The female Ricky Martin. -everybody, about her crossover
Laundry Service, is the ultimate in crossover nightmares. Its wan ska-pop, faux-country ballads, and generic rock barely betray a Spanish accent or any musical heritage. -David Browne, Entertainment Weekly
You are actually authentically talented. You are a songwriter above all else, rare for a woman in Latin music, or really anywhere. -Matt Cibula, Pop Matters
If there is a market for music for tapas bars with sexually frustrated customers, Shakira has it cornered. -Dave Simpson, The Guardian
Mariah Carey after a quarter-bottle of tequila and a weekend lost in the rainforest. -Mike Diver, BBC
A combination of Latin licentiousness and English self-taught via Bob Dylan lyrics and a thesaurus means you’re never quite sure the Colombian singer knows what she’s saying. -Johnny Davis, The Guardian
I won’t bother with addressing the above quotes specifically because ugh. But what I do need to address, and what I’ve already talked about to some extent this week, are the main reasons why Shakira is one of the most underrated artists of our time: the othering of Shakira, as well as how sexuality negates a woman’s credibility, and the dismissal of pop music as a legitimate art form.
All of the quotes above place Shakira outside of the mainstream because of where she is from. Even though her crossover album was released in 2001, she is still almost always referred to not as pop star Shakira, but Latin pop star Shakira. She herself has said, “I hope at some point I am just considered an artist and not an alien.” Even though she makes music influenced by styles from all over the world, even though her albums have gone platinum outside of Latin America, even though non-Spanish-speaking audiences have embraced Spanish-language songs like “La Tortura,” there is still a reluctance to include her in the mainstream. And the problem is not just with wanting to define Shakira as a Latin pop artist, but with having to separate Latin pop (and K-pop/J-pop/any pop that’s not from the U.S. or the UK) from pop. The music industry is very insular and, as Jonathan Bogart put it, xenophobic. American and British music (in English, of course) is the default, and everything else, no matter the scope, no matter the impact, is other music. But there are exciting things happening in music all over the world. I can mostly speak to what’s happening in Latin America, but there is so much going on that it’s a shame that no on is paying attention. If you like what Shakira did with disco strings on “She Wolf,” you should hear what Javiera Mena is doing. And if you like the merengue on Sale El Sol, check out Rita Indiana.
Shakira is also often dismissed because of her image and how she chooses to express her sexuality. Because of what she wears and how she dances she’s not seen as a serious artist. Unfortunately, this is the case for all women in music. There is a standard of beauty that women must meet in order to be visible, but there is also a limit to how sexy a woman can be and still be taken seriously. Nicki Minaj put it well when she said, “When you’re a girl, you have to everything. You have to be dope at what you do, but you have to be super sweet. You have to be sexy and you have to be…nice. I can’t be all those things at once.” Shakira is as close as you can get to being everything, but because people focus on her sexy dance moves (instead of the weird, jerky ones), and because her expressions of sexuality are seen as signaling that she is manipulated instead of in control, she cannot be a serious artist.
She has also receives more critical praise for her music when it’s not-so-pop. It’s on her angrier/angstier rock songs that Shakira gets points for being a “real artist.” When Fijación Oral Vol. 1 was released, it was said to win back some of the credibility she had pre-crossover. Because rock music is more credible than pop. Because pop artists aren’t real musicians. It’s this widely accepted view that prevents brilliant songs like “She Wolf” from getting the respect they deserve. It also prevents artists like Shakira (though are there really any?), who is an insanely talented songwriter, producer, dancer, and all-around performer, from getting the recognition they deserve.
ok im really super mad about hp and i have to finish a calc bc problem set and shower and get dressed in the next 20 minutes i cant do all of those things so lemme just get this out there
jkr is not a feminist writer
jkr is not a feminist writer
To say Dumbledore doesn’t count as queer because the books don’t outright say he’s gay and then to say he maintains textual straightness, despite the fact that he is never shown or implied to have engaged in a heterosexual romantic relationship is wrong. Do we assume that characters who have never expressed interest in any sex (because of lack of attention in the book or it just never coming up around them) are asexual? No, of course not. We assume they’re straight until told otherwise. But that isn’t the writer’s fault, that’s on the reader and on society at large for reinforcing that idea. There are problems with how Dumbledore’s queerness is introduced and how that makes his character read in retrospect, but this is a horrible point to make. Arguing that he is textually straight despite having never expressed any heterosexual desires (or sexual and/or romantic desires of any kind at all) in-text is heterosexist. That’s on you as a reader, not JKR.
It’s so frustrating, I keep going back to big feminist blogs cause they write about all the stuff I care about. Popular music! Games! Comics! Style! Nails! Make-up! Books! Cartoons! Sexy underwear! Pornography! Alexandra Kollontai! Nicki Minaj! Feminism! Union activism! Etc. etc. etc.
But they’re always “deconstructing” all of the above (except feminism), i.e. robbing the grave of the deadest, whitest guy ever, saying “pardon, Jacques, j’aurais juste besoin d’emprunter ça”, nabbing one of his tibias and using this to set about and pummel to shit everything that thousands of people hold dear, are invested in, and participate in, and pummel it to dust from a lofty position where they’re not invested, it’s not their shit, but they can make prescriptions regarding it, cause they can tell, at a glance, if it’s troubling, or worrying, or discombobulating, or brow-furrowing, or problematic, or raises important questions, or is angering, or anguishing, or otherwise causes them to make peeved yorkshire terrier noises.
How they can bash something to bits with a tibia while maintaining the “lambasting feminist” face I just don’t know. Must take serious training of the facial muscles. But seriously, they just take shit they’re clueless about and “protect women” from it and say “we women feel this way!”. No we don’t!
I just read this thing about K-Pop and J-Pop and it’s brandishing around the words “ganguro” and “goth lolita” and “manga” like an Evangelist brandishes the words “New Age” when faced with books by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi or Thich Nhat Hanh : cluelessly. I mean in that case I’m clueless and I’ve actually read the damn things. In fact it talks about being Japanese or Korean the way Evangelists talk about being gay. Oh, Goddess help them! They’re Japanese! Maybe if we pray hard enough they’ll be ex-Japanese. Just fuck off! Argh! Or at least find out what you’re talking about before mouthing off! You know cause people are fans of this stuff and listen to it all the time and love it and live with it. Or have a passing interest in it. Or just like it. You listened once and have an opinion, and it’s an opinion on the entire state of Japanese *and* Korean womanhood.
this whole post, god, THIS WHOLE POST. one of those “i wanted to bold something but then i realized i wanted to bold EVERYTHING” posts.
I have known Lesely Arfin for eleventy-billion years. There’s no one better on earth than Lesley Arfin. Lesley is my friend.
Lesley writes on the HBO show Girls so naturally, some people wrote some stuff on the Internet about her. The stuff they wrote made me pretty mad. The kind of mad that…
“Lesley Arfin is my friend, and I don’t think she’s racist or tone-deaf or try-hard or anything and a the best way for me to defend her from those charges is by linking to a post called ‘The Lynching of Lesley Arfin’ by Gavin McInnes.”
it’s not actually a grave injustice (let alone a “lynching,” christ) when a bunch of people say your friend writes like a huge asshole. maybe she just writes like a huge asshole.
“I don’t think I’ve ever entered a bar without saying, ‘Hey homos’ to my friends or at the very least, ‘Oh, what are you guys doing here? I didn’t know this was a gay bar.’” —the delightful Gavin McInnes
Are Lesely Arfin and Lesley Arfin the same person? It seems to me that someone who has known someone for eleventy-billion years would probably know how to spell her name.
Because the best way to defend the incredibly stupid racial statements made in response to criticisms of her shows racial makeup by Lesley Arfin is to describe the act of criticizing her statements as “lynching” her. Said article later goes on to call this a form of racial McCarthyism and acts as if two writers have single-handedly destroyed this woman’s career. Bonus points for “jokingly” appropriating a Native American identity (which group? He doesn’t bother to distinguish!) in order to feign outrage in what I’m sure he thought was a hilarious smack down of the legitimate anger expressed by women of color over erasure.
Is one of those phrases that can be patently false, but the average person won’t or can’t do the legwork required to look into the veracity of such statements, so they’ll simply assume that smarter folks than them have done some legitimate work and others have reviewed it’s accuracy and thus the thing in question is true/safe because something called science says so.
What men mean when they talk about their “crazy” ex-girlfriend is often that she was someone who cried a lot, or texted too often, or had an eating disorder, or wanted too much/too little sex, or generally felt anything beyond the realm of emotionally undemanding agreement. That does not make these women crazy. That makes those women human beings, who have flaws, and emotional weak spots. However, deciding that any behavior that he does not like must be insane– well, that does make a man a jerk.
And when men do this on a regular basis, remember that, if you are a woman, you are not the exception. You are not so cool and fabulous and levelheaded that they will totally get where you are coming from when you show emotions other than “pleasant agreement.”
When men say “most women are crazy, but not you, you’re so cool” the subtext is not, “I love you, be the mother to my children.” The subtext is “do not step out of line, here.” If you get close enough to the men who say things like this, eventually, you will do something that they do not find pleasant. They will decide you are crazy, because this is something they have already decided about women in general.
this is probably the #1 issue i have with other anarchists and “radicals” in general, and it’s almost always coming from white dudes who are relatively class-stable* (meaning they have families to fall back on if things become difficult, no children, no health care needs, and they basically choose to live in poverty and can do so comfortably).
and it’s bullshit. it’s not even true.
like i get that voting is not going to bring about any systemic changes and that we are “voting for the lesser evil” and all that shit. i myself was opposed to voting until fairly recently when i wisened up. but i simply cannot support the viewpoint that we should vote for the worst candidate with the hopes that the entire system will fall apart. i find that logic to be completely asinine. similarly, abstaining from voting because one believes the candidates are too similar to matter is an incredibly privileged decision.
because while the left and right wing in the US are both corporately controlled, pro capitalist, pro privatization, etc. the fact remains that, if the GOP was in power, a lot more people would literally die due to being denied resources. you cannot convince someone at the bottom of the social hierarchy that there are no differences between the parties. they are the groups that are MOST affected by the differences that anarchists either deny the existence of entirely, or consider to be too small to matter. i’m talking about the extremely poor, mostly consisting of POC, people with disabilities, & trans people.
too many people think these populations are disposable and are ‘necessary sacrifices’ which is just disgusting and i want no part in any movement that encourages such thinking.
*(and yes i know that quote is usually attributed to emma goldman, but that’s irrelevant.)
I am tired of the way he shirks his responsibility to make hard choices and lets other people do his dirty work for him. The way he gets people killed, murdered, tortured, and erased from time because he refuses to kill the things that threaten them. All he ever does is…
I have so many questionable feelings about the Doctor and unlike a lot of people, I’ve had them for awhile with nu-Who. He makes risky decisions all the time and it turns out bad for all kinds of people. There’s a meta moment in season 6 where Rory notes that he feels obliged to alert the next of kin of whoever the Doctor crosses paths with on an adventure and it’s meant to be darkly humorous, but it’s actually just true.
His moral grandstanding is also so frustrating. Like when he was so clearly pissed at the half-human Doctor clone of himself at the end of series 4 because he exterminated the Daleks and as a result saved the entire universe/the multiverse. His clone had to make the choice he clearly wouldn’t have and the Doctor gets to maintain the moral highground while the day is saved. Again.
He also frequently Amy several times for hiding things from him or trying to do things without his input. Or how he thinks he ruined Martha’s life because she went on to join Unit. Nevermind that Martha seems fine with this, her input is irrelevant because the Doctor is disappointed.
Then there was the blatantly sexist way he tried to intimidate the Prime Minister when she made it clear she wasn’t content to leave the country defenseless to alien threats on the hope that the Doctor would be there in time to save them all. He is pissed that Torchwood even exists, which he has a couple of legitimate reasons for, but one gets the impression it has more to do with him thinking humans just can’t be trusted to defend themselves in a time of crisis with alien tech.
Now that I’ve actually laid all that out, I realize the Doctor’s relationship to humanity is creepily paternalistic. Like he won’t let humanity take care of it’s own protection without making it known that he disapproves, because he insists on being the savior.
is the intent of every piece of promotional material released related to The Dark Knight Rises purposely trying to make the movie look godawful as a trick so I’ll be really blown away when I see it or is it just legitimately godawful?
“All this to say that the African American vernacular certainly has standard practices and purposes: not just renaming but masking. African American Vernacular English is often spoken to confuse as much as to communicate; it is “untranslatable” because it does not wish to be. Rather, it seeks to divide: black from white, young from old, hip from square.”(p. 129)”—Kevin Young (via howtobeterrell)
this is a great reminder why i love popjustice so much even though i don’t read them anymore.
Guilty pleasures, ‘so bad it’s good’, ‘alright for a pop song’, ‘screaming fans love it’: these are all phrases people use to distance themselves from pop. Popjustice believes that you shouldn’t grow out of pop music the moment you hit puberty and you shouldn’t grow back into pop music the moment you discover irony.
“This isn’t your typical love story…” opens the trailer for a movie about a white, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied, middle class, and likely loosely Christian couple who find each other through serendipity and a very small amount of actual work.
Band Aid (1984):And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time. The greatest gift they'll get this year is life, where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow. Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
White people:Those poor Africans! Let's make U2 really popular now!
Kanye West (2005):Before you ask me to get a job today, can I at least get a raise on a minimum wage? And I know the government administered AIDS, so I guess we pray like the minister say. Allah hu Akbar, and throw 'em so hot cars. Things we see on the screen are not ours, but these n*ggas from the hood so these dreams not far. Where I'm from, the dope boys is the rock stars, but they can't cop cars without seein' cop cars. I guess they want us all behind bars. I know it.
I’m more annoyed by the fact that in all of these examples, the torchbearer for good music from 1970-whatthefuckever are always some overwrought flowery purple prose hippy bullshit lyrics that sound like the definition of some guy trying too hard to sound deep. Sometimes the most effective lyrics are the most straightforward. Also, since when was music about the lyrics alone? And why do these images always ignore genre distinctions, as if every song in every genre is equally about being carried by lyrics and not by the instrumentation or the singer? These images reduce the sheer complexity and detail of music down to a single verse taken out of context and then act like it’s made some grand point about music now and then. Even this image cedes way too much ground to this reductive way of thinking by trying to find some modern corollary to Led Zeppelin’s garbage. It’s like I’m back in Creative Writing 101 when all the freshman mistook overly wordy sentences, questionable metaphors and big words for having something interesting to say.
Don’t even get me started on the implications of the fact that most of these images decide to make their point by juxtaposing the lyrics of some white male rock band against the lyrics of rappers or female artists.
I’ve lived in DC for about 15 years and I have yet to find the pace at which I could walk, a way I can carry myself or the outfit I could wear that will not cause white people and particularly white women to speed walk, stop and wait till I pass them or suddenly cross the street in fear that my black ass is going to harm them. It’s funny actually, because I’ve actually been mugged before in broad daylight, by a group of 3 guys. I don’t breath completely right out of my nose anymore after that assault, got asked all afternoon by cops why I didn’t do more to defend myself when I was heavily outnumbered and had my own dad act like I was at fault for thinking I had any right to walk home at 4pm without being assaulted. Yet of all the things I worry about to this day when I walk around the city, the priority is still how I can best avoid frightening white folks with my mere presence.