Friday, July 29, 2011

Coming Full Circle

It’s been an exciting week for me. Violence Girl is about to go to print and the cover artwork is almost finalized. The design and layout by Gregg Einhorn is so kickass – I love it and I can’t wait to show it off. I’m scheduled to present at the MALCS conference in Los Angeles next week and appear at Ladyfest IE in Riverside next weekend. Network Awesome featured me in their weeklong tribute to Women in Punk and the Houston Press was kind enough to include me in their list of punk rock’s 10 most potent women, quite an honor. But I was most thrilled and humbled by a blog entry by Lil Miss Headlock (her Tumblr, Dynamite in a Dixie Cup is a must-follow for all fans of female radness) in which she wrote some wonderful things about my work and my women in punk archives. I honestly don’t know what to say about this except thank you.

Way back in the seventies when Bobby Pyn (you may know him as Darby Crash) and I would talk on the phone for hours, we both expressed a desire to change the world. To do that, we realized that we had to have power – the power to influence others. We set out on different paths to accomplish our goals. I eventually became a school teacher, which was personally if not financially rewarding. Much later, I started my website as a way of documenting what I saw as overlooked contributions by women to the punk movement. Little did I know that this site and my blog would be read by young women all over the world. I still have no idea how many people read my blog, but obviously I continue to write them because my hope is that they will have some effect. Even if only one person decides to take action or thinks about something in a different way because of something I’ve written or done, then I’ve made a difference.

Which brings me to the last highlight of my week, a series of tweets that were exchanged yesterday by musicians Roxy Epoxy, Girl in a Coma and me. Without going into too much detail, Girl In A Coma played at a rock camp for girls yesterday and tweeted the photo. I complimented them on being good influences and role models for these young girls, which started a twitter love fest between the three of us. The point is that what goes around, comes around. Influence and power work in mysterious ways and it has nothing to do with fame, money or politics. It has everything to do with helping others and building your community.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Women In LA Punk - Debbie Dub

When I think of Debbie Dub, I remember her as a sort of punk ambassador. She had the right personality for the job. Debbie had good people skills and frequently arranged meetings between people that didn't know each other but who she felt would work well together. She also booked shows, produced records, managed bands and had a fanzine called Starting Fires but her strongest contribution was her ability to communicate comfortably with people from all walks of life, making anyone who was around her feel as though they had known her for years.

When L.A. bands played in San Francisco, Debbie would frequently be there to greet them. Likewise, when San Francisco bands played L.A., it was Debbie who would show them around town. Debbie understood the nature of both cities and respected the differences between them. She eventually moved to San Francisco, but not before leaving her mark on L.A.

I remember her as spunky, articulate and outspoken. I think you'll agree that she still has those qualities. Read Debbie's Women in LA Punk Interview by clicking on the thumbnail below. Enjoy!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Strange Fruit

I woke up this morning with the aftertaste of GMO watermelon on my lips. I must have underestimated the power of desire and opportunity.

The first time I walked up to the watermelon stand at my local supermarket, I was lured by the 4th of July sale price. But just as I was starting to salivate and pick one up, a guy walked by with his girlfriend. When she motioned towards the watermelon I heard him tell her, "Those watermelons are genetically modified." My taste buds dried up immediately and I put the perfectly round, seedless melon down.

A day later, I returned to the market for something I'd forgotten and there was another pile of watermelons, prominently festooned with little American flag banners. I picked one up, put it in my cart and brought it home. It was that easy, no inner debate, nada.

On the 4th of July I cut it up and my husband made watermelon margaritas to go along with our holiday feast. I had all but forgotten about it until early this morning when I woke up thinking about what I'd done.

I rant and rave all the time about how much I hate the corporations who are destroying the world’s food supply. I understand that not all seedless watermelons are “genetically modified” but they are the result of selective breeding. The proliferation of so-called “seedless fruit” makes us dependent on whoever controls seeds. When consumers like me buy these GMOs and pass up the real deal, nature-perfected type of produce we are contributing to the problem. We are encouraging markets to sell and growers to grow GMOs and discouraging natural and organic farmers.

Of course, some people don't care. They're fine with GMOs, they don't claim to hate Monsanto like I do. They can enjoy modified food without a second thought but I don't envy them. I know better and I'm angry with myself. I have been hypocritical and it's the fruit of my conscience that has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Women In LA Punk - Killer

Timing is everything, they say. My latest Women In Punk interview happens to come at a time when I have been re-examining the impact that individuals can make on the world around us. Can one person really change things for the better? Can one isolated incident affect a person in such a way that it literally alters the course of her life?

Allow me to introduce to you the truly talented woman named Killer. In 1978, Killer was relatively younger than most of the members of the original Hollywood punk scene, nevertheless she is a product of that scene. Those early days profoundly marked her, in particular the experience of listening to Carla Maddog play drums with the legendary early punk band, the Controllers. Killer's inspiring post-gig conversation with Carla Maddog would lead to her own career as a drummer and a punk ethic that would last throughout her life.

Killer went on to play in The Speed Queens and numerous other bands. As time passed, she fell off my radar until quite by accident I ran into her a few years ago at a Peaches show. Killer was her sound engineer. We spoke briefly and then fell out of touch again until a mutual friend led her to my website interviews. I was thrilled to reconnect with her and to find that she continues to blast through society's imposed limitations as fearlessly now as when she was a young teen.

Read Killer's Women in LA Punk Interview by clicking on the thumbnail below. Enjoy!