All images in the first part of this post were originally published in and/or are property of Adbusters.
Depending on what types of gun violence you include in the statistics, up to 18 school shootings have occurred in the US since January 1st. Two dozen children are killed with guns in the US every day. Multitudes more are exposed to gun violence as each day in our nation passes, leaving an indelible, deep scar of trauma. Yes, witnessing gun violence causes trauma. Fuck you if you don’t think that’s real.
But let’s get back to that second stat: EVERY. FUCKING. DAY. Two dozen fucking children. One whole classroom’s worth of kids. Dead from guns, whether in the classroom, in the home or somewhere else.
Look, here’s the thing, I do not have starry eyes for children. Other than my nieces, I generally find kids pretty insufferable. But children are sacred, whether I like them or not. These are beings who are creative, intuitive, innocent and deeply connected with the physical and spiritual realms, and they are special because they were created by humans and the divine. Humans who love them more than anything else on the fucking planet, past present future. We absolutely have to fucking protect them. That is our job as adults. We are the stewards of our earth and our children.
In the healing community, there is a well-worn trope about how when someone who is suffering is told - by their own personal guidance systems or by a practitioner - what they must do to truly heal, they often will not do it. Because giving up the comforts and habits that have brought the person to suffer in the first place is terrifying.
For instance, a person will be told that she must give up coffee because the caffeine is taking its toll on her adrenal glands (yes, I know that adrenal fatigue is based on questionable science, but stick with me here). The very next day, she must face the idea of herbal tea at a coffee date. She chooses the coffee because YOLO right? And so she continues to suffer.
This nation is sick, and we are unwilling to do what we need to do to heal. That’s the start and the end of the story.
The NRA is a terrorist organization. Period. If you support the NRA, you are aligning yourself with terrorists.
No, that is not a hyperbolic statement.
To a less extreme degree, and to varying degrees, any national or multinational corporation that takes your money for goods and services is also a terrorist organization. If you think because a brand you love sells you a shiny vision of the future and tells you that your life is complete once you have their product in hand that it doesn’t have (likely underpaid) employees at work constantly to manipulate our elected officials and our economic structures in their favor, you are woefully naive.
Your government, your president, they do not care about you or any of the American people. Stop thinking that they do. They definitively do not. They say they do, but people will show you, they will demonstrate through action, who they are. And our government, they care about money and power, and that's it. Our government is, effectively, a terrorist organization at this point. Come at me FBI, I don't even fucking care at this point.
If you truly want school shootings to decrease, you have to put in the work. You have to stop putting your money into the capitalist machine and start redirecting it to your community, as much as possible. Yes, in some cases it’s impossible. There is no such thing as conscious consumerism anymore - you need things like medications, gas for your car, computers, etc. But you DON’T need to eat every meal off of a paper plate, you don’t need to spend all weekend playing video games because it’s too scary to go outside and talk to people, you don’t need to upgrade to the newest iphone (your fucking phone doesn’t make you happy, it makes you unhappy and it makes you want to spend money), you don’t need to buy ridiculous amounts of useless crap at Christmas, you don’t need to pay $100 for eye cream that will never make you younger, you don’t need to fucking BUY INTO IT ALL.
In fact, each time you make a choice to keep your money and turn your energy and attention to your friends, your family, your children, your parents, your church community, your yoga community, your D&D crew, your lover, your whomever-the-fuck-means-something-to-you, you will be dismantling the machine. You do not have to be perfect. Forget what you see on the internet, it’s all image crafting. It’s not fucking real. Oh, did you have a rough morning and you’re in sweats and you smell like farts and the house is covered in cheerios and dirty clothes and all you want to do is cry? CALL SOMEONE. VISIT SOMEONE. INVITE SOMEONE TO VISIT YOU. Why the fuck are you doing this alone?
You’re doing it alone because the economic forces in our capitalist society benefit from you being isolated and estranged from the people around you. Happy people don’t spend as much money as stressed out, sad, self-loathing, terrified people do. Just look at Alex Jones’ stupid store. The man is in the business of breaking legs to sell crutches. He spins a yarn about conspiracies and OH I JUST HAPPEN TO SELL A THING THAT WILL HELP WITH THAT.
But here’s the thing. If Alex Jones is the distilled, perfectly crystallized version of that, take a step back. Every company, every corporation, every time there is SOMETHING TO BUY, the company selling it is doing the same thing. More subtly. But they’re doing it and they’ve been doing it for so long we don’t even notice it.
Change takes forever. We won’t see the change in our lifetimes. But if you have children, they might. But YOU have to do the work now. Yes. YOU. And me.
Look, all I’m saying is start somewhere. The next time the urge to spend money strikes you, consider whether you truly need the thing, and consider the true costs. “But it’s only an $8 sweater from Old Navy! What’s the harm?” The harm is that to produce, market and sell a sweater for $8, Old Navy has a long and deep chain of exploitative practices in place that does nothing to support communities or the earth. The sweater is water from a poisoned well.
Talk to each other. Stop worrying what people think of you. Stop judging others so harshly. We will NEVER take down the ghouls of the NRA without first coming together as a community. Begin to see the trappings of consumerism as a glamour that has been placed upon us. It’s not real, and you are not required to do any of it.
I love you. Please be brave, be strong. Do this for you, for your kids. You don’t have to drink the Kool Aid. Read. Educate yourself. Embrace conscious dialogue with those with whom you disagree. We’re better than this, and you have so much power to change. The revolution starts at home, and the revolution starts with US.
Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!
Friday February 16
My hero Kate Beever is hosting a night of Marimba et. al. music at OLS called Music and Meaning: Songs and Stories with Maine Music and Health. Kate is smarter than all of us, she’s a local feminist icon and an absolute workhorse when it comes to being a session/live player. I don’t really know what this night will entail, but I assume it will be pretty moving and memorable.
Another of my local heroes, WCYY on air host Xander Nelson is at Empire tonight with the Johnny Clay Shanks band. Local music types, Xander supports the FUCK out of this scene, I suggest you return the favor and support the fuck out of him. How about it, huh?
Moe. is in town! State Theatre, tonight and tomorrow. I used to live with Moe.’s promo manager, and we went to go see them at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. She had driven down before me and I met her there. We went to the show, it was super fun, and then on the way back to where we were staying, we decided to go to Steak and Shake because Steak and Shake is delicious. In the drive through, for whatever reason, she started backing her car up and because I drove a tiny Ford Probe (a slut car, I know) and she had a big ass SUV, she couldn’t see me, and she backed right into me and smooshed my little Ford Probe’s flippy headlights right down into the hood of the car.
Whatever, it’s just a car. I had a great time that night and I'll always have that ridiculous memory.
They’re doing a tribute to the Cranberries at PHOME tonight. My friend’s 15 year old stepdaughter is singing Zombie and we all need to be there for that. Poor Dolores, girl, I love you and you are and were perfect. I hope your ghost floats into the hood tonight to hear the town give you your propers.
Go read about this: Apohadion is hosting a benefit for long term anarchist prisoners Marius Mason, Eric King and Jennifer Gann with four bands - Humour (Providence), Bakkara, The Tarantula Brothers and Quiet Warning.
Over at Geno’s they’ve got Graveborn, WTDWD, Attacking the Vision and Culling the Herd.
Plauge is hosting their Queen of Hearts Valentines Day Ball. I’m going to this solely because I want an excuse to do red makeup and wear a red dress. I love to pull off a look. We don’t have enough clubs in this town where that’s a thing. Fucking Styxx, man, I know people were hot and cold on you, but I feel like I could go there and do a look and nobody would give a shit. Unless the shit they were giving was to be like, GIRL. YOUR LOOK. EXTRA. Le Sigh.
Flask has Friction Friday, Brian Boru has their Fresh Fridays dance party, and Oxbow has their Farmhouse Fridays dance party starting at 9. Ladies, take a break - fellas listen up for today’s HOT TAKE™: I have spent some time at Oxbow recently, and my ear is acutely tuned to brewery bros being douches because I really cannot stand brewery culture though I do like to dance at Oxbow if the crowd is not just beer beardos and the very thin young white women from whom those beardos receive their undeserved blow jobs, and who can still drink beer without turning into Grimace from the Happy Meals. However, the last time I was there, there were so many dudes droning on about how special a certain beer was or how scarce the beer was or how important the glass it was being served in was… to women - tinder dates, most likely - who just looked bored out of their skulls. You may still get laid like that just cuz the girl is like I need a deep dicking and he looks like less of a failure than most men I meet, but truly, like, nobody gives a shit about your beer other than the other beer beardos. So just save it for them. If you don’t have anything interesting to say to your Tinder date, ask fucking questions and shut up and listen. OR DON’T LISTEN EVEN! Just letting her talk is half the battle. Lemme help you tho, because I truly believe that more people should be dating and enjoying each other and having great consensual and mutually pleasing sex. Here is an example of a great flirty conversation predicated on a dumb question - feel free to steal it the next time you feel like you’ve become a complete dullard on a date: Cake or pie? Oh, pie, really? CONTROVERSIAL. What’s your favorite kind of pie? Oh, see, I don’t get down on fruit pies but I’ll do a banana cream any day. WHAT? Girl, you trippin’. YES banana cream pie! Oh my god… I bet you are one of these terrible people who hates jello, aren’t you. WHATTTTT, hahahhaha omg we can’t be friends! It’s like I don’t even know you! That settles it, our next date, you’re coming over to make jello jigglers with me. Get your best cookie cutters ready cuz this shit is gonna be LIT. And if we don’t finish it we can wrestle in it, I’ll buy a kiddie pool. *at this point, if she laughs, you can feel free to maybe brush a piece of her hair off her shoulder or hold a couple of fingers on her hand, a subtle but very clear sign that you have pants feelings for this fine lady and would like to find out what’s inside of her underpinnings.*
You’re welcome. I hope she’s into the same gross kinky shit you’re into. Never be scared to ask for what you want. There’s always someone out there weirder than you.
Saturday February 17
Wyman’s recording clinic at the Halo is this morning - did you get tickets? I’d be curious to talk to someone who went to this after it’s over. Also, this is fucking cool that he is doing this. A rising tide raises all ships, Wyman, good on you man.
The Gamma Goochies are releasing their new record at Mathew’s (been a second since we’ve heard that club name, eh) with the Tarantula Brothers and FCC. It’s three bucks, friggin’ bargain, bub.
El Grande and Little Monk are at Bayside Bowl - I’ll be there bowling with my lady pal Viva, so come through. Bring quarters and we can sashay over to the Galaga machine and I’ll handily beat your ass at Galaga and it will turn you on so much. Oh, not into cis-women? TOO BAD YOU ARE NOW I’M IN YOUR DREAMS, THAT’S RIGHT I HAUNT YOU, I HAUNT YOUR LOINS. I’M A PANTS FEELINGS POLTERGEIST!!!!
Pigboat, Test Meat and Battery Steele are at Geno’s. The Tarbox Ramblers are at OLS. The Apohadion has Fred Cracklin’, Anti-FriendHut, Duendecitos and Apis Malfiore. Flask is celebrating four years of Future Classics. UFF hosts a free all ages show with Classy on Occasion, 10801, Social Dispute and the Keeper Class. Blue has Raging Brass Reggae plus some other bands, but I’m just so so tired of trying to cobble together Blue’s lineup on any given night. Why can’t that venue just fucking put out an event that lists everything? Why do I have to do so much work?
There are three tribute shows tonight - a tribute to Sylvan Esso at Empire, and GALentines Day at PHOME with Gina and the Red Eye Flight Crew, celebrating the music of divas from SWV to Chaka Khan. Then there’s the All Night Thing at Aura, which celebrates the music of our fallen grunge heroes, Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, Scott Weiland, Chester Bennington, and Kurt Cobain. The show benefits suicide prevention through Music Matters.