This is Rusty.
Not Rusty the Slam Master… blah blah blah.
Last night’s show was great… mostly. I had a lot of fun hosting… mostly. It was all positive… mostly.
Except when it wasn’t.
Sometimes we have to accept that my personal opinions and the right way to run a slam do not always match. That happened last night.
First off, let me tell you about something that bugs me. I am going to call out Gavin by name here because the poem actually ends with a very good message… but it starts with something that I don’t like.
The Friend Zone.
Again, Gavin’s poem ends with some really positive stuff. It is the term that really bugs me. I read somewhere that the term ‘Friend Zone’ implies that you are expecting that if you are nice enough to a woman, then she is obligated to have sex with you. If she doesn’t then she has committed the horrible act of ‘putting you in the Friend Zone’.
See the problem here?
I am not going to go any further with that, and Gavin is awesome and I had heard the poem before and knew it ended on a high note. I just don’t like the term.
But if THAT was the only thing that bothered me, I wouldn’t even have mentioned it.
Instead, I am going to talk about a different poet. I am not going to name names here because I like him and I am not trying to start a fight.
Sometimes even people I like can make me fuming mad.
In a poem last night, a poet referred to people I care for… people I love… people I respect… people I will fight for… as murderers.
I realize that abortion is a touchy subject for some people, but we are not talking about saying he is against it, or he would never do it or whatever. He said that they are murderers.
Do you know how hard it was for me to walk back onto the stage, continue with the slam and stay completely neutral just then?
Very hard… and I can only imagine that it would be even harder for others.
Here is the thing… I was talking to someone afterwards and he asked if I was surprised that this poet would have that opinion. Nope.
And, in the context of slam, does he have a right to say it. Yep.
And I have the right to be really bloody angry about it.
Under ANY circumstance this would make me really angry. For it to happen right when we are making some real headway into female representation on stage just makes it worse. This is a straight up attack on women’s rights.
Look, I got real heat by doing a poem where I said that I don’t believe in god. In that poem I never said that other people were wrong to believe, just that I don’t. Here we have someone who is not just saying that people are wrong, he is calling them murderers.
We’ll get past it. He is a talented poet and his views are his views. He has every right to them.
And I have very right to be freaking angry about him calling people I care about murderers on stage.