People talk about the Lesbian Web Of Death and lesbian over-processing, but I’ve been in any number of mostly-straight spaces where the tangled relationships present (sexual and otherwise) fostered a palpable sense of anxiety and shame and anger and humiliation. I actually think straight people are considerably worse at having good, not-weird relationships with their exes than queer women are. To what extent are the “scenes” of marginalised groups more visible, more the focus of anxiety, than less-marginalised scenes and subcultures? Maybe it’s just because we can’t scene-hop as easily, so feeling comfortable in any particular scene carries more weight. Maybe we expect more of these scenes. But I think there’s also an element of internalised homophobia, a persistent belief that our occasional unhappiness in love is not because we are human but because we are fundamentally dysfunctional. And an element of regular homophobia: I’ll fucking crack it I hear another straight or essentially-straight person make an off-hand joke about the “dramatic” nature of queer communities. Cool, now tell me again about how you ducked behind a magazine stand to avoid making eye contact with your ex’s new partner.
Posts tagged subculture
I’ve never met a 20something who was super into “teen culture” and “anti-ageism” who actually made a serious effort to reach out to anyone other than similarly nostalgic 20somethings to get sanctimonious with
really I’m just super-bitter because of this one time I was going to go to a kind of expensive 18+ gig and someone I know started ranting about how nobody should ever go to shows that weren’t all ages, much less pay for them, or for that matter go to shows that cost more than $10, sorry if that was “punk elitist”, then changed their mind when they realised a lot of their friends were going (because someone they knew was gonna be a dancer and was getting people on the door), made a few phone calls, got on the guestlist, started excitedly dressing up, and in the meantime I realised I was the only person I knew who wasn’t getting in for free, and felt so small and so uncool that I couldn’t face going at all, and also felt stupid for wasting money, and also for having spent money to waste in the first place, in a recursive dorky-feeling loop, and I generally have pretty OK social confidence so you can imagine how depressing the whole situation was to bring me to that point.
like, my emotions were affected by a lot of other things going on at that time, I’m not trying to say that person’s terrible cultural politics caused me to collapse in a puddle of anxiety, but fuck you if you think having better connections than other people makes you more radical than them
also the thing that builds those connections is years spent in a scene, and few teens from the sticks have those connections, teens are generally much more able to rustle up a fake ID than get on the fucking guestlist for an international act
I just really want people to remember what it was like to be a teenager, rather than romanticise the figure of The Teen, because that’s no different to Impulse deodorant advertising
anyway, that person is super into Rookie now and still doesn’t hang out with actual teenagers
speaking of pastels
I am 24 which is old by tumblr standards apparently,
and I am enjoying how the ~youth of tumblr~ (i.e. people who don’t actually remember the early 90s) are enraging slightly older people with their “soft grunge” and “pastel grunge”, or even better, calling anything with a 90s revival vibe “grunge” (tell me more about how your glow-in-the-dark tie-die smiley face crop top is grunge).
see also: people getting mad about “pastel goth” because “goth means dark colours” or “a colour scheme is not a subculture” or sometimes even both?!
I mean I have pretty mixed feelings about the actual visual content of those subcultures myself, because one thing that is absolutely authentically 90s about them is their saturation level of culturally appropriative motifs (gtfo with your bindis and dripping yin-yang symbols). but people who care about the authenticity of grunge and goth are possibly even more ridiculous than people who get mad about “mall punks”, and they deserve a comeuppance.
first world youth culture’s apathy towards history is irritating at best and can be really fucked up, but there is also a lesson here for aging hipsters, and it is that if you don’t challenge our culture’s obsession with extreme youth while you are yourself young than you will quickly fall into baffled embittered irrelevance.
I am fascinated by teens, especially teen girls, I love how much they care about fashion and how inventive and ahead of the curve they are, but I hate how they become images that are used and chewed up and spat out by the culture industries. & it’s more complicated than that again because of course the sixth sense teens have for the next trend is partly self-fulfilling, because they’re watched so carefully by the people who market those trends.
it’s resistance and capitalism and exploitation and exploration and self-representation and cultural theft and narcissism in one big, messy, fucked-up ball and if the thing that makes you the maddest is “that’s not grunge!” then I don’t understand you.
I don’t understand why you expect me to care about you doing stuff purely for yourself.
like sometimes that’s fine of course but why would you tell me that self-care is your ethos? the sole organising principle of your life? if that’s really the case, why wouldn’t you just do it and not care what I think?
it’s almost like this individualistic self-care stuff actually relies implicitly upon the tolerance and work of others.
if you don’t have political bumper stickers on your bike you can’t complain