30 October, 2012

For fuck sake

This is regarding the use of the N word in the track, The March Of The Black Queen. I'm not saying that this isn't a good song (it fucking rocks), or that people shouldn't listen to and enjoy it (I don't want to know anyone who wouldn't!), but Freddie using that word was wrong.

Oh humor me, what is the meaning of the song that makes you so sure Freddie was being racist? And think this, if Freddie had used the 'mother fucker' in his song, would you have considered that he was talking about somebody who fucked a mother? And why (or why not?) - serenadeyoursilence

Freddie using the N word was racist. Context and intention aren’t necessary to keep racism thriving.

Obviously I can’t convince you that this kind of shit is problematic. Conversely, you can’t convince me that words that harm and oppress minorities are completely innocuous. Stalemate. We’re done here.

- That Guy Who Really Likes Queen And Doesn’t Need To Come Up With Irrelevant Hypotheticals To Derail The Issue At Hand And Justify His Ignorance And Bigotry


It's not at all my intention to turn this into a social justice blog. Although since I'm big on social justice (liberal, intersectional feminist, and proud of it), it's only inevitable that sometimes my critical thinking will intersect with this blog. Queen's music means the whole world to me, but it is in no way sacred. If you want to disagree with me, that's fine, but please don't waste my time and energy with mental acrobatics to defend using racial slurs and other hate speech.

27 October, 2012

Follow-up in my Ask box

IMLHO, you can't take a word out of the whole song. And you also should consider the circumstances when the song was written. These days, people are so politically correct, they try to find anything to justify the opinion. Don't use this, don't use that. Words are shaped and raped in ways that fit to their pov. In the end, words lose their meanings. I'd say, shove it. - serenadeyoursilence

It’s really easy to dismiss the weight of words that have never applied to your lived experience, isn’t it? One of the MANY joys of any sort of privilege is being able to completely ignore shit that doesn’t personally affect you. What continues to amaze me is the “The N word is completely meaningless and should be given absolutely zero attention and critical thought, BUT OMG WHY CAN’T I SAY IT EVEN THOUGH I WANT TO??11!!!!1” response so many “I’m not racist, but…” white people have when they’re told that that word isn’t theirs to say.

If I’m able to continue to do the work involved in unlearning racist shit and acknowledging my white privilege, you can too. And if you don’t want to put in that kind of effort, then you have absolutely nothing of value to contribute to any discussion about race and should therefore sit down, shut up, and let the grownups talk.

- That Guy That Really Likes Queen And Has Zero Patience For Your Bullshit

Seriously, not singing along to that word will not ruin the integrity of March Of The Black Queen.

No, seriously

So some (most?) of you? Yeah, you. We need to have a little chat. Well, okay. Scratch that. I'm going to lecture you with absolutely zero apology, and I'm going to hope that you read this entire thing and digest it properly without interruption, because this is important. What I have to say is going to hurt. Your first response - whether it be quietly to yourself or emailing me - is going to be defensiveness and anger. Like, really intense anger, because you'll no doubt think that I'm talking specifically about you as a human being and that I'm judging your character on the whole.

I'm not. I promise.

You might be asking how I know how you'll feel. I know because I've been there. And admittedly, I sometimes catch myself continuing to struggle and unlearn this. I don't like how it makes me feel, but that's part of the learning experience. And the end result is well worth it.

Now you're wondering what the hell I'm talking about. The N word. If you're not black, you don't get to say it.

No, Freddie adding it as a lyric and singing it in March Of The Black Queen doesn't make it okay on any level, and you cannot sing along to it, let alone say it. Nope, not even if you say it with an "uh" or an "ah" at the end, as opposed to "er." No, you can't say just the first syllable. Especially if you're white. That's not your word, you're not cute, and you're not being ironic. You're being racist. If you're white and you say any variation of the N word, regardless of any reason you throw out there or the lengths you go to justify it, you're being racist. If you're a non-black Person Of Color, you're still using a word that's not yours. Knock it the hell off. Why is it so important that you should get to say it, anyway? "Equality?" It would be "reverse racist" (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - no) if you couldn't? It would be a violation of your freedom of speech (nice try. Actually...)?

I can only go so far into this since I'm white and can have no personal experience with racism, but I will absolutely not tolerate any sort of hate speech and will call people out whenever possible. Does this mean I'm condemning you as a horrible human being? Not at all. Am I judging the shit out of you for taking a word white people have tainted and twisted and loaded with murder, slavery, rape, and all other forms of dehumanization, and ongoing (as in, "still happening"), inescapable (as in, "cannot get the fuck away from it") oppression for centuries and trying to co-opt it because you think it's "cool?"

Yes. Yes I am. And I'm judging Freddie Mercury, too. And I still worship him because he's totally my hero!

12 October, 2012

The Great Pretender

I just got a package from my counterpart! She sent me the book/DVD combo of The Great Pretender! Well, the book has a bonus interview CD. I'm SO excited!!!

Audrey's note reads, "with love always! audrey mercury XOXOX"

My favorite part that just barely surpasses the AWESOME of these gifts is that I actually had to switch my books with my random stuff to fit the Great Pretender book. I can't wait to watch the DVD :-)

THANK YOU again, Audrey! You'll be getting a present soon!!!

10 October, 2012

Reviewing my collection: format change

A while ago, I used to post about some of my stuff in no particular order because I didn't have anything better to post. But I miss posting here and I think I'm going to start giving each piece its own post.

I've covered it a bit before, but I want to start with Hot Space.

Let's go!

Did you see what I did there? Did the song Dancer just pop into your head?

I'm not sure where you stand, but I do love this album. The first time I heard any bits of it that wasn't Under Pressure was on Magic Years volume 2. There was a clip of Las Palabras De Amor and Staying Power from their Milton Keynes show. Imagine my surprise when I learned the recorded version of Staying Power wasn't that fast-paced or heavy!

But you know what? The recorded version is cool, too. I have a preference for the live version, but I also have a preference for Freddie's voice when his vocal cords aren't almost completely obliterated, so...

(Freddie's voice still rocked at that performance, though)

I like how Brian and Roger kept in with the album's format while still doing what they were comfortable with. i.e. the guitar solo in Dancer, Action This Day as a whole, etc. What annoys me is everyone puts the blame on Freddie for the synthesizers, but if I remember correctly, Roger introduced them to Freddie while they were recording The Game. Granted, around the time Queen were recording Hot Space, it was arguably the peak of Freddie's clubbing days (and Paul Prenter, Freddie's former personal assistant) that pushed for a dance-oriented album.

But just think of the consequences of Freddie not getting his way on this project or any other: Queen would probably just keep making the same sound, tunneling their way into obscurity, being the Nickelback of the 1970s.

Is this really what you want for the greatest band in the world???

So Hot Space is looking pretty damn good to you former nay-sayers right now, isn't it? Moving on!

I like Back Chat because it demonstrates John's talent. Aside from bass, he also plays rhythm guitar, synths, and electric piano. I guess he and Brian had an argument over whether there was going to be a guitar solo in there. Clearly Brian won because there it is.

The video is "meh" for me. As is the live version. I think it's too boring for the stage.

There was a long, long time where I couldn't listen to Body Language or watch the video. Same thing with Get Down, Make Love on News Of The World. That's probably in large part due to the fact that I don't have sexual crushes on any members of Queen. Although a disproportionate number of my pictures of Freddie in the 1970's have him wearing leather, so maybe that says more about me than I'm willing to acknowledge...

But the track is good. The bass line is catchy and synthetic, and the video is ridiculously tame by today's standards. And a bit weird. What was that cake all about???

I'm going to skip a few tracks because some of them will probably derail this whole post. I may add them later.

Cool Cat is my favorite track on here. John plays every instrument on here and it's really brilliant. I probably sing along to this more than the others, even if I can't sing falsetto.

Under Pressure is an awesome song. The end.

Moral of the story: Nickelback sucks.