Dear God I Hate Myself is the latest provocation from Xiu Xiu, the San Jose band formed by Jamie Stewart and assorted collaborators (former Xiu Xiu agit-prop includes albums called Knife Play, Fabulous Muscles and Fag Patrol, songs with titles like “Ian Curtis Wishlist” and album covers that look like erotic Found magazine).
Stewart, percussionist Ches Smith and the recently drafted
AmandaAngela Seo are coming tonight to the Echo, where they will be supported by Noveller and tUnE-yArDs. The show is sponsored by KCRW, a not unusual patron for the kind of high-brow, edgy surrealism of bands like Xiu Xiu and Matmos.
Oh, and last month
AmandaAngela had to post a clarification on the band's website (see Feb. 6 post) pointing out that a recent video where she vomits her brains out was her idea and that “Jamie didn't exploit me or coerce me or anything like that.”
Full version of
AmandaAngela's little vomit essay, after the jump.
From the Xiu Xiu website, 2/6/2010:
once more regarding the vomit
The video was my idea. Jamie didn't exploit me or coerce me or anything like that.
Although this was a while ago, I grew up around a lot of people who were bulimic. Well not just bulimic, but had a lot of various issues with self hatred that were expressed in a million various ways, including cutting and drug use. Although I still encounter all various sorts of self-loathing, perhaps because bulimia was the most visible, prevalent, and even normalized form of self-destruction at a very impressionable age, I will always think of it as a major form of self-hatred. There is also something very physically torturous and viscerally disturbing (aka gross!) about the act of vomiting that strikes my fancy, I guess.
I remember one night that one of my friends was completely fucked up on a few different drugs. Then she went through the pantry and fridge eating all kinds of shit. She'd then throw it up, eat more, throw up, eat more throw up. After a couple of hours of this, I told her that she was fucking stupid and dumb and left. I never saw her again, but found out she died a couple years later from overdose. I felt stupid and dumb for calling her pain stupid and dumb.
So yes, me vomiting my brains out on video was gross as hell and it made me feel like shit afterward. Those tears and the “what the fuck is going on” look is sincere. But just because I look like shit does not mean that I didn't have a choice in doing that.
I don't know why so many people are assuming that I didn't have any agency in making of this video. I guess because I'm a young Asian female? Or perhaps some people don't understand that one can voluntarily choose to hurt themselves physically. Maybe some think it's just so stupid and dumb that one had to have been forced to do it?
I apologize for the rambling, but I guess I'm just trying to say, please don't attack Jamie for anything. It was my idea and I chose with full agency, undrugged, uncoerced, to do it. Also, I guess I am trying to explain a little bit why such a gross and stupid act is my way of showing self-hatred — but then again, when is an act of self-hatred ever not gross and stupid?
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