Happy Global Pussy Riot Day! Sad Global Pussy Riot Day :( If you’ve any interest in punk rock, feminism, freedom of speech or justice, you’ll know by now that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevic have been found guilty of hooliganism in a very high-profile court case in Moscow.
The maximum sentence they face is seven years, which is beyond ludicrous, since nothing during the protest was damaged and no one was hurt. Apart maybe from Putin’s ego and the public image of the Russian Orthodox Church, but neither of those things (ostensibly, at least) are crimes against anything enshrined in Russian law (yet).
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The thing about being a front person is that you are going to get labeled. I don’t know what it’s like to be a man playing music, because I’m not a man playing music, but I do know that when you are a woman on stage, the good girl/bad girl dichotomy is a common one. When you get labeled, it’s solely based on your stage persona. So, if you stand on stage in lace, strumming your Fender Telecaster while you belt beautiful lyrics, you are going to get called a “good girl.” If you scream, rip at your hair, and roll around on the floor like a child, you get the opposite. Pop is good. “Punk” is bad. But the oppositions happen within genres too. Jessica Simpson defended her virginity, while Christina Aguilera proudly proclaimed herself as a vixen. You know the story. It’s always been the way. It’s annoying, but the opposition obsession isn’t going anywhere.
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Like Sublime suns or Insane Clown Posse portraits, most band tattoos look like complete shit. But Black Flag transcends this rule because even the shoddiest stick ‘n’ poke versions of the punk band’s logo, four rectangular bars, somehow always look great. In fact, a chance meeting between strangers sporting time-weathered versions of the iconic bars prompted geologist Stewart Ebersole and friends to travel North America and Europe for five years shooting photos of others inked with the cult insignia for the upcoming book Barred for Life. Having a crooked and faded set of the bars myself, this compilation reminds me of how meeting others who’ve defaced themselves similarly often means meeting your new best friend or future wife.
Read the rest: Four Bars Forever