Whiteness. Apparently, this is a problem.
As a lover of Belle and Sebastian, I was disappointed, though certainly not surprised. Belle and Sebastian's work is steeped in Whiteness; God Help the Girl merely underscores this. The film itself is an egregious mess that romanticizes a woman's struggles with an eating disorder for the sake of Murdoch's self-promotion. The optimistic, happy-go-lucky and painstakingly adorable aesthetic evidenced in every character he created is founded in Whiteness. Whiteness is beauty; Whiteness is what gives the character the ability to dream of fostering a career in music; Whiteness is what enables the audience to empathize with Eve's character. A recurring filler in the film was a fictitious radio show where two men try to decipher what "real" indie is and every band mentioned is white, enforcing the film's aspirational Whiteness. While Belle and Sebastian aren't the only examples of perpetuating Whiteness through indie rock, this movie serves as a microcosmic view of what is wrought by racial exclusivity that is omnipresent in indie rock.
In indie rock, white is the norm. While indie rock and the DIY underground, historically, have been proud to disassociate themselves from popular culture, there is no divorcing a predominantly white scene from systemic ideals ingrained in white Western culture. That status quo creates a barrier in terms of both the sanctioned participation of artists of color and the amount of respect afforded them, all of which sets people of color up to forever be seen as interlopers and outsiders. Whiteness is the very ideal for which art is made in Western culture, be it the cinema of Wes Anderson or, say, the artists on Merge Records.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Indie music: too white!
The Phantom RAAAAACIST!!!!!
Also, nerds are racists. Because anybody who applies Rationalism to anything is RAAAAACIST!!!!! Why, you ask? Asking "why?" is RAAAAACIST!!!!!!!!
No, this did not come from the Onion. But it should have.But its not racist. Nuh uh. And y'all are a racist for even thinking this might be racist. Because... well I'm not sure why, but RAAAAACIST!!!!!!