Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

New Century Music

Today, I went and got a new driver's license and, when I did, I left with a card in which I looked like a thug. Five years ago, the same thing happened. At least bouncers treat me well.

On Thursday and Friday I am running a workshop again, so likely it will be quiet, though it has been quiet around here a little, mostly because I've been spending my spare time trying to get books into the hands of people, trying to write, trying to teach, and trying to deal with various personal issues and all that comes and goes with that. No one particularly wants to read blog posts about that kind of stuff. Fuck it, man, I don't particularly wish to be living half of it.

But, what you going to do?

The one thing I have been watching a little out of the corner of my eye is the debate over Triple J's hottest 100 of all time and it's lack of female representation. Even though the debate strikes my personal pet hate, which is that it's about the numbers, and not the actual artists (a road we've been down before where I've tried to express that just having faceless women to fill up a number quota so that you have equality doesn't actually make for equality)... even though it does that, I wonder if it's even worth having the fight over this particular list. Since it was a popular vote, a lot of other factors make or break the debate, and without knowing the gender split of the voters, the age groups, the occupations and so forth, there's not a lot that can be drawn from it except that, hey, there weren't many women there. And sure, excellent female musicians were ignored--no theredsunband, no Patti Smith, no Linda Perry, no Ani DiFranco, no Beth Orton, Portishead, Skunk Anansie, no Bettye Lavette, and so on and so forth--but without that extra information, what is it that can actually be said?

So, I dunno--it strikes me that there are better places to take the fight for the representation of women: festival line ups, promotion of female vs male artists, and so on and so forth. I suppose you can argue that all those things feed into popular vote lists, which is a valid point, but I just keep finding myself saying, "Well, who were the voters, and how'd they all vote? Was it that there was no women? Was the spread of female artists actually more diverse, and the male artists just more concentrated? Was it that there were no female artists in rural voters? Were all the voters in Queensland? Did no one in Sydney actually vote?"

Questions, questions.

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