“Untitled 12”

I feel a little bit bad publishing this post on this site because it’s not really a musical post, at its core. But there are a couple of things I have to get off my chest. 

We’ve all, by now, heard people complaining about online trolling, some saying that it’s become basically the central mission of our culture (I happen to agree). We’ve all heard about the dangers of cyber-bullying. 

The public’s response to Billie Eilish’s latest statement that “Believe it or not women can be interested in multiple things” may very well qualify as cyber-bullying. She faced a backlash of snide, bizarrely poker-faced, analytical criticisms, from any number of sour pricks out there, to the point where it even surprised and astonished me. 

But cyber-bullying is not the issue here, at least as pertains to the this blog post I’m writing. My issue with these people is their downright ignorance. And it’s not a matter, even, of misogyny, or dismissiveness of a certain group of people, the types of maladies we typically associate with the term “ignorance.” It is, believe it or not, their ignorance of how to have a good time within culture, or be “cool,” if you prefer. 

Now, you might ask, why is being “cool” important? No matter how tired your thumb might be from scrolling, I imagine, you still might find it in your heart to have a problem with someone being funny, sarcastic (of which Eilish’s apparently went over everyone’s head, as no one laughed), aware and enlightened. It’s extremely important to know the potential for human expression within culture because this type of thing involves methods in which real people communicate — transmitting authentic ideas that can’t be boiled down to corporate sales pitches or fear tactics. 

Billie Eilish is a creative, free-thinking young woman, whose sarcasm in delivering the phrase “Believe it or not women can be interested in multiple things” reminded me a little bit of the girls on Ghost World, a movie based on a Daniel Clowes graphic novel of the same name, starring Scarlett Johannson and Thora Birch playing these two friends whose dialogues tend to be quite cerebral and analytical, by today’s standards. In one scene, they’re watching this stand-up comedian on TV who utters the words, “It’s like I always say… take my life… now!” Enid’s (Birch) response is, “If he’s so weird, why’s he wearing Nikes?”

I deliver this rather arcane anecdote to deliver the point that, at one time in our world’s [1] history, we actually had any clue of how to treat a celebrity who is behaving with charisma. I mean, I’m not sure if the public just didn’t get that Eilish was being sarcastic (and quite witty, I thought), or they’re frustrated by her exhibition of ample cleavage, or they’re just too downright bitter and petulant to be able to appreciate any sort of human achievement, meagre as this one might be. It’s troubling to me, though, the fact that people can’t appreciate Eilish’s sharp clap-back, here, because the mechanism in the mind for identifying her commendable wit and articulateness is the same one which would be responsible for spotlighting quality in the arts — music, film, literature, cooking, what have you. With this incredible din of downright stupidity, or plain old indolence, on the part of humanity, we now have the potential for a complete myopia, a complete ignorance, of the quality of the arts. Well, we’re all the same, and stuff, so it doesn’t matter. I’m next in line to get my bar code stamped on my neck so I can go get my sucking license. 


[1] Unfortunately I can’t blame this one just on the U.S.A. since it was an NME Facebook post I saw.