blog-2013.04.29

why real celebrities probably go postal. with special guest, cliff.

hola comrades.

it’s been a hard week – but i wouldn’t trade my life for anything.

i’m currently blogging from a cafe near seattle.

i’m sitting next to cliff, a marine veteran. i asked him what kind of veteran, because i saw his baseball cap.
we’ve been chatting for the last hour. he’s now watching the TED talk on his computer.

man.

i dunno.

this whole place is crazy. but it’s beautiful.

some website posted a list of the seven things i’ve done to piss people off.
then new york magazine wrote an article called “the amanda palmer problem” (which actually had some great points about how the internet makes things weird).
but then i had a nice email exchange with one of the boston journalists who slammed me. we agreed that discussing things over beer would be worthwhile.

i like being able to talk to people.

i like talking to the intelligent ones….the ones who talk but also listen.

i don’t so much like “talking” to the crazy ones….the ones who tell me over and over that i should have a bomb shoved up my vagina.

it’s just not as much fun.

……………………….

often, when some sort of event like this poem kerfuffle happens, i find myself wishing that i could turn away from the impossible-to-react-to internet and actually BE with the people i’m talking with.

on “real” tour, it’s almost worse. i experienced this when dealing with the musician kerfuffle this past fall.
my internet audience and my blog commenters and my twitter followers are not exactly the same people who are standing in a line outside the rock venue, waiting to come inside to see the show.
or were they? i never knew, really.

i remember really painful days when i was getting slammed with criticism and simultaneously heavily defended, all online….and i’d be blogging and responding and dealing up until the thirty minutes before hitting stage, and then looking out a thousand faces thinking: “who are you?” i wished i knew. my job was to get up there and play music, and connect with the band.

but i don’t turn off and on so fast.

do me a favor the next time you’re at a concert of mine.

remember that the person up on the stage is the same one who is typing right now.

we’re not different people.

i think this is part of why real celebrities go fucking postal.

the ability to juggle multitudes within yourself is its own art.
every human has to do it.
celebrity or not, our human brains start to break when there are either too many multitudes to juggle, or the balls are too heavy to catch.
then add a giant audience watching you as you try to keep it going….and you get the recipe for breakdown.

sometimes i would get to the end of a show and feel totally happy and healed and more connected than when i started.
sometimes i would feel more lonely.

this past week, i got my actual wish.

in a stroke of miraculous fate, i was scheduled to deliver three kickstarer house parties this past week.
they were all different, but they were all medicine for what was ailing me.

remember my TED talk, where i talk about staying in that house in miami, and wondering if it was FAIR?

i found myself sitting in a lava-lamp-lit basement room in portland oregon – petting a dog. and drinking. and playing games. and crying. and singing songs. and joking. and talking about life and politics and fear with fifty people who felt like friends…i felt like i was being taken CARE of by these people, even though i was the one wielding the ukulele.

i found myself sitting on a green field outside a winery, petting another dog, watching a girl in a white wedding dress getting drawn on by a bunch of people while we toasted marshmallows and watched.

i found myself in a secret church, listening to people singing and playing piano, and inviting my friend up on stage to stamp along with me.

i found myself sitting on a couch, being given a pair of hand-knit mittens and actually having the time, unlike in a signing line, to actually hold on for a long time while the giver of the mittens cried and cried into my neck.

i found myself relieved to finally be with these people, the sort of relief i often feel when a show is over….but the show was just beginning.

i found myself talking with people about how i was actually feeling and how they were feeling.

and i found myself thinking…is this FAIR? i’m getting PAID for this?

and then i reminded myself….right….yes, it is fair. this is THIS.

sometimes i need to take my own advice.

…………………………………………………………….

my inbox has been full of emails from my friends, lending their voices and opinions to the weirdness going on.

i’ve been through so many weird controversies, and they take a certain kind of temperature. who’s there? hi.

some links that have come my way that i wanted to SHARE, because this is a good time to share them:

• our friend nick flynn wrote a poem about the bombing. he reads it HERE.

• steve bogart, my long-time theater comrade and director, send me this with the note “you are not alone”:
How Far Does a Mother’s Sympathy Reach? Further Than I Thought” by Tiziana Dearing

• @CroWrath sent me this on twitter:
Using Poetry to Introduce Empathy into Your Child’s Life” by Toni Nagy (via PBS)

………………………………..

but nothing is better than sitting next to a stranger and talking.

i sat next to Cliff the Veteran yesterday, now.

i started drawing (i’ve been doing these drawings for the people who ordered them as kickstarter backers). there are only a handful and i’d earmarked this month
to finally do them and post them to the people who have been waiting for them. i asked the backers to send me photos that they wanted me to draw.

this was today’s:

this is jennifer. cliff asked what i was doing, from the table next to me, and we started talking.

he told me that he was part of a group called Veterans for Peace. we shared stories.
i told him i was from boston and he nodded and and he handed me a piece of paper.

this is the paper:

i read it.

and when i got to

“…somehow the deep compassion and anger felt in the US when it is attacked never translates to understanding the effects of our own aggression against others.”

i looked at this guy, my jaw sort of on the floor.

how did he wind up sitting next to me in a cafe outside seattle?

i don’t know, but i wasn’t going to argue.
as i was putting this blog together, he was learning how to use twitter.

me and Cliff the Veteran have kind of made friends.

…………………………………………

i don’t need everyone to agree with me, and i don’t need everyone to understand me.

but i do know one thing i need.

i need to be around real people.

let me qualify that: i need to be around real, peaceful people.

the internet is not enough.

so….may we meet each other soon.

and may the schwartz be with you.

i fucking love you all, internet/real people.


monica, who put together the portland house party, wrote an amazing blog about it here.

this is solveig (@shadesofsolveig), singing at the secret church party:

me on the secret church piano:

and later….me and brooke, her piano player, jamming out:

in portland….(photos via Monica Sellers):


all of use playing “werewolf”. i admit, it was my idea. i needed it:

in between:

whidbey island party birthday cake (the next few photos by Rick Levine):

zoe and her mom, who runs the winery with zoe’s amazing dad:

this is me and and zoe and zoe’s mum and dad:

and some general show-time fun:

joined by my song-mate jason webley…

more me and jason (photo by lily)…

and jason sharing a new song….

TARDIS PANTS????????????

yeah.

yes.

food everywhere (photo by me):

dog-tail. drink. tree. plate. (photo by michelle):

PIA.NO. (photo by Tom Steiger):

campfire, wedding dress art (photo by me):

and cherry on the cake…
on my drive between portland and seattle, i ran into kimya dawson (well, we found each other on twitter, THEN ran into each other).
this is us with her little girl, panda.

if you don’t know kimya’s music…i highly highly recommend it.
her new record “thunder thighs” is pretty awesome and may make you cry. you can find it HERE on CD/vinyl/MP3 (and it’s also on iTunes).

speaking of music, i bought some old used CDs to accompany me on my long drives.

i dug out “wish” by the cure, which i feel i’ve never given enough of a chance, since i felt, at the time it came out, that it didn’t TOUCH “disintegration”.

i appreciated it more in retrospect.
robert smith has a fucking way with lyrics.

i also decided for the third time since trying, that i just cannot get into madonna’s “bedroom stories” no matter how many times people tell me they love it.

and i finally listened for the first time in life to the entirety of U2’s “achtung baby”.

if i go on enough house party drives, i can get all the way up to 1996 by the time i die.

xxx
a

p.s. back to cliff, from the beginning of the blog. here we are, yesterday afternoon. i’d just given him a twitter lesson:

and here’s his note up close (click to enlarge):

“what is this world coming to when the postal letter is less common and we tweet each other over the world wide web….?”

i dunno, cliff.

i dunno.

p.p.s. in march, i was invited to write a piece for salon.com
it’s an open letter – based on the response to my tweet “how many people would pay $5 to crowdfund/pre-order a digital-only morrissey album?” – and it’s now up!! you can read it HERE.
even though i generally try and avoid the comments (when it’s not my site/blog), check ‘em out and chime in on this one. sure, there’s negative shit, but there’s also discussion about the industry, and stuff like this: “It’s up to the fans now to decide if any of us are worth saving because the industry as a whole, and too much of the culture, thinks we’re not.”

…amen.

Back to Blog
  • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

    If you’re ever in Portland (or Eugene!) and want to do another house party I will organize it! I know we’ll never recreate what the last one was, but different day different story. I haven’t felt that alive in a while. Being back at work today is strange. I’m looking at everything new. My job might be social media, but I want to do more things face to face with people. Honest, beautiful, debates and conversation trying to figure things out. Thank you, xx M

    • Victoria Eden

      And the next one I WILL make it to, damn it!

      • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

        Yes! And before that we’ll actually meet up! My weekends clear up over the summer, so we should meet, maybe halfway around Portland!

        • Victoria Eden

          Deal. Zoe and I were talking about making a trip down there again so maybe the three of us can do something.

          • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

            Yes! Keep me in the loop!

    • http://twitter.com/OtoriVentures Jean Mare-Woest

      I’m still waiting for real life to start after the house partytoo. It was great having Amanda there but it was also so great to just suddenly and spontanously connect with so many other people. The way everyone was just so toegther during the “I’ll Follow You Into The Dark” and the reading from the book that we must not mention she read from ;). Anytime there is another party I will be there.

  • http://twitter.com/sarahvulgaris Sarah-Louise

    ‘May the Shwartz be with you’ for this line, and this blog, and you in general, you’re just.. ugh. You’re incredible.I love you, lots of us do. Please stay strong and as a person you’ve retweeted a few times, and who tweets you a lot- I’M in the audience and I love you as much on stage as I do on the internet. xxxx

    • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

      yes. this.
      Amanda, every time I get the chance to see you in person I’ll do my best to remind you that those of us online are out there, offline too. I give hugs. They’ll happen.

  • Emilie K Jensen

    First, this: “…somehow the deep compassion and anger felt in the US when it is attacked never translates to understanding the effects of our own aggression against others.” … YES YES YES. <3

    I've followed you for years online, enjoy about 70-80% of your music, and I've yet to be in the audience for you, in person. Unless our paths cross before hand, I'll be there when you come to Salt Lake City. :) I'll just affirm that you're going to come here eventually and please do get in touch if you need a guide or a place to crash.

    Regardless of whether you get in touch when you do get here, I look forward to "be"-ing with you at a concert. Your presence, and where you are being a stand for people as a whole, is just fucking awesome. I've recently been re-discovering my muse inside of my music and art, and your self-expression has been awesomely inspiring. Thank you!

    • Bob

      Hope she has a good attorney.

      • Luci Fer

        …I don’t get it :/

  • bekalyn

    And to think you were so close to Missoula, MT. We have coffee shops. Thanks, Amanda, for always always always being the best real imaginary friend I’ve ever had.

    • http://www.facebook.com/elsa.brown.58 Elsa Brown

      You live in the same town as Hank Green!
      If you don’t know who he is, just know that Amanda’s husband was on stage with him at CARNEGIE HALL* and Amanda considers him to be (I’m quoting directly here) “neat.”

      Gahh I love it when the people I love love each other. Love and crap.
      dftba

      * coincidentally, Kimya Dawson was also present

    • miserichik

      I love this line….I feel the same way, Amanda. You’re my bestest imaginary real friend LOL :)

  • http://neversaynikki.tumblr.com Nikki

    I’m really glad you’re the same person when you’re writing these blogs and when you’re onstage.

    I’m really glad I’m the same person when I’m writing these blog comments and when I’m waiting on line to see you onstage.

    I’m really glad that same-person-me will get to see same-person-you at the Denver house party, and heal.

    And I’m really glad that there are people like you, and people like your fans, and people like Cliff.

    That’s a lot of gladness for one blog comment. But I guess it’s warranted. xx

  • http://twitter.com/_TeDiouS_ Tom Steiger

    I sometimes feel as though being your fan is a full-time job, what with all the defending and explaining. I honestly can’t conceive of what it’s like to BE you. Must be exhausting. Keep the faith. We will get through this together!

    • Doug

      AP’s triumph and tragedy are that she’s cultivated a nearly
      cult-like fanbase that have made it nearly impossible to have any sort
      of rational discussion about her work. On the one hand, it’s something
      every artists longs for – the kind of fans who will gladly pay $400 for
      an empty wine bottle tat once graced the lips of their heroine. On the
      other hand, it becomes this very insular me-too community that makes it
      next to impossible for an artist to grow a fanbase, and fosters the sort
      of critical echo-chamber that convinces any artist of their own
      brilliance regardless of the context. The recent TED talk serves as an example – hailed by most of her
      fans as a brilliant think piece, it happily glossed over some of the
      more contentious aspects of her plans, some glaring inconsistencies, and
      raised a few questions. Fine, any talk will do that. However, in the
      viral media storm that happened, anyone who raised a criticism or even
      meekly questioned some of the things that were said weren’t merely
      disagreed with, they were shouted down and derided as “everything wrong
      with the music industry” or “part of the problem.” That’s no way to have a debate that fosters growth. It’s made someone who was once a skilled practicioner of “new
      media” into someone remarkably tone-deaf about her own output. Her blog
      has become a seemingly endless stream of not-pologies; “hey, sorry you
      guys don’t understand my genius” and frankly it’s a huge disincentive.

      • cinnamonbutterwaffles@midnight

        Why is everyone wanting an apology? I’m not a fan, just a person who has become interested in the whole thing. She is living according to her values, it seems. I hope all human beings discover the genius within that Amanda Palmer has discovered (again, I’ve never taken to the music…but I can see the genius. It’s not narcissism. It is just Truth. The truth? Life is fun, life is all Love and Color. It’s basically wearing your heart as your skin, and that’s always going to be fuckin’ beautiful! Nothing vain about it!) What does she have to apologize for, if she believes in every move she’s made? I respect her for not insincerely apologizing for creating this huge, constructive conversation on so many wonderful things.

        • Trix

          This is beauty. If only everyone could share this sentiment and realize that we don’t all have to agree and be of the same mind and opinion. I mean, really…how fucking boring would that be?

        • http://www.facebook.com/MamersNotMame Ay-me Wok-er

          This. Absolutely. We are held to certain standards as humans–theft, murder, cheating and lying–but honestly, policing every damn thing a person does is so unrealistic, and stalking them just to be an ass is incredibly annoying.

          • anon

            To Thy Self Be True.

          • AmandaTheBSMachine

            We liked Amanda Palmer when she fired back at her record company for calling her fat, and when she showed off her armpit hair on the red carpet. But now we’re sick of her, and here’s why:

            The Three reason why people hate Amanda Palmer.

            1. The Twin Thing

            For her latest project, singer/songwriter Palmer has teamed up with folk
            musician Jason Webley to form “Evelyn Evelyn.” The conceit: they pretend
            to be conjoined twins. A press release claims the “twins” are “conjoined at the side and sharing between them three legs, two arms, two hearts, three lungs, and a single liver,” and that Webley and Palmer “discovered” them on MySpace. Disability advocates are not amused. Writes Annaham of FWD/Forward,

            The stereotypes about disability here are pretty well-worn: according
            to this (fictional) backstory, the twins were “discovered by” and need
            “help” from two abled individuals, Palmer and Webley, to realize their
            musical potential. Add to this their “inspiring” origin story – which is
            fodder for a graphic novel tie-in – and you’ve got yourself one hell of
            a three-ring circus of disability stereotypes.

            Of course, it’s possible to play on stereotypes without buying into them, and it would be pretty restrictive to say that abled people should never make
            art about disabled ones (this would, for instance, rule out the
            interesting film Twin Falls Idaho). But Annaham makes the pretty compelling point that although Palmer may think her twin project is edgy, “Evelyn Evelyn seems like a project that is far from actually being transgressive, even given the initial appearance of said transgression (because what’s more shocking and weird than conjoined twins, at least according to abled culture?)” Which false appearance of edge brings us to …

            2. The Klan Thing

            Palmer also raised hackles recently by tweeting (apparently
            in criticism of Lady Gaga): “ironic product placement is only ok if you
            take no money & beyond that give all the income to something
            ironic. like the Klan.” Here again the attempt at edgy humor, to which
            Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown responds better than we could:

            I know you’re reaching for “outrageous,” Amanda, and I know that
            you’re like, “could anything be more outrageous than a group that is
            responsible for lots of domestic terrorism and also killing folks of
            color and/or contributing to a cultural context in which folks of color
            can easily be killed, for funsies? Nope, probably not. SOLID TWEET
            THERE, AMANDA. GOOD JOB.” But, like, you really have to be careful,
            especially when so many people are listening to you and framing you as
            some sort of “feminist” “role” “model” because there’s a thin line
            between making a cutting and insightful comment which relies on using
            offensive language, often to point out the offensiveness of the language
            itself, and just like BEING OFFENSIVE and trivializing things that ARE
            ACTUALLY IMPORTANT, and it’s a lot easier to cross that line when you’re
            not really FUNNY at all

            Lots of people shoot for “provocative” and end up hitting “obnoxious,” but here’s the final straw:

            3. She Pissed Off Courtney Love

            Palmer allegedly features Frances Bean Cobain (along with such luminaries as Weird Al Yankovic) on Evelyn Evelyn’s self-titled debut album. Palmer says those listening for Cobain’s voice will be disappointed: “everybody was just having fun, and there’s almost no way to distinguish who’s singing what.” But Courtney Love is still mad, tweeting, “my daughter has a voice like a unicorn in a dewy dell this isnt it” and “if your not ruthlessly
            exploiting my child you need to blog NOW.” As Wears the Trousers points
            out, Palmer has actually been pretty gracious about the whole thing. Love may not be the best judge of what her daughter needs (as an actual judge confirmed by issuing a restraining order against Love), and the idea that Palmer was exploiting Cobain just seems paranoid. But if there’s going to be a feud here, I’m still Team Courtney, if only because Love’s batshittery
            seems totally genuine. That said, maybe the two could bury the hatchet
            and form a supergroup (the Dresden Holes?). Palmer might calm Love down a bit, and Love could teach her how outrageousness is really done.

          • http://www.facebook.com/MamersNotMame Ay-me Wok-er

            More copy/paste noise. Thanks!

          • luci_fer

            You left out the crowd-sourced musicians, the simulated rape of Katy Perry and the poem for dzhokhar on your list of “things people have been offended by”. (But then, if it’s a copy pasta it might have pre-dated them)

            Oh, also Oasis was unpopular with some people for making light of rape and abortion.

            I think some people must just watch tv and browse the internet waiting for something to offend. Particularly when it seems like a lot of people have just read someone else’s opinion or clicked a news link before commenting here about whatever controversy has occurred.

            It’s particularly pernicious when it’s self-purported feminists finding things that that are offensive to women. It’s both patronising and policing the thought crime.

            Saying something is problematic is fine. Objecting and having a conflicting opinion is fine. But there’s often overtones of “she shouldn’t say THAT group x,y,z may be offended” – without even bothering to look at what’s being said.

            She wrote a great blog response when she released her song Oasis called “on Abortion, Rape, Art and Humor” http://amandapalmer.net/blog/on-abortion-rape-art-and-humor/ but much of what she says specifically to that is relevant to other complaints:

            “i could try to win points by talking about how i’ve been date raped (i have been, when i was 20) or how I have every right to joke about this if i want to because i’ve had an abortion myself (i have, when i was 17), but i actually DON’T believe those experiences should lend me any credibility, any more so than i believe the director of “life is beautiful” had to have been an auschwitz victim in order to direct that film.

            i should be allowed to write about, sing about, joke about anything that moves me.
            so should you. so should everyone.

            an artist’s (and a human being’s) freedom to do that, without fear of retribution, is the cornerstone of what keeps the world moving forward, not backwards, not standing still.

            i’m sure there’s a part of me (it seems obvious) that was processing my pain, coming to terms with my experiences through the song.
            that’s what i do. i’m a songwriter who writes about personal shit.
            but because i chose to do it in a black-humor way, with my tongue shoved firmly in the side of my cheek….does that make it less valid?

            it shouldn’t.

            in art, everything must be fair game, everything must be explorable, everything must be speakable, or we go BACKWARDS! we go DOWN!

            everything can be offensive to somebody. of course.
            i’d be HAPPY to know that the song out there is going to offend some people….not because i have any interest in making people upset, but because i think it’s better to talk about these things, argue about them, be upset about them, push them out into the open air, stir the pot around. better that, always, than to sweep them under the rug.”

            I don’t think feminism should be a united sisterhood or anything, but the feminists who’re trying to silence the voice of another woman because she’s contentious absolutely boggle me.

            You’re going backwards, people.

            (P.S –
            No one cares that she pissed off Courtney Love)

      • http://twitter.com/balive2love Meagan Elizabeth

        Doug,
        You make a valid, intelligent point; However, In this “viral media storm”, I myself, have never witnessed any performer/artist apologize for their mishaps or drunk driving or. . .
        Have you?
        I can say that as a fan of music and art and all things “I” like (this is about ME. No apologies needed, I think of myself and those I love unconditionally, first and foremost). To each their own, and, until we as a human race learn this, but not until then, and this will take a very long time (and honestly, I am thinking of joining a commune/cult with like minded people).
        Stop the world, I want to get off or on?
        In a double rainbow world, we will have peace on EARTH. Keep up the good debate.
        I see a future in politics, for you.
        P.S. I know my debating skills are lacking but I don’t give a FUCK. No apologies, you have no clue of My genius.

        • Doug

          Oh I’m SO SORRY. DID I HIT A NERVE???? It’s surprising to me that this woman major contribution to society is a song about the various ways to trim your pubic hair, yet she gets more press than real pressing issues of the world. She knew what she was doing the moment she woke up yesterday morning and it worked out beautifully for her. She is a mediocre plagiarist musician, a extremely questionable singer/songwriter, but she is one hell of a media manipulator. She has most of the readers here fooled. Her publicist is anyway, or whoever she spent that 50 percent administration costs with for her recent kickstarter con. Whomever is running her enterprise/brand is doing a fabulous job of getting her in the press. I pegged her for have just a bit more humanity than this. Evidently her “artistic integrity” is more important to her than “backstabbing” the society to which she believes to be a part of. She has more empathy for the man in the hospital suspected of terrorizing an entire city/state/country than the so called “trolls” disagreeing with her timing. What about empathy for the reasons they are upset about her decision to print this poem? Again, people, this is a woman who’s major contribution is a song about trimming pubic hair. Ok, and a very bad cover of an amazing song by incredibly talented artists (creep, radio head).

          • http://www.facebook.com/MamersNotMame Ay-me Wok-er

            Funnel your energy into those real pressing issues of the world, because this particular version of celebustalking does not make you look good, and it certainly doesn’t make people sit up and listen. As a matter of fact, this controversy is what brought me here in the first place, and honestly, I found no offense because there ARE real pressing issues in the world. It also prompted me to purchase all her albums. Can you understand that?

          • bluelightsblinking

            It is VERY important work to show society how to have a light heart, and challenge ideas of what is normal. Whether it’s good or bad art/talent is not much of an issue. This is what will bring on the changes which will cause society and humans in general to evolve for the better. You are obsessed with this almost in a paranoiac way. Relax. Amanda’s fine, and you are fine. You judge her for not having adequate humanity. Do you have adequate humanity? I have a strong feeling that she empathized with Dzhokhar because she purposely takes up the minority position and tries to bring it to light. Not because she empathizes any less for others. It’s just that the others already have light shed on their positions. Who thought about empathizing with Dzhokhar before Amanda brought it up? Many, many, many less people. Even if most people reject the idea, it’s a good thing that it was brought up. I hope you can appreciate that. I hope you can relax, and find that you have more faith in people. You obviously have a keen mind. I hope you find your heart within all that has been disturbed in you.

          • tinylightsbelow

            ‘Map of Tasmania’ is no small thing. Writing a song that encourages confidence in oneself and talks in an upbeat manner about presenting yourself in a way that’s not common is a huge deal. That song is a huge part of why I’m content with myself and the way I trim myself! Lol. I feel like it’s really privileged and ignorant to assume that things like personal grooming are not a BIG issue to women; pornography, media, etc. basically makes it weird or freaky to not shave there — and when Amanda Palmer says it’s okay not to shave your pubes, it’s kinda awesome. Just saying.

            And, furthermore, since when was that her only contribution, or her biggest contribution? Like, come on, she’s had a TED talk. (And I loved her cover of Creep, but you’re entitled to your opinion.) She has had NUMEROUS wildly influential songs. For example, “Missed Me” is the first Dresden Dolls song I heard — if you don’t think that that song has something important to say, personal taste aside, you’re not listening hard enough.

            You don’t have to like her music but there’s no reason to belittle it because in reality it’s raw, honest, & personal. I understand why certain groups have been offended by her actions (such as the Evelyn Evelyn deal), but I also feel like the fact that these issues are talked about is more important than trying to wring some kind of apology out of her.

            And one last point, as far as the whole Kickstarter thing. Honestly, I don’t CARE if she laughed all the way to the bank. Because being a fan, the consequences of supporting her music are so wonderful, why the hell shouldn’t she profit? Of all the people who could make some decent money doing their job, I would much rather a fantastic artist have it than some cog in a corporate machine.

      • VoiceofReason

        Dude, get over yourself. People disagreed with you. They told you why. And hey, people aren’t always at their most polite on the internet. Clearly, that is a phenomenon experienced by you and you alone, and clearly it only happens when the people you are arguing are in a cult. /sarcasm

        Calling the people who enjoy Amanda’s work and take the time to articulate why they do and why they disagree with your assessment a “cult” just makes you look childish, like you can’t handle anyone disagreeing with you and have to deride them to make yourself look like the smartest little boy in the playground.

        I think the question to ask yourself is, if you don’t like Palmer’s work, why the fuck are you here? OBVIOUSLY most of the people here are going to be fans, because it’s HER BLOG, so obviously if you post negative things about her more people are going to disagree than agree. And for someone who doesn’t like the work to stalk everything she does continually leaving disparaging comments is, frankly, a weird thing to do. Go follow someone you like. Better yet, go outside for a while.

      • Killy Jones

        God, you are just an awful little cunt aren’t you?

      • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

        I have actually found that you can have perfectly reasonable conversation with her fanbase about what you like or dislike about her work and actions.

        The problem might be that when the initial stance held by one of the parts is “she’s a narcissistic retard” or “she’s a fat whore with ugly armpits”, it’s hard to debate anything.

        • Matthew James

          her fans are actually some really engaged critical people. The point of being a fan is to equally tell the person you like when you maybe don’t like something as much.. that is really not what this blog post discusses. Like you said, it’s really hard to discuss anything with someone who is just “get fucked you stupid hairy whore” if you really don’t give a shit, don’t post or talk or even listen to anything she does. no one is forcing you, or anyone really. Someone having their every action policed is just damn wrong and honestly I wish people who were out to abuse and hurt any artist would just go back to their troll holes where they belong. (that one was for you, Doug.)

          • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

            Fuck yes. Or, even better, I wish the trolls did something productive with their lives (and discovered along the way what it is like to be caught in these stupid discussions).

  • Trix

    My dear Amanda…I saw you walking down a street with a friend mere minutes from my house while you were in our Pacific NW last week. I was dumbfounded. You’re kinda like my Morrisey, you see. You’ve given me my voice back as a writer. I saw you and I freaked out. I didn’t want to invade your private life. I didn’t want to come off as wackadoodle. And maybe, just maybe I was afraid to meet my hero. So I turned around and went in the other direction. I’ve thought a lot about what I would of/could of/should of done and all I can think is I wished I had stopped and asked if I could give you a hug. Simple.

    And I had my dog with me, too, so there’s that. You could have pet another dog. And had a hug.

    You give me courage to speak my voice. (Even if I didn’t have the balls to actually meet you.) So don’t stop.

    • Alia

      I bet that the next time you approach a could of/should of, you’ll keep walking towards it or her or him. It’s those little moments of hesitation where you could walk away, and don’t, that add up to a brave life. It’s not bravery, after all, if you aren’t a little scared!

    • Alia

      I bet that the next time you approach a could of/should of, you’ll keep walking towards it or her or him. It’s those little moments of hesitation where you could walk away, and don’t, that add up to a brave life. It’s not bravery, after all, if you aren’t a little scared!

      • MyllieTunes

        Dear Trix. it’s really sweet of you if you ask me too not go to amanda.. next time just do it and you’ll see ;-) I’m a beginner musican and in my town i see people noticing me more then before, and it’s a great inspiring feeling when people walk up and say “Hey aren’t you the one from …. blablabla.. ” i’m not used getting compliments or people who like me the way i’m and it makes me shy, but one thing most of all it makes me happy.. :-)

  • lentower

    You need to keep doing kickstarter parties for eons.
    Quite possibly, you’ll never tire of them.

    ——–

    I wish it was easier to get more Americans to realise that
    to get peach and safety at home,
    they have to,
    with equal passion,
    support it outside the USA.

    • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

      I wish it were easier to help people see that peace only works when we’re all peace. We’re all one, human. We’re different but that’s what makes us wonderful. Should be celebrated.

  • http://coinoperatedbear.deviantart.com/ CoinOperatedBear

    Thanks for the awesome post Amanda :)

  • http://twitter.com/spinningcastle Susan Tooker

    Amanda, you have always seemed like a real, genuine person to me. That was confirmed when you walked up to me in my backyard and we hugged. I just knew instantly that you were raw and being completely real…open. My instinct was to lay my hands on your shoulders and say, “It’s been a rough week.” And you looked into my eyes. Really looked.

    I’m still trying to process the house party. At my house. It feels transformational. It feels like 50 some odd people…strangers before that night…came together in the spirit of art, music, happiness, and everything that is good and grand about humanity. EVERY single person came up to me and thanked me for hosting the party at my place. They told me it was generous to open my house to strangers. To trust people so much. But that honestly never was a concern for me, because I instinctively knew it was going to be fine. We were all there because of you. And you have taught us and told us that amazing things happen when you trust.

    So thank YOU. For trusting us. For being so open and real.

    And thanks to all of our new party friends. For being so game. So interesting. So kind. So awesome. So fun. And for affirming what I had intuitively known, that 50 strangers would be totally cool and respectful in my house. But of course they would be…They are Amanda Palmer fans.

    Peace.

    • KurtCobainsUnderpants

      Happy Birthday!

  • Victoria Eden

    I’m going to go ahead and say the feelings you got from the house parties are both mutual and fair.

    Yes, we paid to have you there but you didn’t have to do that. You didn’t have to create that option and you don’t have to be so open while you’re there.

    The people who react so fiercely negatively to whichever kerfuffle they choose don’t have the personal connection to you that some of the rest of us do. There are things you have said or done that I don’t personally agree with 100% but to me it’s like, “Hey, my buddy Amanda and I don’t always see eye to eye, but I love her.” Those people issuing death threats don’t see you as “my buddy Amanda” and they won’t make the choice to see you that way. They could. But they won’t.

    I see you as my buddy Amanda when reading your blog, responding on twitter, showing up to a venue four hours before doors open, and especially when sitting on my friend’s lawn listening to you play one of my favorite songs just because I asked you to. Thanks, buddy.

    (I was at the Whidbey Island party. I helped Zoe with a lot of the planning right from the beginning. We met because of the party and have since become good friends. Thanks again, Amanda.)

  • miserichik

    Amanda, thank you for this blog. I was one of the ones who emailed you last week, and I’d stayed away from the blog and the kerfuffle, because it was hurting my heart so much to watch the hate. You handled it all so well, but I could just imagine the screaming into a pillow you might have been doing…although maybe those house parties were the same kind of therapy. I would love to meet you just to say thank you for being a real person and not a phony. The horrid comments about cutting off your legs, and watching Neil cry over your body……..that’s sick. That’s not what this world needs. It needs REAL people, and above all of that, it needs you.

    Please continue to be real and honest and continue to have us love you up close. It’s enough.

    Many hugs!! Also, my doggie would LOVE to sit with you and lay across your lap. He’s good for that, just sayin’ :)

  • New York I love you.

    This is my favorite blog. Amanda, you’re truly a wonderful person with so much to give. Thank you for everything you do. Love SoSo much.

  • http://www.concertmanic.com/ Sarah V.

    I’m always a bit baffled that some people don’t see “people on the internet” and “celebrities” as being real actual human beings. They say ridiculously hurtful / untrue / trolling / hateful / etc. things that they would never dream of saying to your face. I guess it’s just another type of bullying, but this kind are too scared to do it in “real life” so they have to be a bully where no one can touch them… it’s sad. So many of them seem so angry and they don’t seem to understand that it’s not *normal* to be like that.

    • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

      I was just talking about this with a friend of mine not 20 minutes ago. They don’t get that the internet is just a tool that connects people. Just people. They can’t see the person through the screen so their brain shuts down the part of them that would possibly have some humanity. Then again, unfortunately, there are people that would say/do these horrible things. It makes me sad to think that so many people don’t know how to be kind and humane. Maybe all we can do is continue to be the versions of ourselves that we’d like to see others be like. Kindness for kindness instead of hurt for hurt.

      • http://www.concertmanic.com/ Sarah V.

        Yep, people are people no matter what device they’re using to communicate. To me, being mean to strangers on the internet is right about the same maturity level as calling random phone numbers and threatening/bullying/mocking the person who answers. Most of us don’t have the time or the mental space to bother with that kind of thing. (And most of us wouldn’t enjoy it, either.) But somehow our society says it’s “just trolling” if you say AFP should be killed in a comments section, whereas calling her on the phone and saying it would probably land you in jail for the exact same words. I find that really odd.

        I’ve had arguments with a co-worker who thinks that Twitter is just the stupidest thing ever (you’ve heard it, I’m sure, the “I don’t need to know what you had for breakfast” argument from someone who has never actually used Twitter and assumes that everyone on it tweets 100 times a day). I tried to explain that it is a communication medium just like e-mail or the telephone, and the quality you get out of it depends on the quality people put in. But some people find it easier to mock everything than to understand anything.

        I guess Marshall McLuhan would disagree with me… :-)

        • ToThySelfBeTrue

          Vulture just published a (very well reasoned) article on her that pretty much
          sums up my litany of issues with Palmer and the whirlwind of public
          disdain for her. I liked the Dresden Dolls when I was in college, and I
          still revisit them on occasion, but Amanda Palmer has slowly morphed
          into a nut who reads as more of a blind narcassist that an artist*.
          http://www.vulture.com/2013/04/the-amanda-palmer-problem.html

          *Two states not mutually exclusive.

          • fascinated

            “Amanda Palmer has slowly morphed
            into a nut who reads as more of a blind narcassist that an artist*.”

            I feel kind of sad for her.

        • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

          Exactly. There’s something in not being in front of a person that makes people think insensitivity is okay. I’m all for debate, yes. I don’t think everyone needs to like the same things (that would be boring). But respect, and remembering that everyone is human, that they didn’t come out of the womb hating, that some of us need more help working with society instead of against it, that yes sometimes there are those beyond saving and that’s terrible… but we have to remember that we’re all just human. And if we allow ourselves to be cruel, to be a troll, to hate… we become no better than the people we think need to be changed/fixed.

          “But some people find it easier to mock everything than to understand anything.”

          people fear things they don’t understand. we need to learn how to teach people not to fear the unknown, but instead let it spark curiosity and wonder.

  • cult watcher

    “I need to be around people” who deify me. That pretty much sums it up.

  • xtime

    Marry me, Zoe. Or at least sleep in my bed in the warm morning sun.

  • Mandolin Hooper

    I love you.

  • http://twitter.com/DinekevA Dineke van Aalst

    Dear Amanda, what an amazing, wonderful, intense year you have had. I hope the coming year is as great. It has been a joy to share it!
    Happy birthday!
    Lotsoflove,
    Dineke

  • http://twitter.com/balive2love Meagan Elizabeth

    Happy Birthday! I am glad you were born. *Bumblebee hugs and kisses your belly button. XO <3

  • Chey

    I found that seven things post on my facebook wall, and was pretty much baffled. I’m glad you don’t read comments, it upset me and I’m just a fan. Anyway, I’ve always felt Amanda was ‘real’. I may forget that other artists I enjoy are real people, but never Amanda.

  • http://twitter.com/MynteValkyrje Birte Valkyrje

    I love you, real person.

  • once a fan

    Remarkably, the “7 things” Amanda has done to piss people off article left out the one that was most personally upsetting for me: the time she simulated a rape onstage for laughs. Whenever I think about that, I still feel sick.

    • once a fan

      Btw … I used to post on here by another name (I recognize so many of you), but I’ve seen the backlash that happens to people when they say things Amanda/the fans don’t like. I left the community after seeing the video of Amanda pretending to rape another woman on stage. I still can’t believe someone I idolized could be so clueless about sexual violence. What’s happened to Amanda feels so sad. And my memories about being her fan seem so long ago, like I was part of a cult and woke up. I hope you all find what you need (hint: it’s probably not this woman in your life).

  • Arwen Xaverine

    It is funny, I’ve been a fan and a follower for a long time and I’ve only ever seen you as a real person, which is why I make a point of always coming to your shows when you play in London. I think your regular audiences know this stuff, but you say yourself that the problem with becoming known to a wider audience for things other than your music is there is a change in context and a disconnectedness that stems from not really getting what you are on about. I think that is normal when you hold opinions and speak your mind. Not being able to please all of the people all of the time is always going to be true. It is just that the internet makes it easier for those you don’t please to let you know about it, as well as providing those people with a shield to hide behind when they want to let all the crazy out. I love your blog, it is real and honest and human in spite of the internet. I like that part especially. I think I feel like you do too sometimes, that you want the connections to be real. But real can be just as uncomfortable and messy (more so really) up close than with the distance of this medium. I think I’ve rambled a bit. I hope this makes sense. You are appreciated, your voice and your compassion are what bring me back to your shows and to your blog time and again. I’m bringing my son to your Roundhouse show, I’ll be sure to say hello for real. All love.

    • CriticalWriting101

      I think an important facet of “the Amanda Palmer problem” is her intersection with so many things people hate. It’s almost too easy to hate her … which means, in my case, that it literally is too easy to hate her. I
      have strong feelings about her husband’s work — affection, mostly —
      but my feelings about Amanda Palmer are all about her as a person. This
      is an odd way to feel about an artist, so from the beginning I’ve backed
      away from her art (there is exactly one Dresden Dolls song I’ve ever
      liked). But I think Palmer courts the polarization she
      inspires, from her behavior in public (the flash mob wedding, Grand
      Theft Orchestra) to her self-presentation (the ukulele, for
      Chrissake?). She knows how to appeal to a certain group of people —
      many of them VERY young and/or very NEEDY — and her sense for what they
      like is faultless. But that same dramatic appeal leaves very many other
      people cold. She really didn’t need to write a poem about a
      person who caused real death, injury, and deliberate terror. I think her
      poem may hurt more people than it helps, and that probably breaks new
      ground for poetry. But I think help and hurt are beside the
      point for her. Palmer’s never met a controversy she didn’t like.

      • http://www.facebook.com/MamersNotMame Ay-me Wok-er

        I am so close to respecting your opinion it hurts–and I really want to–but there are a few assumptions here. Basically, her audience is not full of young and needy people, the poem is subjective and you can’t know who was effected by it or how on a large scale, and WHY would you have a beef with the ukulele? That doesn’t even make sense.

        Other than that, I am still curious why people who don’t like her keep showing up here. No one seems willing to answer that question. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have an opinion, because I would never, but I don’t hang around the web where Mel Gibson or Glen Beck congregate with their folks.

        • Ay-Ei-Io-U

          Ms. Palmer has done a great job tearing herself down already and ruining any goodwill she may have had earlier in her career (by which I mean more than one year ago).

          She raised more than a million dollars via Kickstarter to fund her new album and current tour. This is _awesome_ and shows both her own popularity amongst upwardly mobile hipster folk and the power of crowdsourcing for arts funding. As a classical musician myself, I am overjoyed with the success of her Kickstarter.

          However, she then immediately squandered her social capital by putting out a call for free labor on her tour: the local musicians that augmented her “touring band”- at shows that charge admission- were recruited to play for beer and “hugs.” Let’s not forget that the tour was _already funded_ by her Kickstarter…in addition to the ticket prices and merchandise sales at the venues.

          When folks, including fellow professional musicians, pointed this out to her on her blog, she referred to them as “haters” and told them to go take a leap.

          Yet the day after a NY Times editor contacted her to ask, “Why aren’t you paying your musicians?” she reneged and agreed to compensate the folks who made her performances possible.

          Of course, she posted about that on her blog too.

          The present situation is no different. Ms. Palmer (and her boyfriend, writer Neil Gaiman), would have been well-advised to use some of those Kickstarter funds to hire a competent agent who would start out by telling her to run _any_ press releases and public statements by the agent first.

          Again, I admire Ms. Palmer for her fundraising acumen and I am very happy at her success as an artist. However, her personality is thoroughly unpleasant and her narcissism is without bounds.

          • luci_fer

            “The present situation is no different. Ms. Palmer (and her boyfriend, writer Neil Gaiman), would have been well-advised to use some of those Kickstarter funds to hire a competent agent who would start out by telling her to run _any_ press releases and public statements by the agent first.”

            That would be terrible. Sure, there’d be less controversy if everything was said carefully so enough nothing is misunderstood and no one would ever be offended.

            But one of the things I like about both of them are that they’re ‘real’ and there’s no distance between them and their fans; they relate to them person-to-person rather than through intermediaries.

            I’d rather there were shitstorms in teacups than lose that, personally.

      • http://twitter.com/lauraannham Laura

        “She really didn’t need to write a poem about a
        person who caused real death, injury, and deliberate terror. I think her
        poem may hurt more people than it helps, and that probably breaks new
        ground for poetry.”

        Art is subjective, who knows if the poem is about Amanda or Tsarnaev? I can’t write a poem about Hitler because that might upset people? I’m not allowed to try and understand why he did what he did? What he was feeling? I just have to point and say “that’s evil” right?

        By the way. You don’t have a right to not be offended.

  • RiverVox

    I’m glad you found solace with real people, many of whom have been inspired by you. So much of the hate is just “sit down and shut up”. How dare a woman have such a powerful voice?! It is that voice which enables others to speak out, to stand up and live out loud. Thank you.

    • once a fan

      Oh, RiverVox, that’s not it. People are really and truly offended by the things that Amanda does. People are even hurt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MamersNotMame Ay-me Wok-er

    I’ve belonged to an internet group of writers for years, and there are well known published authors there, some I’ve known since before there were agents and editors and houses involved. The one thing that disappoints me is when those same people who used to belong to the human group are driven away by the frustrations of becoming something more–because small people can’t stand being left behind, or they simply hate their own smallness. There will ALWAYS be someone telling you to shut up. There will ALWAYS be someone telling you to sit down and be pretty and nice.

    Don’t rob yourself by letting the small people in. <3

  • Bob W.

    Celebrity as real people: I just listened to the “Down Under” album in toto for the first time, including the screaming applause when you were introduced. I think some people really need their stage performers to, in a sense, not be real people, exactly, but something a bit supernatural, transcendent for them. Others see the real person who writes the blogs but are also fans of and inspired by the musical and lyrical creativity and the theatrical illusion of your and your band’s performance, as it creates a wonderful emotional response. Then there’s the Brechtian meta-level that you invite by showing the construction of said illusion. Above that, the openness about many (not all!) details of your life as an artist, the person who (with help of the willing) creates this whirlwind. AND, on top of that, there’s the social issues pot-stirrer (I just typo’d plot-stirrer; fits) with a penchant for jumping with both feet onto third rails. Throughout, you’ve connected with people, a la the TED talk.

    I’m a fan of all of these interlaced layers and threads. But my favorite real-people connection, and what keeps me coming back, is realizing that you seem a lot like every third kid from my German classes in a very similar high school, where we learned from a comedic, culturally attuned teacher what the Brechtian alienation effect was — and then discovering and feeling elated that this could-have-been-my-classmate also has mad energy and amazing musical talents.

  • Hunchie

    The story of Cliff was a goody. I love those whirligig happenings. You need that refreshing breath of wind to get the whirligig going, and together it’s moving. I needed to read a good story like this today. Loosened my my string ties on my current corset of life. whew, thanks for that. One of my new years resolutions was to compliment people more, no matter what it sounded like. Just to do it – they might just need the lift. I embarrass people I’m with sometimes, because I just blurt it out to whomever “wow, you have beautiful hair” almost like “compliment tourettes”. Some people give you the eye cornered look like I’m mad, and that’s ok, because it makes the person who’s closed curtainy eyes change to open so worth it. So with that being said, I’d probably cross the field and say “I like your pants” – if I saw you. (your red velvety, corduroy (or not) looking pants) Have a great day.

  • http://twitter.com/smithla8 L.A. Smith

    The Whidbey Island house party/concert was magical. My husband, Damon, and I still feel moments of wonder over you, your genuine warmth and energy, your willingness to share so much of yourself, and –of course– the fact that you brought Jason Webley along. I only hope that the return of love, admiration, and genuine trust from those of us lucky enough to attend those parties can help you keep the haters in perspective. Thank you for making music, writing, performing, and living in a way that inspires so many people to take chances, make art, have confidence.

  • Chris McGowan

    I guess I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I can speak for me – I assume a person who tweets, blogs, sings, writes, acts, paints or however they express themself is all coming from that particular artist and their voice. The tones or messages may be different depending on the medium and context, but that just fills out their personality and point-of-view, making them well-rounded.

    And there are a lot of real, peaceful people in the world; I’ve just found I need to look a little longer and harder and they usually pop into view!

    And big ups to Cliff!

  • Werner

    Amanda, I always go mad when I see some random posts blaming a public person and immediately hundreds will “like this” and post “I agree” comments like brain-dead monkeys. Vice versa if on the same channel the article is about something respectable, great or nice character element of the public person, keep in mind that some people who never heard the name before, now seek out for further information read in wikipedia, google, etc. and miss the “like”. Those maybe become fans and they show up on your next show.

    I wish you to grow a thick skin and am pretty sure you can regain some strengths feeling the empathy here. We see us in Hamburg :-)

  • Annie Leonard

    Loving those TARDIS pants.

  • NancyFuknPants

    A lot is going through my head after reading your post. I completely understand why you need to be around “actual people.” You were the last person on Earth I ever imagined would get hatred like this. Especially since all I have ever gotten from you is love. At times, I took these insults personally,even though I truly believe those hateful comments deserved indifference. I consider you a friend, even though our conversations have been few. I feel lonely, knowing my twitter feed nor phone wont be blowing up with your messages…I also understand that connection was always a PRIVILEGE and I will be eternally grateful to you for this unbreakable connection. Much love to you and every one you continue to touch in your life.

  • NancyFuknPants

    AND ALSO…HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY!!!! I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

  • Samara

    I am sitting on a train in Sydney on my way to do work reading this and you just made me cry. Last night I was dreaming I was in a strange city and totally lost. I ran into you and you invited me to crash at yours till I found my friends. Totally true story. Then I wake up and read this.

    The last 18 months have been the worst of my life, but daily I read or listen to something from you and I can keep going.

    Just letting you know that this is the type of person in your audience; and will be Sept 14!

    Happy birthday Amanda xxxx

    • NancyFuknPants

      kind of relieved to know I am not the only one crying my ass off. xoxo

  • BK

    Happy Birthday, Amanda!!

    I don’t think I will ever understand the negative comments that you get on the internet. With all of the genuinely not-good people in the world, why would people spend their time attacking someone they don’t know, who just wants to make music and wants people to love each other? I think your message and life has one of the most positive messages of love and acceptance I have ever encountered. I know you have had a large impact on my life, and I will forever be grateful.

    • t_birdo

      Amanda Palmer annoys the ever-living crap out of me, and yet I know I lost an evening
      of my life scrolling through her blog and going “UGH” at all the things I
      found pretentious and lame. To be fair, I genuinely had gone to her
      website with an open mind, like, “hey I should find out more about this
      artist some people seem really excited about.” But after watching a
      couple music videos and a few blog posts, it was clear she was never
      going to be my cup of tea, and I even kind of loathed this kind of tea.
      And yet I kept reading for like another hour. Why?

      It’s true that somewhere there’s an opportunistic and schadenfreude-y pleasure
      that comes from consuming media that fuels your pre-existing dislike of
      something. I am genuinely curious why that is. I’m certainly guilty of
      it. I find it on one end a pretty ugly facet of the human personality,
      but on the other it’s also a perfectly normal one. We’re curious and
      judgmental and that’s not always a bad thing. That’s related to
      something that AP’s fans here in the comments need to understand: that
      critical writing is an important and healthy thing, so enough of the
      “why write anything mean about stuff you don’t like?” comments, which
      isn’t even what this piece was about.

      Still, I gleefully click through a post of AP’s performance on
      Craig Ferguson up at The Awl, and savored the witty little barbs those
      commentators left there. More than anything I think it’s a sense of
      solidarity, of turning to your friend beside you and going, “am I crazy,
      or is this chick a Tim Burton doodle with a tin ear? Is it just me?”
      and having them sigh in relief, “oh god, I KNOW.” And then you know
      you’re not alone, and that’s a certain happiness.

      • fascinated

        “That’s related to something that AP’s fans here in the comments need to understand: that critical writing is an important and healthy thing.”

        Well put. I find the consensus that’s been reached by the internet masses on Amanda Palmer pretty amazing; (mostly) everyone agrees she’s a narcissistic, back-biting piece of work. Imagine how satisfying it must be for some of her victims, such as that poor woman who authored the disabled feminist blog and was attacked en masse by AFP’s proxies, to see now that society agrees on Amanda Palmer’s disgusting lack of sensitivity and trollish nastiness. Here! Here! To the internet masses!

        Personally, I have a family member who is a narcissist, and my understanding of the behavior of said family member has been illuminated by watching Amanda’s behavior from afar. Narcissists are so crazy-making; they will tell you to your face that they are the kindest, most sensitive, peaceable people on the planet, all the while talking all kinds of shit about you to everybody who will listen (sound familiar?). It’s been affirming to see the online community taking Amanda out for behavior that is eerily familiar from my personal life.

        • gatouros

          I am a fan of AFP. I think you have absolutely NO idea what it means to live with a narcissist. My mother has NPD (Asian Tiger mother) and it is a completely different ballgame. Having NPD means that person consistently criticizes and demeans you and occasionally throws you a wishy washy bone to keep you dependent on them. They continually praise themselves and cannot take any criticism. (YT “Italian Witch” — clip from Kitchen Nightmares… the woman in that video is exactly like my mother and exhibits a lot of NPD like traits… especially screaming “I don’t want to hear it!” whenever you have any opinion contrary to theirs.) I literally have been praised by my mother like 4 times in my entire life.

          Contrast that to AFP. She takes criticism and has righted some of the things that people have criticized her (didn’t post costs, for example, then posted them). She rarely demeans people (talking shit? cite that please… direct quote). And she praises people… A LOT. Maybe she does like the attention but she is not a true narcissist. Her retorts are NOTHING like my mother’s. Absolutely NOTHING. She is not demeaning her fans and then praising them in order to keep people dependent on her. She doesn’t guilt people into doing things for her. She’s very straightforward.

          That being said, do I agree/like every single thing that she’s done? NO. I find it very disturbing that most of the naysayers are lumping everyone together into “sheep” that defend her at every turn. There is something to be said about the other common group of internet mobs, the “hate something foreign you just heard about a few days ago and know absolutely nothing about” group… what I like to call the “hate bandwagon.” People do it all the time (ex. “Yeah I also hate emo bands… they’re gheyyy.”).

          Most people don’t appear to be realizing that there are shades of grey everywhere. Everyone doesn’t do everything correctly or wrongly 100% of the time, unlike haters always seem to suggest.

          And honestly I don’t get the hate with Evelyn Evelyn. I feel like some people are scraping the bottom of the barrel of criticisms to find because constantly criticize others make themselves feel good. I thought it was cute and touching and quirky and not at all offensive. It is presented as surreal (ex. killing your conjoined twin by having them drink draino without somehow killing yourself… if you think that’s serious you need to take more biology courses). I don’t know how someone can take something not meant to be taken literally and get so offended about it. I’m reminded of Rev. Lovejoy’s wife, “Oh think of the children!”

          • fascinated

            Ok, gatouros, do you think you have the only experience that’s valid here?!? My family member is a covert narcissist. She’d tell you that she’s the sweetest, most self-sacrificing person around. That it’s all peace & love with her.

            So … besides that … Amanda Palmer is not your mother. More important to this conversation than what you think of your mother is what people who just met your mother think of her. I bet your mother impresses a lot of people.

          • fascinated

            Ok, gatouros, do you think you have the only experience that’s valid here?!? My family member is a covert narcissist. She’d tell you that she’s the sweetest, most self-sacrificing person around. That it’s all peace & love with her.

            So … besides that … Amanda Palmer is not your mother. More important to this conversation than what you think of your mother is what people who just met your mother think of her. I bet your mother impresses a lot of people.

          • luci_fer

            “Ok, gatouros, do you think you have the only experience that’s valid here?!?”

            :|

            You made a point about narcissism, backed up by anecdotal evidence regarding your family members and personal life.

            Someone made an opposing point, also backed up by anecdotal evidence regarding their family members and personal life.

            …Do you see how those things are equally valid?

        • Simone

          I’ve just started reading Amanda’s stuff, but I’ve already seen “narcissism” thrown around a lot. I think you need to understand the difference between “narcissistic” and “popular”.

          It’s ok to be energized by crowds and love attention. It’s ok to want fame and get it. Narcissism requires a selfishness and disregard that I just don’t see. In fact I see the opposite, where the value of fame is intimately tied with the value of other people.
          And ironically I believe it’s the emphasis on human contact that gets her more grief for her celebrity than other public figures. Other celebrities have the cheering crowd, but don’t encourage and get thank yous, blog posts, material gifts, adoration from each individual. We’re not so aware of the human beneath the hype. Whereas Amanda actually goes out with, “Hey, this is for you. Do you like me, please?” And whoa whoa whoa, here’s one person getting all the love (yo read this as http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/x-all-the-y), and looking for more. “NARCISSISTIC.” But that’s just not what narcissism is.

          Anyway, I’m mostly commenting cause whatever your criticisms, I consider it really inappropriate to “diagnose” people you dislike from afar. It makes me uncomfortable to come in with a rational defense, cause I’m not an MD, and it’s demeaning and rude to talk about someone like a subject. We should make distinctions between “my feelings” and “something is ‘wrong’ with your brain.”

          tying into PS Amanda, I feel like it’s kind of rude to talk about you in third person on your own blog, so hey and acknowledgement.

          • fascinated

            While narcissism is a term that gets thrown around quite a lot these days in popular culture, it’s actually a personality disorder (contained in the DSM). Narcissists are tone-deaf and lack empathy (they’re not actually mean, as the poster above implies about her mother, unless they feel threatened). Amanda gets “grief” because she does things that are blatantly offensive, she can’t understand how her behavior is offensive, and she insists loudly that it’s everyone else’s fault that they can’t understand why she should be able to do offensive things. In other words, her self-expression trumps anyone else’s feelings of offense, even when she’s defending something as blithely offensive (& idiotic) as performing an on-stage gang rape.

          • fascinated

            Also, Simone, I’m not “diagnosing” Amanda because I dislike her. I’m attributing her behavior to narcissism because it fits in every way. I actually feel sorry for her. It’s interesting that you ‘re holding me to standards of propriety though, while defending Amanda Palmer.

          • luci_fer

            “In other words, her self-expression trumps anyone else’s feelings of offense”

            Someone else made the same point a few days back and I’ll say the same. It’s not narcissistic to not feel responsible for other peoples reactions; it’s simply acknowledging that people should take responsibility for their own feelings.

            You are not responsible for other people or their feelings. They are responsible for themselves.

            There is a difference between “I do not like this, this offends me” and “I am offended, and it’s your fault.”

            Self-expression should NEVER give way to anyone else’s feelings of offence. That sort of inhibition, self-censorship and fear is toxic, certainly to the arts, possibly to society in general.

            What you’re doing is conflating that with sensitivity. It’s perfectly valid to suggest “this topic is insensitive at this time” (not that I necessarily agree) less so to say “you shouldn’t write a poem because someone might be offended.”

            Can you imagine how many songs, books, poems, tv shows, comics, films – anything worth saying – would actually have come into being if that was the general attitude of every artist? Is everyone who creates something controversial automatically a narcissist because they didn’t let the thought that someone, somewhere, might be offended stop them?

            “Nothing worth saying is inoffensive to everyone.” Of course, that doesn’t mean everything offensive is worth saying – and the worth of that can and should be debated on a case-by-case basis. I’d definitely argue that simulating raping katy perry wasn’t worth saying, but then again, after reading a wiki sum up of that:

            “In December 2008, Palmer performed an anti-Proposition 8 agitprop skit at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles where a Katy Perry look-alike came onstage and began singing her controversial song “I Kissed a Girl,” only to be interrupted, kissed, and fondled by Palmer and comedian Margaret Cho. The skit ended with the two binding and gagging “Perry,” who is forced into a mock wedding with Palmer, followed by the raising of an anti-Proposition 8 banner. Palmer mentioned, on her blog, the discontent some in the LGBT community had with Perry over her exploitation of their identity in her song “I Kissed a Girl,” and said she meant the piece as a protest against Proposition 8″

            …it sounds like yet another storm in a teacup.

            The premise that personal expression should give way to anyone else’s feeling of offence, is something I vehemently disagree with. Too many people feel a little too entitled to their own offence. And sure, you ARE entitled to your them. But would it not be narcissistic in turn to expect the world to be deferential to your personal feelings?

          • http://twitter.com/meantambourine Jess

            This! This! A thousand times, THIS.

      • Duh

        I stopped reading after, “…and yet I know I lost an evening of my life scrolling through her blog and going “UGH” at all the things I
        found pretentious and lame”

        Then go away. You don’t have to like everything that’s made in the world. Not everything in the world is made with you in mind. You wasted your own time and have no one to blame but yourself.

      • William

        Thank you
        I love Amanda Palmer, she’s really cool to me, but you make a really interesting point, one that I could wholeheartedly agree with. It’s a case of agree-to-disagree, and people just have to be chiller when they make they’re “I don’t like you” blog posts. Cuz when you sound like a crazy troll freak, you sound like a crazy troll freak.

  • Guest

    I first got to know you through a friend and then through your music and now through your blogs. I now can’t wait to get to know you more when I see you in July in Manchester.

    • Tom

      I got to know you first hand and let me tell you…

  • http://twitter.com/xxxefyxxx Eufemia Barbour

    I first got to know you through a friend, then through your music and now through your blogs. I can’t wait to get to know you more when I see you in July in Manchester.

  • Laurel

    You are amazing. Enough said. Your writing makes me think of another favorite TED talk-Brene Brown’s on vulnerability. Separate thought- I would love to know how to find TARDIS pants. And if you need a quiet place to stay for the time you are in and around San Francisco this week-you are welcome in my small but tree nestled home in Marin County-10 miles from the Filmore.

  • Luci Fer

    I’ve always found thar interwebs as a double-edged sword. Yeah, it’s great at connecting people and lowering inhibitions and social boundaries but…it’s also called the internet hate machine for a reason, and it’s easy to get caught up in the debris and the controversies-of-the-week.

    (particularly, I’d imagine, if you ARE the controversy-of-the-week)

    You’re right. The internet is not enough.

    P.S Somewhere in my retweets lurks this:

    “Amanda Palmer ‏@amandapalmer

    30 Jan

    find my people. RT @Ottabelle what do you do when you feel lost?”

    Glad you found your people :)

    • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

      The internet is a tool, inherently no better or worse than the people who use it. The key there is people. We find our people on and offline. We try to build the world we want to live in, full of diversity and weirdness and love and acceptance. The only way to change things is to live that change.

      • luci_fer

        Sure. But when thousands of people you’ve never met start slinging mud in your general direction, the internet ceases to seem like such a friendly place and can skew your perception in a negative way. It’s more about balance than anything else, I would imagine.

        • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

          Yep. It’s a tool, no better or worse than the people who use it. Unfortunately if people choose to be negative it seems awful, because your experience is awful. But it’s just people – we’ve just not yet learned how to teach people that online they’re interacting with real live humans and what they do has an impact. The first step to make it better is to choose to not be one of those people. And maybe one day, influence others to do the same. Lead by example and all that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MadMadjosephkarlMurdoch Joseph Karl

    Great to see more of you Americans are waking up to the pool of unspeakable awesomeness that is Dr Who! If I were a female, I’d rush out and get those pants forthwith – not so sure they’d go well on a guy tho…

    I’m a 2nd year University student studying Theatre, Music and Performing Arts majors. I’ve been thinking about a postgraduate research project (a bit too organised, I know, but I’m like that), and it seems that I have a great subject right here, in so many different ways! Thank you Amanda for being interesting. It’s actually harder than it looks, and to your absolute credit you do it so well!

    Now, can I hijack my studies to get to Wellington to see you live… That is the next big question…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/Longstofly Jennifer Lydick

    Amanda, I just wanted to say that I am the Jennifer you drew and posted here. I saw this today and started crying into my soup at lunch. The good kind of crying. I took that picture on the day that I was finally able to apologize and make things right with a very dear friend. I wanted to capture the pure joy and relief I felt in that moment (depression makes those moments rare and all the more important to save and remember.) Thank you for giving me even more of a reason to save and remember this moment in my life.

  • insignifikunt

    Firstly, I hope you had a great birthday despite the internet being a whiney little bitch in your direction lately…

    Secondly, I cannot express enough just how much I am looking forward to September. i typed out a long comment that just sounded all woe is me and all that bullshit, but I deleted it. Just know I am really looking forward to really SEEING you again. To connecting with you and all the people who come.

    There are no words to describe how amazing I felt after the first BBQ, and I really need that right now.

    Thank you for giving me that opportunity again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bridgetamc Bridget McGraw-Bordeaux

    I agree with so much of what you wrote, but I still feel like referring to people’s reactions to some things as “kerfluffles” is in some way belittling their reaction

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jenne-Foronjy-Travers/531745038 Jenne Foronjy Travers

    i read your words and i just smile. I don’t smile often but damn. things you write and share bring me smiles and help me think and bring me peace. One day i’ll say thanks in person. till then i’ll say it here. Thank you for sharing yourself, your thoughts, your passion. I pray you keep doing things like what you write about here and just keep on keepin on, you delightful human being. xo

  • BexPandaPop

    Thank you Amanda. I think I needed to read this, to know, right now, that I’m not the only person who is a different person, but the same person, all at the same time, in all the different places. Or something similar to that, that actually makes sense. Thank you. Thank you so very much xxxxx

  • AJ

    Dear Amanda, I support what you do and how you live your life as best I can. Last fall, I went to 3 of your shows – Mps, Chicago and Detroit. I left my teenagers at home for a week. Hauled myself on the megabus with my broken ankle in a boot, and on crutches. You are brave. The world hurts to be a part of so much of the time, and I see you trying to make it better, friendlier, lovelier, and more honest. Seeing you take the risks you do encourages me, in my own life, to take risks to help others, to be more kind, to speak out more clearly against hurtful things. You are my hero.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bindi.fosterbrown Bindi Foster-Brown

    Amanda, I read all your blogs, or at least have the last year or so. They’re always touching, always honestly open and revealing and always read not only with full aliveness. For some reason this one touches me particularly. Yes, if only people would picture the human-ness & vulnerability of those they wish to criticise, downgrade or even mock before they come to do see. Witnessing their own human-ness and vulnerability in the process.

    For sure I learn that you can’t please everyone and there will always be folk who are he’ll bent on putting others down. We know these are the ones displaying a need, a lack of something good in their lives, even if just trust.
    As for that, trust, keep trusting and believing in all you do and when it comes to ‘switch time’s believe that you even if the mockers are in the audience, they are still there out love, and yes respect.
    So much of both of those to you.
    Keep doing what you do, the great are easy pickings, stay whole..
    See you in Utrecht (on my actual 40th) and in my home town Manchester.
    Rock on sister, peace out xxx

  • http://www.facebook.com/ana.romanov.007 Ana Romanov

    Love ya, Amanda!!! You sing like an angel…. and talk like a human and not a machine….no offense, robots….
    gonna draw you a picture!….lol…so broke i can’t rub two pennies together at the mo. but I will find some to contribute because i believe in you.

    xoxoxo

    • Wilkes

      Robots don’t have feelings, no need to apologize. Heh

      • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

        yet, there’s been some interesting/scary/weird advances in technology lately.

  • http://twitter.com/balive2love Meagan Elizabeth

    I just, I just. . .hate the word hate. But. A some-what famous author reminded me that with these intense feelings we reach a clarity and knowing. How can you know what love is without experiencing hate? Light/Dark. Black/Blue. Emotions create beautiful ART. Words are the key to knowing, everything is simple, even though it appears confusing. Never stop being yourself, even if you are totally narcissistic. Hello, I’m bi-polar, nice to meet you. <3 *buzzzzzzz

  • Wilkes

    AFP,

    No matter what you do, what you say, your actions – there will always be a critic. The internet simply gives all of those people voices now; a majority of them have no idea what they are saying, and have no fucking clue what the word “wisdom” means. I’ve been around the internet a long time, and after about 15 years or so, I started to learn that haters are gonna hate. You can’t reason with them, and it’s a huge waste of time trying to do so. Think back on the days there wasn’t any internet – perhaps some of your friends hated the bands you were listening to. Hypothetically, they still do, they just have a place to spout that hate now. It’s all bullshit and VERY predictable.

    Some people will never know how to be humble, or honest. Just keep doing what you’re doing and forget about those that don’t understand – they will eventually, or never. Not your problem. The idea of rock and roll isn’t about making people ‘understand’, or teaching them a lesson, it’s about being an individual for better or worse. You know this – and things for this generation aren’t going to get any better until Kurt Cobain shows up. If you don’t believe me, look at the 80’s – same pop rock bullshit spoon-fed to the masses, just like the music now. Just keep doing what you’re doing sister, the influence is growing slowly, but surely.

    -Wilkes

    • anon

      But seriously, almost nothing that she’s done to “revolutionize” the
      industry is particularly new. I remember bands putting music up for
      free on the internet in the 90’s (it took forever to download, but,
      whatever). Couchsurfing, crowdsourcing? None of this is particularly
      unusual (just easier, thanks to social media), especially if you’ve
      spent any time with touring indie bands in the past 30 years. She’s
      just done it better, or at least louder and more vocally, than anyone so
      far. She’s kinda Steve Jobs-ian, in that she may not be innovating,
      per se, but she’s *way* better at generating press about it than anyone
      else.

      What of course works in her favor is she has this rabid fanbase that
      will do things like buy an empty wine bottle in a twitter auction for
      $400 or whatever. She appeals to a certain demographic that eases the
      process, i.e. the terribly lonesome and very very needy.

      It’s not a model that most artists are going to be able to reliably
      replicate. Whether even *she* will be able to replicate it remains to
      be seen, once the bloom is off the proverbial kickstarter rose (will
      digital crowdsourcing be as trendy and useful when *everyone*’s doing
      it, or will we treat KS requests the same way we ended up treating all
      those MySpace friend requests from bands?).

      That said…The “Poem For Dzokhar” was f’ing AWFUL in the worst
      possible narcissistic way. I don’t buy her “I wrote this in 9 minutes,
      whatevs” excuse one bit – nobody who’s a queen-of-all-media with a
      million twitter followers can play that card and have it stick. I call BS.

      • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

        Most people who are noted for revolutionizing the way things are done aren’t the first do have done it, just the first to do it and people took note.

    • http://twitter.com/balive2love Meagan Elizabeth

      Right on, well said! I want to join The Cult. . .or circus, I think that is were I am headed <3

  • CarraLuna

    Even if you aren’t here in person, you and Neil were in a dream I had one night after an extremely challenging day, and we had tea in a tree house and the healing was real. Thank you for that!

  • Andrew

    pfft these idiots who post petty insults are closet fans. Have to be little kids with tons of time or adults with no life to even post some of these ignorant comments. She has amazing fans because she is legitemately intelligent and creative. That is lost on the masses and rightfully so. I wouldn’t want to be considered a part of the same society as these assholes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.seidel Jesse Seidel-Iaquilino

    I am a laissez-faire Amanda Palmer fan. And by that I mean I enjoy the music, I enjoy the scene of CREATE ART! And I enjoy Amanda being exactly whom she wants to be. I have not been to one of the shows, I have no one to go with, husband is not into everything I am into and well, traveling alone to Philadelphia or NYC? Not of fan of that anymore. But I find myself disappointed in myself that I am not one of those dedicated individuals that eat, sleep,live, breathe the kind of art that Amanda creates. I won’t to be that person that can go up to her and say, “I am here and I appreciate who you are because you are a Real Person.” I am not that brave soul however, I’ve not been called into a persons life like that yet.

    I feel that each of us are called into a persons life when we are truly needed, then we may continue along together for awhile, or part. Sometimes that very brief meeting is all that we need. I’ve had a person like that in my life, the man who came up to me on a barren, frozen beach on January 2nd and sat with me. He wrapped an arm around me and told me that everything was going to be fine, don’t listen to those people out there that want to bring us all down. I never knew that mans name but to me, he was a Real Person. He picked me up at my lowest point and helped me stand back up again.

    Amanda Palmer is just as real to me as that man who saved my life. Many of her fans are just like her. And those others, well, perhaps they themselves are Real People as well, vocally shouting, ‘I am here too and this is my view!’ They might be mean but I think many of them, without the screen of the internet, are genuinely nice people.

    No, I’m not a die-hard fan. I’m just a fan of Amanda being REAL.

    Thanks Ms. Palmer. For being exactly who you are.

    • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

      <3

  • http://twitter.com/viridian Michelle

    Amanda, you are the realest musician I’ve ever had the privilege to listen to, precisely *because* you say things that people hate, things that are badly-timed, things that are awkward, things that are probably objectively the wrong thing — but always, always things that are honest.

    Thank you for always sharing so much of yourself here and on Twitter and at your concerts. You are braver than so many celebrities who never let an ounce of their reality show because it’s not good PR. Fuck good PR. Missteps are the price of being real, and you’ve shown a willingness to engage with your critics and to consider the impact of your actions. That’s all anyone can ask.

    I’ve been listening, on and off, to your music since about 2003, but over the past six months I feel like I’ve really sat down and read your writing and listened to your messages, both sung and written, and it’s all been exactly what I’ve needed to experience right now. So thank you, from someone who hopes her creations are always so honest and that she never forgets how to be real.

  • Sarah-Mae

    Oh Amanda, you are such a delightful person. If you ever need a place to stay, drink a bit, and enjoy yourself around a fire in central Idaho, come on by. I’m a real person and sometimes I’m an internet person too. ghost_arrives@hotmail.com

  • Ali

    Just leaving you some love. Always, and always, and always. Thank you for sharing your truths with us. Love love love.

  • Alanna

    I wanted to meet you so bad after the Vancouver concert in September, but my ride came and I had to go. I didn’t even know if you’d come out. But may we meet each other soon, for sure, and it will be the best thing. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/agrathea Theresa Pridemore

    Amanda, when I deal with my own (albeit minor) issues with coming out into the big wide world with my art, and learning to handle criticism from kind strangers (who have no clue what I’m about) to vitriolic internet trolls (who can’t make so choose to tear down those who would), I think of you and wonder how you find the strength to carry on and be as graceful as you are about it (and then go perform with gusto afterward). Oddly enough, when I recently encountered my worst public criticism to date (for me big, though tiny in comparison to yours), I thought it interesting that only two nights ago I had dreamed that you and I sat down for coffee and talked about public criticism. I told you I was just learning to deal with that and asked you how you handled it, and how you kept on making.

    Reading this post was a real life answer to that dreamworld discussion I had with you.

    You and I are about the same age and I really look up to you as a role model. I don’t know where you find the grace and strength to be so pro and so alive in the midst of the challenges you face. I know it must be incredibly hard. I have met you in person a few times (years ago I got invited to the brigade at a Portland show and did performance art for the first time myself, having no clue who you and Brian were … I instantly became a fan as I watched you guys for the first time from the balcony of the Aladdin), I have seen you in rehearsal (thanks to some VIP tickets for the show you and Neil did, which felt beautifully full circle since it was also at the Aladdin), and yet when I have a chance to talk to you I am way too shy… I get all tongue-tied, but I consider you to be a friend from afar, even if it’s just me getting a little inspiration here and there through the Twitter-verse and your blog.

    You give artistic women like me something to strive toward and believe in. You are totally real and totally vulnerable and fucking insanely creative and I can’t imagine what a huge burden it is to maintain your values in the face of this wacky-ass hate campaign that I keep seeing popping up in different forms of late, it breaks my heart that people can be so cruel and so clueless.

    I love you for keeping it real. I don’t know I’d have the strength you have. I don’t even have the strength to say hi when I am three feet away. But I admire you greatly. Not on a pedestal, just the real, beautiful, brave you. Thank you for making me feel like it’s possible to be a creative artist and business woman, living in a feminine model of trust and inclusion. Jesus Christ, what a price you pay. I only hope that I can have half your courage when I face my own crucibles.

    Thank you for being you. Thank you for opening up the discussion and saying yes to the world, despite it all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachaquinn Rachel Quinn

    “Wish” is my favorite Cure album. Best song on there is “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”; <3

  • Lucy

    Amanda, sharing one’s art is so fucking scary. Case and point, your career. I mean, I like most of what you do, I don’t agree with all of it, but I think you contribute some really gratuitously cool shit to the world that would be less cool without you. But the second an artist has something really interesting to say (i.e. not the kind of bland crap that’s never going to bother anybody ever) then you’ll get the haters, the ones who are secretly angry that someone else is getting the attention and respect and care for their work that THEY want and feel they deserve. Or they just see someone that looks and acts different from them, and can’t stand the idea that that person is successful when they look so WEIRD and act so DIFFERENT. Or that this person has the NERVE to ask for our time and attention without grovelling or acting ashamed of being an artist, and people are GIVING IT TO HER! Or they are simply outraged that something they don’t particularly like that was made for someone else to enjoy is allowed to exist at all.

    There are reasonable criticisms, sure. But a reasonable person with a criticism makes his criticism then gets on with his life. The ridiculous amount of people stalking your blog and twitter feed to leave nasty comments just aren’t reasonable. A real artist by nature pisses people off, because people can’t stand those who are brave when they themselves are frightened.

    And you are brave, because even while knowing all of this, you still keep making cool shit to make the world better.

    And that makes me a little braver. Because I’m the kind of person who’s been called pretentious my whole life for talking about stuff I genuinely think is interesting. Or that I’m putting on some kind of fake persona because I like certain things and use certain words to describe them. And no amount of explaining to people seems to make them believe that I really do like these things, and I really do just talk that way naturally, and when I make art I’m making the art that I genuinely think is cool and worthwhile. Seeing you, who makes the art that works in your head and heart and have found an audience who truly appreciates it, even while the rest of the world throws judgements at you left and right.

    People that have never been brave enough to open up and create something and let the world see it don’t know how much it fucking HURTS to have that torn down. And the more of this horrible attitude that’s out there, the more fear there is, and the more people will repress their creativity. The more people do that, the more resentment they have for those who have actually been brave enough to make it. And on and on again, in a cycle.

    Anyway, I think that’s why I like you so much. You make me braver.

  • Purple Rain

    How I met Amanda Palmer.

    It was 2004, I was 18 years old, out of highschool, working a full time position at a small land surveying company as their autoCAD technician. 5 o’clock finally came around and I punched out of work and drove over to the big corporate giant known as walmart. You see… I have this problem when I get depressed, anxious, or just in a general “dark” mood; I spend money. I’ll go to a store and by random things that call out to me. Either by their titles, or cover art, or great fit (clothes). So on this particular day, when I’m feeling particularly crappy, I needed to find something I could relate to on an emotional level and connect with, something musical, since being a musician myself I find it easy to connect with. I’m browsing the cd’s on walmarts racks and.. what’s this? the dresden dolls… huh? I’m immediately drawn to the artwork on the album, and I flip it over and scan the titles on the songs. I had to have it. As soon as I got back in my car, popped the cd in the player, and the piano starts in on Good Day, I was hooked. I couldn’t believe how much the lyrics of all the songs and emotion ran parallel to my own experiences and feelings. And before buying the album I had no idea that The Dresden Dolls was a piano based band. I’ve played since I was 5 or 6, having grown up in a pretty strict independent southern baptist church, and spent my life in the closet as a gay male, music and art was my only means of coping. And since both of my parents were music ministers, they taught me at an early age how to play by chords, and I taught myself the rest by ear, and heart. I’ve pretty much bought every subsequent album you’ve released as the dresden dolls, then as a solo artist, and now grand theft orchestra. (although i usually loan them out and never get them back, or lose them between moving here and there, so I’ve had to download them *ahem* illegally later on). But I really feel like it was fate, if there is such a thing, that I came across that cd. Here in Panama City, FL there’s not a lot of culture. Not a lot of art. I probably never would have been introduced to your music had it not been for that one day, and my much-needed-spur-of-the-moment-random-retail-therapy.
    I really hope I can experience your show live someday. Or maybe even play a duet *wink wink*. I played a cover (of your cover) of No Surprises. Qualities not the greatest, but here it is. http://www.youtube.com/embed/ns8ORAQK7cU
    Much love and all that good stuff.
    Your fan, appreciative listener, and unmet friend,
    Heath

  • Chris Da Lis

    I like some of your work – the Momus cover and I Google You. I’m sure the rest is ok, too.

    But I’m afraid have to agree with with some of the comments on ‘The Amanda Palmer’ story.

    “.. the indie-community’s Gwyneth Paltrow. Her charming ignorance towards her own entitlement is something to wonder at ..”

    Gelatinous narcissism. Constant appeals for money (there’s even one above this box I’m writing in!). Expectations that you will get things for free. These things don’t seem either healthy or appealing. The Amanda Palmer ‘community’ just feeds the problem – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_supply

    A degree of narcissism is necessary for performers, but when when it blocks self-awareness, as it so obviously has done in this case, then its a negative thing. I expect you’ve been told the same things before.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicole.simone.505 Nicole Simone

    Amanda, it sounds like you need a holiday from teh interwebz, and media in general.

    Go do it! Please, for your own health. After all, you’ve earned it.

    In love and light,

    Nicole Simone xx

  • Matthew James

    Amanda, let me tell you a story of how “real” you are to me and have been for absolute years. I want to email you a longer version of this story but always feel like even though writing is my job when it comes to this sort of stuff I can never say exactly what I intend to, and then I get annoyed with myself and throw my computer at the wall and never tell the story.

    anyway.. I have lived in Melbourne for upwards of three years after leaving from Adelaide. there is a game I play here called the 6 degrees of Amanda palmer.. almost everyone I know here is connected to you in some way. they have become some of my closest friends, former lovers and people who I would do absolutely anything for. I have had some hard times x a million since moving here but these people have been there for me in every way you could think of. And we’ve had a shit load of fun along the way. They were the first ones to embrace me when I decided to transition, they were the first ones to give me space when two of my immediate family members died. They have fed me, listened to my depression and celebrated my successes.

    Also I remember very much the first time I met you properly and we hugged in the middle of a very crowded small recording studio gig in Adelaide. I don’t know if you remember, nor do I expect you to but when I told you I wanted to leave and move to Melbourne and write for a living.. you said ” do it, it will happen”. That was the little bit of the spark I needed to get my shit together and become something, after a life time of floundering.

    you cannot get more real than this my love… you just can’t. see you in September

  • MyllieTunes

    Dear fucking palmer!

    I wish i lived in the usa and just would randomly walk into you,
    you are great i understand the battle your in.. can’t say i’m used to it.. but i understand
    never forget why you are on stage and never forget why you make music cuz you are brilliant,
    you will always be the same person off-on stage.. i know how that feels, and it is painfull.
    Painfull because it’s you they are hurting,
    but its also gorgeous and beautiful.. because it’s really you..

    i hope my music will lead me to you one day and who knows

    much love

    MyllieTunes

  • neevita

    Amanda, what a surprise it was to read this after having met you the day after you wrote it. It seems we both needed what the other had to teach and found just the right moment. Funny how life works that way so often for some types of people.

    I thought you might enjoy this: http://annfriedman.com/image/49152967734

    Make good art,
    -nee

  • http://twitter.com/RoseSupan Rose Elizabeth Supan

    I saw you and the GTO in DC at the 9:30 Club. It’s interesting that you wondered if all those people out there were all those people right here in this cyberworld.

    I’ve seen you perform before. And the crowd at the GTO show was different than any crowd I’d ever seen. For the first time, I saw ASSHOLES at one of your shows!!!I’d truthfully never seen that before.

    But I think with your spreading visibility comes the inevitable crowd members who come curiously, cynically, or even, God help us, angrily. I don’t suppose this will be the case at every show, but from now on, I think you’ll be seeing more of it. There will be a lot of those folks who will not be happy with the show, or just you in general. I wouldn’t be concerned. Performers like John Lennon and Steve Earle and Patti Smith and thousands of others are with you. It’s a nice bunch to have in the same club.
    I’m dating myself horrifically, but I once went to to a rock festival in the olden times, and a band named Savoy Brown was going to play last in a Loooong lineup. I had come to see John Sebastian, the lead man behind The Lovin’ Spoonful, playing solo. Unfortunately for John, he was scheduled to go on right before Savoy Brown, and from the moment he took the stage he was bombarded with impatient SB fans who wanted the world and wanted it now. John had also “sold out” (as it was so quaintly put back then) because he had done a television theme song, thus in many minds having become friends with “The Man.”
    It was sad. John was a peaceful man who truly loved his audience and loved sharing with them. (I would recommend his album “Cheapo-Cheapo Productions presents Real Live John Sebastian” as a shining example of this man’s connection with his audience.

    Anyway, three songs into his set, the assholes in the audience were clearly becoming a nuisance.
    So John, calmly, asked that those who had come to see him join him off the stage. He walked off, came out into the crowd, found his fans, and we all went to another spot, where he played for us and with us for an hour and a half, laughing, joking, and having a wonderful time. When he had finally given out his last hug and walked away, I went back to the stage area, where a friend had been watching Savoy Brown.

    “How were they?” I asked.

    “They sucked,” he replied. “The lead singer was really drunk or stoned or something. He acted like he hated the crowd.”
    I just shrugged and smiled. And remembered that just a half hour ago, John Sebastian had me doing the bass “shoo doop, dooby dooby” parts while he sang Ïn the Still of the Night.”

    No, your concert crowds aren’t all ideal fans these days.

    You can’t please everyone. But you sure can please SOME of them, and YOURSELF at the same time.
    In the mind of this old hippie, that’s what it’s all about. Thank you for being who you are, Amanda. Love you.

    Rose

  • http://twitter.com/TheLProfile live//love//laugh

    I miss you and I love you

  • JaneAustinsFightClub

    To the people who are angry at amanda palmer for her recent blog post. When you dehumanise criminals you deny the world the opportunity to understand why they committed the crime and by extension the opportunity to combat it. At the end of the day the bombers weren’t scooby doo villains, they were people like me and like you with normal worries, normal hopes and normal feelings. I understand that’s scary, to admit a normal person could do such a thing but don’t you dare take our your fear on Amanda Palmer and don’t you dare shame me for empathising. I do care about the bombers, and you know why that is? IT’S BECAUSE IM BETTER THAN THEM. If we cast them as demons , we will never work out what drove them to do this (wether it be mental illness, extremism or anger at the world) and this will all happen over again. Thank god people like afp aren’t taking the easy route of mindless hate and anger because at times like this, pitch forks and torches aren’t needed. It’s understanding and empathy which will bring about real change. Amanda Palmer, love you forever and for always

    • ANon

      I don’t think it is all just mindless hate. I think Amanda didn’t even wait until the bodies were buried before she attempted to gain attention from this terrorist event. There is a really good point that some people made, who posted their feelings on her blog (ppl which she happened to lack complete empathy with BTW), and that they thought it would be a terrific idea that Amanda needs to hire somebody like a press agent to screen some of the malarkey she posts sometimes. Nobody needed a poem for a terrorist immediately after something terrible like that happened. I didn’t need to read that. Most people didn’t need to read that. Most people don’t really like being blown up and having poems written about the people that did it – that quickly afterwards. Sure, you can write or say anything you want. You have the freedom of speech, but you also have the freedom not to speak. And it is important to learn how to make that kind of responsible and mature distinction. Amanda blew it. She should apologize for being insensitive and clownish.

  • sweetrebeccapea

    Can we please get Jason Webley to tour again? He’s so amazing. Let him know, k? xo, B

  • sweetrebeccapea

    Also, which limb do I have to cut off to get you to perform with Toshi Reagon and Invincible Detroit? Isn’t it about time you guys did a “Triple Threat” show together? Come on, now…..think about it, pretty please???

    • sweetrebeccapea

      Maybe something with Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babes label? Just a thought…..

  • http://twitter.com/meantambourine Jess

    Thought I’d pass a few minutes before work reading this. Little did I know it would be such an emotional punch in the gut. I’d like to run into a guy like Cliff.

    And since I read the blog a lot more than I comment, a general word on haters (not to be confused with reasonable disagree-ers) while I’m here: I will never see the point in spending time and brainpower publicly counting off the ways you despise someone you don’t even know. And paid bloggers who mindlessly churn out fuel for the fire are no better than the worst tabloid writers.

    Sigh. The internet hate-cycle is so depressing to watch.

  • Hyla Ditty

    Amanda, I love you so much. Words cannot describe. I think you’re a raw beauty, and I understand you (as much as I could from just reading your blogs and listening to your music.)
    But seriously, you are the reason I still have hope for the people of this world. There is hope for people. Real people,
    xoxo
    Peace

  • klaymon

    Amanda, whenever you and your husband are in San Francisco, I have a 3 bedroom, 3 bath house with a piano you can stay in. Big (for SF), quite, view, private (except when I’m in town.) Gratis. Seriously.

  • klaymon

    Amanda, whenever you and your husband are in San Francisco, I have a 3 bedroom, 3 bath house with a piano you can stay in. Big (for SF), quite, view, private (except when I’m in town.) Gratis. Seriously.

  • klaymon

    Amanda, whenever you and your husband are in San Francisco, I have a 3 bedroom, 3 bath house with a piano you can stay in. Big (for SF), quite, view, private (except when I’m in town.) Gratis. Seriously.

  • klaymon

    Amanda, whenever you and your husband are in San Francisco, I have a 3 bedroom, 3 bath house with a piano you can stay in. Big (for SF), quite, view, private (except when I’m in town.) Gratis. Seriously.

  • klaymon

    Amanda, whenever you and your husband are in San Francisco, I have a 3 bedroom, 3 bath house with a piano you can stay in. Big (for SF), quite, view, private (except when I’m in town.) Gratis. Seriously.

  • haley

    wow
    aMAHnDAH
    you are still a narcissistic ass

  • Pingback: Blue Coaster33()