Letters from Rosie 2
I WANT to know what you think about certain records, because I’m INTERESTED in what you personally think. Our interests may be esoteric, but because of the democratising power of the internet, that doesn’t seem to matter anymore. I wanted to know if you’ve heard the new Gossip record, or what you make of the Beth Ditto thing. ‘Isn’t it funny how things work out?’ That’s what strikes me as I watch Beth Ditto on tv, or on the red carpet. The meat and bones of the music – well, it’s no real advance on anything Heavens To Betsy or Bikini Kill or any of the other predecessors did. (I still reckon, for sheer experimental musical flair, The Raincoats’ Odyshape is the most striking all-female effort out there and it predates all the riot grrrl stuff). But Beth Ditto is the victorious culmination of all the women who came before her.
Dude, because of your Huggy Bear cover, Beth Ditto is sitting next to Kate Moss and Karl Lagerfeld at Paris fashion week. She’s out there and credible and punk and gay and fat and female and she’s not only getting away with it, but it’s actually
compounding her success. Isn’t that amazing? It means that something within culture at large has… changed. All that persistent chipping away has borne this victory. I really hope she won’t just turn out to be a fluke. And I don’t want the hardcore grrrls to reject her. I hate that the hard nosed female(!) New York bloggers like Maura at Idolator find her annoying. It is our duty to love her! She’s doing her best and she is what she is, I know you don’t like Morrissey but, I’ve
always agreed with him when he says, ‘it takes guts to be gentle and kind’.
James Joyce wasn’t interested in what the academic world thought about his writing. He said he thought Ulysses was the kind of book any man could pick up and read. He didn’t like discussing literature in salons and in academic settings. He’d rather be out rapping with the guy on the corner, asking him his opinion on the goings on of the day.
Have you read this book? I read it in art college… devoured and got considerable pleasure from it. Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy by Dave Hickey. He says: “Colleagues of mine will tell you that people despise critics because they fear our power. But I know better. People despise critics because people despise weakness, and criticism is the weakest thing you can do in writing. It is the written equivalent of air guitar – flurries of silent, sympathetic gestures with nothing at their heart but the memory of the music.”
I’m afraid of Twitter. I don’t condone the use of any status update systems. What’s wrong with me? I can’t not care about the responsibility of committing a thought to type. Words aren’t sacred, but experiences can be, and if you choose your words carefully, you can communicate something of real experience with them. That is a gift and must be respected. I like print media over web 2.0 because print is intimate. I don’t want people knowing things about me. I don’t want lots of people knowing what I’m doing right now. It’s private. You get to see the bits I want you to see. Filtered and arranged and I take great care to present the best stuff. What’s the point in proliferating a truckload of common ore that is immediately lost amongst the rest the instant it is published online? The pages of old magazines smell nice.
In life, the things we say, the things we feel are only really relevant to a very few people who are close to us. That’s if we’re lucky enough to have people close to us. Other than that, the fact of the matter is, people do not and cannot possibly care about the comings and goings of an enormous amount of other people.