the problematic art of talking to everyone
i just tip-tapped this little post out on instagram and wanted to cross-post it here, because it’s a worthy topic.
(and: the new podcast with laura jane grace is up here if you missed it: https://www.patreon.com/posts/42535270)
something hurt me and also made me think yesterday. this is me and laura jane grace on the day we recorded our conversation for “the art of asking everything” podcast – march 2019. it’s now out and you can listen to it anywhere you get your podcasts. laura posted this beautiful hug photo by hayley fiasco up on her feed yesterday.
and…i read the comments.
there are people who do not like laura; they think her choices are problematic. and… there are people who don’t like me; they think my choices are problematic.
what i find hilarious – and painful – is the cartoon of this moment: where laura’s fans can simultaneously be saying “omg don’t talk to amanda she’s hella problematic” while mine can be saying “omg don’t talk to laura she’s hella problematic”. it is very 7th grade.
know what we both are? human. human artists who strive to learn, grow, and change. we have both made choices in our lives and careers that didn’t serve – others, our bands, our relationships – no doubt. and no doubt these two artists will continue to stumble and make choices we learn from. we live in this chaos of choices. we try to be and do better, do better by ourselves, our friends, our kids, our families, our audiences. we know that there are often no clear right choices. we learn from listening to our crowds, we learn from talking to each other. we make mistakes; we change.
laura’s book, “tranny”, was such a comfort to me.
i watched her wrestle with demons i could deeply relate to. “here is someone like me, committed to scraping her way out of the dark by telling the ugly truth”, i thought. her writing was so brave; she was so willing to let us read and learn about her dark flaws & mistakes. i’m thinking of my friend laurie penny (who’s here on patreon), too, who got a lot of grief re: the right-wing people she would interview who were way outside the circles of her friends.
i’m thinking of my podcast guest masarat daud who wears her hijab with pride, which may not sit well with some people. i’m thinking of the upcoming podcast guests who’ve been “cancelled” in their communities at one point or another. but who gets to say? i’m thinking about how we get out of this mess without it being ok for everyone to talk to everyone. how else does this work? So…may we live in a world where talking deeply with *everybody* – about *everything* – isn’t off the menu. instead, it is celebrated. thank you to everyone who’s been tuning in.
what a ride, my loves, what a ride.