Jun. 26th, 2013

[identity profile] cabaretlights.livejournal.com

Claire Voyant
Time and the Maiden

: Whenever I think of "revolutions," my mind inescapably turns to one of the many flawless lines from Yevgeny Zamyatin's We: "Well, which final revolution do you want then? There isn't a final one. Revolutions are infinite."

Revolutions are infinite.

Those who start revolutions probably only rarely consider this fact. As a rule, we all think we are the final incarnation, the final revolution. Our ideas, our ways, our society is the best, the final stop. The thought that we...aren't? That the empire might fall? No. No, that happened literally every single other time any revolution or ideology has come to pass, literally every single other time, but for some reason we are immune! Slavery, republics, feudalism, monarchy, imperialism, fascism, communism, dare we say democracy? -- they've all had their day. Something else is coming, but it won't last, either. Revolutions are infinite.

If you stop and think about it, though, you end dinner conversations. People cross rooms to get away from you. No one wants to recognize that the doomsayer with the sandwich board is right: beware the motherfucking ides of March, because the end is actually nigh. Though I guess the real issue is that the end is always nigh. Shit starts, shit stops. Changes happen, absolutely; for the better? Who really knows. Revolutions are varied, multifaceted, complicated, with uncertain consequences, but at the very least: they are ephemeral.

But no one in their right mind would start a revolution they believed would eventually fail. There's something very beautiful about that particular feature of humanity: we delude ourselves in favour of our ideals, trusting there is something potent in them, that they will pave a path to a better future. To a better ever after.

Claire Voyant. Oh dear.
This is one of the first songs I thought of when we started this community, because it would have to come up sooner or later. This is one of my all-time favourite songs. Absolutely. Finitely. Because of the booms in the drumbeat (a call to action?), the ethereal voice, the fact that I once called it "the absolute perfect song" (how great is online journaling to be able to point to that exact moment, by the WAY?, and isn't the content of that barely-18 post hilarious in its pseudo-revolutionary content? This song has always been wrapped up in my concept of changing the world order), and the fact that it is beyond rife with memories. From 2004, from those perfect and perfectly flawed times in my life; all bleeding together to create this heartbeat megaton BOMB of emotion, passion, vitriol.

But tonight it is about revolutions. Tonight it is about that "Everafter," that feeling we all have that drives us (and, for you and I, in many ways is emotionally tied in music, songs like this one: what makes me stronger, more willing to fight, than a song that changed my life?) to do MORE, to ignore those nibbling rational thoughts and hold on, scream, for something better -- ideologically, emotionally, passionately. Those coming to terms with your faults, in the lyrics here; that recognition that the world is not perfect:
The shore smells the sweetest when all is left
You're pale
You're dry
And you're spent. But you've fought.

I will always want to change the world. If an absolutely terrible year in a classroom has taught me anything, it's that. I will never be content to sit back and know I am not contributing to better things. I may not do it in a way that affects millions of people, but if I'm not doing it in my way -- if I'm not doing it at all -- I will consider my life a life wasted. I know revolutions don't last. That doesn't matter: there is still such a long way to go.

And despite myself, despite knowing my contributions may make no lasting mark, I still have to try. In my way, as so many of us do, in our ways. 
Revolutions are infinite, and I do believe in everafter.
[identity profile] amethysting.livejournal.com

Double Dare Ya
Bikini Kill
The C.D. Version of the First Two Records

I was a dumb and didn't write this post when I was in the throes of riot grrrl a few weeks ago.  When I had a spark of a something in me.  It's not even that that spark has been extinguished--just that it isn't as pronounced or intense.

I think one of the things that most attracted me to riot grrrl is its do-it-yourself activism.  I've never considered myself an activist...in the sense I most associate with the word--demonstrations and and politics and petitions and voices unified.  Riot grrrl was all those things, but wasn't only those things.  I like something I read about DIY and zine-making that said that creating a zine--no matter the subject--is, in itself, a political act.  When you create something, you shift from consumer to producer; from a relatively passive role to an active one.  And, even if it is on a small scale, you choose the message that is being put out there.

That is the action I can take; my little act of resistance.  For now, anyway.

"Double Dare Ya" starts with unshakable static; a buzz emanating from a speaker.  Kathleen Hanna says, "Is it supposed to be doing that?" before (I imagine) giving the speaker a swift kick and charging ahead.  I like that this wasn't edited out.  They are making this music.  They are figuring things out.  Bikini Kill wanted "REVOLUTION GIRL-STYLE NOW!", "a call for all girls to start bands, start 'zines and participate in the making of independent culture." And, I would add, question the culture they found themselves in.

I had read about "Double Dare Ya" before hearing it, but that did not lessen its impact.  This song makes my ears tingle and the fine hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

Dare ya to do what you want
Dare ya to be who you will
Dare ya to cry right outloud

I think this song is brilliant because it takes a game associated with young girls at sleepover parties (a game that can often degenerate into something malicious (see BH90210 for an example, haha)) and turns it into this ferocious call for revolution.


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