Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dirty Girls

I figured I'd share this on here, and maybe talk about some thoughts I had in regards to it. It's a short film documentary about a group of girls who were outcasts in their school just for not following the trends and actually bothering to be themselves.

From the description, "Shot in 1996 and edited in 2000, this is a short documentary about a group of 13-year-old riot grrrls in Los Angeles who were socially ostracized at their school by their peers and upperclassmen. Everyone in the schoolyard held strong opinions about these so-called "dirty girls," and meanwhile the "dirty girls" themselves aimed to get their message across by distributing their zine across campus. Directed by Michael Lucid. Music: "Batmobile" by Liz Phair."

It starts off with people talking about how horrible and disgusting they think these girls are for not following standard protocol for how one is supposed to dress and act, and then the girls start talking about what they are really doing and what they think about things, and luckily they do have some support from people who get them. Then they go on to talk about their feminist ideals and show their zine, Sour Grrrl, with a lot of people talking about how stupid they think it is.

This clip was relatable to me because, while I don't think I really was an outcast in the physical sense with people treating me that way, I always felt like an outcast based on what other people would say, which basically was everything the people who didn't like these girls were saying, and I basically have always thought like the dirty girls do and agree with what they have to say. When first starting to watch it, I wanted to slap all those jerks who acted like they were so disgusting, as if you have to be totally preppy and popular and dress "nice" and shower all the time, and I was worried the documentary would be in favor of these people and basically about how horrible these girls are, but then I love it when the girls themselves said what they had to say and the girls who weren't part of their group  but liked them and "didn't give a shit" said what they had to say as well. Then I could see it was basically just capturing everyone's reaction to them and actually supporting them, as they were unfairly alienated just for being different.

I also didn't like how everyone acted like all they were doing is rebelling, or wanted attention, because they were doing no such thing, and I myself hate it when people do that. They were honestly just being themselves and sticking to their values and integrity in a world where you are assumed to dress properly and whatnot. I hate it when people confuse being yourself with rebellion, as if there's some set standard and anyone different from that MUST be rebelling as if you can't just honestly be different, because it has that false sense of "Everyone is this way, it's written in stone that everyone always happens to be this way, if you're not then you are purposely defying your true nature just to get attention." The truth is that everyone is different (well obviously you can't be totally and completely different from everybody) but there is no thing where people just are a certain way, and anyone else must be rebelling against that. We come in all sorts of everything. Some people like this, some people like that, some people like the other, some people like none of it, some people like all, some people like a mix etc. etc. and while I do hate it when people do purposefully rebel, try to act "cool" or "different" or "tough", since rebellion is just as conformist as conformity as they are two sides to the same coin, it becomes clear that these girls are not doing that and they honestly just want to be themselves. Heck, I didn't think there was anything wrong with their clothes, and I shared their ideals, and it's not everyone likes to shower all the time anyway (though one thing was that they were falsely being labelled as dirty and smelly when they did shower, just because it became a stereotype, and people kept assuming things and judging them without even knowing them, just based on hearing the rumors of what they were like) so it's not so hard to realize that these girls could actually just be like that. They're pretty much your standard grunge/riot grrrl.

So I would like to ask people to please not confuse being yourself with rebellion. Rebellion is reactionary just like conformity. You are playing by the opposite of someone else's rules,  and not your own. You have to be rebelling AGAINST something, which proves if you just happened to be that way and weren't even paying attention to other people's standards, you aren't rebelling. The only reason individuality gets confused for rebellion is because people who happen to conform easily only can see it from their view, like I've said before, they think everything they subscribe to is just how it's supposed to be and anyone who happens to be different isn't really different but TRYING to be different as if there's a set definition for all humanity, and some of them were probably brainwashed themselves into the "you have to do what's popular" type of culture, which actually makes them hypocritical because they are claiming that it's bad for people to act different when they themselves are acting different from their true selves by conforming to what is currently trendy or what other people say the should be, and it's always going to be better to be yourself anyway. It also reminds me of how realists get pegged as cynics by optimists because they are looking at it from their view and ironically only can see the bad things out of people talking about the good and bad, so since they have to have everything happy and good all the time, anyone saying anything remotely disturbing or sad to them MUST only be thinking of bad things in life (which is actually said by someone in the clip). Just because you are talking about something that may not be considered sunshine and roses doesn't even mean that you consider what you are talking about really bad in the first place, and it doesn't mean that all you think of is bad things, or that you are depressed, or cynical, or trying to be different. It's better to not have the wool over your eyes anyway. I also always noticed this with the characters Darlene from Roseanne, and Daria from Daria. Everyone in the shows acted like they were so depressed and dark, total "misery chicks", yet I never once saw them that way. Though with Daria they did hint at how silly that was (seriously, watch that show if you haven't, and the episode Misery Chick really explains it.)

Another thing I noticed about this video was that it was shot in spring of 1996, and these girls basically are your standard grunge/alternative/riot grrrls, and grunge was huge at the time, yet they were totally ostracized and everyone acted like they were trying to be different. I would expect that everyone at that school would be the same as them, since that was the big thing then, but I have a feeling it was more of a preppy/rich school, especially since everyone else acted like preps. Perhaps if they had gone to another school they would have fitted in better. Oh and I'm a riot grrrl myself, so I also liked their feminist views and thought the zine was cool, and I LOVE the song that is playing during the whole thing. Batmobile by Liz Phair. I'm going to have to check out more of her stuff.


  1. I was surfing the net and I came across your cool blog. I wanted to share 11 bands I think people will dig if they give them a chance.

    1. God Damn-
    I'm a Lazer, You're a Radar

    These guys are from the Black Country where Black Sabbath was birthed they play it loud while mixing up all sorts of styles.

    2. Blacklisters-

    They're from Leeds and they sound like if Shellac and The Jesus Lizard decided to kill each other.

    3. Pulled Apart By Horses-
    Back To The F'ck Yeah

    From Leeds again and very fast and loud also the video reminds of the evil dead movie circa the original one.

    4. Hawk Eyes-
    I Hate This Do You Like It

    Another Leeds band, so these guys are like the Melvins except with lots more thrash also this video has zombies.

    5. Lafaro-

    They're from Ireland and they take their name from legendary jazz bass player Scott Lafaro also as for their sound its like if Nirvana meets Queens Of The Stone Age but in a good way.

    6. Exit International-
    Glory Horn

    These gents are from Cardiff and their sound is like if the blood brothers and girls against boys had a jam session while Nick Oliveri was fronting all the chaos plus they only use two bass guitars and a drum set all turned up for good measure to compensate for lack of a regular guitar.

    7. Dead Sons-Shotgun Woman

    Last euro band I swear. So these guys are from Sheffield and their sound is like a hybrid of the Artic Monkies, Queens Of The Stone Age, and The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster.

    8. Absolute Monarchs-
    Killing The Old

    This band is straight from the bowels of Seattle as for the music its more punk than grunge also there is some pixies methodology going on in the way that pixies would let their instruments explode on their much faster work and their is alot of angular interplay with the dual guitars much like Fugazi.

    9. Pile-
    Came As A Glow

    These Boston Rockers are an amalgum. There is a lot of Nirvana and Pixies going on and they twist and contort their song stuctures like Fugazi all filtered through the blues.

    10. Slothrust-
    The Couch Incident

    Originally from Boston but now located in Brooklyn and presently this band is my favorite female fronted group. Their sound is very bluesy and jazzy also Mudhoney and Nirvana are good reference points

    11. Senium
    In Depth

    This band hails from Orange County NJ and its grunge through and through with all the necessary abrasion and feedback also Steve Albini recorded this and it so reminds me of In Utero.

    Grunge is definitely not dead and rock n' roll in general, yeah rock n' roll is immortal. Peace Out

  2. That clip was great! (your entire blog is great anyway, I feel the exact same way about bringing back the grunge) I could totally relate to it, since I was always one of the freaky outsider kids in high school. That Amber girl had the right attitude, just tell everybody to go fuck themselves, and laugh at them, because they don't have the guts to appreciate diversity.
    Grtz, Cleo

    If you'd like to see, this is my blog: Illustrious Despair

  3. Thanks Juan! I've only heard of 2 of those bands so I'll definitely have to check the rest out.

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  5. Wow. Well, in the beginning I had the same wish like you, slapping them all for their dumb and trivial comments on these girls.



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