Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I know I can dance

Have you ever willed something into existence with your subconscious mind?

After months of devoted daily listening, slogging through show after show of hardline evangelist Christians and Civil War surgery experts with only the occasional Donovan or Jeanne Moreau or Marianne Faithfull to break things up, Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein were on Fresh Air. One minute I’m sitting at my desk, tracking down the museum acquisiton numbers of ancient Greek pots for my research job and singing “Sold Out” to myself, and the next they're on and I’m scrambling around on the carpet trying to position my little Sony radio so it’s at the one spot on the floor where it picks up the NPR station without static.

I know Fresh Air is all big and national and everything, but it feels like my show, and Terry Gross is my lady, so to have the three of them together was like a feminist media summit/dream come true. Terry did call Janet “Janice,” though, which was a shame, and quoted Spin a lot more than was necessary. She managed to slide in a few quasi-musicial and performance-related questions, and for someone who’s been spending the summer sitting on her bed with her guitar picking out riffs from The Woods, this was really exciting.

Why do some people need to have heroes? Why do I need to construct these icons—these women—for myself to believe in who are braver and stronger and more confident and nimble-fingered than me? Because really, all it takes is one tremolo or one eyes-closed scream at a show and all of the old kill yr idols, worship-the-music-not-the-musician gospel is stone-cold breathless dead in my heart and replaced by the malingering, naive trust that This Lady Is Somehow Like Me, loves music the way I do and does all the things I’d do myself if I weren’t so shy and scared.

There is a manifesta about queer fandom to be written here. I think Mimi Nguyen may have written it already but I can’t track it down. If you know of anything, let a sister know. This weekend I am going to Minneapolis to humbly ask that fair city if it will adopt me and generally be kinder and gentler than Chicago was a month ago. Pray, y’alls, pray.

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