On today's episode of "Yo, Is This Racist?" comedian & guest Gaby Dunn talked about her experience with white male comedians failing to live up to basic standards of moral decency. She said,
I don't think I can support white men doing anything in entertainment wholeheartedly, the way I'd want to, now -- because who knows what they'll do later.
It's with that sentiment in mind that I've been conflicted about getting into the Bluetones.
Like -- I really like their music. Slight Return is becoming one of my favorite songs.
But, I haven't listened to their discography exhaustively. I haven't really paid attention to all the lyrics in the songs I have listened to. I know barely anything about the artists themselves. Like, I don't even know their names.
What I've seen so far is in that uncomfortable borderline space, where I really like a lot of their music, but some fair chunks sound like they could be interpreted charitably or not -- songs like Carnt Be Trusted, I feel like I'd need to know more about the singers' feelings about women in general and about the subject of the song in particular before I could tell if they're being creeps or not. And Sleazy Bed Track -- the first track of theirs I heard, off the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack -- all it has going for it in defense is that the title acknowledges that its plot is sleazy.
But I don't know if they're singing about asshole dudes because they think it's important to point out that those kinds of behavior are awful and should stop? Or if they're exactly those kinds of assholes, and subscribe to the popular logic that if you acknowledge that you're being a douchebag that's basically the same as not being a douchebag in the first place?
And I know the only way I'm going to get answers to these questions is by continuing to invest time and energy into exploring their work, which I do want to do, because I'm really enjoying it so far. But when it comes to cishet white dudes, it can kind of feel like taking a deeper interest is like playing a game of minesweeper: the asshole receipts are out there, and the further along I get the bigger a disappointment it's going to be when I stumble on them.
So, Mark Morriss, Adam Devlin, Scott Morriss, Eds Chesters and Richard Payne (I looked their names up): if you're reading this, and any of you are racists, sexists, misogynists, homophobes, transphobes, transmisogynists, abusers, or otherwise awful, let me know, okay? It'll save me some time.
Oh! And same goes for Blur, who I've also been listening to a lot lately.