All’s Well and Fair Documents 3 Single Punk Rock “Welfare Moms” Over the Years

Jamie’s Team Pick:

I checked out All’s Well and Fair because I assumed it explored trans* identity after reading the word transmedia in the description. Turns out transmedia is basically just sharing a single store using multiple current digital platforms and actually has nothing at all to do with trans* identity. Learning things!

But I kept looking, and then I kept learning things, and was really glad I did. All’s Well and Fair follows Rachel, Margaret and Tina, three single punk rock moms who united in Gainesville, Florida to perform the winning song in a “Fuck the Government” song contest in the 90’s. The series juxtaposes the views of the 3 women during the time of the contest with their views ten years later on topics such as welfare, war and drug use. Director Luci Westphal explains why she was drawn to the transmedia as a platform for the story:

Since the film is rather unconventional and has a DIY/indie spirit at its heart, I was looking for an alternative, DIY, grassroots and direct way to reach the audience. I wanted to honor the sentiment that Rachel expressed in the film: “Our culture is being sold to us at this point instead of us creating it for ourselves. […] We should be in our cities, in the woods and on our fields […] making the culture ourselves. But now we just watch these boxes and have it dictated to us. And it’s very sad. I don’t want that for my kids.”

Also interesting, the director was 24 and a recent transplant from Germany when she began the project. The film is being released as a 19 part series online and is also available as a stand alone DVD. Viewers are encouraged to make response videos following questions at the end of each episode. Tangential side note: I can’t get the song Punk Rock Girl out of my head now.

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Jamie J. Hagen

Jamie lives in Boston and is currently a PhD student in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a freelance writer and also a team associate for the Boston chapter of Hollaback!.

Jamie has written 76 articles for us.


  1. Isn’t it kind of strange to write an anti-government song and be on welfare?

    Maybe I’m not punk enough to get it.

    I mostly watched this because I went to school at the University of Florida so I wanted to see what it was like in the ’90s. The only thing I know about UF in the ’90s is the serial killer Danny Rollins. I was attending school when he was executed and everyone was fascinated by the story.

    • *Danny Rolling

      I actually only watched three episodes of this (I found it kind of dull) so maybe I’m being too quick to judge.

    • Yeah, it is a contradiction. You’re against the government, but have the nerve to live off of it. *smh*

      • otoh, oftentimes the government is instrumental in perpetuating the kind of bullshit that leads some people to need welfare in the first place.

        (the US gov’t: fucking people over and reinforcing inequality while having the nerve to shame anyone who needs help and isn’t privileged enough to have wealthy family/friends to provide for them. smh.)

        • Maybe. But if I didn’t trust or like the government (which I don’t in the least), I sure as hell wouldn’t want their help in supporting my family.

          And speaking of privilege: I won’t even get into how if all three ladies in this documentary were black (or not white in general), they’d be called all sorts of “welfare queens” and everything else but the child of God and would not nearly get as much support for doing this sort of thing.

  2. I don’t think being on welfare means that you’re forbidden to criticise the government or engage in political philosophy.

      • It doesn’t make you look like a moron, it makes you look like a nuanced human being who is allowed to have opinions without being dismissed as a moron.

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