Don’t see Stonewall because it whitewashes queer history. (But also because it sucks.) Don’t shop at Dolce & Gabanna because they spoke ill of same-sex marriage. (Not that you’ve ever shopped there anyway.) Don’t support The Martian because Matt Damon recently miffed the blacks and the gays. (As if you ever watch anything until it’s on Netflix.) Don’t eat anything from Chik-fil-A or Barilla pasta because it tastes like hate. (Yet do binge on rainbow-colored Doritos, which smack of unicorn kisses!) Never forget that Paula Deen and Ellen DeGeneres are racists. And most importantly, don’t hate that lion-murdering dentist, not when the slightly-less-anorexic models of the world are getting strung-up and fat-shamed.
Like anyone who spends roughly 94 percent of his or her day on social media, I inevitably get caught up in the latest outrage/controversy du jour. Right now my Facebook “Trending” sidebar lists Olivia Wilde calling Trump “xenophobic” (yay! um, who’s Olivia Wilde?), the New York police union calling for a boycott of Tarantino movies (right, like anything’s gonna keep me from seeing Hateful Eight) and the World Health Organization declaring processed meats can cause cancer (for the love of Mary, NOT BACON!!). Yet two recent uproars—one involving two indie bands, the other involving a hip-house diva, both executed by Twitter—have me turning a willful, admittedly un-P.C. blind eye. Just ’cause I kinda like it when music folks misbehave.
On October 17, Bay Area shoegazer unit Whirr initiated a series of tweets aimed at G.L.O.S.S., a feminist punk band from Olympia, Washington, that features multiple transgender members. Tweets began innocuously enough (“Lol @ G.L.O.S.S.,” “There’s nothing not hilarious about that ‘band’”) before turning seriously douchey (“just a bunch of boys running around in panties making sh*tty music”). The band credits the tweets to a friend who had access to its account and has nobly apologized (“[we] commend the scene for … taking such quick action when it comes to confronting transphobia”). Still, they’ve been exiled from two labels, and G.L.O.S.S. ain’t having it, telling Billboard, “Whirr can suck [our] transexual dick, now and forever.” Oh well, so much for high roads.
A month ago, Azealia Banks kicked up a crapstorm when she called the LGBT community the “gay white KKK.” This gets complicated, as Banks is a black woman rooted in gay house and ball cultures, both of which were defined by black males who were influenced by females. Regardless of gender or preference, she’s literally one of the gayest human beings making music today. So when a fickle busybody like Perez Hilton gets all pissy about her using the word “f*ggot,” it’s easy to see how Banks, of all people, has the right to go there. Or at least consider her other missive: “If one word can put your entire community in distress, you’re DOOMED.”
I’d write Banks off if her album, Broke With Expensive Taste, wasn’t one of the best things I’ve heard this decade. But if I held every artist accountable for every idiotic thing they ever said and did, I’d have a very small and boring record collection. Why would I stop listening to Banks when I still listen to Phil Spector productions? I just hope the owners of Shake Shack never offend the gays. Otherwise I’ll hate myself even more after mauling my double Shack Burger.