The focus is on Kurt Cobain, who would have been 46. Cobain kind of had an androgynous look, called Axyl Rose a “homophobe” and identified as a feminist. Moore references Amanda Marcotte’s writing, “Nirvana’s Secret Feminism.” A parody of cheerleaders in a music video made a statement about women’s beauty standards. Anecdotes advising men towards feminism are given, with Kurt Cobain held up as an example.
March marks the one year anniversary of Andrew Breitbart’s death. He would have seen a 44th birthday in February–but would not have been playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
There’s a climactic moment in Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World, where he desperately flips the dial from FM to AM and discovers conservative talk radio.
His music taste had been “a very specific type of angst-driven British alt-rock–the The, New Order… The Specials, The Cure, Depeche Mode.” About the likes of Nirvana, Breitbart said: “And my hatred of grunge was visceral. The forced thrift-shop flannel look belied Los Angeles’s temperate weather. Who were these whiny suicidal freaks? I didn’t want to know…”
In the book, Cobain (who I’m starting to feel bad for) personifies the slacker generation’s cynicism. “My generation had embraced Kurt Cobain and late-1980s stand-up comedy and Spy magazine–we’d embraced irony as our badge of hipness.”
A group of social theorists were influential in the 1930s and 40s, the Frankfurt School. Entering the US to escape Nazism, they apparently didn’t jibe with the cheery “vision of paradise” in SoCal. Their “ilk were the Kurt Cobains of their day: massively depressed, nihilistic people.”
Herbert Marcuse was the originator of the “New Left,” on a mission “to dismantle American society” by pitting different “victim groups” against each other. Feminism was part of post-structuralism (Wilhelm Reich is cited) and defined “sexual relationships” as “inherently relationships between the oppressor and the oppressed.” Breitbart uses the phrase Marxist/Feminist.
The grunge rock comparison concludes: “If only they had IKEA furniture, this would have made for a fantastic season of The Real World.”
Yes, I’m still talking about Andrew Breitbart–the Anthony Weiner guy. The Frankfurt Schoolers were the beginnings of what he called the Democrat-Media Complex, which he was “at war” with.
Breitbart observed collusion between Old–or mainstream–Media like CNN, in contrast with New Media, like the Drudge Report. For instance, Bill Clinton was given a free pass in reporting on Paula Jones’s sexual harassment charge. Newsweek had then subverted what would have been the first breaking news about Monica Lewinsky.
He likened MSNBC to the fictional naked emperor. In a video, he indicted Rachel Maddow as responsible for the “broken promise to the American People” in MSNBC’s “overselling” of Obama as “the greatest thing that ever walked the earth.”
Amanda Marcotte’s piece, as quoted in Jezebel, said embracing the feminism of the “Smells Like Tean Spirit” video was to “choose to be a badass.”
For me in 2013, the word feminism is now like a brand name. It conjures the MSNBC narrative that Breitbart criticized, with a hipster connotation–perhaps appearing along with Rosie the Riviter reprints in a Williamsburg loft on an episode of Girls.
Instead, watching videos from Girl Writes What or Typhonblue on Youtube feels rebellious–like something “they” don’t want me to do, something they don’t want me to think. Debating whether or not Susan Brownmiller’s views from 1975 are valid feels badass, like fighting the system.
For comparison, a Citizen Radio podcast last week was promoted as a tear-down of MRAs. For 10 minutes, Jamie Kilstein talked about an ironic t-shirt. That was it. That was the expression of “cool feminist anger.”
My personal outlook–in terms of smashing the gender binary–is in-line with Tracy Moore’s last paragraph, but my disdain for hipster feminsim is in-line with Andrew Breitbart’s. Also, his preference for New Order, The Cure and Depeche Mode.
But, hey! Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette released new albums last year! (What were they called again? I forgot.)
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