van nasty

Saturday, May 12, 2007

call me a prude, but i just dont find rape and nazi humor funny anymore

it was a week ago today that i went to rnr hotel for the relaunch of a local website (because apparently dc is so strapped for glamour that "re-launching" a website constitutes a party-worthy event). the show featured 10 local bands performing all cover songs. i went with the smurfettes and told myself i was going despite the fact that dewey decimal would be there. of course i was lying seeing as ive now held on to the projected relationship three times longer than there was anything even resembling a real one (note: im not a very good liar and managed to only convince myself).

the show was loud; much louder than i would have thought (i dont know why in my mind i equated "cover songs" with soft, yanniesque music but i did, and therefore failed [again!] to bring earplugs). we pushed our way up to the front but the sound system wasnt great and it was still hard to hear some of the vocals. each band did three songs, and during one of the requisite "chat with the audience pauses" my friend and i hear the singer of a band say "painted proud rapist on our van... had to cover the swastika that was there... another reason to hate us." we looked at each other and thought audibly "did he really just say that?" we decided to take it as a sign to go upstairs and investigate the rest of the party.

if i may interupt my own story, the comment was obviously meant as a joke. i didnt think he, or anyone else on stage, meant it. i had no intentions of burning my copy of their c.d.s or going to their myspace and leaving a bile filled comment. i thought it was in bad taste, particularly in a crowd where half your audience is female, but our communal reaction was more "meh" than rage. ironically, the comment followed a different band's cover of sabotage; the beastie boys forever endeared themselves to me during the 1999 mtv music awards when they made an impassioned plea to other artists that they have a responsibility to protect female concert goers from rape and sexual assault. the comment was made in reference to woodstock '99 where several women reported being pulled into mosh pits and raped repeatedly.

on my way home in a cab with 8 perfect strangers, people were discussing the swastika comment and i mentioned that i left right after it. a girl next to me rather dramatically rolled her eyes and told me i was too politically correct and that they were being irreverent (which makes me think one of us misunderstands the meaning of that word). according to her, i didnt hear the comment correctly, and the guy actually said someone in their neighborhood had painted proud rapist on their van, which he followed up with the lame joke about covering the swastika (which actually makes much more sense). i found the whole exchange more unnerving that the original comment that sparked it. self-satisfied-holier-than-thou hipster girl patronizes car full of women by telling them that they cant be offended by a casual, off-hand joke about rape and nazis. i could have understood her response if we were talking about boycotts or intervention from the anti-defamation league or storming their next show with signs from the national organization for women while chanting "this is what a feminist look like," but literally all that was said was, "yea. that was weird." assuming this girl wasnt their sister, girlfriend, cousin, aunt or mother, i find it odd to go out of your way to (vehemently) defend that comment.

there were 9 women in our giant, 15 person van/cab . currently in america - where every 2.5 minutes someone is sexually assaulted - one in six women has been the victim of sexual assault, meaning 1.5 people in that car represent victims of rape, attempted rape or other sexual violence.

youre right. i totally see the humor in that comment now.

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van nasty

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Location: van nasty, washington, dc

i have better taste in music than you and more makeup than a drag queen.

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