The Song Project: Arcade Fire – We Exist

Time for song number two of The Song Project. You can’t imagine how surprised I was when this song showed up on the radio. I dropped my ice cream on the floor. Yes, seriously (though maybe that’s due to me hitting my head against the door because I was staring at the TV). I had watched the video the day before on YouTube and I didn’t think that the music video program would dare show something like that.

The video stars Andrew Garfield, actor who played Spiderman in the movie, meaning I usually entertain myself thinking that Spiderman might be trans.

I’ve seen the video at least ten times and tears still come to my eyes when she passes through the door into the concert. “You’ve made it!” I think, “this is your moment to shine!”. Seeing her face of uncertainty and disbelief, having her get back on her feet after everything she’s been through, knowing she’s going to be ok. Knowing that I am going to be ok too. I stare at the screen and smile every time she stretches out her hands to the audience and their cheers become louder. This video gives me incredible amounts of hope and happiness, I genuinely love it.

I heard somewhere that the actor was playing the role of a non-binary person instead of a trans woman, which is what everyone else seems to understand. With Conchita Wurst being non-binary (the winner of Eurovision, for those who aren’t aware of her existence) and now this character, we’re getting quite a lot of visibility these days. But for some reason most people aren’t prepared to understand the concept of gender outside the binary and cover these examples up with a cross-dressing, binary trans or even a homosexual experience.

I could say that they should’ve found an actual trans actress to play that role, instead of Spiderman. I could say that it would be better if they didn’t make a big deal out of the identity of the protagonist and have her return safely home, instead of the typical “they beat up the trans” setting. I could say that the singers could educate themselves more on the subject so that they don’t say that “the kid is gay” again (though she might be, the video states nothing about her sexual orientation). I could tell them that not every trans story has a happy ending. But I won’t say any of this.

It is the first time a trans character has appeared so explicitly on TV in Spain, so I’m going to give them a tiny bit of credit for it instead of being mean.

(If you wish to recommend a song for me to talk about, you can say so in a comment below. I’ve been told many times that my taste in music isn’t admirable, and I wouldn’t want to review songs people don’t like.)

The Song Project: Lady Gaga – G.U.Y.

(I’m guessing you know the nature of Lady Gaga’s music videos, so I don’t recommend you watch this in front of little kids.)

I used to have mixed feelings about Lady Gaga. She is very sexual so I didn’t really feel comfortable with her songs or videos. She is also a gay icon, meaning that her songs are directed towards a male homosexual audience, which I didn’t belong to even though I am LGBTQ+. But these feelings changed once I heard her say “don’t be a drag, just be a queen”, which captivated greatly my attention. That’s why I decided I’d start off The Song Project with one of her songs.

The initials G.U.Y. from the song stand for “Girl Under You”, which give it a masculine and feminine version of the song at the same time.

I think this video is important so people can see that being a top/bottom is independent to being submissive/dominant and you can therefore have whichever combination you wish. Lady Gaga isn’t submissive; she knows what she wants and she will get it. She is, however, a bottom. Her subjects of desire are at her mercy and do what she asks for. She also gives the message that being underneath isn’t something you should feel guilty about. It isn’t something that takes away your pride or power; it doesn’t have to be humiliating, like many think. And that females can be dominant too.

I like to believe it’s some sort of anthem for the BDSM community since it includes many kinky tendencies (“I know you’ll wear my make-up well” / “I’m going to own you”), but always showing the importance of consent and knowing that you can stop any time if you don’t feel comfortable (“Please retreat” / “I want the power to leave you”). It’s also ok to switch positions or change roles (“I’ll lay face up this time”).

She also has her harem of sexy males, as always, so you could see some sort of polyamory there if you wish.

In her video she includes both men and women (maybe even non-binaries, that can’t be spotted with the bare eye) from different skin colours (though she could add a few more darker skinned people), and I also like how she mentioned the Greek God Hemeros, which sparked my interest for mythology again.

The one thing I didn’t like about this song is the verse “I’m in charge like a G.U.Y.”, which may seem as if the male –or the person playing a masculine role in a relationship- is the one who has to be in charge.

It always surprises me how Lady Gaga manages to get rid of more and more clothes in each video and we still haven’t seen her fully naked.

Now that I’ve mentioned BDSM, just to note that “50 Shades of Grey” will soon have a movie, which is coming out sometime soon enough. The trailer’s out anyway. I don’t like it. “50 Shades of Grey” is not an example of BDSM, which is a community that puts consent, safety and trust as priorities in, especially this kind of, relationships. A sadist from the community won’t torture or humiliate someone that doesn’t want to be tortured or humiliated by them, unlike popular belief. This movie and its books are covering up something that’s assault and rape with the excuse of ‘love’ and romance, as well as trying to make us believe that it’s all fine because, you know, that’s what sado-masochism is clearly about.

The Song Project

My sister asked me the other day what I feel when I listen to music. She was referring to the amount of allosexuality represented in pretty much every song and themes that I as an asexual can’t really identify with. The best answer I could come up with was “Pse, nothing. What is there to identify with?” so I apologize to her for such an un-thoughtful and vague answer to a question she had probably been thinking about for a while (she reads my blog sometimes, so I’m guessing she’ll read this?).

I do identify with some songs. I usually try to squeeze out the romanticism and sexuality of many so that I can relate to them, which is actually kind of interesting and fun, but sometimes very difficult. If not, many songs that are supposed to be romantic don’t really have to be about a partner; they can be about a friend, a family member or anyone you happen to be fond of.

Anyway, in honour to that question I came up with an idea. I clearly have feelings when I listen to music, whether I like or identify with the song or not. Moreover, I constantly criticise songs that appear on the radio. I don’t know whether this is good or bad, but I do it all the time; every single song that I hear or every video that I see, I feel an imperative need to say “Well, I think this could change” or “I don’t agree with this” or “I do/don’t like the message of this song”. So every now and then I’ll be publishing a post about a song that I have strong feelings about, whether they be positive or negative feelings. I hope you all enjoy it!