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Thursday, 17 April 2008

Sound and Fury

I went to a noise show tonight. It was really really fucking loud. That was probably the primary adjective: loud. It was brilliant. I mean, most of my classmates did not fully agree with this assessment, but I think there's a certain value to just hearing really fucking loud noise once in a while.

Also, there was a full room of people in the audience. A whole bunch of people turned out to hear really fucking loud noise. And there was a table selling records. I talked to the record people. There's a local record company that just does noise music and dark ambient. Brilliant. I decided to purchase a record with the headline act on it. (It's less fucking loud on my home system, but it would still be a wall 'o noise.)

The record table was lit by candle light. The kind in those red glass containers you see at nightclubs and cabarets. I got the wrong CD. I didn't notice until I got home. So I was slightly disappointed, but still popped it into my computer to put it into my itunes library. I started typing in the track names. "iii. is it wrong to love a transexual"

. . .

You know, I was in a really good mood. I had a couple of pints of beer. I hung out with people. I had some really good chips. I heard fucking loud noise.

. . .

It's like somebody hit the pause button on my enthusiasm. I stopped breathing for a minute. I typed in the rest of the track names. And then I hit eject.

so if anybody wants a CD of dark ambient or noise, it could be yours. Unless I drop it in the trash first. I don't think I have the energy to try to get a refund from the record company. Alas, I've had this conversation before.

It's always, like, I'm excited about something and then all of the sudden, wham.

I was reading a scifi webzine. And wham. I spoke up. The editor literally told me not to worry my pretty face. The writer gave me a little lecture on what "passing" means, as if, possibly, I might not know (where would minorities be without white straight men informing of us of our own subculture?). And then explained he couldn't transphobic because he'd had a transgender girlfriend once. Just like I could never possibly write or say anything racist because of my girlfriend. And why no straight guy could ever possibly be sexist.

I feel like the ur-queer lately. Somebody says something about gay men, and hey, I'm a queer man. Somebody says something about lesbians, and I was a lesbian. Somebody says something about about women, and I was a woman. I'm noticing sexism more than I used to. The scifi story I worried my little head about . . .. I got as far as a minor character sketch in which the main baddie was shown to be bad because he owned a woman that he used for sex. Your worst nightmare is just an aside.

Sci-fi can be dystopian. My favorites are. Sci-fi can contain slurs. Again, Man in a High Castle is slur-filled and completely dystopian. And it's fantastic. But they're not asides. If you're going to have the third person narrator use a slur that's currently in common usage and just throw in as an aside human trafficking, well, it's fair to assume that the writer hasn't really thought things out.

But, being ur-queer isn't not all negative. I feel solidarity with everybody too. I feel like I can kind of fit in with any group of people. Well, as much as an Esperanto-speaking transsexual is ever going to fit in, if you know what I mean. I feel more at ease around people than I've ever felt. It's a weird transition, to being much, much happier and at ease and, at the same time, a gigantic target for hate. So alien other as to not really even be a person anymore. And yet, I can go to the pub, have a pint and chat with anybody.

I need to toughen up and not let the little shit get to me. And I need to be prepared for it coming from any direction at any time from any one under any circumstance.

It's a lot to get used to.


Nick said...

Funny, just last night I was at this place that's a combination ice-cream parlor and vintage scifi bookstore. (Yeah, it seems like a proper Toronto hangout has to include a second, completely-unrelated function, like the coffeeshop/computer repair joint down the street from me.)

And we were plucking dreadful '60s titles like The Web of Everywhere off the shelves; all the authors' bios mentioned what they did in World War II, and all the protagonists spoke in three-word sentences to prove they were tough guys, and a cellphone couldn't ring without a page of exposition first, and everything was so steeped in the attitudes of old people.

At one point I opened a book to a random page, and a character was fretting that he just couldn't trust a Jewish banker. I flipped to the back cover, and it turns out this was a scene from the twenty-sixth century.

I think most people are just really shitty futurists.

Les said...

That is the best anecdote/comment to ever appear on this blog.

I love me the 60's sci-fi, actually. The past's concept of the future is endless fascinating. Philip K Dick has his characters say fucked up stuff like that all the time, but I think there's a crucial point in that the author knows it's completely fucked up and is using it to signify that the future is going to be worse and that the speaker is an asshole.

Some of his writing seem prophetic, alas.