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Thursday, March 9, 2006

Further Thoughts On (the joy of) Fucking In The Streets

Posted by on March 9 at 9:38 AM

I slogged Rod Bristol’s email because I wanted to give the guy a chance to respond. I tried to get his commentary before we went to press with last week’s column, but when I initially contacted him, he told me he didn’t have time to talk to me. I received his email the day after my column ran. Of course he can refuse to print whatever he wants—no one is crying censorship here. Promoters (and consumers in general) who would rather not give their business to a vendor who harbors a blanket fear of expletives have a right to know about Sudden Printing’s policies. In this political climate, people should be able to exercise their opinions with their patronage. Those are facts, but personally, the refusal to print those posters irked me for reasons rooted in my admiration for the fearlessness of MC5. DJ Fucking in the Streets is a FUCKING poignant DJ name in 2006. Historical background can be seen here.

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poignant? come on hannah, that's a stretch. FITS is a good guy but i see no indication in any of his activities as a dj that would imply political or social subversion.

it's an attention getting moniker. that's what djs do. i regularly spin records under the name "dj cherry canoe." yes, it sounds dirty. the origin isn't actually that dirty but, i digress.

the members only crew are good folks. i appreciate their dedication to their night. but, come on, we are talking about a capitol hill hipster dance night. to even bring the MC5 into the discussion is a real big leap.

Hannah, you "wanted to give the guy a chance to respond"?  Did you re-read your own initial thoughts for 10 seconds?

  • You openly call to Bristol's son in hope of finding family discord to bring in to the public forum.
  • You disparage Bristol's comprehension of the poster relying on the unspoken and unsupported assumption that he's somehow required to evaluate the underlying meaning and significance of profanity before he can object to printing it.
  • You disparage Bristol's pledge to use a personal call instead of e-mail in the future by relying on a careless (or intentional?) misreading of his words, suggesting he's referring specifically to Finstad.  What Bristol wrote is that he, "will do so in the future if such an issue happens again."

You're annoyed by Bristol's squeamishness about profanity and so don't want to patronize him?  Fine then.  The vindictiveness of the posts, tho, is uncalled for.  It makes it seem like you care less about helping Bristol's customers make informed choices and more about seeing Bristol's business and reputation suffer.

Whoops.  Pardon that visible "&nbsp."

Oh, christ, the MC5. I think you misspelled "stupidity". Yeah, fearless braindead corporate rock.

if there are to be literary awards handed out for slog posts, I nominate the Hannah hates Rod series of posts for worst irrational knee jerk attack.

I don't want to be guilty of piling on, but, Hannah, pop that Capitol Hill bubble you're living in.

Variations on the word "fuck" are only provocative/perturbing if it's not part of normal public discourse. If it's not, then someone can legitimately refuse to be part of projecting it (visually) into public view. It's not called "Subvert the Dominant Paradigm Printing."

And if it is, then what the fuck are we talking about it for?

I wasn't saying FITS was an activist (don't even know the guy, actually). I was saying that the name strikes me as an homage to MC5's sloganeering and that's an homage I can get behind and enjoy seeing depicted in public spaces. Last time I checked, this was a sentiment the Harrop shared--rather passionately.

And FNARF, what on earth do you mean by "fearless braindead corportate rock"?

I hope the Stranger music section is not headed back to the days of Kathleen Wilson when the only important things happening were in her small circle of coke head alcoholic wanna be hipster friends who spent all their time on Pine & Pike streets between broadway and I-5, and where ANYTHING that happened there was news we were all supposed to care about.

Pretty much NOTHING happening in this area of town, except maybe Mondays at the War Room, has any relevance to the Seattle music scene. The rest of it is wanna be hipster, self important club dj's like FITStreets who have to use the word fuck to get attention because all they are doing is rehashing a scene that peaked 5 years ago. Which is great fun, but totally unimportant otherwise.

If the most important story Hannah can find is Sudden Printing not wanting to print one poster, the scene is in big trouble, as is the stranger.

Ms. Harrop is dead on and we are blessed to have her perspective.

I hope the Stranger music section is not headed back to the days of Kathleen Wilson when the only important things happening were in her small circle of coke head alcoholic wanna be hipster friends who spent all their time on Pine & Pike streets between broadway and I-5, and where ANYTHING that happened there was news we were all supposed to care about.

I think Hannah has been pretty vocal about getting off the hill and into other venues/clubs, so hopefully we don't need to worry about Katheleen Wilson Redux. Hopefully.

Hannah, I hate the MC5 and everything they stand for. I think they were really, really stupid people and a lousy band. Obviously my comment (and this one) are meant to be inflammatory, but Elektra WAS, in fact, a corporation., was it not?

hannah, you are correct in saying that i strongly support using language (and corporations) to relay a subversive message.

i am also a big fan of using expletives to emphasize a point. a good example would be gloria steinem's lecture at town hall last night, where she peppered her otherwise non-profane address with the following bon mot:

"When God looks like the ruling class, we are in deep shit."

i can't speak for FITS but i would be very surprised to learn that his dj name has any deeper meaning than a good time. there is nothing wrong with that. but, to assign a greater political meaning to the fact that a private business refused to print a profane poster for a mash-up dance night still seems like a real stretch to me.

Exaggeration is usually not considered a positive quality in a journalist. It's unfortunate in Ms. Levine's black and white world that a single incident constitutes a 'blanket fear of expletives'.

For such a non-issue there sure are alot of motherfuckers piping in with their two cents worth. It seems obvious that, at core, the issue here is censorship (meaningful DJ monikers and the importance of the MC5 aside). Sudden Printing describe themselves as "one of the largest companies of its type in the nation" and as such should be publicly scrutinized for their policies and practices. If "fucking in the streets" is too offensive then they definitely shouldn't be in the business of printing rock and roll posters. DJ Making Love in the Streets just doesn't pack the same punch, it's not rock. My guess is that if Rod Bristol personally OKd every poster that came through their 10 locations you would have never seen promotion from bands with names like the Dicks, Slits, Day-Glo Abortions, Fucking Chachis, Butthole Surfers, Fuck and the list goes on. They certainly have the right to run their business any way they deem fit--just like Fox News and Clear Channel can/can not report or promote whatever they want, but your dollars and support will help Sudden Printing become an even bigger company/corporation with the ability to dictate what offensive speech is. Will they print pro-choice posters? Anti-war posters? Pro-war posters? It's a much bigger issue than just one censored name.

FITS was not censored. Private business can not censor you. They can refuse to print your poster, but as long as there are other businesses willing to print it then no censorship has occured.

The government censors, and by censorship I mean they enact laws that make certain words or speech illegal. THAT is censorship. Private businesses don't have that power.

i did, in fact, intend my dj name as a nod to the mc5, and their hilarious and awesome white panther party. i'm enamored with their high (as a kite) ideals, low art, and the huge contradictions that occur in between (major labels, guns, machismo).

at the time i started djing, i was living in punkhouses, reading crimethinc, protesting, etc. and i was surprised how much all of this activity was just another kind of entertainment. that's not to say that us kids didn't have ideals, just that all the stenciling and shoplifting and critical masses were (on some level) more about having a good time than really changing things. so the weird anarcho hypocrisy of the mc5 struck a chord with me; they were some anarchist proto-punks that wanted to party as much as (if not more than) they wanted to smash the state.

also, it's a fucking catchy name.

also, members only isn't a mash-up night.

as for the larger's not censorship but it's a shitty business practice, and people should know about it so they can choose to take their printing elsewhere.

what's worse?
Watching 100 Burger Kings ads a day or walking past 100 butt-ugly posters a day? I wish some people would put 'taste' into these fliers as gay hipsters are not the only people who live on Crapitol Hill. Sure we like to curse.. (ie: "Profanity is the crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker"), but there's a time and a place for everything. We don't need to post women spread eagle on every goddamn pole. I don't need to advertise for my night nor do I feel the need to drag some brain dead sheeple into it in order to squeeze out a couple extra bucks.

Moderation, people.

I've re-posted what I wrote on the previous slog...


NOBODY is "attacking" Sudden Printing. We live in a community where people can do or say or think or feel whatever the fuck they want, and generally they'll find a sect in this city that thinks like-mindedly. THANK GOD FOR THAT.

Of course Rod Bristol can do his best to keep 4-letter explitives from being printed in his store, but as far as I am concerned, I don't want to take my business to a company that supports views that are as conservative as his.

Anyone that is walking down the streets where our flyers are posted that can read the word "FUCKING" should be old enough to know what it means, and that it's not a bad word. It's an expression of an act that *hopefully* we all regularly take part in.

So now obviously you all know that you can keep taking your posters to a nice, respectable company with great moral values and i'm sure you'll get a smile and nod. Hannah, Amy and I all just wanted those of you that happen to deal with four-letter curse words in your everyday life (business and personal) that this company doesn't agree with you, and that you're bound to find another company (KINKOS included, GOMEZ) that doesn't care that you are going to use their paper to plaster the streets with whatever obsceen, slanderous propoganda you intend.

I will say in defense of Sudden Printing that they offer cheap quotes, quick turn around and great quality. (Hell I even have a friend that works for him that I've known since the 4th grade!) There is no sabotage in the works here, just an effort to create awareness of a conservative company in a liberal town. I doubt his business will be harmed by the Stranger article. If nothing less, the businesses he has worked with sharing his views will applaud his morals. That is all.

Sorry for the run-on sentances.

Side note: I hope to GOD that after printing flyers, none of you are supporting PosterGIANT. They're the real corporation that deserves a good boycott.

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