07 October, 2011

It's Friday: Let's Piss Off JD Samson!

Wednesday, JD Samson, the one from Le Tigre with the moustache, posted an op-ed over at HuffPo (you know, the place that doesn't pay their bloggers) on how she's basically as financially fucked as the rest of us. Some choice lines include:
This summer I tried to rent an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The process sent me into an emotional crisis and awakened me into a whole new realization of our economy, the music industry at large and, more specifically, what it means to be a queer artist in 2011.
OK, first of all, you're looking to move to Williamsburg? The over-priced run down hipster mecca? If you're so fucking broke (as you explain in the opening of the article), what are you doing looking in fucking Williamsburg? Secondly? Emotional crisis? How about you just don't move to Williamsburg? Do you have to move to Williamsburg? What's so fucking emotionally critical about not being able to move to Williamsburg?
Third, were you not aware that the economy has been absolutely tanking since - I don't know, the last ten goddamned years? Did not finding an apartment your ass couldn't afford anyway seriously make you sit up and go, "Oh, hey! So this is that economy thing people have been talking about!"?
Do I need to do four? OK, I'll do four. The music industry. We can do the music industry. I find it hard to believe that after typing "I have several jobs within the music industry as of now: bands, DJing, remixing and even writing music for other artists," that you hadn't noticed the sea change the music industry has undergone. (And I mean that, too. Undergone. It's not changing, it has changed.)
And fifthly, specifically what it means to be a queer artist? Now, hey, no surprise here, I'm a heterosexual male so, by default, I know nothing of the issues facing homosexuals, women, or homosexual women but, um, why bring this up? Is it foreshadowing for when you start telling us you're gay once per paragraph in an attempt to convince the reader that your orientation affects that you're broke more than that you don't have an actual fucking job?
I spent days trolling around Williamsburg, looking at shitty apartments with cockroaches lining the doorways, fighting neighbors, rats in the ceiling, bedbugs infesting the linoleum floors, fifth-floor walk-ups and cat-pee-soaked carpets. The rent was exorbitant, availability was scarce...
And you want to live there why?
...and I was turned down by two different landlords for being "freelance." To be honest, I don't blame them. Not only am I freelance, but I'm lesbian freelance. Double whammy. What was the reason they turned me down? Because it was easier to rent to a rich, trust-fund, straight-guy banker who wants to live in the coolest borough in the world? Because when he met me he saw a tattooed gender outlaw who makes "queer electronic punk music" and isn't sure when the next check is going to come in? Yeah, I don't blame him. He doesn't give a shit about how kids email me all the time thanking me for keeping them from committing suicide. It's not part of his capitalist business practice.
You sound like a fucking idiot.
First, "gender outlaw"? Really? I see in my mind's eye a figure in the wild west: a bearded lady on horseback, clad only in black PVC chaps and vest, pierced pudenda swollen from the saddle's friction between a pair of six-guns in holsters, smoking a cheroot and wearing a ten-gallon hat with a rainbow triangle on it. That's what I see. So don't say "gender outlaw". You only give me license to stop taking you seriously.
And, hey, your landlord doesn't actually care about your paycheck. He cares about his rent check, though. Not one landlord I've ever had cared about my financial woes so long as they got their rent; that was it. I get that some landlords require background checks on their tenants. But the scene you described, the one you had an emotional crisis over, seemed like a really shitty building, the kind where you can pick up a month to month lease by just picking up the phone and asking.
And you're right: He doesn't give a shit about how the kids email you and, no, it's not part of his capitalist business practice. It wouldn't be a part of my socialist business practice, either. You know what you pay rent with? Money. That's what pays rent. You know what doesn't pay rent? Asking me to give a shit about people emailing you. In fact, how does that even work? If the landlord gives a shit, then your rent to him is paid. So, he has a shit. He gives it away. You owe him rent so you pay him in him giving something away. That shit makes less sense than your moustache.
OK, so here's the emotional part: I'm trying to keep up with artists who have had a similar amount of success as I have had, buying expensive meals, expensive jeans, expensive drinks, and trying my hardest to appear to be making the same amount of money as they are. I'm not them, for whatever above-mentioned reasons, but I just can't pretend anymore. This is my coming out. I'm done feeling bad about myself. I wish I could afford a personal meeting with Suze Orman. She's a lesbian. Maybe she could help me reestablish my financial security.
So, what you're saying is that you were spending money you didn't have. You are a thirty three year old woman and you don't know when to, I don't know, learn how to cook instead of eating out?* (Psst! It's not that hard!) You didn't figure out that maybe the benefit of expensive jeans over a fourteen dollar pair of Wranglers is... let me check... oh, yeah, nonex-fucking-istant. Expensive drinks? You know what does the job just as well? Pabst. Fuck, bitch, you're looking to move to Williamsburg! Get with the program and get you a sixer of tallsies. After that, all your ass got to do is buy a fixie and you're stylin'.
Look. JD. You are a thirty three year old grown ass woman. These are lessons I picked up by the time I was twenty three. Maybe a little earlier than that because I've always been broke. Like real broke. Not I-live-in-NYC-and-have-had-my-music-in-commercials-for-telecom-jewelry-and-cosmetics-companies-not-to-mention-a-handful-of-movies-and-television-series broke. That aint fucking broke. How the fuck you calling yourself broke when you got "TKO" into an episode of The OC? How you spending them publishing checks?
Oh, and by the way, The OC? On Fox? Fox. I take it you just kind of feigned ignorance regarding who owns Fox when the subject came up of where your song was going. Or are you going to go ahead and tell me that the label did that without your permission? For being in a band noted for its "left-wing sociopolitical lyrics, dealing with issues of feminism and the LGBT community" (according to Wikipedia), I would surely suspect that you would want to take greater control over where and how your artistic work was used. But somebody was after a little slice of that Rupert Murdoch money, weren't they? Kind of... yeah. I kind of want to forbid you from ever using the "I'm broke because I'm a lesbian" argument ever again.
Oh, speaking of which, Suze Orman cannot fix your finances because she's a lesbian. She can coach you into fixing your finances your damned self because she's a financial adviser, though. There's that.
And if I need to, I'm ready to get a job, go to work in the morning, get a paycheck once a week, go to the dentist, get a check-up, bottom out to a boss and appreciate music without being worried that I can't keep up.
Wow, you and I, we're, like, so alike! We, like, have so much in common because you have a job now and can, like, appreciate what I go through now!
Get the fuck bent. You spent the whole first paragraph talking about how you can't make coffee or work a Microsoft Office product, and now, in your thirties, you have this "Oh, well. If I really have to get a job..." attitude. Screw you, lady. I've had a band and a job since I was sixteen.
And then, you have the fucking gall to type this happy horse shit immediately after that last bit about getting a job:
We live in a society where people equate success with money. They see me on the pages of Vogue. They see me playing to an adoring crowd. They see me flying to gigs all across the world. And I'm not sure what people imagine, but I'm struggling, too.
I'm just going to say it so nobody else has to:
Struggling? Struggling!? Did you seriously just string all that together about showing up in Vogue and "flying to gigs all across the world" and expect me to believe that you're struggling!? Fuck you. Fuck you fuck you fuck you.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have realized how many other artists and musicians are in my position, people who are proud of their success but feel unable to continue, based on financial strain. Artists such as Spank Rock, Das Racist and the Drums have featured lyrics on their new records about struggling financially.
Das Racist? You mean that band with the "combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" song? Yeah, real poet laureates, those guys. I'm sure I'll be turning to them when my financial situation is so dire that I feel the need for music to adequately capture and express my emotions for me.
My band MEN put out a record in February with similar tones. I know the economy is failing, but I think it is important to remember that it is failing for everyone. Even the people you think might have money. So here we go. Another reason to come together. Another reason to occupy Wall Street. Another reason for change.
Really? You want to occupy Wall Street because you couldn't find an apartment and made shitty spending decisions? Well, hey, how about DON'T? You? You're not one of them. Hell, one of us.
I get what it is, really. You see something really cool going on right now and you want to be a part of it. But you can't. You get your song in a Nivea commercial and you blow your publishing check on shit you don't need? You're not one of us. You sell a song to a Rupert Murdoch owned company to be used in a highly recognizable television program? You're disqualified. But thanks for playing.
And I really don't know which would be the worse scenario: That you're genuinely dense enough that you consider yourself a part of the same class strata as I am or that you just want to pretend to be a part of it for a little while.
By the way, writing an op-ed for HuffPo doesn't count as charity work, no matter how much they didn't pay you.

* Yes, we can all turn that one into a super obvious lesbian joke but we won't because we're adults, aren't we?

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