I go on and on about how there aren't enough girls in punk, about all the things we do to marginalize and intimidate them, but after talking to my cousins from the country on Christmas day about how many women actually live in their town, I figure I should refocus for just a second. Apparently there is but one female to every five males in Woomelang. My cousin James tells me of nights when the local pub - there's only one - is entirely populated by men. Not a girl in sight, he said, with an air of resignation. In the interests of festive-season harmony I refrained from linking the declining female population with the casual sexism on display at the local, but there's probably more to it than that. And their problems are probably our problems too. We punks like to think that the issues facing our community are unique, but that's more a product of our elitism than anything else. Our world has a lot in common with James' - it's just that in his, it's totally awesome to bleach random bits of your hair. Especially your fashion mullet.
Anyways. Back to music for a second. Listening to Johnny Cash's version of 'I See A Darkness' makes me begin to appreciate the frailty and the fragility of the original. Johnny Cash may be the master of moral ambiguity, but the strength and timbre that he brings to songs means that he's unlikely to be overcome by forces beyond his control. Bonnie Prince Billy, however, seems to be wavering, weak, in need of salvation. The album 'I See A Darkness' is a flawed album, in need of a decent edit, but the title song is damn near perfection.
For about a month leading up to Christmas Tara had been playing this one cd on high rotation. It's only occasionally that something she's listening to on her computer sinks into my brain, and she needs to play it about a billion times before I take notice. But when my sister called up a fortnight ago, looking for a suitable present in Missing Link and totally lost, it was the first record to spring to mind. I listened to it all Christmas day, and am still listening to it today. My late nominee for record of the year, therefore, is the new I Heart Hiroshima. Cynics be damned. It's fucking brilliant. If they don't come down and play some shows with the Diamond Sea sometime soon I swear I will crack the sooks and throw a temper tantrum on the footpath outside Forepaw. Hold me to it now.