And for that matter, neither is Jonna Lee, aka ionnalee. I don’t really listen to mainstream music, opting for obscure musicians from around the world. One of my favorites is a Swedish audio/visual project called iamamiwhoami, led by Jonna Lee (who had a solo career before starting iamamiwhoami). This group made their debut in late 2009 with a series of cryptic videos posted on YouTube, and branched out into doing whole albums and accompanying films. It’s really very interesting, if you like electronic music. Their YouTube channel is here and you can peruse this fan-made Wikia page if you want to know more.
Jonna Lee is starting a new solo project, called ionnalee, with costumes by COMME des GARÇONS (it’s supposed to be a collaboration between the two, but whatever). A “trailer” for this new project debuted earlier today, along with this snippet:
Buffeted by imposing, almost marching-band beats but sweetened by Lee’s upfront vocals, SAMARITAN tackles culture’s fascination with idolising and worshipping female artists.
“There’s an underlying strive for female artists to live up to a real unhealthy ideal and I think it’s my responsibility to do what I can to change that.”
Now here is the trailer:
If you don’t want to watch it, let me summarize it for you. Pretty little popstar is all dressed in white, then the pretty little popstar does something Bad (gets too sexual, or Questions Authority) and the masses betray the pretty little popstar, opting to burn her at the stake for her heresy.
But, like St. Lucy, she does not burn. Instead, she dances, or something. So what does this mean? Well, it looks like the usual Religion is So Bad, It’s Killing Everything Good or some such nonsense, despite what the quote above says.
I wanted to talk about the fact that a great deal of people in the West worship these popstars. It’s not just women, by the way. Justin Bieber fans are totally crazy. Back in the ’00s, the Nick Carter and Justin Timberlake fangirls were just as crazy. These days, the vast majority of popstars – and actors – are idols worshipped by the masses. Despite the almost certain anti-Christian message, I think Jonna Lee has a point about the idolization of singers and the unrealistic expectations put on them and other public figures.
The Unhealthy Ideal
We’ve heard this before. Actresses and female singers are too thin, Photoshopped to within an inch of their lives and are expected to look their best at all times. When they aren’t, they’re mocked. To be honest, the same applies to men, but not as much. I’ve seen pictures of a portly Jack Nicholson and the late Ted “Vast Teddy” Kennedy. I recently saw pictures of French actor Gerard Depardieu – man, he’s huge. People mocked Val Kilmer’s weight gain too.
Women aren’t the only ones expected to look “perfect” – men get shit on too. But feminists only ever complain about what it does to women. It is true that society expects the absolute best of our public figures, and that it often drives these people crazy trying to live up to that ideal.
On the other hand, glorifying obesity is not the answer. Not at all, and I’m getting sick and tired of this “body positivity” campaign because it amounts to nothing more than the glorification and acceptance of obesity, which is very unhealthy and, well, gross.
We need to find a healthy medium, and singers like Jonna Lee are rarely brave enough to say, “well, we shouldn’t kill ourselves trying to look like tall supermodels, but being healthy is the most important thing, and obesity is not healthy.”
But the ideal she is speaking of might not have to do with weight at all. It might have to do with the singer’s image as it pertains to morality and stuff. I am a few months younger than Britney Spears, so I kind of grew up with her. I wasn’t a fan – instead, I was a “hater” – I couldn’t stand the girl because she had a terrible singing voice, was a skank and was absolutely everywhere. If she hadn’t been so overexposed, I might not have felt as strongly as I did.
I bring her up because her image was very controversial, especially in 1999 and 2000, right around when her debut single “Baby One More Time” got big. She acted like a good Southern girl in interviews, and yet did that supposedly sexy video for “Baby One More Time” (I didn’t see the sex appeal; her schoolgirl outfit looked like a reject from Clueless, complete with the dated thigh-high stockings). Reporters actually asked her if she had lost her virginity. They asked her if she gave it up to Justin Timberlake (who, at the time, was a member of the other big boy band of the era, ‘NSYNC). Then there was the endless speculation as to whether or not she got breast implants.
Britney Spears slowly got more sexualized with each album release, culminating in the infamous kiss she did at the 2003 VMAs. Her fans would whine and cry about how us “haters” were so judgmental, calling her a skank and whatnot. By the way, she had one particularly heinous fan that I’ll get into later on.
People either saw her as the ultimate sex symbol or the nastiest skank to have ever lived. At the time, it seemed as if there was no middle ground. Then the meltdown happened and her career started to fade away, and now she’s lipsyncing a big Las Vegas extravaganza. Yes, she’s not even forty years old and she’s already doing a Vegas residency, and to top it all off, she’s not actually singing at those concerts.
But she seems to be doing okay, given all that’s happened, and I feel a little bad for her, because those years she spent at the top of the music industry could not have been easy. First, everyone’s all “omg ur so hot britney” and then, as soon as she gains a little weight, “omg britney ur so fat, lol” – it must have been crazy, and that’s putting it mildly.
So there is that, although I do not think that these days, female singers are exorciated in the media for being too sexy. Even back in 2000 it wasn’t like that for most singers, except for Britney. Christina Aguilera would often try way too hard to generate the kind of controversy Britney generated, but instead came across as a demented skank, which is too bad because she’s got an amazing voice.
If you’ve read anything else I’ve written, you know that I’m personally pretty conservative. I don’t sleep around, I don’t do one night stands, and I don’t wear skimpy clothes. I barely talk about anything with anyone, and I certainly wouldn’t discuss anything sexual with total strangers.
Feminists are still under the impression that they’ll be persecuted for wearing a short skirt in public. They constantly whine about how they aren’t allowed to be sexual. I don’t know what world they’re living in, because most Christians don’t care if Katy Perry goes topless in a music video. They don’t care if Rihanna gives virtual blow jobs at her concerts. They don’t care if Miley Cyrus makes out with girls in her videos. They just don’t give a damn anymore. There’s no Moral Majority hanging around with pitchforks and torches, ready to freak out over Madonna’s (dusty and wrinkled) nipple.
But feminists are predictable, and of course, I bet that this is the message ionnalee will impart on her audience – that we prudish Christians are making life hard for female singers, expecting them to not be sluts or something. Cue eyeroll.
These People Are Not Gods
However, she does make mention of how people worship these female singers, and if you are at all familiar with iamamiwhoami’s work, you won’t be surprised at this. Jonna Lee has what I consider a slightly contentious relationship with her fans. The audiovisual film KIN and BLUE were all about the expectations people have for musicians and the incredible and inspiring feedback the musician gets from their fans, respectively. The audiovisual film BOUNTY seems to have used the mandragora myth to depict how the music industry uses female musicians, so she isn’t really saying anything new with this.
I can understand her frustration with the kind of fans that post on their YouTube channel or in the comments section for individual videos, insisting that they release more content. I don’t think the iamamiwhoami fans are that demanding, though. On the other hand, some of these fans are a little overzealous. Dare to criticize any part of the project, and they freak out. Well, in the case of iamamiwhoami, not very many people lose their shit over disagreements, but there’s other fandoms that are just one french fry short of a happy meal. Seriously.
Back when I was a Britney Spears “hater” there was this one girl, also named Britney, that posted at a message board I also posted at. The board was dedicated to talking shit about popstars we hated. I can’t even remember the name of the board. This girl made the huge mistake of posting on a Britney fan board, telling the fans that Britney can’t sing and whatnot. They, understandably, took issue with that. I mean, come on. I’m not interested in reading whole threads about how much someone hates my favorite musician, but from what I remember she wasn’t even that bad about it. I don’t know, the situation just escalated.
What happened next absolutely enraged me, and still does to this very day. One of the Britney fanboys started stalking the girl. Found out that she had been raped, found her pictures, discovered her real name and started making crude parodies of Britney album covers, mocking the fact that this girl had been raped. They gave her a stage name, referring to something she wore in one of her pictures. I won’t even bother listing the stage name. I don’t want to subject this girl to further harassment, because it is still ongoing.
It’s been over a decade and this person is still stalking her, all because she dared to criticize Britney Spears on their turf. Normal people would just report the so-called “hater” to the board admins and get their account banned and MOVE ON, but no, not these people. Talk about worshipping a popsinger. This is beyond worship, this is flat-out fanaticism. After all, the word “fan” is short for “fanatic” and some of these fanboys and fangirls meet the definition for fanatic.
But Britney is far from the only singer to have demented, insane fans. Lady GaGa has crazy fans too, some of which seem to worship her entirely unironically. A few years ago, right around the release of Born This Way, she did some sort of collaboration with Office Depot in support of her charity, the Born This Way Foundation. It was, ostensibly, to fight bullying. That’s when the worship reached a fever pitch. People were saying that GaGa’s music saved their lives, and that she was their savior. They said she was just as much of a hero as a fireman or a veteran, all because she ripped off Madonna’s “Express Yourself” to make her own hackneyed gay rights anthem.
Lady GaGa fans and Madonna fans regularly fight one another over which one is better, and over which one is the biggest rip off artist.
Beyonce fans are the craziest at the moment. They call themselves the Beyhive, and they attack anyone that dares to criticize their idol. They attacked Kid Rock, they attacked Rachel Roy and Racheal Ray after mistaking the latter for the former, they attacked Kim Kardashian and they attacked some random reporter. Just do a search on your favorite search engine for Beyonce fans attacking people.
Some of these fandoms have names too, like the aforementioned Beyhive for Beyonce fans, Little Monsters for Lady GaGa, Beliebers for Justin Bieber, Barbies for Nicki Minaj, etc. I think Deadheads for the Grateful Dead were the originals, and they weren’t a pack of nutjobs ruining people’s lifes for daring to criticize their idol.
That’s the problem right there. What do you care if someone doesn’t like your favorite musician? So the fuck what? If iamamiwhoami’s music isn’t to your taste, that’s fine! It’s no skin off my back. Maybe it’s because I’m a grown woman. After all, when I was in junior high, I lost it whenever someone criticized Sailor Moon, my favorite anime. Now? I don’t really care if someone thinks Sailor Moon sucks. My cousin laughed at Sailor Moon when he saw it for the first time, and I realized that yeah, it can be kind of goofy at times, but it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of it.
I am not buying the notion that these are all a bunch of kids. Some of them might very well be kids, but most of them are probably college age and older. Either way, these people need to grow the hell up. These singers don’t even know you’re alive. They don’t know you, and you don’t know them. They don’t need to you defend them. They will survive if someone criticizes them, trust me.
Vote Hillary Because Katy Perry Says So!
Popstars getting political pisses me off so much. I’ve already touched on this here, so I won’t say much more about this.
I think Democrats worship their politicians. I really do. Witness the past couple of months, or rather, the aftermath of the 2016 election. Of course, the primary reason for the Democrat devastation is that they thought they were gonna make history again, but Destiny was thwarted. Hillary would not be the First Female President.
Look at it this way – to liberals their Democratic candidate is God. The Republican candidate is always Satan. It’s as if Satan actually won, and that the Bible is a book full of lies. Wouldn’t you be devastated? I would be. Of course, that does not excuse their ridiculous “protests” (more like mob violence) and the demented things they’ve said. But their god has failed them. Of course they’re upset, and they have only themselves to blame.
Why they even respect the Democrats is beyond me. They’re all just as rich as the nebulous Wall Street Billionaires they’re bitching about all the time. Their lifestyles are just as decadent, and in some cases probably more so. Some of them, like the odious Harry Reid, are at least borderline racist, if not outright racist. And some of them are hopelessly stupid (like that guy who thought that too many troops on Guam would make the whole island tip over).
But, as Ann Coulter says, abortion is their sacrament, and they love them some free shit, so a Democrat can be a decadent rich piece of shit and still get craploads of votes.
So what will be the message of Samaritan?
That’s the name of the first single from ionnalee, by the way. It’ll probably be some bullshit feminist subversion of the story of St. Lucy, Christians will be demonized and I will be bitterly disappointed becuase I really liked this group, even though I know they’re extreme leftists.
This is long enough, so I will say this in closing: I am grateful that both she and I have the right to express ourselves. I wish she’d be more concerned about what’s happening in her own home country, with girls and women like her being terrified to leave their homes for fear of being raped by migrants. But I am glad that no Christian will want to throw acid in her face for criticizing Christianity. Nothing bad will happen to her, and nothing bad will happen to me (I hope) and to be honest, that’s what free speech is all about. Give and take. Speak and someone responds.