International Goths and Terrible Promotion

In response to the pandemic, Italian band Ash Code – together with friends like André Savetier, host of The Wave of Things – assembled a sort of online music festival to raise money for charities. They’ve transitioned to raising money to make the festival a meatspace event, using their most recent version of the online fest to hold out the proverbial cup. But not only did they do a terrible job of publicizing their newest festival, they also tempted people like me to unsubscribe from their yewchewb channel by repeatedly posting videos of this one basic joke, clogging up my subscriptions with foolery.

But if you want to know what goths are up to these days, all across the world, check out the Gothicat Festival videos. And if you’re in Europe* and it might be possible for you to go to an IRL Gothicat Festival, consider donating to the weirdos. One word of warning: All of these videos have strobing lights on some tracks, and they don’t always provide adequate warning.

*Theoretically they could do the festival anywhere. Some of the acts on these shows are from Mexico, Canada, the US, South America, Australia, and I think Taiwan? But the vast majority are based in Europe, so safe money where the IRL fest will end up – assuming they can raise enough money like this.

EDIT TO ADD: Speaking of new gothery, here’s a US track that dropped just a few days ago, from a black transwoman, if that’s a kind of person you want to support & you like heavy sounds:

May the Fourth FOAD

An old college chum and I am in touch with on social media posted a Space Shooters image and tagged it with the name of this punnish fan day. And I say, what a great May the Fourth to reflect on the colossal failure of this franchise to stick a respectable landing, to see just how much their latest bullshit has tarnished anything worthwhile in the fun cheesy garbage that came before. What a great day to commemorate the dissolution of any interest I have in pursuing anything Disney has to offer from this cash cow ever again, for me to celebrate not feeling even slightly compelled to drop money on a ticket for their shit, or get their streaming service, or even lift a finger to pirate it.

I’ve dedicated a post like this to Rose Tico before, but better to dedicate it to Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega, who are done with the shitshow that was clearly done with them before it was over. No offense to people who can get past the burn to enjoy the old stuff in their way, but that ain’t me. Have fun with your stuff, but respect where others of us are coming from. We’re done.

Why that Moral Arc Idea Convinces

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” That quote popularized by MLK Jr and originated in a different form by an abolitionist preacher in the 1800s has appeal for a lot of people, not just to our sense of optimism but also to our sense of reason and observation. We see injustice spark resistance, we see how some great injustices of the past were defeated, or at least greatly diminished by long struggle. It makes sense that given enough time, all injustices will fall, right?

With more recent history we can see resurgence, re-empowerment, and expansion of old injustices, which is a really useful reality check for those naturally inclined to optimism like (believe it or not) myself. And while outside of the worst environments for these prejudices (such as being trans in the UK) it can still be easy to see the resistance and feel optimistic they will overcome again, what would that mean long-term, if anything?

I’m not going to say that this process is perfect equilibrium, with history swinging between justice and injustice in equal measure. There does seem to be some staying power in some of the successes justice has achieved. People aren’t willing to lose the freedoms they earn with blood. But the arc idea is too simple to describe how the world works. A more accurate way to look at this fight, I think, is that there is an ecosystem of ideas in which selection plays a role.

Injustice species Misogyny rex rules the land unopposed, king of ideas. But wait, opposition appears. Justice species Feminism ceratops evolves defenses so effective that M rex dies out. But a subset of M rex mutated bigger teeth that can overcome F ceratops defenses, and do so well against them that F ceratops goes extinct. But lo, there were a few survivors of F ceratops and they evolve into the next progressive resistance.

In this model, injustices in their existing forms do go extinct – the phenomenon that makes the moral arc model seem convincing – but something always seems to evolve to replace them. What replaces them isn’t always equally bad, so it is still useful to keep fighting. But without the absolute destruction of these injustices, some form of them always survives and has a chance to grow again.

And now, from my reality-checked place of diminished optimism, I feel like even if every ounce of racism misogyny homophobia transphobia ableism antisemitism islamophobia colonialism etc. were magically extirpated from the minds of our species, some new injustice would arise de novo, due to the angling of the power hungry.

The arc of the natural universe is long, but it bends toward everything going extinct in ways ranging from miserable to horrible. Humans have time and again shown ourselves collectively unable to overcome our animal nature. As much as hippies like to separate man from animals to say industrialism is unnatural, it is not. Human decimation of the biosphere is the natural result of a species becoming too fucking successful – something we’ve seen many many times before in nature. The difference between freshly evolved plants causing a mass extinction and what we’re doing now are mostly cosmetic.

My only hope is in the unnatural. Not Elon Musk pipe dreams of technology saving us. More like Gene Roddenberry pipe dreams – the idea we can somehow overcome human nature to create a lasting utopia. And where I said the difference was mostly cosmetic? There’s a fundamental difference that might offer a sliver of hope. The tool of our decimation is a social construct, and we have the power to change those within the space of a single generation sometimes – if rarely. Whether that happens or not, praise for all of the warriors for justice, whatever your part of the struggle. Power on.

Texas Wisconsin Nebraska

I sign out of Outlook and it takes me to I generally avoid news but some imp of the perverse makes me look at the headlines on the scroll there. And today, I was treated to the following:

Mass shooting in Texas. Mass shooting in Wisconsin. Orange prick John Boehner says mass shootings are national embarrassment. And Mass shooting in Nebraska.

I’m not looking into those articles, but short question for anyone with more fortitude: Did we literally just have three mass shootings in one day? Is this fucking nonsense for real?

Chicken Lady – No Not That One

Had a long drawn out dream last night, revolved around trying to hang out with a group of friends I don’t have in real life. Not interesting, but there was this amusing side bit. I did some mild violence to a chicken, you know, just playing with it. I forget how, like it grabbed my finger by the beak and I shook it or something. Anyway, a huge amount of its feathers instantly fell off.

I didn’t feel too guilty because I know they can grow back and I knew the injury was more a matter of the beast’s surprising fragility than my own malevolence. There was fleeting moment of shock replaced by amusement.

Then I was walking through the halls of the same building – I forget where or why – but I saw a conventionally attractive young lady talking on her cellphone with a friend. She was talking about how her feathers are more sturdy now, but they used to “shed like a bonfire” when she was younger. I knew then that she was a chicken. Not like the lady in the gross Kids in the Hall skit, but just a pretty girl who is somehow also a chicken.

She noticed feathers twirling around the corners of the hall and touched her hair. I knew she was nervous that they came from her – that she was indeed still shedding like a bonfire. But I tried to set her mind at ease, by telling her that it came from the other chicken. That’s all.

Return of the Mikla

Kælan Mikla has a new video debuting like seven hours from the time of this post. I’ll be sleeping, then rushing to work, and unable to truly dig it til Friday evening. Kælan Mikla is a divisive band, with some of the most shrieky lady vocals out there. They’ve veered hard into gothy territory on recent albums and by the design of this thumbnail I expect more of the same. Will this be more chilled out, or still have the shrieks? No idea. Anyway, these girls always amuse and entertain me with their earnest ice witch theatrics. Lemme know if you love or hate them, as by the time you see this post, you can find out for yourself.

Lil’ Nas X? More like, Lil’ Naw. X.

All I can say is that my life is pretty
plain. I like to watch the puddles gather
rain. That’s the opening lines of a lovely
idyll by Sir Basil Exposition of England.
Life should be about gentle tedium, safe.

Frankly, when people like this Nas X character
open up their mouths and use them to lick devils,
or themselves, through the power of CG satanisms,
licentiousness runs rampant through our society,
sowing the seeds of ruination. I can’t stand it.

Trans Day of Visibility Challenge

Don’t do one thing H*rry P*tter related for 24 hours, out of respect for the people whose lives Jowling Kowling Rowling is trying to destroy.  I’m not gonna say you have to never again enjoy the thing that you devoted 45% of your young life to just because the author is shit, but making her intellectual property publicly visible is giving free advertisement – making her money, helping her do harm.  If you do anything HP-related, do it in private, and maybe as a personal sign of solidarity and respect for victims of transphobia, just hang it all up for 24 hours, even within your private time.  Contemplate the world of art and imagination that does not flow from that particular source.  You can do it, kids.  I believe in U.

Horrible Art Goblin Chanteuse

Why it’s Kennedy Ashlyn of Them Are Us Too and SRSQ fame, of course.  This song is old enough that the other band member died in a horrible tragedy years ago ( ;_; ), but it’s delightful to slow groove on the fruits of art people going off the chain.  I have nothing useful to say about it.  Content Warnings:  Non-Eyebrow Having and Tearing Out One’s Wig.  Low Mood.