Fab With A Conscience


When I was in college at UNC Chapel Hill I was lucky enough to make friends with some of the most intelligent and fabulous people that walk this earth. We called ourselves Team Big Things, among other monikers that were bestowed upon us (Fruity Rebels, Benetton Club, etc). These names derived from a few simple facts; that we are all highly ambitious, flamboyant individuals of varying races and backgrounds. Many of us identify as queer,  and all of us make up an educated, socially-minded group looking to better the world through art and/or service, and to look & feel good while doing it.

Even though we’ve experienced a diaspora since graduating–we’ve got members in NYC, LA, NC, DC, and one member is even in China right now–I still keep in close contact with these guys through a private facebook group called TBT. We share funny gifs, stories about almost pooping in our pants at Trader Joe’s, and links to articles. Sometimes it’s “Best Golden Girls Quotes” on Buzzfeed. Other times they surround more socially charged topics which we then debate and discuss with each other. This week we talked about Britney, Miley, and the relationship between fashion, music, gender, queerness and race. I felt the conversations that followed were beyond relevant.

It began with this image, Mykki Blanco’s Twitter response to the new Britney single, “Work Bitch,” which aside from being another god awful piece of EDM garbage, borrows from the lexicon of ballroom culture (and thus from queer people of color) in a way that has upset some people.

Moe: Thank you

Kat: I’m curious though, haven’t female pop singers always had a large gay fan base? Cher, Whitney, Madonna, Katy Perry, Gaga, Britney. I can separate an artist’s sincere relationship with their queer fan base from the more contrived relationships just by the way it feels. “Work Bitch” is clearly a tactic. But what is the dividing line? What actually separates something like Gaga’s songs, often hailed as gay anthems, from being under this same scrutiny? Is it the artist’s actual involvement with the LGBTQ community? Personally I was irritated with Katy Perry when she came out with “I Kissed a Girl” because I thought it fetishized bisexuality but I’ve since changed my perspective on it and thought of it as like, pro bi-curious. Basically I’m just on the train and rambling and would love to hear more of what y’all think of straight females as queer icons in the media.

Hannah: I agree with you. But I do also think that since the LGBTQ community has become more openly accepted into mainstream culture, pop stars take it as an opportunity to “reach out to/support” them and therefore get a wider spread fan base. Clearly there are some icons (such as Cher) who I think more properly helps represent the gay community because she supported them before it was fetishized like it is today.

Kat: Not to mention the whole “playing bi” tactic that young straight pop stars (Christina, Britney, Miley, Katy) use to break out of their pristine Disney/Christian image. And don’t even get me started on Macklemore.

Hannah: IDK if Macklemore can fall under the female pop star category… but he might as well considering what a little bitch he is.

Kat: I think about this a lot as a white woman who wants to have a strong voice in the media as a writer. Although I identify as queer and a feminist I still heavily scrutinize the validity of my voice in relationship to many of my characters who are queer people of color (aka: y’all). This is sort of off the subject of pop music but not really at all. The reason Orange is the New Black was given so much praise for it’s portrayal of QPOC is because it gave agency to those characters outside of the white narrative. It is unethical to use the experiences and cultures of another to further your career. It does nothing but reinforce the status quo to try sum up the lived experience of an other in your own voice, to tell someone else’s story in order to spice up your own. Ultimately we need more queer voices telling their own stories, taking center stage for their own lived experience and being their own icons. Not treated by the industry as a market for culture consumption. And as a white, straight artist, if you can’t get down with that, then you are not an “ally”. Thus Mykki’s outrage.

Austin: Everything Kat said p much.

Jamila: Kat, yes. All of it. That being said, I’m also thankful for these white women who advocate for “the others” because when others do it, nobody gives a goddamn

Austin: Yeah ^ there is a way to use one’s privilege in a good way and that is it.

The next topic was one that has been beaten to death over the past few weeks, Miley’s appropriation of black “ratchet” fashion to enhance her fun new image. If you’ve been on the Internet (and not been completely clueless) any time in the last two months you’ve heard more Miley arguments than you can mentally process; those condemning her and those in her defense. This time we wanted to talk about the stylist behind Miley’s fashion choices at the VMAs and in her controversial video for “We Can’t Stop.”

Ratchet is Dead: Inside the Mind of a Miley Cyrus Stylist

The article introduces Lisa Katnic, Miley’s stylist and a host of the Vfiles webshow LisaTV, which is basically a docu-series about different fashion communities. In the article Katnic is quoted as follows:

“Somebody said that it was racist for a white girl to have three black girls as props onstage to benefit herself. It’s misinformed because [those dancers, the] L.A. Bakers are in the [“We Can’t Stop”] video. At this point, Miley and the L.A. Bakers are friends, and Amazon Ashley? They’re friends in real life. They go out to lunch. That’s so demeaning to [the dancers] for somebody to say that. Here they are doing something that’s awesome and fun, and [people] shit on it.”

Since we’re all major Vfiles fans, and many of us have adorned ourselves with the gold chains, mesh and Air Forces of the “ratchet” look for long before Miley jumped on the bandwagon, I thought this woman’s work was worth discussing.

Kat: Some people are saying that this person is responsible for the whole Miley Debacle and I can see why they are offended by her quotes dismissing the issue….is it wrong that i think she’s fucking fab, style wise? Her Vfiles show is funnnnn.

Brad: IDK IDK IDK IDK how to feel. I do like her style tho lol

Bill: I think it’s great she has a voice in all of this. To each her own.

Brad: I meannnnn IDK if “to each her own” is the right approach to this. I still think this chick is blinded by her privilege.

Kat: I don’t think she’s as blinded as Miley is tho, and I think her relationship to the trends and lifestyles she uses to express herself is more authentic and more informed. I’m kinda here for her.

Bill: It’s interesting because she comes form the world of style which has ALWAYS appropriated looks from culture and society.

Kat: Yeah, not that that’s necessarily okay, but if we call that into question I think we have to maybe put ourselves on the cross a lil bit too lol

Bill: Exactly.

Brad: I agree that she’s def not as blind as Miley but in the end she’s still perpetuating this appropriation for a paycheck.

Kat: I feel like if Miley came up to me on a night when I was wearing my weave and my jersey and a ton of gold chains and said “I want you to style my video” I’d be like “sweet.” The term “weave” used loosely, as always. God I can’t help it I’m just culturally appropriatin’ all the time. But I still think Miley’s weak, prolly cause it’s obvious to everyone that she’s full o shit.

Brad: lmao. No I mean I feel u cuz same prolly. Ugh this is why /we/ should be famous cuz we’d do this shit da right way.

Bill: It seems hard for me to believe that anything in our culture isn’t appropriated. We live in the country that has appropriated pretty much everything but American Apparel from other places and peoples around the world.

Brad: IS THERE EVEN A RIGHT WAY THO IDK *SIGH.*

Austin: Not here for her and I think a lot of her explanations whitesplain away the problematic nature of wearing blackness as a costume. Also I think conversations about appropriation (and race in general) center white people’s feelings and ideas too much. I honestly don’t care if Miley shares a few laughs with these poor black women on set. WOOHOO RACISM SOLVED. How do black women feel about it? What happens to actual “ratchet” people when the term/trend are done? It’s all so absurd and we can localize this to Miley if we want, but there’s a looooong history of white folks putting on black “cool”/folk culture to advance their own careers, while white culture at large systemically shits on black folks/culture. IDK y’all. I think Bill is missing the distinction between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation. It’s a thin line but there is one.

Bill: Austin, does that apply to fashion and style- is that exchange or appropriation? Is there a way to share these things at all? The nose ring was originally a Sikh tradition… it has now been removed from that cultural identity to be a part of style. Help me flesh this out.

Austin: Bill, I think conversations about cultural appropriation are hard because they center a PoC narrative instead of a white one. Sometimes it’s not /about/ individual white persons relating to something but how WHITENESS relates to something, ie: how are Desi women treated/seen for wearing bindi? How are black folks seen/treated for speaking vernacular English? How are artists of color viewed in the canon of art history? How many people of color get to use their cultural output in the mainstream? It’s a hard conversation because it doesn’t necessarily center whiteness or white feelings, and I think a lot of people don’t realize how often we do center whiteness in our convos about race. How many people of color get to control the use of their culture in the mainstream? Like, we can’t blame Justin Timberlake for being inspired by black music, for instance. But we can talk about how society/media values his work over the myriad black artists who have done the same thing.

Bill: The White Systemic Oppression of All That Isn’t White. It makes sense- but you and I aren’t Desi women so does that mean we cannot talk about it at all? Yes these issues are ‘hard’ to discuss but CAN we discuss them outside of that paradigm of whiteness?

Austin: We can’t speak directly from a position that isn’t ours, but we can speak about oppression/privilege sure. We’re all oppressed and privileged to varying degrees. INTERSECTIONALITY. Try to think how your oppressed parts feel in relation to the mainstream and be EMPATHETIC to the experiences of others. Bill, as a white man, you certainly have something to add to race conversations, but you have to decentralize whiteness before you can get to the empathy/understanding part.

Kat: It would also be a different thing if Miley was using her status as a wealthy white girl to give more of a voice to the the women of color she’s borrowing from. I don’t see that. I always draw up a comparison between Brooke Candy and Miley in my head when I think about this. If you’re a white woman entrenched in and promoting the culture you are inspired by I don’t think it’s criminal to borrow from it….but maybe I’m just defending myself here.

Austin: I think that’s interesting Kat. Like I think about Terry [our good friend from home, a white man], and he’s IN poor communities of color. Like, I don’t think he’s appropriating simply because it’s not a costume for him. He’s not approaching it ironically or thinking that he has a “proper” culture to return to.

Kat: What about using it as a way to reject the so-called “proper” culture you are from? I would argue that’s what Miley’s doing, and while it’s fucked that she’s able to do that in a way that people of color will never be able to (and then returning at the end of the day to the california king sized bed in her mansion), it makes sense that she’d use it to reject a lot of the bullshit ways the patriarchy says she SHOULD exist as a young white woman (pure/responsible/desexualized). I actually kind of identify with that. The problem arises when we define the antithesis of “pure” with black female bodies…….ruh roh.

Bill: I mean we’ve had this conversation fueled by a seemingly never-ending cocaine high several times over. I just like coming from an anthropological standpoint- I am just thinking that we need to get out of the whole oppressor-oppressed dualism in order to do anything about it… like stop giving it power somehow. I have been learning how to decentralize whiteness without dismissing my own inheritance of the concept. Where do I reconcile the attitudes of white men who shaped the conversations that we are having right now?

Kat: I don’t know that anyone can take an objective standpoint on any issue. No one can shed their privilege or the perspective that it gives them. The important thing is to call attention to it and accept responsibility for it. The opposite of whitesplaining is not objectivity but awareness.

Austin: Yes, Kit! I hope no one feels attacked. One can’t convey tone via Facebook. But I also hate the fact that I feel the need to say that (centering white feelings).

Kat: I don’t think anyone feels attacked. I think we’re all here to learn and understand how the work we produce as artists affects the world, and what responsibility we have as people of our respective privileges.

Austin: Back to the original question, you shouldn’t feel bad for liking her style. She’s fly. Anyone who consumes media consume problematic media. The key is recognizing that, and hopefully making something better.

Kat: Exactly! If any of these artists had a response other than “no, no way I disagree” to any of the accusations and maybe listened and contributed to a productive dialogue… think of how things would be different. At that point I think it becomes messy because of how much money is involved.

Austin: I should find that article about like 90+% of media being produced by white folks. I think we all “know” what systemic means, but don’t really /know/ what systemic means.
Bill: That’s why I love folklore- the stories coming from the people the stories are actually about. I really want to say “FUBU” right now.

Austin: Lmaooooooo ^^^ I mean sometimes that’s necessary. That brand was actually a response to designers who made a shit ton of money off of black folks saying that their clothes weren’t really “for” black people so…..

Kat: Wow

Danielle: I’ve had a similar conversation with my close friend Aila when we talk about what it’s like to be a PoC in the theatre community. Which of us is at an advantage when it comes to getting consistent work and which of us is at an advantage in life. As a multiracial actress (white dad, Indian/Desi mom) she’s able to shift between different “shades” of brown people with ease- at this point she’s played Iranian, Puerto Rican and now a French Joan of Arc. Yet she’s begun to envy my privilege as a black/Jamaican/”thick” woman since there seems to more work for actors who fit that description. She explained that regardless of how many roles she’s offered she is still not seen as Indian because of her hazel eyes, light skin and European features. I wanted to be upset with her since her dad’s an oil man and her mother’s parents are a bureaucrat and a choreographer… she’s had a trust fund since the day she was born… she’s lived all over the world… and society calls her exotic and beautiful and dudes buy her mad drinks when she goes out to bars. So why would she want to look like me? The answer was crazy: her lack of community. She always feels alone because she’s seen as too exotic to be considered white, and too white to be considered truly Indian. She’s just labeled as pretty. Another part to her argument was the people who are closest to her also happen to be black so why couldn’t she be a part of the group? As much as I want to punch her lights out for wearing oversized hoop earrings and answering my phone calls with “where you at, grr,” I can’t come up with a reason why she shouldn’t be able to. After all, she’ll shut down folks who try to randomly touch my hair. Do I want to be the one that denies the basic human need for belongingness? Doesn’t that make me into another kind of oppressor?

Kat: This also brings up the concept of appearance versus race and how each affects lived experience. I’m a white girl with white parents of European descent (people are often surprised when they find out my mom is blonde for some reason?) but I have dark hair and tan skin which sometimes leads people to label me “ethnically ambiguous.” I think I kind of get to experience the benefits of exoticism without any of the negative treatment of being racially othered. On the one hand, the unfairness of that makes me uncomfortable. On the other hand, I like to be as tan and curvaceous as possible and play up that ambiguity to benefit from some of the hypersexualized stigmas people have of brown women.

Bill: I’ve recently been brought to the light by dear Austin that I was possibly commenting in a way that was defending my own privilege, earlier. I haven’t caught up on the comments since I went to class earlier but I apologize if I offended anyone. I see this space as a comfortable place to discuss these kinds of things. Earlier I was playing more of a devil’s advocate role because I wanted to mirror the perspective that this white society that we live in has… And I know it is implicit in me because I am white- but if you were personally offended know that I don’t believe all the things I wrote. My intention was to provoke conversation and further the dialogue. Apologies… I am not trying to feign my responsibility and I was not annoyed by anyone in this group calling out white privilege. I love y’all. I was never trying to defend whiteness. I agree with the black feminists’ opinions about this subject. It probably wasn’t my place to do this at all, but I think that having a conversation where everyone agrees and is reinforcing their own opinions is just a rant (definitely has power to it though) and I was trying to provoke the conversation for my own desire to hear a great academic study/conversation about race.

Kat: I think sometimes it’s important to ask questions that you feel like you already know the answer to so that you can know /why/ you feel that way. I take a lot of stances on issues I feel strongly about, but I don’t always know exactly why that is. Sometimes asking a “devil’s advocate” question can help you better understand a topic.

Austin: I get that. I also, first of all Bill, I appreciate you being receptive to hearing that you might have approached a race conversation wrong. As a white person (or really any person in a privileged position) it’s SUPER important to listen to folks who don’t share your privilege. Kudos on that. Anyway, I get the idea of offering a different perspective. It’s like a mini checks and balances system I guess. But I also think that everyone who contributed /did/ offer a different perspective. We can build consciousness and raise awareness towards a similar end, while filling in blanks for each other and fleshing out ideas. I love that this group of friends can joke and party and ~look rly cute~ but also talk about and do Things That Matter.

Bill: I see how it is confusing for a white person to play devil’s advocate about whiteness in a race conversation.

Kat: Totally. But yes, I think a checks and balances system is really important, especially in liberal communities where sometimes we take for granted certain truths. It’s important to rediscuss and redefine what we know to be true sometimes. For some people, simply saying America Appropriates Everything is a great way to blow off this entire argument. Being given the opportunity to say “yes, BUT” is really helpful in convincing others who are perhaps further to the right than we are.

Bill: I was merely looking for a way OUT of whiteness and the systemic oppression of a white world.

Kat: I often feel like I want to find a way out of the white world also. I’m deeply ashamed of white culture because I don’t feel it represents ME and what I believe. But I /am/ white, so I am allotted certain privileges that even I believe are unfair simply due to that fact. And as much as we’d love to completely restructure society, it won’t happen in our lifetime. So we just have to make sure to remain aware of its problematic nature and use dialogues like these to take realistic baby steps to improving the world. You guys rule.

Austin: Whiteness and white people are two different concepts. Don’t confuse the two. No need for white guilt or shame, but you can try to side step whiteness. READ THE WHITE PRIVILEGE KNAPSACK. It’s one internet page long and an easy google away. It’s a great refresher/starting point, and written by a white woman.

Kim: I’ve been thinking a lot about race issues here too [as an Asian-American in Shanghai]. It’s such a difficult thing sometimes I don’t know how to feel. The foreigners here in Shanghai disgust me sometimes at how imperialistic their attitude is. There is this feeling of camaraderie over their ‘superiority’ that they feel entitled to as (mainly) white people among Asians. Instead of feeling a sense of inferiority as a minority the way many Asians in America do, it somehow has turned out the opposite. And what’s most confusing is how I identify with them often! I feel so ashamed when I have this attitude, but I can’t help it. Like many of you have pointed out, I can’t escape my background and how it’s shaped me. Lately I’ve been trying to take race out of the picture and just look at them as human. Because it gets so fucking annoying when all you are is where you’re from.

Austin: Yeah that makes so much sense. I was talking to Bill last night about ways to stay racially aware/conscious without letting all the negative aspects of racism bog you down emotionally and spiritually. It can be really hard to navigate.

I know I usually regale my readers with stories of hilarious missteps on the road to Glam Life, but I’m thinking about including more posts like these. I hope you gained something from it and if you’d like to join the conversation I encourage you to comment or email me using the contact form in my About section. I’ll be back with a Disaster Story next week.

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money squad

kat st. kat, mcdonalds, steel drums, fab disaster, fab, disaster
Times are tough and the struggle is real. I just bought my daily red bull with change I found between the couch cushions. I had stale Pop Chips for lunch. Work is less frequent and my most recent paycheck is floating somewhere between the accounting office that printed it and my particular postal district. The only way I can pay cover for clubs is when I find cash on the ground. Phone calls home have become a lot less fun for everyone involved. I eat fast food for literally every meal (see exhibit A above, in which our hero can be found on foot in a Mcdonald’s drive thru at 3 am last Friday).
By the beginning of last week I’d fallen off my 30-day Calisthenics Challenge and replaced it with a slightly less strenuous Crunches and Squats Every Two or Three Days. I figure it’s better than nothing, and it has come in handy seeing as I rarely wear “actual clothes.” It’s definitely not making my thighs any smaller, but whenever that worry enters my mind I counter it with the most powerful image of all: Beyonce.
By the time Saturday rolled around I was glad I had at least somewhat kept up with my workout, as I had agreed to make a scantily clad appearance in the new Buckwheat Groats video, mostly because A) my boyfriend, the infamous Penis Bailey, had requested my presence and B) who am I to deny the world an unobscured view of me in a Baby Phat bikini waving around an AK-47? I spent the day at Shopper’s World looking for just the right accessories, pinned 15 pounds of weave in my head, glued on a set of fake nails and managed to convince Bill to come get drunk with me on the Brooklyn rooftop set. It was awkward at first, because it was 8 pm and I was sober and surrounded by strangers, all of whom were wearing shirts. An hour later I had a drink, I was waving a fake gun and a VERY REAL BOOTY in front of a camera and it felt like just another Saturday night. kat st. kat, buckwheat groats, factory studios, fab disaster ak-47, kat st. kat, buckwheat groats, tom hanks, bill, fab disasterEventually even Reid and Patrick showed up after their respective work commitments to drink liquor on camera and boost general morale. After only 5 hours of fake dancing we all went to Dizzyland (naturally), where I later realized I had stolen the Wang Chain I spent hours slaving to make for my man, who was only on his first day of shooting. I had Patrick keep the chain safe before I caught a cab from the party rather early, Wang around my neck, stripper shoes in hand, running on the outer edges of my swollen feet.wang chainOn Sunday I ditched the weave and showed up for the second day of shooting in booty shorts and a cut-out bathing suit (so, church clothes basically).
I don’t want to give anything away, but the concept of this video involves a VERY MAJOR FAMOUS CELEBRITY who WE ALL GREW UP WATCHING AND ADMIRING and whose likeness I AM VERY LUCKY TO HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF SHAKING MY BODY ON, NEAR AND AROUND.
That’s all I’ll say for now.
kat st. kat, buckwheat groats, tom hanks, fab disaster, booty(behind the scenes photo stolen from Lil Dinky)
MEANWHILE it’s official that the Groats are playing the GATHERING OF THE JUGGALOS this year, which is incredibly fucking ridiculous. Apparently they even have a shoutout in this official infomercial but I wouldn’t know for sure because it’s 28 minutes long and there is no chance of me watching it.
That Sunday night, after spending the day drinking Georgi in a basement and having stacks of hundreds thrown at my butt, I saw no reason not to meet up with my friends for a quick trip to Greenhouse. But by that point I was completely out of it. I led an a cappella rendition of Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 19 on the L train and took this picture on the dance floor
kat st. kat, greenhouse, fab disaster, baseball…before leaving early and going to McDonald’s.

bootleg luxury

After finishing my last day of regular work last week and entering the freelance/unemployment world for the rest of the summer, I decided to spend my paycheck on Life Improvement. I have been in a constant battle against clutter since birth, one that usually involves me succumbing to my lack of storage options and suffocating under a dusty pile of magazines only to be found weeks later pale and lifeless with a ball of cat hair in my throat.
“Such a pity. If only she’d cleaned up her shit once in a while.”
IMG_9597

This time I decided to face it head-on by forcing myself to go discount shopping for cleaning products. I was specifically dealing with the beginnings of a bug infestation, 3 trash bags of laundry, and a lack of storage space that filled my walk-in closet with piles of shoes and folded jeans and comforters to the brim. After 48 hours of spraying, sucking, swiffering, and hammering away I managed to reorganize everything. I even dusted. It was a great success, but I also had to dispose of the corpses of 30 dead flies a pile of cat poop I found in the back of my closet, so now I have PTSD.
My next reinvention would be my body, or at least my physical work ethic. I started doing three of those 30 DAY CHALLENGE calisthenics exercises where I basically murder myself slightly more effectively each day until, by the last, I am somehow able to do 250 squats and 200 crunches and 100 push ups or something INSANE. I have just completed the 8th day of this challenge and I am already feeling tighter, sore and generally less fun to be around. But soon I will be able to crush a man’s head with my thighs.
Friday night was the Steel Drums party with Teengirl Fantasy et al so I drank a bottle of creamsicle vodka with Reid and got waaasted in a sports bra, cut up bike shorts and platforms. The night culminated with me eating multiple very large pieces of Popeye’s chicken on the floor of my man’s apartment at 4 in the morning. This is the least flattering picture of me ever taken and I am delighted to share it with you.
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Saturday morning I awoke with a splitting headache at 9 am and despite my early rise still mobilized at a glacial rate. Patrick and I had guest spots for Warm Up at PS1 (as you know I am not one for paying entry…unless it’s for a good cause and I don’t have to rob anyone to do it). I was supposed to meet him at 2:30, which in Kat Speak means 4. Failing to find a cab heading to Brooklyn from the LES in 90 degree weather on a Saturday, I took the M to my apartment to change, stomping home from Myrtle-Broadway (where they expected me to take a BUS after re-routing my train) dressed like a very sweaty sex worker.

When I finally made it to my apartment, I stuffed tons of clothes and make up into my purse for later that day. Sarah aka @alienbrigade had invited us to appear in the new music video for @pendunyc along with our other crazy hot friends at 6:45. I didn’t even have time to shower.
In a unlucky turn of events, a mix up with our VIP bracelets at Warm Up (namely that we didn’t get any) put such a damper on our day that we left PS1 early. I did however have time to go home and scrub my ass before the shoot.
The concept of the video was that we were to look as Bushwick as possible and party really hard in this space while the band played their new song:
IMG_9796
So we did.
We wore @whateverr21 apparel and @h0les glasses, styled with @alienbrigade’s accessories including many of her own designs. Patrick took these photos through the lenses of the h0les glasses and they reeeally made us want to do acid.
IMG_9740 IMG_9794 IMG_9795
About 4.5 hours later I had made out with a palm tree, covered myself in potting soil, been tied to a bouquet of black balloons, and ingested as well as sprayed my surroundings with at least four types of alcohol. I had plans to go out later, so on my way home to change I grabbed a red bull and a sleeve of ranch flavored Pringles, realizing I hadn’t eaten at all that day. Of course by the time I reached my bed at about midnight, there was no chance of me leaving again until Monday afternoon.
ADDITIONAL AWESOMENESS:
A write-up in the Bushwick Daily about the last Dizzyland included much better photos than what I presented last week (I set the bar really high, I know)
dizzyland dizzyland2 dizzyland3 dizzyland4
AND LASTLY, my friends Billy and Brian were featured in the most recent issue of BULLETT and they look fucking perfect.
bullett brian billy
Funemployment is officially the look for summer.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to Strawberry and buy an American Flag bikini.

all WASHED OUT

Monday night was the Washed Out and Memoryhouse show at Cat’s Cradle. Even though the night took a bit of a dramatic turn towards the end (I don’t even know, y’all), I enjoyed being back at the Cradle for the first time in a hot minute. I wrote about the show for Red Thought Media here. Don’t be offended if it sounds like Chillwave for Dummies at some points. Their readers are mostly indie rawk enthusiasts and I WAS JUST TRYING TO HELP. After the show I got drunk without realizing it and stopped by The Station to take pictures of myself in the bathroom and listen to a cool dude with dreads cover “Faith” by George Michael.

Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned From Ke$ha

Poor Ke$ha. When people aren’t freaking out about Chris Brown and Rihanna doing a remix together or about how amazing/stupid/irrelevant Lady Gaga is, they spend an awful lot of time ragging on her for silly things like “lack of talent” and “being annoying.” We can agree to disagree on whether these things are actually important when it comes to pop music; I personally think viral melodies and a decent internet personality are reason enough to worship someone. But I am not here to sell Ke$ha singles or to convince the masses they need to honor the dollar sign in her name (which you should, really, but that’s fine). I am here to show that beneath the seizure-inducing vocal fry and the bedazzled-at-home body parts is a truly admirable person who has changed my life by bestowing the following wisdom.

How to brush my teeth. About six months ago I purchased my first electronic toothbrush as a lark. I realize I am about ten to twenty years late on this fad, and much like my 65-year-old father with regard to texting, I do not understand it nor see the point. Do I brush back and forth like I would with my Oral-B, or do I just slowly and awkwardly drag it across the surface of my teeth? It remains a mystery. Taking a cue from my mentor, I recently decided to chug a bottle of Jack Daniels before scrubbing the morning breath off my tongue each dawn. Instead of worrying about my brushing technique, I usually spend a good 45 minutes to an hour drooling over the sink before going back to bed. It seems to work fine.

How to spell. I used to think that most of the letters in the English language served a purpose, and that to articulate a point you should probably put the right ones in a particular order. But then Ke$ha started replacing S’s with dollar signs and tweeting words like “Ledgendary.” The fan-made video for “Sleazy” proudly displays the lyrics as “I don’t need you or your brand new Bendz/or your boojy friends.” Intentional or not, misspelling is a part of Ke$ha Culture. And Y so many letters, bro? U $huld wryte moAr lyke thi$, we R who we R.

How to rap. I think sometimes people forget that while Ke$ha may not “technically” be a singer, she can definitely spit a baller tuneless rhyme. “Hey, I got a question/Do you wanna have a slumber party in my basement,” she shrieks in “Your Love is My Drug.” That is solid gold. The other day someone challenged me to a freestyle battle (I get challenged to a lot of these because I’m a white girl and people always assume I have crazy rap skills), so I took 12 jello shots, improv’d a cheerleading routine and totally won that shit. Thanks, Ke$ha!

How to feel about “personal hygiene.” Ke$ha takes a lot of pride in the fact that she always looks like she is wearing something she stole from Forever 21 or found in a dumpster behind the studios for Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Her hair is usually in an amorphous net of dreadlocks, and she claims her daily makeup routine is as a simple as never washing her face.  As I write this I am struggling to remember the last time I actually showered. Most of my clothes actually are, admittedly, from Forever 21 or shredded crop-tops from the Salvation Army. I had a meeting this morning at 9 am, which naturally I was late for, so I put half a bottle of baby powder on my greasy bottle-blonde roots instead of actually cleaning myself. All of this is because I am both lazy and pretty hilariously poor. But I never have to feel like the trampy homeless person I so clearly embody. Instead I get to feel like a superstar with a catchy, relentlessly ubiquitous pop album. Do not ruin this for me.

How to stick to my guns. When we first heard The Ke$h whine the last line of “Your Love is My Drug” and sign off with a giggle and the super irrelevant, pseudo-quirky quip “I like your beard,” you all thought she was just trying to be cute. Oh don’t mind her, she’s just being a drunk bitch again. Well, you were wrong. Ke$ha actually loves beards IRL and has gone to great/predictable lengths to prove that she was serious. By that I mean, she made a Tumblr about it. Consider going to putyourbeardinmymouth.tumblr.com for low quality proof of Ke$ha’s facial hair fetish. She even takes submissions! This is obviously not some fad. It is nothing short of social activism.

How to get famous. Give head to Flo Rida. At least once.

How to not give a fuck, ever. Yeah, she comes off as slightly obnoxious. Sure, she’s been known to make ignorant graphic jokes on the internet amidst a sea of typos. She dons socially unconscious tribal apparel unapologetically. Nearly all of her songs are about the same typical party in the same brain-meltingly catchy tune. But how can you be mad at someone who is having that much fun? In the years since she’s been on the map, I’ve learned that you can’t let haters stop you from being yourself, whether that involves having dance parties on elephants or getting that Wingdings tattoo I always wanted. I have finally figured out how to liberate myself from self-consciousness, because that’s what Ke$ha, as an entity and a lifestyle, is all about.