Friday, April 18, 2008

Youtube Favorite Friday: Buffy

The Saint-Marie, not the slayer.
This video hasn't been working for me. If it doesn't work for you either, let me know and another song of hers up. If it does work for you, lucky, you get to enjoy the voice of Buffy Saint-Marie.

I first found her when Kimya Dawson posted the same video in her livejournal. She went on to talk about how inspiring and strong Buffy is, how brave, and gives Wal-Mart a great big fuck you. I really enjoyed the latter part at the time, but for whatever reason didn't pay the former so much mind.
Then I started writing an article for the Women's Center newsletter (I'll post it when it goes online) about progressive female artists, and I put Buffy on my list of people to check out, because I certainly trust Kimya's tastes. I ended up listening to Buffy Saint-Marie constantly for a solid week. She's amazing.

At the same time, a lot of things corresponded- my housemate went to a conference about women in politics, and the last speaker talked about how women often don't get politically involved because they don't think they understand every facet of the issue(s), but men don't have that same political inhibition. And in an essay class, we had to write about an experience with an animal, and I wrote about an injured pigeon that some kids were tormenting in kindergarten, and the essay ended up being about how baffling cruelty and a lack of sympathy has always been to me, and how powerless I feel every time I think about the fact that I'm in a country whose government condones torture. Then the Yoo memos were released. And none of my friends knew about it, and the TV didn't talk about it, and at this point everyone is watching Obama and Clinton and thanking their lucky stars that there's less than a year left of Bush, but there's still torture and we should still be talking about it. Fuck, we should be yelling in the streets about it! And I spent my days at work reading and writing about Buffy Saint-Marie and Billie Holiday and Patti Smith and Sweet Honey in the Rock and Ani DiFranco, and I one day I finished the piece on Buffy, and I went home, and I wrote my first protest song.

I ended up going back to that livejournal entry of Kimya's because, of course, I wrote about her, too, and wanted to work in some quotes displaying her feminist and anti-corporate sensibilities. So I read it again, I read this again: "All the strong women, who helped make me who I am, are on my mind. Maybe because of all the messages I have gotten from those of you who have said that I have changed or empowered you. Let's keep it going."
Kimya Dawson is the whole reason I picked up a guitar for the first time in eight years, and why I started teaching myself and writing songs. When I read those words, it just felt like magic, like the universe made sense for just a few minutes. It felt powerful.
Maybe that's all incomprehensible to you. It might be beyond words.
I guess, all I can say is, thank you, brave women. Thank you, Kimya. Thank you, Buffy.

More Buffy
More Kimya
More Me (including the protest song, "Inexcusable", uploaded for the occasion- it has some mistakes because it's new and quite fast, making it hard to play over and over. Be forgiving.)

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