we may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality….the future is queerness’ domain. queerness is a structuring and educated mode of desiring that allows us to see the future beyond the quagmire of the present….we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds….queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world.
josé esteban muñoz, ultimate dreamer, 1967-2013, in cruising utopia (via karaj)
From Lorde to Macklemore, it’s a sentiment that’s galling for its popularity: white artists need to stop using the wealth signifiers of rap music to gesture at their self-important “anti-consumerism.” What Allen misses as she washes rims in a kitchen decorated only with bottles of champagne is that it’s not anti-consumerism when it only targets one type of consumer.
Rap owns a unique history soundtracking the triumph of financial success in a country that long barred black Americans from that success. It shouldn’t be an opportunity for white artists to wax superior. Beyond poor taste, it’s the myopia of latent racism that’s more anxious about gold chains on a rapper than an Armani tie on a hedge fund analyst.
Similarly, Lily Allen’s response to sexist industry demands for thinness becomes entirely ineffectual when it lashes out against women who succeed despite those demands. Allen is not savily critiquing the world of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Miley Cyrus, she’s resentfully bemoaning not getting to enjoy the same success.
“Hard Out Here” is the opposite of Mileywave. Instead of using black women as props to further her career, Allen blames them for its stagnation. In full-sleeved dresses Allen mocks her inability to twerk amidst women of color in body suits who launch into exaggerated dance moves, licking their hands and then rubbing their crotch. Her older white male manager tries to get to her to mimic them. Meanwhile she sings, “Don’t need to shake my ass for you/‘Cause I’ve got a brain.” Cut to black women shaking their ass, so much for sisterly solidarity.
Photo with 1 note
Early 1600’s illustration of a French witch preparing to fly. This hangs in the Witchcraft Museum in Bayonne, France. (Note the black cat at her feet).
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