P!nk Thinks You’re Fuckin’ Perfect & Amanda Palmer Loves Australia

P!nk Thinks You’re Fuckin’ Perfect

Today P!nk premiered her new music video for “Fuckin’ Perfect”, which she’s created to promote awareness of escalating teen issues such as bullying, depression, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide.

[TRIGGER WARNING: cutting, anorexia, suicide]

All are referenced in the video, which you can watch here: YouTube, VEVO, MTV.com, VH1.com, NineMSN. Note that it comes with a graphic imagery warning.

Here’s a special comment from P!nk:

Cutting, and suicide, two very different symptoms of the same problem, are gaining on us. (the problem being; alienation and depression. the symptoms; cutting and suicide). I personally don’t know a single person who doesn’t know at least two of these victims personally.

Its a problem, and its something we should talk about.
We can choose to ignore the problem, and therefore ignore this video, but that won’t make it go away.
I don’t support or encourage suicide or cutting.

I support the kids out there that feel so desperate/numb/powerless, that feel unseen and unheard, and can’t see another way. I want them to know I’m aware. I have been there. I see them.
Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Read her full statement here.

I didn’t find this video to be as feather-ruffling as Pink’s blog had prepared me for, but then I’m not a young person or a parent who may be concerned that their young person might see this video. The few friends I polled had a similar reaction. I think that’s probably part of the problem, though – these scenarios should ruffle everyone’s feathers. Maybe they’ve become so common, so widely reported on and depicted on screen that we’re becoming immune. Pink made this video to raise awareness, but maybe those of us who are already well aware can benefit from it too.

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Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under – New Album & Video

Amanda Fucking Palmer has released a new full-length album, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, featuring songs that have been written about, or while visiting, Australia and New Zealand. I am particularly fond of this record because of its amusing references to my homeland’s cultural quirks, such as “Vegemite [The Black Death]” and “Map of Tasmania”. I have no idea how these’ll translate overseas, but if you’re an AFP fan then you’re gonna love this album anyway. You can download it here for $0.69, although it’d be really cool if you could afford to pay more.

Speaking of “Map of Tasmania”, the Michael Pope-directed music video has premiered on Spin.com. All I’m going to tell you is that it’s about the liberation of pubic hair, you really need to see it for yourself.

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An Horse Offer Up “Trains And Tracks”

Earlier this week An Horse released a preview of their forthcoming album, Walls. The song’s called “Trains And Tracks,” and it’s available as a free download right here.

An Horse fans, what do you think? Has it made you excited for this album? I’ve been waiting in anticipation, excited to hear what they’ll do next and while I enjoy the track, it’s a little reminiscent of “Camp Out” and “Little, Little, Little”. Regardless, Walls is remaining on my 2111 Anticipated Albums list.

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Hunter Valentine & The Big Queer Party

Are you going to be in or near Brooklyn, NY, on Wednesday, Feb 2? If I was, I’d be going to the Knitting Factory because there’s mad line up of talented ladies playing including Autostraddle favorites Hunter Valentine as well as other solid acts Vanity Theft and People You Know. It’s going to be such an epic night that it needs an official after party – stick around for some DJs and dancing at The Big Queer Party. Check out the Facebook invite and get your tickets here.

Crystal is a 33-year-old Australian living in Chicago. Founding member, does HR stuff, writes now and then.

Crystal has written 329 articles for us.

49 Comments

  1. This was the most exciting music week for me in months. I can’t freakin’ wait for new An Horse, and I much prefer listening to a shiny professionally produced version of Trains and Tracks than my point and shoot camera recording.

    Also along with the new Amanda Palmer video, a new Hesta Prynn video was released this week as well!

  2. can I just say this:
    When Willy was set free, I did not cry.
    When the Von Traps climbed every mountain to get away from the bad guys, I did not cry.
    When Dana died … okay bad example.

    But this video made me break down into sobs tonight. I Fuckin’ Love each of you if you did too.

    • I’m so happy to hear that Pink’s video has touched so many of you, that her message is getting through. Make sure you go and read her whole statement if you haven’t already, I’ve only included a small section of it here.

  3. It has been more than a year since I’ve felt like I’m worth anything. Almost as long since I’ve gone a day without hurting myself. That video made me cry harder than I have in months. I feel like there is actually a chance that I could believe what she’s saying. I need to play this 80 more times and maybe I will be happy.

    • I’m so glad you’re here. You’re worth it and if you can just get through one minute without hurting yourself, then you can get through two…and if two, then another couple aren’t so bad. It does get better. *so sappy, but true*

      A book that continues to help me: Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws. http://amzn.to/IjHZ

      It suggests better coping mechanisms (as opposed to any self-injurous behaviour – cutting, starving yourself, bingeing/purging, brusing/hitting, etc.).

      Be safe.

  4. Maybe I’ve been reading entirely too much Foucault, but doesn’t this all seem somewhat problematic?

    All of these music videos lately (see: Raise Your Glass, Firework) have represented all sorts of victim groups with the well-intended purpose of “inclusion” and “reaching out” and what not. However, it seems that in doing this, it also works to undermine goals of resistance by redirecting the conversation to promoting some normalizing “victim” status for individuals within a discourse-produced “group” so that they can be “included” and absorbed into “mainstream society”. This “accomodation” and “inclusivity” itself affirms the place of “mainstream” people in the hierarchy through. This awkward use of all sorts of people with eating disorders, people with cancer, various gay folks in music videos redirects the conversation to make it seem like all of this is something that can be solved personally by “talking about it,” and “more representation” instead of actually confronting and resisting systems of oppression.

    Apparently these videos help people feel better, which I guess is nice, but what they don’t do is represent or directly confront the institutions and individuals behind this crappy condition we’re in. Instead this makes it “our problem,” that we can fix by simply adopting some “self-esteem” and “proud of who we are” discourse and keep watching more videos about how sad and beautiful we are.

  5. i don’t blame any institution for my self-harming behaviors.

    I’m the only one who controls my reaction to negative people and events and I admit that sometimes that reaction has not been good.

    …but I believe that “talking about it” and building up “self-esteem” are vital to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and self-harming behavior and saving lives of teenagers who feel like no one knows what they’re going through. That’s why I buy books for my library like Cheryl Rainfels’ “Scars,” Julia Hoban’s “Willow,” Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Wintergirls,” Patricia McCormick’s “Cut,” and many more(as well as movies like “Thirteen” and “Show Me.”).

    Maybe it’s sad and beautiful, but I think P!nk’s video is doing a lot for visibility.

    • Normalization of these things is not resistance – it’s merely asking to join the table of the other privileged “normal” categories, to be empathized with and patted on the head while the next group of deviants waits out in the cold for its turn to be pandered and condescended to.

      For plenty of other people, self-harming behaviors such as eating disorders or even suicide are not presented/do not appear to them as a choice, but as the only/most feasible option. Bullying, unrealistic body standards, gay-hatred and other things like this often trigger and push people to the point where it is beyond their choice. Whether it is relevant to you or not, bad things often happen to other people through a heavy amount of pressure from social groups and institutions with power over our perception of ourselves and the world (our family, our governments, our religious and cultural circles, etc.).

      Like I said, working to reduce stigma through representation and increasing visibility, and creating a market that commodifies peoples’ lived experience are all problematically linked to the notion that we have something to confess to the rest of the world in order for bad things to stop happening to us. This should not be be the case. It’s time we demand justice and confront harmful societal forces and trends at their origin, no matter what our story is or if we are able/willing to tell it.

      • There is more than one way to address the issue.

        When a Scientific American article was shared with me that stated in part: “Each year roughly one in 10 teens ages 15 to 19 attempt suicide at least once, with more than 600,000 injuring themselves badly enough after their attempts to require medical attention….Past studies have revealed that parents do not know of suicide attempts 90 percent of the time. In fact, roughly one third to two thirds of suicidal teens do not reveal past attempts to anyone.” http://bit.ly/9hyMnl

        …I could have just gone on about my day buying books, running my teen program (looking right into the faces of teens who maybe need help but are scared to ask – because there’s a STIGMA – if you’re depressed then you’re “mental” or “defective” or wait, you used the word “deviant”) and then after putting in my full day of work, I’d come home to hang out and surf the web or watch TV.

        When the coordinator of counselors for the school district served by my library came to me and said that they were having a huge issue with teens cutting themselves, I probably could have said something like “well, what are you and the teachers doing to stress them out so much?” 0_o

        No. I worked with those counselors and my coworkers and created a resource for teens and their families that they could download and a printed guide that they could take with lists of books, DVDs, and web resources for depression, self-harm, and suicide (two teens committed suicide in the past two years).

        This is what I can do because, dammit Jim, I’m a librarian, not a doctor.

        I’m arranging a speaker series for teens and their parents. The goal is to provide access to information provided by experts, facilitate an atmosphere where it’s okay to say that people have questions and some feelings just don’t “go away,” and then to have the teens and their parents go home and “talk about it.”

        “All in all is all we are.” (Nirvana)
        “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” (TDR)

        Here and now, P!nk, as an artist and a role model, made a song and a video. A lot of teenagers, young adults, adults, parents, and caregivers are going to see it. Here and now, AS posted about it. I wouldn’t have really known about it unless I happened to catch it on the radio, and I definitely wouldn’t have had any of the commentary or supportive queer community with which to interact. I shared it on my FB acct with my friends and I’m going to tell my teens about it.

        In a post about an extremely popular musician creating a song that speaks to teens and young adults, you ride in and say that this isn’t the correct way to help people like this (and I really dislike the terms you use).

        You have feelings that not enough is being done to fight the system? Then what do you suggest? …and do we all have to do it that way? It’s gotta be revolt and resistance against “the system” or nothing (which is a hell of a thing if you’re a teen and just need some encouragement to get through the day).

        “[These videos make the problem seem like] something that can be solved personally by “talking about it,” and “more representation” instead of actually confronting and resisting systems of oppression.” // “Apparently these videos help people feel better, which I guess is nice, but what they don’t do is represent or directly confront the institutions and individuals behind this crappy condition we’re in.”

        You speak in circles and never actually say who or what those are. If you’re being an honest contributor to this conversation, who or what are the big bads? Who do you think should lead the movement, and what should they do? Please keep in mind that there are already a lot of people fighting for civil rights, youth advocacy, better understanding of mental health issues. More can be done, of course, but I wish you’d be specific if you’re going to bemoan the lack of what you consider progress.

        I like 10 dollar words as much as the next person, but you’re not saying anything….and if I may, there are times when “feeling nice” can make all the difference in the world. Peace.

        • You’ve missed my point completely. I am not saying that we all have to go to the barricades. You as a librarian can be so effective in the lives of people by encouraging them and teaching them to challenge their leaders, whether its at their church or their school or their home, to fight back effectively against the bullies that torment them, to create their own media on their terms.

          How can I be specific about a pretty huge variety of sources of problems? I mean, the problem lies in individual media agencies and artists, individual religious communities, administrators of individual schools, individual bullies, local, state, and federal governments, the list would be infinite. It’s up to us to get people to start talking about and talking back to people in world, whether its the Federal Government, or First x denomination Church of x town.

          Also, “well, what are you and the teachers doing to stress them out so much?” – How the hell is this not a reasonable question? In my own experience with self-destructive behavior in high school there was a LOT of stuff the counselors and teachers could have done to get me out of very harmful situations and to control other students who were making life a living hell for me. Giving me a freaking booklet and telling me I should go to a therapist is just skirting the issue.

  6. I love Amanda Palmer. I really want her and Neil Gaiman to adopt me. Sadly, I probably wouldn’t be able to last very long before going all Oedipus up in there what with the murdering Neil / marrying Amanda.

    But then I would feel bad and have to gouge out my eyes to deal. And even if I learned braille, there would be no new Neil Gaiman books, so really why even bother.

  7. Um, Pink’s video touched my heart and made me cry. I was very excited about the AS article I expected to come, because I saw the video before this was up. Anyways, I think she has the opportunity to reach a wider, more “mainstream” audience, and therefore, some people who aren’t well aware and could definitely use this message. Also, it never hurts to here it again.

  8. Actually I agree with you D – this kind of video might make people feel better, but it also sends the message that’s it the responsability of the individual to overcome their problems through ‘self-esteem’ rather than looking at root causes.

    There’s also something a bit uncomfortably commercial about it – I mean, I’m sure that Pink cares about the issues involved, but fundamentally this video, like Firework, is a way to draw attention to and sell a song.

  9. I agree with D but I also agree with Missy in the fact that people should talk about and reveal these issues so people don’t feel so alone and self-esteem is very important but it would be easier to uphold that higher self-esteem for a lot of people if the actual problems were dealt with which as D said is too vast to list them all.

    Talking is important and cathartic for a lot of people but also talk about stuff they can do so they don’t feel so useless. For instance, if you think the only music that gets played is not political enough for you then get yourself your own fucking radio station! or make your own goddamn band and make the most political music you can fucking think of! If movies and tv shows don’t show the type of people u can relate to then pick up a fucking camera or find shit u wanna watch on ur very own tv station! Homophobic doctor? Become a doctor! Teacher not doing shit for you? Hell, become a teacher!

    Tell them that they don’t have to weigh 50lbs. to be sexy, they don’t need all their limbs to be beautiful, they dont have to be a certain height, they dont have to have white skin, they dont need to stay with that abusive motherfucker who claims they love you cuz thats bullshit and your better than that! you dont have to be rich, u dont have to spend all ur cash to keep ur “friends” or “lovers” tell those bitches to get jobs! u can love whoever u want however u want for how ever long u want or u don’t have to love anybody at all as long as u love yourself or at least be able to stand yourself. I’ll stop here cuz theres so much more.

    The world can be shitty and the people even shittier but confront those assholes and take on the challenge to help make the world a better place with ur smiling face! and thats fucking cheesy but u dont want idle hands (and so I don’t make an offensive joke right here i’ll just wink) 😉

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