Hats off to Visage and Cranium for getting us started – it’s now DJP’s turn to enter the fray. Patroclus has no domain per se, he will write about what he knows and about what he likes, and sometimes a heady combination of the two. This inaugural post fits into the latter category – perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea – but then esotericism is a fundamental tenet of Radio Free Puma, so deal with it children.
‘Kill the rock stars’
How ironic, Kathleen
You’ve been crowned the newest queen
Kinda like the punk rock Gloria Steinem
You can’t change the world by hating men
Can’t change the world by blaming men
Alternative slash Republican
Just ‘cause I don’t know the reason you’re so pissed
Don’t dare tag me misogynist
I thought the goal here was mutual respect
Not constructing a separate sect
I wish I could have seen Courtney
Demonstrate some real misogyny
Can’t change the world by hating men
Ostensibly this is a decent stab at an anti-feminist punk song (and is by no means a NOFX classic) but its references merit further investigation and Patroclus hopes readers find the results vaguely informative:
•‘Kathleen’ is a reference to Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of Bikini Kill, raging feminist, and chief exponent of the so-called ‘Riot Grrrl’ movement of the early 90s, which can be crudely surmised as a load of uppity feminists trying to be punks. Readers should note that crude surmising is an activity Patroclus has a tendency to engage in.
•Kill Rock Stars was the name of Kathleen Hanna’s record label and home to many of the Riot Grrrl groups.
•Gloria Steinem was (and still is) a notorious feminist, most active in the 70s and famous for her Address to the Women of America – less famous for marrying Christian Bale’s Dad. As a youngster Kathleen Hanna went to see Steinem speak, and so the seed grows. Whether Fat Mike had realised this before penning the lyrics we don’t know, but let’s assume not because it makes him look that bit cooler.
Anyway, Hanna got her knickers in a twist (perhaps unsurprisingly) when Fat Mike dedicated the song ‘Liza and Louise’ to Bikini Kill whilst performing live in Hawaii. ‘Kill Rock Stars’ is his riposte to her criticism. The ‘I wish I could have seen Courtney…’ lyric relates to a long-running feud between Courtney Love and Kathleen Hanna which culminated in them having a scrap backstage at the Lollapalooza festival in 1995. Love was eventually charged with assault and had to go to anger management classes. The reason for the fracas, regardless of a snide comment or two, was essentially because Love saw Hanna as a threat; she had known Kurt Cobain since the late 80s in Seattle and her band mate Tobi Vail had dated him during the pre-Nevermind years.
In fact, Kathleen Hanna is responsible for the world’s greatest ever piece of graffiti (apart from this perhaps). She wrote ‘Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit’ on the wall of his flat (teen spirit, as you may or may not be aware, was a cheapo deodorant brand at the time and worn by Vail). And, well, we all know where that went.
So there you have it – five minutes of your life wasted or an insightful glimpse into 90s subculture? You decide. Just remember ladies, you can’t change the world by hating men.