Harry Potter franchise, which I so adored at its inception (and of course am still a fan of), I feel as though I’ve grown up with her. She is only 6 months older than I am. The compassion I have for her doesn’t need to be rooted in an actual acquaintance; I will always defend her and rejoice at her triumphs.

Truth is, Emma put herself out there as a vulnerable human being by supporting He For She. And what I mean by that is, she didn’t have to do this. No one forced her into becoming a UN Goodwill Ambassador. She understood and sympathized with the global struggle what it is to be female, having experienced injustices and difficulties herself. She did this as an act of kindness. And how is she treated? Her entire message and errand of peace obliterated, by threats to objectify her body via releasing nude photos (if they exist, taken with assumed privacy).

Men (involved in this horrible scandal or who intend to view the photos if released), we have called on you to help and assist us with becoming full equals in this world, and you have disappointed us once again. The blood of this ongoing gender equality struggle is on your hands. To the “activists from Syria, to Sudan, to the Congo, raped in prison…[along with the] South African lesbians, raped to “correct” their sexuality”, this is your doing. You continue to participate in the perpetual cycle of victimizing women and bringing more discord (instead of peace) to the world.

Emma Watson makes a wonderful UN Goodwill Ambassador. If the campaign she champions is successful, she will have done tremendous good in the world. There is nothing about her private, consensual sexual life that has any bearing on the value of her work, the validity of her feminist views, or her integrity as a person. If her stolen nude photos are leaked on the internet in retaliation for her work, that will not mean that she was irresponsible or reckless, it will mean that she is brave

Women, we must hold our heads high and support each other.

Some days we are all we have to fall back on.

Another Reason To Love Emma Watson

This video has gone viral and for good reason.

I’m very glad and proud of the fact that Emma has stepped forward to address this issue – using her celebrity for good!

I think putting the correct definition of “feminism” out there is important, along with inviting men to come to the forefront, to be part of reaching true gender equality.

The video is a little longer than 10 minutes, but worth the time. It is very inspiring and moving and I give Emma a tremendous amount of credit for supporting this.

We can change the world – We’ve done it before.

If not us, who? If not now, when?