I have always felt a little apprehensive about inserting my political (I’m using that term in a broad sense) beliefs into Screaming Females’ output. This isn’t to say that I’ve made a point to ignore them either. The continued mentions of DIY, basement shows, community run spaces, vegetarianism, gay visibility, etc are obviously motivated by political positions and are meant to disseminate concepts that we identify with. At the same time, I think all three of us have a sense that we want Screaming Females to first and foremost be about the music. It is always hard to toe that line between conscious and preachy. We’ve always hoped that our actions would speak more loudly to our beliefs than too many tiresome sermons.
Because of this I haven’t been blogging, tweeting, facebooking, etc much lately. I look to these bands that tweet multiple times a day with their humorous quips about music, food, movies, and beer and it just doesn’t resonate with me. Starting last spring I have purposefully dug myself into books dealing with history, anarchism, feminism, racism, environmentalism, economic inequality, and a host of other difficult issues. I felt isolated. I felt like I was living on an island of thought. Looking to peers, it seemed like I was the only one who wasn’t having an easy time ignoring these blatant issues that surround our existence. I didn’t want to blanket our twitter and blog with messages of the coming failure of Capital or the growing fascism of the US government or the now unavoidably catastrophic impact of climate change. I felt like D Boon yelling, “I try to work and I keep thinking of World War 3/ I got a mile of numbers and a ton of stats/ Paranoid, stuck on overdrive/ Paranoid, scared shitless.” Then suddenly up pops Occupy Wall Street. It felt great to not be alone anymore.
There has been an overload of discussion about what Occupy stands for, if it is actually having any serious effect, and if it is addressing the right issues. While it seems far too daunting of a task to add to that conversation right now, I can say this. Occupy has changed me. It has helped me learn and it has helped me not to feel alone.
Here are some books I’ve read lately that I would highly suggest that you all read as well:
W.E.B. Du Bois – The Souls of Black Folks
Daniel Guerin – No Gods, No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism
bell hooks – Outlaw Culture
Chris Hedges – The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress
David Graeber – Debt: The First 5000 Years
Also, we just finished recording our 5th album with Steve Albini. It will be out in April 2012.