Wednesday, February 11, 2009

hot topic

I often wish I had a time machine. Not so I could go back in time and alter the course of history or anything. I wouldn’t attempt to meddle in anyone’s fate except my own.

This week, I would travel back to 1997 and give my 13 year old self a copy of the riot grrrl mix CD that Miss A gave me for my birthday.

“Whooooa!” my 13 year old self would say, “How did you make your own CD? With cover art and everything! Are you a witch?”

“No, little Tea . . . in the future there will be a thing called itunes, and every computer will have a CD burner built in. You, of course, will still have trouble operating this basic technology – so don’t worry about that now . . . just shut up and listen to the music!”

And then, I would introduce my tender, Alanis-Morrissette-loving ears to the likes of Bratmobile and Sleater-Kinney. I would pull my awkward 13 year old ass out of her chair and force her to rock out to Bikini Kill.

“These girls have something to say!” I would shout at myself. “They’re doin’ their own thing and they’re proud of it! They are bad-ass with a purpose! Now, roll up your uniform skirt and go make a ‘zine, goddamn you!”

At 26, I have found riot grrrl. Better late than never, of course . . . but part of me is pissed that I missed out on its birth and its heyday. DIY-punk-feminist-girl-revolution. I love all of those words. I love girls who can’t really sing and can’t really play – but don’t give a shit as long as people listen.

This is what I was trying to stumble towards last month with my “rockstar” theme. Amanda Palmer was my icon, but riot grrrl is the real, original movement. Those chicks blazed the trail so that my AFP could one day put on stripey socks and play the piano and sing about date rape and abortion.

I just wish I’d been in on it from the start. Back before the days of blogging and internet message boards . . . when grrrls made ‘zines out of necessity, in order to connect with like-minded ladies. When DIY music really meant teaching yourself 4 chords on a guitar, not plugging shit into Garageband software. But hey – these are the times we live in, yo. And there’s time yet to start my own riot-movement-girl- revolution.

I just better kick my ass into gear and get busy, before my 40 year old self climbs into her time machine and travels back here to kick it for me.

1 comment:

  1. "...but part of me is pissed that I missed out on its birth and its heyday. DIY-punk-feminist-girl-revolution."

    this is reason #1 why you are my soul sister. why can't we go back in time?!