Last month, I saw a horrific video going around, that one of a cop slamming a butch lesbian into a wall and out of a washroom for not performing femininity to his satisfaction. And, after I was done shaking with rage, I wrote this song.
It’s very angry, very political music, with an eye towards bitter humour. Klopfenpop called it “Pete Seeger meets Pussy Riot,” and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with that reaction.
That video I mentioned above was the first of a flood of similar incidents being reported after North Carolina rushed through the anti-TLGB (and safety and child labour law repealing – didn’t know that part, did you?) HB2 in a several-hour-long special session.
Sure, these abuses happened before it became this year’s fundamentalist-button-pushing issue. But the people who get off on this have certainly felt emboldened ever since, to the point of this North Carolina school system voting to let people pepper-spray transgendered students. It’s that fucking bad.
There are several such bills going around, in various permutations, all sourced from the same choose-your-own-oppression master bill by a fundamentalist/rightist organisation. The one offered here puts a $2500 bounty on the heads of transgendered children, targeting the most vulnerable in this particularly vicious hate campaign. The legislative version did not make it out of committee, so they are now gathering signatures to put it onto the ballot. They can’t win, but they can wage hate for months and crank up fundamentalist turnout – and, of course, hurt lots and lots of children.
Hurting people – particularly very vulnerable people, like kids – is the point, of course. That’s how they get off, and just putting all that out there is the whole point of this new song. Well, okay, they also have the goal of boosting fundamentalist voter turnout. It’s always about that, and if people get hurt along the way – well, so much the better. As long as it’s the right people, like women who don’t know their place.
Din of Thieves will be a lot harder-edged than Bone Walker, and this is part of that aesthetic. I’m not making any guesses about the far end of its range – it won’t be a whole album of this kind of four-chord metal-influenced punk, but I feel like I have some things to prove, and that’ll show. How much, I don’t entirely know. It’s all written, and some of it is the most hopeful stuff I’ve ever written – ask anyone who has heard “Supervillain For I Love You” or – most of all – “We’re Not Friends.”
I guess what I’m saying is: this is a pretty emotional song – one I hope is cathartic – and Din of Thieves will be a pretty emotional album. Because it’s… it’s a pretty damn emotional time.
Share it around. Particularly where you think it might do some good.