Showing posts with label Credibility. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Credibility. Show all posts

Monday, April 12, 2021

Moby is a Scumbag


I remember reading this and my initial reaction was, wow, what a scumbag:

Moby has discussed the controversy behind his claims that he once dated Natalie Portman in a new interview.

Back in 2019, an excerpt from Moby’s book, Then It Fell Apart, heard the musician recount taking the actor for a drink and, later, kissing her while visiting her at Harvard.

Soon after, Portman refuted the musician’s claims that she was involved in a romantic relationship with him, saying she found it “disturbing” that false stories were being used to promote the book.

This is why you should believe women when they tell you things:

Portman released a statement about Moby’s anecdote yesterday (May 21), saying: “I was surprised to hear that he characterised the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school.

“He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18. There was no fact checking from him or his publisher – it almost feels deliberate. That he used this story to sell his book was very disturbing to me. It wasn’t the case. There are many factual errors and inventions. I would have liked him or his publisher to reach out to fact check.”

Are there any other women out there? It would be shocking if there weren't.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Banjo Player Needed, Will Consider a Mardy Bum


I didn't even get a chance to write about some other idiot doing something stupid before this happened:

The shit really hit the fan a few days ago, though, when bandmember Marshall WinstonWinston Marshall tweeted at Ngo in praise of his agitprop fanfic: “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.” But where Peterson’s Randian self-help schtick seems more like an elaborate performance art joke, Ngo’s weird fantasies of a great, black-clad Army of the Left, particularly in the context of the January 6th Insurrection, are far more dangerous.

The backlash directed at Marshall was immediate and voluminous, and led to this morning’s announcement that he’d be stepping away from the band, in which he said “I have offended not only a lot of people I don’t know, but also those closest to me, including my bandmates.” Clearly, Mumford’s other sons were not happy.

The band's praise of right-wing failson Jordan Peterson should have tipped everyone off that there is clearly a streak of evil running through Mumford & Sons that otherwise wouldn't have shown up if Marshall wasn't intent on embracing garbage like Andy Ngo.

Looking at what happened, you get the sense that he triggered a vehement response from the band and from management. There's no throwing him out, no lifetime ban. He's going to "step away from the band" and give everyone a chance to duck down while the social media shitstorm flies overhead? You step away when there's a likely chance that you'll be resuming your role as lead banjo player when it's time to tour again and make some money. There is (I'm guessing) a clause in the band's agreement with one another that says that if a key member leaves, it's either time to disband or pay someone off and they don't want to do that right now, especially when there's no touring or performing revenue.

Let's not end this by saying that Marshall can't have conservative or Tory or whatever views. He is free to think, say, and believe whatever he wants. He can praise Ngo every day if he likes. The problem is, if he embraces authoritarian-leaning, hateful ideology, the fans of Mumford & Sons are also free to cancel the entire extended enterprise from their lives as well. People have walked away from Morrissey for a lot less.

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Generosity of Paul Heaton


Not all heroes wear capes:

Paul Heaton, as unlikely as it might sound, is the new Orange Goblin. In 2016, when Classic Rock magazine was shut down by publisher Team Rock, Ben Ward of the aforementioned London hard rock stalwarts launched a JustGiving fundraiser to help the laid-off staff. A few months later Classic Rock was rescued by Future Publishing, but the substantial sum raised by those sleeveless Samaritans helped keep some of the country’s most dedicated and talented AC/DC fans in denim patches and bandanas that lean Christmas.

In the same pay-it-back spirit, while the remaining rock press was pouring out a Courvoisier for Q, indie-pop hero Paul Heaton – as the magazine’s final editor Ted Kessler revealed on Twitter last week – dug deep to make a sizeable donation to the venerable mag’s staff and writers and became an instant pandemic superhero. It wasn’t Heaton’s first behind-the-scenes donation to the greater good either; in 2017 he revealed that he’d once offered to nationalise The Beautiful South’s back catalogue, passing on any further profits to the nation’s coffers. Morrissey might claim the union flag is emblazoned across his heart, but would he have it similarly stitched across his wallet?

Heaton’s act was also a sign that the hippies were right – selflessness, as rare a quality in the world of music as a sober breakfast, really will make you more content in the long run. Rock history has countless examples of kind-hearted financial karma paying off. Elton John and George Michael, famed for their unspoken charity, will forever be ‘much-loved superstars’ while Bono and Gary Barlow, famed for their labyrinthine offshore tax arrangements, will always be shady shysters no matter how many Pudseys they help shift.

You have to bear in mind that the music press in England is largely made up of the most vicious gang of jackals who have ever been unleashed into polite society. A full one third probably has rabies. This act of generosity it typical Paul Heaton. He can describe what's wrong with the world with a few lines and then he'll give you a reason to appreciate it for what it is, practically without effort.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

David Byrne is Not Racist

I am not a huge fan of what David Byrne did to Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth when they were in Talking Heads. I am pretty sure that I fall on Chris and Tina's side of things when it comes to how they experienced David's unique form of human interaction.

However, I will defend David from any charge that he is racist. I'll take up that cause any day of the week. 
Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has apologized for wearing black and brownface in an unearthed promotional video, calling it a "major mistake in judgement."
In the clip for the rock band's concert film 1984 "Stop Making Sense," the star is shown interviewing himself, while donning black and brown face to impersonate several non-White people.
The 68-year-old musician took to social media on Tuesday to express his regret after the vintage clip resurfaced online.
"To watch myself in the various characters, including black and brownface, I acknowledge it was a major mistake in judgment that showed a lack of real understanding," he wrote in series of posts shared on his Twitter page.

"It's like looking in a mirror and seeing someone else -- you're not, or were not, the person you thought you were."
Virtually every attempt to wear black or brown face is reprehensible and ignorant, and so I commend him for apologizing. In the context of Stop Making Sense, this was an inclusive set of songs that traversed multiple genres of music, much of it steeped in other cultures. You could criticize them for appropriating those cultures, but you'd be wrong. Talking Heads brought people onto the stage with them that would normally have been excluded.

I think what David was going for was a more inclusive, shared experience that was meant to bring people together to enjoy things they would not otherwise have been exposed to. We know from Chris's book that the band added musicians so that they could bring in a wider audience and make what started out to be four white people playing an eclectic mix of musical genres into a truly integrated and inclusive experience. There is no punching down here.

And it is true that he was and still is a person with quirks and strange ways of behaving and interacting with people. I'm not a doctor, so I'm not going to speculate on that. I know what has been written about him, and I don't think that's the way to frame this. What I think is more true is that there was no harmful intent, no desire to render another group of people as irrelevant or to make it so that they are no a part of the songs or the presentation. This seems like an awkward effort to elevate and hear other voices and not much more than that.

Now, will people forgive him for it? I sure hope they will and I know there are other artists who need to have this reckoning.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Here's Your New Superhero Film

Creation Records was one of the most important music labels in Great Britain, and it was helmed by a red-haired punk who had superhero leanings and special powers we're only just now beginning to understand:
Alan McGee has given an update on his forthcoming Creation Stories biopic, revealing that it is currently “getting finished”.

The Creation founder’s 2013 autobiography, Creation Stories – Riots, Raves and Running a Record Label, has been adapted for the Irvine Welsh-penned film, which was executive produced by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) and directed by Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).
In a new interview with NME, McGee said: “It’s literally getting finished this week. They’re just trying to work out how to release it. I want them to just bang it online. Get it on Netflix, Amazon Prime or Sky, because who’s going to the fucking cinema now?

This superhero understood how to find great bands and get their records into the hands of people who would love them and never abandon them. Everything I have from Creation I have hung on to, and I will never let any of it go.

It takes a superhero to discover great music. These are uncanny powers, not to be underestimated. McGee has those powers and he cannot teach them or share them. He is the man for our times and I am hoping people get to see him in a new light.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Lack of Political Sophistication

At one point, Krist Novoselic struck me as a very thoughtful guy. That was wiped away by his declaration for support of Donald Trump:
Former Nirvana bassist Novoselic expressed vocal support for Trump’s comments on his Facebook page, writing: “Wow!!! I know many of you can’t stand him, however, Trump knocked it out of the park with this speech.
“Social media and television are looping images of societal breakdown. I agree, the president should not be sending troops into states – and he legally might not be able to anyway – nevertheless, his tone in this speech is strong and direct.”
People can believe whatever they want, but this is stunning and stupid at the same time. Has Novoselic been asleep for the last five years? Trump is the most virulent of racists, a wannabe dictator who threw babies in cages, shut down legal immigration to our country, and enacted more inhumane policies than anyone could have imagined.

There are more than a few very thoughtful people who happen to make music. Richard Marx comes to mind, a guy who is very much in touch with people and with what's going on in the world. I just think that anyone praising Trump at this point has not been functioning as a thinking person during his time in office.

I mean, goddamn. Pay attention to the news.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Don't Care, Don't Want to Watch

There are music genres and styles that do nothing for me, and then there are cultural markers that go past me and I just don't care.

When it comes to the Beastie Boys, I just don't have the time of day for any of this garbage and I'm going to write something completely negative because why the hell not? I would prefer to celebrate and talk about something good, but I just can't find anything redeeming about their music or their career. No problem with them as people, very sad to have seen them lose Adam Yauch, but there isn't anything that I could have less regard for than their music. So, this is not an attack on them personally. The art they made means shit to me.

We're all supposed to treat Paul's Boutique like Trout Mask Replica, and I'm here to tell you that you can go your whole life without hearing either of them and you'll be alright. Their License to Ill album was supposed to be a landmark example of how of young white men who wanted to use cultural appropriation to break into the world of Hip Hop could entertain a nation eager for such things. Come on, who gives a shit about that dated crap?

Lots of people, I guess. I know I'm wrong, but I don't care.

Monday, January 6, 2020

It Is Not Okay to Attack Teenage Girls

Willfully ignorant jackass attacks teenage girl, film at eleven:
Greta Thunberg has responded to Meat Loaf’s claims that she has been “brainwashed” into believing in climate change.

The hard rock veteran argued last week (January 3) that the 17-year-old activist’s time would be better spent on something other than working to reverse climate change.

“I feel for that Greta,” he said. “She has been brainwashed into thinking that there is climate change and there isn’t. She hasn’t done anything wrong but she’s been forced into thinking that what she is saying is true.”
Thunberg, who has become a figurehead for the global environmental movement and inspired a number of protests, strikes and the continued work of Extinction Rebellion, has now responded to the musician. “It’s not about Meatloaf. It’s not about me. It’s not about what some people call me. It’s not about left or right,” she tweeted.
Meat Loaf is, essentially, just an old man trying to stop the world from changing. This is why he is a failure. It has nothing to do with his music, his art, his ability to perform. It is because he has entered the public space and attacked someone else because they represent a changing world he does not comprehend. No one needs to do that. You disagree, fine. But don't expect to be taken seriously anymore. Don't expect to get away with this shit.

In other words, fuck this guy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why Isn't Jian Ghomeshi Already in Jail?

I still can't figure any of this out:

Eight women from across Canada now accuse former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi of abusive behaviour ranging from allegations of beating and choking without consent, to workplace sexual harassment.

The allegations the Star is probing range from 2002 to the present.

One of the women, popular Canadian television actor Lucy DeCoutere, has agreed to be identified. DeCoutere, who plays Lucy on Trailer Park Boys , recalls an incident in 2003 when she alleges Ghomeshi, without warning or consent, choked her to the point she could not breathe and then slapped her hard three times on the side of her head.

I have no problem believing these women and I can see a great deal of clarity in their allegations--Jian Ghomeshi is a violent man who sexually assaults women. What I cannot understand is how he has avoided accountability until now.

Scott Lemieux breaks it down, and this is what's so awful about the collision between online stalking and in-person real-life stalking--they are often one and the same. Our legal system has to come up with ways to deal with these kinds of things, privacy be damned.

All societies should empower women to make an accusation and have it handled responsibly. The first time that this happened, the person being assaulted by Ghomeshi should have felt safe enough to report it and the case should have been handled in a respectful and responsible manner. Yes, in our legal system, you can face your accuser. In Canada's legal system, who the hell knows what they can do? Is it based on the English system where old men in wigs direct barristers to and fro?

Somewhere, in this vast knowledge gap of mine, is an answer I probably don't want to know. 

How the hell is this asshole not in jail?