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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.

1. SEDUCTION

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.

Oh, AND IT GOES ON FROM THERE.

61 Comments

  1. Silvana wrote:

    Yay! In the Awl! Good.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink
  2. katiemonstrrr wrote:

    First off, the paragraph “When Doves Cry” reference made me laugh so hard I cried. Probably not like a dove though.
    Also, I’m the same age as you, Sady, and while I knew many Rivers Girls as a tween, I was into riot grrrl at the time, so pretty much ignored “boy music.” With the exception of Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor, on whom I had a “imprint” rivaling any Rivers crush. Like, my first bf and I made out to the album “Broken” at my request. Make of that what you will.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink
  3. Sady wrote:

    @Katie: Oh, yeah. The world was divided into Trent Girls and Rivers Girls, in my experience. I kind of think things didn’t work out well for ANYONE, in that equation?

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
  4. katiemonstrrr wrote:

    @Sady: NOT AT ALL.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink
  5. NickS wrote:

    Great article.

    I was particularly impressed with the amount of specific details from individual songs that you referenced. My experience is that it is unusual, and takes effort to be specific in music writing, and that is an impressive piece from that perspective.

    I’ve never listened to Pinkerton, but I never felt at a loss reading it.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
  6. Oriniwen wrote:

    I hesitate to post this because I feel I’m starting to sound like Captain of the Sady Fanclub 4Life – to the Sady-should-get-a-restraining-order sort of degree – but I would love to have read the stuff you cut out.

    There is No Such Thing as a tl;dr TBD post.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink
  7. Jamie wrote:

    Ah, I’m glad this is here too because it means I can, without sounding like I’m trying to start a fight with the commenters at the Awl, say that this article is NOT too long, not even by a single letter. On the contrary, it’s superbly crafted; it has amazing poise and perfect pitch; it has humour that lightens without distracting; it’s just personal enough to make it touching and relatable-to without being uncomfortable; it flows in that effortless way that any writer will recognize as the result of a huge amount of effort; and, most of all, it’s full of truth.

    Just saying.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink
  8. Alicia wrote:

    I was one of those people who always had a thing for Rivers Cuomo-type glasses and sweaters, too — but without ever actually learning anything about Rivers Cuomo except in a totally superficial “that song’s on the radio now” kind of way. It’s probably for the best that I went to an all-girls high school and my dating life was essentially nonexistent.

    Listening to the Blue Album and Pinkerton in college actually helped me steer clear of boys like the ones you describe, who were very thick on the ground at my tiny liberal arts college (Platonic ideal of a Rivers Cuomo for the win!). Meeting the actual RC was the moment I broke up with dudes like RC, for pretty much ever.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink
  9. Caitlin wrote:

    Great article! I’m not sure if my thing for Rivers Cuomoesque guys started with him, but he certainly made it worse.

    I still have a lot of fondness for the Blue Album, and it just now occurred to me that maybe that’s because, back when I was first listening to it, I viewed my favorite songs on it as gender-neutral. I never thought too much about the fact that “Sweater Song” or “In the Garage” were being sung by a whiny guy, because I was too caught up in applying them to my own experience as an awkward, whiny girl.

    But then, I’ve never listened to Pinkerton. Back when I was listening to the Blue Album, I had people–mostly guys–tell me that it was okay, but Pinkerton was SO MUCH BETTER and SO GREAT and I should listen to it…but I never got around to it, and I can’t remember why. But now I’m really glad I never got around to it, both because it sounds super creepy and because maybe if I’d had more exposure to full-on Rivers Cuomoness, I wouldn’t have been able to keep the positive perspective I have on the Blue Album.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Permalink
  10. xaneroxane wrote:

    Definitely was not too long–and worth the read! The “Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together…” passage was gold!

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
  11. Angela wrote:

    I liked!

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Permalink
  12. Deirdre wrote:

    Excellent article, as always. I probably should comment over there, but the first screen or two of comments seemed…distinctly unfriendly and dismissive. I like this room better. :3

    Re: Trent and Rivers Girls: the third choice (and mine, through that era) was Adam Duritz. Oh, he not only spoke to me, he spoke to all my inner angst and pain. It surprised absolutely no one when I went through a goth phase years later.

    I’m afraid to go back and listen to those albums now, lest I end up needing to write my own 5,300-word essay. Also, I just now saw that he’s 45, which means he would have been 28 when 11-year-old me was crushing on him. Gaaaaaaah.

    “I kind of think things didn’t work out well for ANYONE, in that equation?” Not at ALL. Hee hee.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink
  13. Gayle Force wrote:

    Sady, I loved the article. It was beautifully written.

    Ummm, of course my confession is the first time I heard Weezer, I asked everyone, “Why is that dude whining?” and then a decade later I was confused: “Wait, Weezer was a thing?” I was too busy doing drugs and listening to classic rock in high school, which, on the whole, now seems like not a bad choice.

    However, every single one of your over 5,000 words was necessary and wonderful. Thanks for all of them.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink
  14. latinist wrote:

    I haven’t read any of your long articles before; this one was great.

    One tiny quibble: near the beginning, you refer to Patrick Swayze as having “the body of a weightlifter.” But weightlifters are much more bulky. What Swayze had was the body of a ballet dancer, because he was one. Keeping this in mind makes the fight scenes in Roadhouse even more entertaining, because you can pretty frequently catch him basically pirouetting his foot into a bad guy’s face.

    Everything else you say in the article is right on, though.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink
  15. Gina wrote:

    Oh my goodness, thank you for this article. I never liked Weezer, but I certainly had my share of dude bands that were pretty much the same thing. A few years ago I just sort of woke up and realized all the creepy things they were saying and then couldn’t listen to them anymore. I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed the Ladypalooza posts and this article and I thank you and the guest bloggers for articulating the experiences of women with dude music so well.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
  16. Screw all the tl;dr people over on the other site. I read it and loved all 5,000+ words. You are awesome, Sady.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  17. Georgia wrote:

    This piece was incredible and really fucking well-written.
    I find you very wise and interesting! Also sometimes really single-minded, because I think sometimes it is okay for people (read: men. read: Rivers Cuomo) to think and say what they are feeling – even positive for them to do this. But of course, you say this in the article! Which is cool. Really cool.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Permalink
  18. Amy wrote:

    Holy sweet goddamn, that was a fantastic read. Thanks for writing it; such a good piece.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Permalink
  19. DianaWR wrote:

    That was super awesome. I was 14 when the blue album came out, so I relate. Oh, wow, do I relate.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 12:16 am | Permalink
  20. Isabel wrote:

    Oh man, that was totally awesome. I mean all I know about Weezer is that, I do have to admit, they made probably one of my top five music videos of all time (Pork and Beans, which is basically a love letter to the internet, for which I have a weakness), but even so, I dug the fuck out of this post; also, wow, Rivers Cuomo is a d-bag! I am sad he decided to associate his d-bagness with one of my favoritest operas.

    Also: if you want to be entertained/horrified, check out the comments on the lyrics of Butterfly at sing365, which have some… interesting interpretations, and also this kind of heartbreaking comment:

    I just discovered my boyfriend has been cheating on me for the past three years, and sending messages to personal’s adds on craigslist, asking people to meet up with him for sexual favors. I am heartbroken……. He added this page to my link right before he left.

    which: WOW, THAT IS EPIC LEVELS OF GROSSNESS RIGHT THERE. SOMEONE GIVE THIS MAN A GOLD MEDAL IN THE DOUCHEBAG OLYMPICS.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 12:18 am | Permalink
  21. jaded16 wrote:

    I loved your piece. You should really listen to Ben Folds to fully uncover the sad genre “Dude Music” is. One clue : The song is called “Bitches ain’t shit”

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 12:30 am | Permalink
  22. Can I just say I liked the little touch of labeling this “Ladypalooza On Tour”?

    Also, I was just a few years too young to be around for the River-Cuomo-As-First-Love heyday, and then after an embarrassing stint of liking N’Sync too heavily for my own good, moved on to classic rock, so all of this is new to me. And seriously, I now hope I can go the rest of my life without ever hearing Across the Sea, because ewwwwwww. Oh man, ewwwwwwwww. (Not just as a young feminist woman, but also as a semi-Japanophile who’s gone through the whole, “Wait I think I might be being a racist moron” thing associated therein.)

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink
  23. jessilikewhoa wrote:

    I will admit to loving Pinkerton, and probably still will even though that article made me start to rethink that love.

    I wasn’t a Rivers girl, I was a Kurt Cobain girl. There was a movie that came out a few years ago of images of places Kurt lived with audio from a long ass interview with him, and he was such a tremendous Dbag. Which probably should have been evident before, but it took that movie to really drill it into me. Very disappointing. I just googled it, it’s called “Kurt Cobain About A Son” and if you want to be really irritated, watch it, otherwise, steer clear.

    I think the reason I loved the eff out of Pinkerton, and to a great extent the blue album, is because I didn’t identify with the subject of the songs, the girl “you”, I identified with the protagonist singing. And those albums came out when I was a teenager, and hence kinda a self absorbed Dbag myself, so I sang along and pined for boys who ignored me and felt like Rivers Cuomo pretty much got what I was feeling, as a rejected nerd.

    Still, even though I always identified with the protagonist in male identified rock music, I had to sleep with a lot of musicians before I figured out it wasn’t that I wanted to fuck these narcissistic wannabe rockstars, I actually wanted to be them. Once I figured that out, my lovelife improved dramatically.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 2:16 am | Permalink
  24. xenu01 wrote:

    I just read most of this aloud to my boyfriend, who has in fact been a Dude Who Really Likes Weezer, and we thought it was hilarious. OMG! I never realized how creepy Across the Sea was and I can’t believe I’ve sung along with it! Ugh!

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 2:43 am | Permalink
  25. ASP wrote:

    That’s a really great piece, Sady. I’m from Croatia and I didn’t even know Weezer existed when I was in high school so I didn’t develop a thing for Rivers Coumo or that type of emotional, bespectacled guys, but that was still a pleasure to read. Definitely not too long, I don’t know why those guys are complaining. :D

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 3:50 am | Permalink
  26. MsFeasance wrote:

    I have been wondering what the sudden Twitter-feed obsession w/ Rivers Cuomo was, to the point that I almost took out a Google Alert on him. This would be like setting up a mirror across from the deep abyss of stalkerdom that is Cuomo lyrics and it would never end, like a low-grade laser beam.

    But back to the article, it was a wonderful read, and I barely noticed the length, but I totally connected with it despite the fact that I was 12 before I started listening to music that was made after 1979. This was occasionally good, but was mostly filled with numerous iterations of two to four NiceGuys(tm) in matching sweaters and horn-rimmed glasses screeching in unison about how to Walk Like A Man, or about how that girl with her T-bird who liked to drive fast was totally loose, and good thing her dad stepped in before things got out of (male) control. Which isn’t ultimately that distinct from Weezer.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink
  27. slythwolf wrote:

    You know, I was almost 12 when the Blue Album came out, and I…I had to google Rivers Cuomo to know who the hell he was. I had heard of Weezer, and heard a couple of their songs on the radio, but I wasn’t really, you know, paying a huge amount of attention to them.

    I think that may have been before I cared about pretty much any of the music that was being recorded at the time. Mostly I think I was reading in my room during that time in my life. Because I know eventually I was borrowing my sister’s Green Day CDs and practically wearing them out, but I don’t think she got Dookie when it was released. Because I’m pretty sure when I was listening to Dookie I was also listening to Jagged Little Pill.

    (And singing along with it, and getting yelled at by my dad for saying “go down on” but not knowing why or what it meant.)

    Anyway, I read the first page of the article, but I’m having trouble getting the rest of them to load. I will probably be back later to blather on some more.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
  28. Lily wrote:

    This is one of those posts where you check the site and it hands you a check for one million smiles. Such an amazing emotional range of experience when you read this article…absolutely breathtaking. This site needs an iconic graphic associated with it so I can get a baseball cap, tattoo & etc.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink
  29. Melinda wrote:

    I have to say, I always thought Butterfly was about rape. A very prettily packaged story about how he’s sorry he crushed her world and pretty wings when he forced her to have sex with him when she said she didn’t want to…
    And then he kinda blames her for it…
    Which is why I never liked that song.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink
  30. K. wrote:

    Oh my god, I loved your Rivers Cuomo piece so much, for so many reasons. I was a Rivers Cuomo girl (for god’s sake, I actually wore sweater vests and Cuomo glasses) and I’m dating a total, total Rivers Cuomo dude who has been active in the Weezer fan community for like 10+ years and actually owns bizarre Weezer memorabilia like rare blue vinyl French radio promos. And we argue about Weezer ALL THE FUCKING TIME. We especially argue about whether or not Rivers Cuomo is a grade A creep and we argued A LOT about my Ladypalooze piece on Rivers Cuomo/Liz Phair (pro tip: I don’t care how much you know about Weezer, “Let me tell you why you’re wrong about this,” is not a good way to start off a conversation.)

    I am in awe of so much of what you lay out in this — especially the Cuomo/Lemon comparison — you don’t want to identify with him, but you do and you take solace in it because you are not alone & the breakdown of various Pinkerton tracks. One of the things about “Tired of Sex” was the actual naming of names — one of those names he shouts out it my name and even though Rivers is very much not talking about me, as an adolescent girl it in many ways, totally freaked me out to hear my name called out as one of many in a list of worthless sexual encounters made public. It made me not like Rivers Cuomo in a way that isn’t really his fault, but still.

    I also really, really appreciate that you recognize that Cuomo’s fucked up sexual politics (and his fetishization of Asian women) isn’t restricted to just Pinkerton (though Pinkerton does seem to be where both of these things reach their zenith.) So much of what is said on The Blue Album is pretty fucked — I mean, the lyrics of “Buddy Holly” (your tongue is twisted/your eyes are slit/you need a guardian) still give me the mega-creeps.

    Anyway, A+ work, as usual. I laughed, I cried, I vaguely kicked around the idea of listening to some Weezer (who doesn’t love “Surf Wax America”?) I really, really enjoyed reading it.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
  31. Sarah wrote:

    Right after you posted this at the Awl, I got an email via the 930 club newsletter that Weezer is at College Park, MD this weekend with Ben Folds (Solo?). I think he is really cruising on all this publicity you’re giving him.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  32. ozymandias wrote:

    Oh, God. I can so relate. But thanks to my era you have to search/replace “Rivers Cuomo” with “Pete Wentz, and his legion of basically interchangeable imitators.” But besides that: dead on. Totally dead on.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  33. jenthing wrote:

    I was 17, goth, and looking forward to college when the Blue Album came out, so I missed the Weezer bus — by the time I was fully aware of them, I knew them only as the favorite band of both the becardiganned douchebros of Franklin Hall Floor 2, and my ex-riot-grrrl friend (who went from FUCK YEAH BIKINI KILL to OMG MY LITTLE PONIES! in one semester. Sigh.)

    I *was* a total Trent Reznor girl, up until my art teacher crushed my teenage dreams by telling me a true story about how he tried to pour a pitcher of beer on her and her girlfriends (for fun!) at a club show in 1991, then called her a bitch when she reacted with anger instead of smiley fun-time good humor. (I guess he was hoping for something along the lines of, “Beer in my hair?! Oh, you silly boy! Surprise wet t-shirt contest is totes awesome!”)

    After that, I became a Mike Patton girl, because I read an interview in Alternative Press where he stated that he would rather read a book than get a blow job. (SQUEE!)

    Never analyzed Faith No More lyrics, though. They could be just as bad.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  34. Brad Nelson wrote:

    Sady:

    I mean to leave something similar in The Awl comments, but I came here to say: Congratulations. Also: Thank you. You have written an incredible thing. My heart shook like a machine gun throughout. I have stuff to say about it, more accurately about Pinkerton‘s regard for itself, for it seems this is the place which the conversation now occupies, but whatever. You said everything.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  35. speedbudget wrote:

    Am I old? I was swooning over Robert Smith and Morrissey in middle and high school. I guess I was lucky. I missed out on these horrors of which you speak. I shudder reading about it.

    Jenthing: What is up with Franklin dorms full of douchebros? Is it some kind requirement that every college have a Franklin full of douches?

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  36. Ian wrote:

    I really enjoyed this. I didn’t look at the byline before i started reading the post on the awl, but when i got part way down i scrolled back up to see who it was by because i liked it so much. it’s something about your turns of phrase. you, bill buford, and julian barnes are the only three people i can recall doing that for (though probably a few other people). anyway, thanks. p.s. i probably like liz lemon a little more than you seem to, but i enjoy now being able to give my friends crap about their cisgenderism. so thanks for that.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Permalink
  37. jenthing wrote:

    Speedbudget: I know, right? It’s like the law or something. I remember being a teenage Jenthing and thinking, “Self, when I go away to art school, I will never have to see any of these douchebros again.” It was a rude awakening when I first visited Franklin Hall as a freshman and realized that the bro-tastic douche-parade was there in full force – they’d just disguised themselves with floppy hair and striped cardigans instead of Jimmy Buffett t-shirts and backwards ballcaps.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink
  38. k-bot wrote:

    Sady – I have been intermittently lurking here for awhile, and very much enjoying the blog, but am coming out to make an “oh my god! me me me!” comment. Can’t help myself.

    Your piece is brilliant! It’s fascinating on its own, but also cracked me up on a personal level because it provides insight into my own Weezer history, which has resulted in me having a Weezer-twitch that I can never quite defend.

    Here’s my thing about Weezer (and nobody ever seems to get it): I ended up having to make a proclamation – a rule – that I would not have sex to Weezer, which I would declare as a pre-emptive strike. That’s how many times I ended up in sex-about-to-happen situations where – what? oh, you’re changing the music? WEEZER?! Seriously?!

    I think it happened three times before I made the rule. I felt like there was something very specifically sexual that I didn’t understand about Weezer. Why did this situation repeat itself? Were other girls turned on by it? It seemed so unlikely. And – No No No. This is not sex music and if you think it is, I don’t think I’m going to enjoy this, and if you think that I think this is sex music then you are extremely mistaken.

    Before this whole baffling phenomenon began, I was musically and culturally in the neutral-to-no-thanks zone regarding Weezer. I am totally the type to swoon at a sweaterdude; I just didn’t happen to actively swoon at Rivers.

    I now understand the potential ladyparts turn-on living inside the Blue Album, and the potential manwhine-gratification living inside Pinkerton. I’m basking in this new enlightenment.

    Thank you!

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Permalink
  39. Katie wrote:

    That was some amazing writing! You know “no one else” always did rub me the wrong way, but there is nothing I love more than blasting The Blue album on my car stereo, with the windows down, on the first warm sunny day after a long Ohio winter. Wow run on sentence.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink
  40. Victoria wrote:

    Pinkerton was my Favorite Album Ever when I was thirteen, and you just said everything I’ve ever wanted and/or needed to say about it. My figurative hat goes off to you.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink
  41. Rikibeth wrote:

    Speedbudget, I am possibly older than you are, or else you just had MUCH MORE DEVELOPED musical tastes in those crucial 12-13 years, because at that age I was lusting over David Bowie (and ignoring the copious amounts of racefail in “China Girl”) and swooning over Duran Duran. (I was a Nick Rhodes girl. Sharpest cheekbones and the most makeup of any of them.)

    The Robert Smith and Morrissey love came later, and was more about the music. Although. Um. Guys who LOOK like Robert Smith (but who are more careful with their lipstick, if they wear it) still turn my head. *facepalm*

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink
  42. speedbudget wrote:

    Rikibeth, I think we are the same age. I just went through a disillusionment with all guys phase much earlier than most women I know. Plus, I lived in Europe during those tender years.

    Although I did TRY to swoon at Duran Duran. But I always thought Robert Smith was much hotter. He looked so sexily vulnerable in those high tops that were too big for his body. My current Nigel wears some, very limited, makeup, and I’ve never been with a guy who did before, but I find it fantastically sexy. I blame Robert.

    Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink
  43. Lampdevil wrote:

    That was a fantaaaaaastic piece, Sady. What? Too many words from Sady? That’s impossible! There can never be TL;DR with you around! I never gave much thought to Weezer (I was more of a die-hard Smashing Pumpkins fan, when I bothered to be music-obsessive at all) but reading this totally… brought me into the moment and made me see what could be so special (and awful) about the band and about the dude in the band and… stuff. Excellent writing. I learned things!

    Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  44. Farore wrote:

    That post was delightful! I never really understood the whole ‘I love this person I have never met, because of the lyrics and such, and if we ever met we would totes be BFFs and/or LOVERS because they ~*understand me*~’ thing… As a teenage thingamajig I never really ‘crushed’ on any musicians or actors; especially not men-type ones. I was attracted to lady-type ones, sometimes, but it was more of a vague ‘I like her music/acting and also she is pleasant to look upon’ thing that a ‘we must be SOULMATES’ sort of thing.

    But then, I did do the whole soulmates thing with various cartoon characters, so… 9_9 I can’t really talk…

    Having read your article, I still do not ‘get it’! But, I do understand the underlying motivations a bit better, so thank you muchly for that. And it was much funnies! And you really nailed what super-duper bugs me about a lot of that kind of ‘teen music’; lots of it is CREEPY AS HELL. I’ve only ever been familiar with the Weezer songs that were on the radio/teevee (and thusly a few of their videos as well), so I never really took time to analyze their lyrics specifically, but holy wow is Across the Sea ever a creepfest x_x All I have to say is: YIKES.

    Also, a warning to those that may go where I have gone: you need a big stick for pushing away the creepers and icky people in the comment section over at the Awl. I gave up, my stick was not long enough, I think I got some on me, ew.

    Also also: I would also like to see the removed sections of the article! I like Sadywords.

    Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  45. Sady, that was fucking awesome.

    Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  46. jenne wrote:

    i found your post by accident and holy hell on toast, i love it! every word kicked ass and took names. nice to meet you Sady, i’ll be a reader from now on!

    Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink
  47. mkone wrote:

    i was 14 when pinkerton came out, and i loved it. i wasnt particularly offended by the lyrics because i didnt think it was me, the “girl” that he was singing about, or to. in fact i thought the lyrics were hilarious and it paint rivers as this tool who just cant catch a break with girls, and that was funny.
    after pinkerton i kinda forgot about weezer. fast forward 12 years later i am listening to pinkerton again, with better attention to the lyrics, and yes it is disturbing, offensive and wrong on sooo many levels , but still, i cant help but empathise with the platonic ideal of Rivers Cuomo and(i am a woman!) listening to pikerton is like reading an autobiography. its messy, but you still wannna root for the protagonist despite what an asshole he might seem to paint himself. because it is his story and thats how he’s gonna tell it .so the point of this comment is
    1) i still like pinkerton and always will.
    2) i still am intrigued by the platonic ideal of rc.

    Friday, April 30, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  48. Jean wrote:

    I was maybe protected from developing a taste for the RC-type because my first exposure to Weezer was at my sophomore year talent show. There was this dude in my grade who was VERY CLEARLY INFLUENCED by Cuomo in his look, and he fronted a crappy band that is still playing crappy songs crappily even now, 10 years later. This band covered “Say it Ain’t So” at the talent show, and this Cuomo wannabe prefaced the song with, “This is a song by Weezer, and if you don’t know who they are then you should shoot yourself in the head.” My best friend turned to me and mimed blowing her brains out, complete with blood spray. Charming! Anyway, this dude thought he was the hottest shit around and I HATED HIS ASS, and subconsciously avoided brown-haired white dudes with Buddy Holly glasses for the rest of my life. (Cool story, bro!)

    Love Ladypalooza, keep ‘em coming.

    Friday, April 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Permalink
  49. Casanova wrote:

    Could someone explain to me what this line meant:

    “boys and girls in america have such a sad time together….they accuse each other of being just like their mothers (never satisfied) and their fathers (2 bold)”

    I don’t understand, what does she mean by “never satisfied” and “2 bold”?

    Friday, April 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink
  50. Sady wrote:

    @Casanova: It’s a reference to this song. If you don’t know it, you should listen to it! It is really good!

    Friday, April 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink
  51. Nyna wrote:

    First of all, I really loved this piece. I was going to say I was too young to be into Rivers Cuomo, but then I thought about it a little more and realized I was just a little too mean. I had zero patience for whiny guys, at pretty much any age.

    My sister, on the other hand, who is about two years older than I am, listened to Weezer. And she just got out of a three year relationship with a hipster boy with a guitar and a bad haircut and all of the entitlement in the world. He was pretty much a man-boy who expected her to be his mother, and to never go out without him, and to not really go out with him much either. Lose weight, don’t drink, listen to my music, do you have to be friends with *her*, do you have to work *there*, what do you mean want to get a tattoo? (Luckily, she finally dumped his ass, got her tattoo, and gained some weight back.)

    But growing up with this ideal of Rivers Cuomo — for girls and for their future boyfriends, too — it does do real damage. And what’s worse is that it’s still around. I work at a coffee shop in a mostly-hipster community, and once a week we do open mic night, and I have to listen to this generation’s guys with guitars singing about bitches and the women they’re leaving you for and why you fucked them over by leading them on or not being perfect or whining too much or wanting too much, you stupid bitch.

    Can we be *done* with this? Isn’t it time to move on to the next ideal imaginary boyfriend? Maybe someone who sees “you” as a human being with real emotional needs and an equal say in “your” relationship?

    Please?

    Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
  52. mara wrote:

    @jenthing. As a fellow Mike Patton girl, I have been doing some thinking from the ladybusiness point of view about him/his music. His lyrics often aren’t straight ahead enough to say for certain what they are about, but when they are about sex/men/women stuff I interpret them as being very ambivalent about and/or critiquing ‘traditional’ masculinity (see ‘A Small Victory’.)

    Plus, for someone who came out of the male-heavy metal scene, he has collaborated with a lot of women, like Bjork, Jennifer Charles, Imani Coppola, Carla Hassett etc and has signed female artists/bands to his record label. In interviews about working with Bjork on Medulla, he basically shut down the whole manic pixie trope about her, saying she was incredibly driven and talented and organised.

    I haven’t heard any stories about gross behaviour with female fans/girlfriends either. The guy seems to keep his private life very much under wraps.

    Plus, the most sexually explicit FNM song (Be Aggressive) is about the joys of giving head to boys which the out bass player wrote. The story goes he mainly wrote it because he thought it would be hilarious to have their sex symbol, straight lead singer screaming about gay sex in front of thousands of metal fans, if Patton had the wherewithal to do it. Twenty-ish years later I had the pleasure of hearing him sing about the joys of swallowing in front of 30,000 people at a festival earlier this year.

    Anyway, this long dissertation is just to say, I have been given some thought about my Mike Patton fangirl status from the feminist perspective, and I am pretty much OK with retaining my membership.

    Monday, May 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  53. 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
  54. 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
  55. 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
  56. Sady wrote:

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

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  57. 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
  58. 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
  59. 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
  60. 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
  61. 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