Blog of the Week: Raw Pussy

31 07 2012

Primary Impulses and Liars: An Introduction

I am inclined to satisfy my preoccupation with the supposed failures of man and the uniqueness of something’s entire existence as one saturated in discord and violence. I find these features constant throughout the history of humanity; every expression of man resonates with the next, there is no progress except that in the art of war, all else is process.

We are always attempting to control the irrepressible, struggling to survive and advance, grasping false hope and illusionary peace in anticipation of just one moment of stillness. But why fight ourselves? As if genocide, greed and lust are products of a degenerate society or the so-called evil individual — some “problem” to be solved. The only “problem” is the total disregard of our disposition which we are not taught to control or respect but rather deny and reject.

Let’s assent to our nature and refuse to shamefully hide ourselves. We can acknowledge and defend our appetites without sacrificing societal accord. We lack passion because we fear the intensity of our primary impulses but there is no dichotomy between gratification and mastery. Let us delight in both the repulsive and gracious within ourselves and accept the full identity of our spirit. These compulsions are inside us all, within mothers, fathers, your priest, the neighbors, strangers in the grocery store, your enemies, your lovers, even your grandma and pep pep and we all want the same thing…raw. fucking. pussy.

This blog was created to illustrate this fact.

What inspired you to start Raw Pussy?
In part, the idea for the blog stemmed from my studies of antiquity. I was spending fifteen hours a day reading classical texts and researching the material record of civilizations that had risen and fallen thousands of years ago. There are striking parallels between our own society and those of the past, and although this is by no means a new concept (“history predicts the future”), it is a notion that is largely ignored. I adopted a sociological perspective and became interested in aspects of human nature that have remained consistent, specifically in comparison to contemporary conceptions of the moral condition, which is generally presumed to be inherent and unchanged. (I know this seems to be deviating from the question but I promise I am getting there.) We live in a culture of shame, our social institutions encourage a repression of individual will and we voluntarily submit to self-proclaimed defenders of the “good” (the social contract). I find this to be highly problematic. Actions and beliefs generally typified as “perverse” are often a result of our natural programming as human beings. Religious ideologies that have shaped our world as if it were law are an attempt to alter the natural. This creates great problems for us. As a society, we are unwilling to accept ourselves as we are. How can we reasonably address issues of violence and war, equality and hate, education, freedom, the justice system, gender etc. if we cannot approach these topics with sensitivity to our nature? As punks, we are often attracted to what is deemed “perverse” by society, by what is destructive and unorthodox. I think it is imperative that we understand the importance of defending our interests, not just because they are ‘extreme’ but also because they are honest. Rather than focusing on music, I wanted to create a resource concentrated on ideas, a forum to expose the perverse side of humanity and embrace it. Raw Pussy, among other things, is a blog dedicated to human nature, the taboo, the erotic and the wild.

What’s your definition of Raw Pussy?
A wildly seductive, organic, lush endowment of pure, unrestrained pleasure; The defining characteristic of our animalistic, shameless, natural selves; The one thing everyone of us craves but most are ashamed to admit; A casualty of a counterfeit moral condition.

What is the thematic focus of your blog?
The focus of the blog began as an attempt to draw attention to the historical narrative of our natural character and to a lack of rationality and logic within our society. It has since evolved to feature artists, videos and essays that comment on more contemporary themes. My goal is to make information easily accessible, I try to remain sensitive to the fact that most people don’t have the time to sit down and read a 15-page essay by Nietzsche on the fly so I often post excerpts from books and poems or post videos of lectures or interviews by someone I think has something significant to say. There is usually a link at the end of each post to allow more ambitious readers a resource for further exploration. I use the blog as a forum to expose our internal, often neglected dispositions and to explore the phenomenon of a distorted and contrived world-reality (Insane Society).

What have been the most bizarre reactions from your friends or internet lurkers?
The search keywords that bring people to the blog are pretty fucking amazing: “harry raw pussy,” “Austrian pussy,” “hand in marecunt,” “self-castration” and “American cunt-fucking.” I have a feeling that I may be letting those individuals down but I’m pleased that I am part of their journey in search of strange, erotic virtual smut.

How often do you update your blog?
I have adopted the philosophy that that quality is better than quantity. Instead of posting daily, I usually chose a topic that I feel has particular substance or that I have worked on or written. However, I have found that although I may be under the impression that a post has some significance, the general trend of blog posts is that they don’t…and in this way most that may stumble upon the page will expect a magnitude of mildly interesting topics to browse and forget within the hour. So, I have since altered my approach and have recently been attempting to update 3 times a week and have begun to include essays and articles that I have found from other sources. I’m not sure if I want to begin appealing to the trend of over-information merely as an attempt to attract more readers but I’m also not convinced that it matters either way.

Does being located in Detroit, Austin, and Boston alter the way your web site is updated and the inspiration behind posts?
Traveling between multiple cities on a regular basis inevitably takes away from the time I have to update. Yet, there is no doubt that this mildly nomadic lifestyle has a great influence on the way my brain is working. For now, all of these cities feel like home but at the same time they don’t. Each place personally embodies a vastly different environment; one is totally academic, another totally chaotic, etc. Our internal dialogue is uncontrollably influenced by external stimulus. The things I post are a product of my interests. If I were fully consumed by one place I think my perspective would become stagnant.

Is your blog intertwined with your academic life?
I returned to school to study archaeology and art history because those are topics that I am inspired by and not because of the social pressures imposed on people my age to do so. Ancient history provides a context in which to consider the state of the modern condition. The study of material culture and the philosophy of thought have provided me with the inspiration to consider the ways in which the punk community creates its own material record. It is impossible to detach one from the other. My gut craves chaos but my head rationalizes these impulses — not as a means of control, but of understanding. Any commentary from my end is inevitably a product of these perspectives.

How and why did you start taxiderming (did I just make that word up)?
(I think you would say “practicing taxidermy.”) My father, grandfather and several other extended family members have all been morticians. As a child I spent a huge amount of time at the funeral home or cemetery. I suppose that I was desensitized to the dead but always retained a fascination for the art of preserving life. I followed up on a job posting for a bird skinner at a natural history museum and landed the job. I applied the training I received skinning birds in attempts to skin other animals and reptiles. I love the ways that we can manipulate the body of a creature to invent a kind of new identity after death…giving it a kind of second life. I started collecting road kill to skin and the hobby has kind of taken off from there. Now I have a freezer packed with dead animals and a garage full of ribcages and pelts hanging from the rafters to dry.

How does your taxidermy play into your blog?
I occasionally share photographs and updates about some of the work I do. I sit alone in a room for 16 hours a week with my arm shoved up the neck of a hawk and something about that activity that has become somewhat mundane to me. However, it seems like the kind of experience that is worth sharing with others.

How does your blog incorporate punk music?
I try to support music-focused blogs but it was never my intention to have this focus myself. However, the inclusion of music seems to happen naturally. I don’t have the energy to invest in posting torrent links to every rad record that I encounter but sometimes when an album or song is making me feel real good, I put it up. I’m a punk, it’s something I can’t avoid.

Do you think female sexuality makes punks uncomfortable?
That’s a complicated question. The topic of female sexuality is broadly multi-dimensional, including sociological, physiological, psychological, cultural and political facets of sexual identity and behavior. Women have often exploited the punk aesthetic as a commentary on female sexualization, whether in an attempt to challenge concepts of femininity or to redefine oversexualized perceptions of the female as a lust-object. This is a difficult concept for non-females to understand just as it is a challenge for women to sympathize with pressures of certain gender roles imposed on males. I think that the punk community is much more tolerant of the feminist conversation as a subversive anarchistic movement as opposed to outsiders but continues to lack cross-gendered support on the merits it’s actual content. The so-called ‘feminist’, or women who openly speak about their sexuality earn much less respect than they deserve within our community, which suggests an attitude of tolerance that lacks support. I think it’s fair to say that a female fronted band that is lyrically aligned with Discharge receives much more attention and support from their community than a female fronted band that is more aligned with Bikini Kill. Feminism has become a dirty word, even within punk. However, sexuality in general is an uncomfortable topic for our society. Beyond casual conversation about the ways in which we have fucked recently, we have very little conversation about our sexual identities among our peers — regardless of gender or sexual orientation. We are all raised within a society that largely teaches us to be ashamed of our bodies and dogmatically promotes “traditional” gender rolls. As punks, I hope that we can discover ways to reject this kind of conditioning and encourage an open conversation about sexuality, regardless of gender. Read the rest of this entry »

July 31st, 2012 by Amelia


Blog of the Week: Total Fucker

27 06 2012

When I lived on the East Coast, I used Total Fucker as an online resource. With cheap bus fare to major cities all over the East Coast, it was easy and quick to skip town and check out shows in other nearby cities. Boston is a hotbed of mental punk health and has a strong community. Total Fucker kept me up to date on shows, DJ nights, and upcoming releases from Boston’s finest, from Koward to G.A.S.H.

Ghost is not exactly a Luddite but is not an internet geek either — so you get what you get. Although it seems the site is no longer updated as it once was, and its archives mysteriously having disappeared, it is a site for all you chowder loving punks to keep an eye on…

MRR: When did Total Fucker start?

Ghost: I released my first record in 2010, a lathe record for BLOODKROW BUTCHER, mistakenly titled as a “flexi.” It was limited to 50 copies due to the fact that the people who cut the records didn’t want to physically make any more than that. Their “company” has since closed and there are currently no plans for a re-press.

Was it always a label? The name of the shows that you put together? What does Total Fucker really stand for?

Total Fucker was never used as a booking name. I started writing “Raw Tunes For Total Fuckers!” on fliers that I made for gigs that I booked, as well as other people’s gigs I made fliers for. This was a few years before the idea for a label even came about.The intent was that the gigs were truly for “Total Fuckers.” Raw Punk maniacs that were going to have an uncompromisingly good time. A warning, if you will.

How many releases have you done?

I just released FUCKER005. A long awaited self-titled EP for KOWARD, a hardcore punk band that formed in Boston in 2009. Their drummer moved to PDX shortly after the band was formed, which made it difficult for them to play gigs and record. I just returned from an eight gig tour with them, which probably doubles their live performances since their first gig three years ago!

What’s upcoming?

My next release is a nine-track LP for Boston pogo punk band WHO KILLED SPIKEY JACKET? Fans of Pogo77 Records and early Casualties take note!

What websites do you lurk?

I don’t spend much time on the internet other than occasionally checking my e-mail. I also occasionally check the Punk and Destroy website to stay up to date on Japanese releases.

Why the anonymity, Ghost?

People often suggest that. [??? — ed.] I have multiple points of contact including mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and a phone number. If you would like to write I can be reached at:

Total Fucker Records
PO Box 82
Somerville, MA 02143
USA

Why did you delete your whole blog, fucker?

I didn’t. I just trimmed the fat. You can still check the page for updates on new releases and upcoming events. Cheers!

June 27th, 2012 by Amelia


Blog of the Week: icoulddietomorrow

5 06 2012

Our very own Robert Collins does the amazing punk cassette archive of Terminal Escape but on the other coast of the good ol’ USA Adam and Coleman of Katorga Works, along with friends Branden and Asa, keep a very up-to-date online record of the most scorching current sounds on their blog icoulddietomorrow. From LPs to demo tapes, they post, review, and plug for many solid bands. Like Terminal Escape, there is a MediaFire link for easy downloading and sharing. A part of me hates the internet for taking away the purity of searching for punk that one can hold in one’s hands, but a solid site like this is worth the ease and comfort. The site leans more toward the “mysterious guy hardcore” side, but from YADOKI to MERCHANDISE to NOMAD, there’s something posted for everyone. icoulddietomorrow was started in 2008 with Trey, Flynn, Zack, and Adam. When asked why they started it, Adam stated, “If I recall, we kinda just discovered music blogs and thought they were a neat idea and wanted to start our own.” What a solid DIY punk reason to start this blog and a solid DIY punk site!

June 5th, 2012 by Amelia


Blog of the Week: Thunderhorse Vintage

22 05 2012

(photo courtesy of Hearty Magazine)

We all know punk and fashion are intertwined. This can be a hot topic as the debate over the phrase “if you don’t wear studs, fuck you” can get a bit intense. But there is a common ground where a magical combination of punk, fashion, politics, and all around rad feminism converge onto one site. The Thunderhorse Vintage blog has been a favorite with the folks at the MRR house and many radical punks alike. Thunderhorse Vintage, as a store and site, support DIY punk artisans and uphold the core Maximum beliefs to the highest. The store is located in Sacramento, CA, but punks near and far can experience the magic online. Many posts will make you think, if not laugh out loud, with their political wit and satire regarding all ironic and dumb things punks say, do, and wear, while providing a just critique of the strange times in which we live. Fashion is not just about aesthetics and wearing your safety-pinned heart on your sleeve, but can be a good way to say “fuck off” to the mainstream. The women behind this blog and store are also booking shows in Sacramento and have a history of being in solid bands like Verräterisch. DIY or die! Up punx!

May 22nd, 2012 by Amelia


Blog of the Week: Jason Traeger

16 05 2012

Jason Traeger (R) with Boston's Billy Ruane (RIP) in 1998

My attempts at writing an introduction to Jason Traeger’s blog have so far proven fruitless. The man’s writing really speaks for itself. On his blog you will find wonderful tales and artifacts from the past, anecdotes of discovering punk in the far outskirts of Seattle in the early ’80s, growing up in the scene in Washington state and San Diego, CA, and his journey through other places and music scenes as well. But this is not some random old coot’s boring nostalgia trip. In fact, you get a stern admonishment in that regard from the very beginning:

I’m the last one to cast a misty-eyed glance back at the “good old days.” In my experience the people who take this angle are usually the ones who weren’t there. Whatever mistakes, false starts and missed opportunities I’ve had the pleasure of having, I was wherever I was for better or worse.

This blog is not meant to romanticize any choices I made or any particular era. It’s simply a place where I share stories and take stock of where I’ve been as a way to figure out where I might want to go next. I’ll celebrate some people along the way, some of them you’ll know or know of, others will be new to you. I’m glad to have known every one of them.

Jason Traeger’s list of credentials is possibly too long to present here, but you might recognize his artwork in many of Maximum Rocknroll magazine’s scene report headers, and the cover to the BCT comp LP We Can Do Whatever We Want. He did the classic ’80s fanzine Leading Edge with Martin Sprouse and has performed music as a solo artist for many years now.

Almost all of Jason’s stories I would describe as “heartwarming.” What else could you say about your mom being cool enough to go see the Circle Jerks and the Fartz with you, and even sporting  Motörhead t-shirt for the occasion so as not to look too much like a mom? Or this, my favorite one: a Certificate of Patience made and signed by Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson of Minor Threat for waiting for his mail order copy of the first pressing of Out of Step to arrive. Of course I couldn’t go without mentioning his post about MRR‘s role in connecting the punk scene and how it helped hook him up with his lifelong best friend.

You can enjoy all of this and more at jasonotraeger.tumblr.com.

Hey, look at that — I wrote an introduction to Jason Traeger’s blog!

May 16th, 2012 by Paul