02 December 2008


Much as I hesitate to assert that my inclination to admire the beauty of women reflects some deep commitment to Truth, Spiritual Enlightenment, and Social Justice, a recent bit of news has gotten under my skin and has me tempted, just a little bit.

A week or three ago, someone pointed me at this little music video by Amanda Palmer, of cabaret-punk band Dresden Dolls fame, for her song “Leeds United:”

How good is that? It's a super spiffy pop song, a fun video full of stuff that makes my cabaret-lovin' heart sing, and — bonus! — Ms Palmer is awfully ... ah ... charismatic. (If you dug that, I also commend to your attention LeAnne Rimes' video for “Nothin’ Better to Do.” Zowie.)

I don't buy a lot of new music, but I got to thinking that it was past time I invested in the Dresden Dolls and Ms Palmer.

Then, via Warren Ellis, I learned that the record company had really jerked her around about this video. She explains:

the label i’m on (roadrunner records) had wanted to pull shots from the video so that my bare belly wasn’t exposed. they thought i looked fat. i thought they were on crack.

dude. i’m a vain motherfucker. i know when i look fat. i had beth hanging out on the set of the pope videos, keeping an eye on my figure as i pranced around in my slip in case pope was getting a particularly pregnant-looking angle. i hate shots of myself where i look heavy with child.

but THIS?? this was just nonsense. i thought i looked HOT. i really, really didn’t see where they were coming from. at all.

so i didn’t budge.

they weren’t happy, but then again they’re not very happy with anything i’m doing lately (including putting out a record that has “no commercial potential” and is impossible to promote, since nobody will like it).

the video was left as is.


Look, as someone who was on the leading edge of the “video killed the radio star” generation, I hate to bite the hand that gave me Annie Lennox, but what the %#&@!! is wrong with these music industry clowns?

What the &*%!! is wrong with a society which creates people paid to tell sexy pop stars that they are unattractive?

I know as a good feminist my first reaction should be to point y'all at the reBELLYon where fans are posting pictures of their “no commercial potential” bellies in a zany pro-postive-body-image protest, rather than to allow a BS chivalrous reflex of protectiveness toward pretty girls to muck up the discourse, but my tastes in pretty girls are better than theirs nyah nyah nyah and I'm pretty fromaged off about it.

Clearly I must go see her show and thereby put some money in the lady's pocket. That'll show ’em.


Anonymous said...

Gee, Jonathan! Tell us how you really feel about this?



Anonymous said...

She always makes me want to shave my eyebrows.