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Ladypalooza ON TOUR! Or, I Have Written My Own “Pinkerton,” Basically, I Am Sorry.

Why, hello, Reader! It has been a while!

“Yes it has been,” I imagine you to reply, “and also, you never post on your own blog any more WHAT THE FUCK WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING.”

A lot of things! I am editing pieces; I am replying to e-mails; I am taking part in some very exciting and sexy events. But primarily, I am finding myself to be OBSESSED WITH RIVERS CUOMO. Rivers Cuomo was very important to me, in many stages of my life, and for several reasons! I basically blame him for EVERY UNFORTUNATE INTERACTION I have EVER HAD with a penis! Now: If you know me, or my Twitter, at all, then you know that I have been working for quite some time on a long and detailed account of all this. Because my personal problems are fascinating to the world, and so I share them. And also, they have often much to do with The Sexism. But perhaps you would like... to read the piece itself????

Well, good for you, sir and/or madam! For it is available online! It is at The Awl, it is over 5,000 words long, and you are either going to be very happy about this, or you are going to be a dude I have slept with, in which case you will be like, “yikes, got out of that one JUST IN TIME.”

Before we begin, let us be clear: We speak not of the Rivers Cuomo that was, nor of the Rivers Cuomo that is, nor yet of the Rivers that shall be. We speak, now, of the Platonic ideal of a Rivers Cuomo: The Rivers Cuomo you have never met, nor ever can meet, nor can ever be sued by (subsequent to writing a blog post that uses his name quite a lot), but who lives, nevertheless, within your brain. Specifically, if you happen to have grown up in the 1990s, and are heterosexual, and also a girl.

Because you totally have one. I mean, come on.


He was cute; he was vulnerable; he had glasses. Really cool glasses. His hair was unfortunate; his features were delicate; in his videos, he could never quite hold eye contact with the camera. He wore sweaters a lot, and he sang about wearing the sweaters; he was a sweater-wearing dude, that Rivers Cuomo. He sang at you on the radio. He loved you, more desperately than anyone ever had, or would.



  1. mara wrote:

    Um, that would be out keyboard player. Not bass player, before any FNM fans get on my case.

    Monday, May 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  2. Laurakeet wrote:

    Just stopping by to say that I loved this piece–it crystallized (in a vajazzly way) a lot of my thoughts on Weezer fandom back in the day. Also I’m jealous of my friend Scott for having drinks with you.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  3. queen emily wrote:

    I was enjoying that a lot. And then I came to the bit about “leaving you and enjoy the company of other vaginas.”

    Fucking hilarious! And by hilarious I mean of course cheap cissexism for lulz!

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  4. Sady wrote:

    @queen emily: I’m sorry it prevented your enjoyment of the piece.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  5. queen emily wrote:

    So basically: I’m sorry you were offended, that’s what you’re going with.

    It never ceases to amaze me how patronising cis feminists can be. Carry on.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
  6. Sady wrote:

    @queen emily: No, I mean it. I’m sorry. I mean, you read a piece of 5,000+ words, on which I worked for over a month, isolated one line, clicked back to a different site, and left a snarky comment. I’ll admit, that stung. But I knew I had no right to be angry about it, and that anger wouldn’t be a productive response. So I published your comment, waited until I felt that I could respond out of something other than hurt feelings, and then I apologized in a tone I very much hoped was polite. Then you called me “patronizing.” Where do you see this conversation going? Because I really wish we could have a productive one. I want to make space for your anger, definitely, and to respond to it appropriately. And I get that you can’t assume good faith from me, because I’m cis, and have the associated privilege. And I get that we definitely got off on the wrong foot, here. But I do hope we can have a useful conversation, and that I can demonstrate good faith in some way. I’m not sure what you think the best outcome would be, or what outcome you’d like, but I’d actually like to work toward it if it is possible.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  7. queen emily wrote:

    Look, I get that a 5000 piece is substantial, and a driveby comment from someone you don’t know (but presumably know of) hurts. God knows I’ve been there myself enough times, so.

    On most other days, I probably would have left something more substantial, more measured. Like, pointing out that that made me extremely uncomfortable. Those are the kinds of jabs that hurt, cos they demarcate a line between “women” (who get hit on by skeevy blokes) and (pre SRS)”trans women” (who don’t exist). Genitals = gender is like cissexism 101, and it disappoints to see that in the midst of the story that like I said (and I was serious there), I was enjoying a lot. Cos I do like reading your writing, generally.

    As it was, yeah I traded hurt for hurt. But some days as a trans woman online you take it on the chin and walk away from the keyboard, and some days you patiently explain (often to get nowhere) and some you just go fuck it and have a crack. Which isn’t particularly mature of me, I admit, but there it is. Sometimes you have to just let your anger go, especially when you’ve deja vud the same conversations with cis feminists a time or a hundred.

    As for the patronising thing, well like you said, it’s hard to expect good faith from a cis feminist. I really thought you were taking the piss, because it seemed like you were divesting yourself of responsibility. “It” gets a life of its own with a power to hurt, not the person writing. Which is a little too post-structuralist for me, really.

    I mean, in terms of responses? “Ah fuck, I see that was out of line, will edit it if possible/avoid in the future” is about all I’d ever expect from anyone. It’s not that hard to admit when you fucked up, is it? Everyone does as a writer, sooner or later.

    I don’t know what “outcomes” otherwise would really mean (I don’t really understand the whole American “processing” thing well), but I mean, if you’re after a productive conversation, you have my email address on the dashboard. Demonstrable good faith from you is one thing, having that take place on a cis dominated space is another.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink
  8. Laura wrote:

    Loved the article, but I have to say I disagree with you about “No One Else.” I always took that song with a grain of salt, assumed it to be ironic/joking/making a mockery of abusive men, or something. I never took it at face value. Although, knowing a bit more about Rivers Cuomo now then I used to, maybe I should rethink that analysis. I don’t know. Does anyone have any evidence (like some Rivers quote or something) that can lead us to how that song was meant to be interpreted?

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  9. Laura wrote:

    Oh, and another thing: “The moment you, the female listener, break up with your internal Rivers Cuomo, the moment you renounce this particular mode of male expression and declare it no longer desirable or cute, the moment you no longer confuse the feeling of wanting to take a boy home and make him soup and somehow fix all his problems via blow job with love, is the moment that you’re free. Because, at that point, you no longer care so much about his feelings. You still care, of course, about those. But never more than you care about your own.”

    Damn, that hit me hard. Speaks so closely to my own (limited) experience with love and relationships and guys that… well. I’m gonna need to have a think on that one.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink