Archive for the ‘All’ Category

Silly Me

Silly me – All

There certainly is a thing in punk rock circles, and especially the larger punk rock circle All and all them aging Epitaph and Fat bands command, of older men courting younger ladies. And not only a thing in its occurrence, more often a thing in the resentment those on the side direct at it. The scorn leveled at bands of old men singing love songs to young girls, keeping themselves in and around an ever-replenishingly young scene. Hmm.

Of course, this punk rock being what it is, it’s never a case of a sensible, strong, clear thinking woman making a cogent choice to involve herself in such a relationship. It is the predatory male sweeping in, fooling and taking. Even this song – one mourning the troubles beset on such a relationship – denies her agency and her feelings heard. There is a power thing here, coupled with the power of celebrity – its benefit, its exploitation – but there is a more afflicting point: What affords that power?

It’s the flow of discourse: Men singing songs about and to women in a scene which mostly only ever gives them presence when referred “about” and “to”. Repetition, relent, reinforcement. In every direction, unquestioning acceptance of the order this sets up feeds and legitimises this “predation” because it maintains that only the actions and desires of the male are important and carried out with agency. That is not to say real, horrible predation does not exist. Just there is a damage, a denial of consent, a bolstering of an order entrenched with all the inequality (perhaps more?) of the outside world, that is carried through in this discourse.

These are blanket statements, i know. And a bit messy, a bit insufficient. Clumsy morning mind flow and unobscurable prejudices. I don’t mean to speak for and over the many women and men who are disgusted and will never abide by this (yes, even at this level) and the just as many happy with the way things are. Denying them myself by saying they’re denied. Non-hetero, non monogamist relationships were not examined because when has this music ever referred to them not in the other? Blanket again.

There is one thing, though: By not giving them voices, the “too young” girls come off as more mature than the men who use their little, whiny punk rock songs to sing about them. A sort of beneficial default of language and being silent in it.

p.s. I like this song.

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