Shimura Curves

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fan Girl

I originally posted this on TSM messageboard after some idiot called me a "screaming fangirl" but I thought it beared repeating:

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Yeah, and I guess I should really say something about this: I was going to say because this board is flooded with fangirls screaming about how hot TSM guys are because the implied casual sexism of statements like this REALLY winds me up.

Maybe I'm oversensitive, but this is the sort of crap I've been dealing with for over 20 years, indie snob boys with their OH NOES!!! GURLZ IN THE TREEHOUSE, OH NOES!!!! attitudes.

I'm not going to go all "Losing My Edge" on you, but I'm a pretty serious music fan. I've been the only girl down the front of a Faust gig, I've dragged my ass to experimental noise gigs in weird basements in Brooklyn and lofts in Stoke Newington, but also reviewed boybands at Wembley. I see my byline in a national music magazine on a regular basis. Do you?

One of the things I love about a really amazing band like TSM is the way that their music can strip away my adult artifice, and let me rediscover the emotion, the immediacy, the openness, the enthuasiasm for music and the world and everything that I had when I was 14. It's not often that I get to feel that way, and I cherish a band that can give that to me.

Problem is, when males retreat to their inner 14 year old, they retreat back to this precious clubhouse mentality of "oh noes, girls are icky, what if my little sister starts liking this, then I won't be COOL any more."

Fuck that shit. Seriously.

Part of the BEAUTY of music, especially rock music, a huge part of its power IS sexuality. If you can't deal with that, then YOU are missing the point. Music is sex and sex is music, feel that beat, move your hips.

TSM are a good-looking band. So were the Beatles. Get over it. The men don't know, but the little girls understand. Grrrrrrrr.
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I feel like I've been singing the same song for about 20 years now, but fuck it. I'm getting caught up in another fan community, though I swore I wouldn't do that again. But music is a communal experience, you know? It's more fun when the obsession is shared, when you kind of spur one another on to the edge of group hysteria. It's Dionysian, I love it.

I want to pitch an article about TSM to Plan B, but I'm scared. I'm rubbish at pitching. For a start, I know that they're probably a bit "too mainstream". Yeah, fuck that, I get around it by writing "from the heart" and then you can slip in your emotional experiences of Busted or Duran Duran like a sugar bullet in all the Indie. And I'm scared of pitching a "proper article". I did a couple of interviews back in CTCL days, but ET told me I was "clearly uncomfortable on that side of the interview process" and that was the end of that.

But this is the angle I want to take - surprisingly, I don't want to interview them and talk about what specific effects pedal they used to get that guitar solo at around 3:35 on Alone, Jealous and Stoned. What I want to write about is the process of fan community. A lot of bands give lip service using the web to connect with their fans, when what that really means is trying to draft them for street teams. (Which, to me, just gives internet fandom a bad name.) TSM actually seem to post on their own board, interact with their fans, allegedly (though they won't confirm or deny) leak their own albums onto the web when their record company fucks with their release dates.

And, I'm interested in the dynamics of fandom, the way that these little communities coalesce, swell, explode, or diversify. I've been on loads of mailing lists/boards/communities and the dynamics are so familiar I could write a thesis about them. The personal interactions, the shared hysteria, the meet-ups, the orgasm of seeing shows together in a gang. How the issue of celebrity itself can become divisive - those people who profess undying devotion, then stab their own mates in the back for a shot at a backstage pass. And, indeed, the strange breed of Uberfans, those fans who post so much, who travel around the world to see their idols, until they become so familiar within the fan communitity that they are almost celebrities in their own right.

And no, that's not always about sex, groupies or band-aids or whatever the dismissive term for girls who fuck guys in bands is. (Though why is there not a similarly dismissive term for the boywhores in bands who fuck their way through tours? Takes two to tango.) Sexuality is a big part of music, as I rant above, but it's something more... pure than the tawdry aftershow scene.

I don't know. Need to think about this more, formalise my thoughts.

7 Comments:

At 1:25 PM GMT, Blogger Mistress La Spliffe said...

It's normal for silly, insecure men to marginalize girl fans; it's a defensive reaction to girls being able, theoritically, to both to nail straight band members and be inspired by them.

Even in theory hetero male fans only get inspiration, which is confusing when they get swept up in the sensuous rush of the music of bands they just loooooooooove so much. I bet it would be extra perturbing in England, considering the boys to put up with the rest of the world playing "British or Gay?"

I'd resent girls too, to be honest, if I was them. It's sad - something to be pitied more than pissed off by.

 
At 2:37 PM GMT, Blogger Masonic Boom said...

He tried pulling the whole "Ooh, I was just joking..." routine afterwards, and telling me to calm down like an uppity little girl. I'm surprised he didn't call me PC-FemiNazi or something.

Yeah, your crap f*cking sexism is SO FUNNY, DUDE, why don't we top it off with some N*gg*r jokes while we're at it? Ha ha fucking har.

 
At 2:41 PM GMT, Blogger Masonic Boom said...

Argh, argh, this shit just makes me SO ANGRY.

And what makes me even angrier is being told to "calm down" by the same people who pull this crap.

::kicks desk::

 
At 2:59 PM GMT, Blogger Mistress La Spliffe said...

When someone gets caught out in an diocy, it's either tell you to calm down or else apologize, right? And those types never apologize. Because they are what the French call 'le cocksuceur'.

 
At 3:11 PM GMT, Blogger Masonic Boom said...

Or, as the Romans used to say, Irrumator!!!

 
At 9:55 PM GMT, Blogger You Need A Mess Of Help said...

The guy was probably sore because he mistakenly believes he *can't* admit to an element of sexual admiration for musicians, therefore he wants to spoil the party for everyone. I dunno, I get a bit exasperated with people getting all excessively hot and bothered for pop stars and what not myself. But that might just be because I personally don't feel that way about entertainers. Whatever floats yr boat, innit? Hmmm... maybe this guy wants all the attention for himself! Sexual jealousy masquerading as a plea for 'serious' music appreciation!

I dunno about sexism though. Sure, what he said was aimed at females, but what did he say exactly? That girls only like TSM because they want to fuck them? That's definitely sexism and deserves short shrift. Or did he merely remark on the degree to which females on the message board were objectifying the band? Is that a different matter altogether? Or not...?

The more I think about this, the less it seems to matter. But then, I concede, it's not my integrity that's being called into question on a f*@king message board!

 
At 10:11 AM GMT, Blogger Masonic Boom said...

Yeah, but you know how you can get so caught up in internet things that things get blown out of proportion and everything.

I guess it's just one of those things that I've had to put up with so much over the course of my life that it really winds me up, perhaps excessively, whenever I encounter it.

This shit sucks at your confidence, and I know that it shouldn't, but still, it does.

 

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