I live in a happy little bubble. I like what I like, do the things I do, harm none, try to love all. When I like something, I REALLY like it. Ride or die with the things that I like. These things become a part of my overall makeup. “There’s Kimli”, they say. “She likes Diet Coke and Transformers.” They are not wrong.
So when I hear about something I really, really like – say, a musician or two – being problematic as fuck with accusations and admissions of misogyny, abuse, gaslighting, cheating, assault .. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to process these feelings.
I’ve never been one to fan girl or get excessively excited about art. Actors, musicians, celebrities, artists, writers – they’re all just people. I might like someone’s work or feel affinity for a character, but the creator of that work is a human being, just like me. I know several people who go all in on their fandom to a degree I find really unsettling, and have always tried to not do that – one because it’s really weird, and two see above re: just human. Yes they have a talent I don’t have and or do something that satisfies a part of me or are just plain fun to look at, but the person is just a person.
No matter how hard I try to be cool about the shit that I like, sometimes it spills over. There’s a musician that I really, really like. You probably know who I’m talking about. Their music and live shows have been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years. I follow everything this person does, travel internationally to go to shows when I can, and just generally love the fuck out of this person, like I would a really good friend. Being able to swing by the merch table and say hi and be greeted with a warm hello or hug was just .. satisfying. It made me happy.
This weekend, a whole lot of artists from a particular scene were denounced on Twitter for horrible behaviour. Disgusting things that turn my stomach and make me want to cry for their victims, the multiple women this guy and another musician he works closely with, that has become the second most-listened-to artist on my Spotify account, that I’ve traveled internationally to see perform, have badly hurt. I am so, so disappointed. I’ve actually thought in the past “man, I’m so glad my favourite artists don’t have any #metoo accusations”. I don’t know how to process these feelings I have over a situation that really has nothing to do with me .. but I hurt, not only for my happy memories that are now tainted, but for the people left in the wake of their behaviour.
Normally when things get all up in my head and I need to muddle through stuff, I listen to music to try and lose myself and come out clean on the other side. A good idea in theory, but well over half of my favourite playlists are of these two artists, with one being part of 3 other groups that I listen to a lot, and is otherwise connected to most of my favourite music. There’s no escape to be found there. Right now, it just makes for more pain.
How do you process something like this? I’ve been low-key in love with a predator for years and I feel so gross. It’s not a matter of separating the art from the artist – there are some things you just can’t sweep under the rug or excuse away because your comfortable routines might be shaken up. There’s no “getting over it” – I need to actually process this, and I don’t even know where to begin.
wish i could trust that it was just this once
but i must do what i must
i can’t adjust to this disgust
we’re done and
i just wish i could stay
wish i could stay