Sack Races Can Blank My Blank

1.  It should be noted that, a mere two days ago, I did in fact participate in two sack races at a picnic.  That’s right, on some occasions, folks are still doing sack races.  But the important part:  I totally owned my competition both times.  I won by landslides.  I say this to gloat.  Because it is a rare moment indeed in my life when I find myself vanquishing opponents in any physical competition whatsoever–including leisure sports like pool and bowling.  So yeah.  Apparently I rule at sack racing.  However, it should also be duly noted that even now, 48 hours later, my lower abs hurt like crazy!  And I have been working my abs in workouts for a few weeks, so it’s not just from using unused muscles…there is something about sack races that MURDERS the abs, but especially, like…the very bottom ones.  I’m a scientist.

2.  You know who reads a lot?  Homeless people.  I’m not making some tasteless joke here, I’m serious.  At least in Philadelphia, whenever I see homeless people, I would say 50% of the time, they are reading something, and not always a newspaper, but often books.  I hear what some of you are about to say: They sure have plenty of free time to read!  Well sure, and I’m not sure what my point is with this, but it seemed like an observation worth making.  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

3.  So there are these two bands I like (don’t stop reading yet, this isn’t actually about the bands).  The bands are The War on Drugs and Sun Kil Moon.  Both bands are fairly recent discoveries for me.  Over the past month, a very odd “feud” has developed between these bands (who, while both “indie” bands, are not bands that would typically be grouped together or thought of at the same time).  The were both playing the same festival, on different stages, at the same time, and apparently War on Drugs’ sound was drowning out the sound of Sun Kil Moon.  Now, Sun Kil Moon is basically one guy, Mark Kozelek, a very outspoken eccentric who often makes waves in the indie community.  Kozelek writes great songs, then gets other folks to play them with him and calls that band Sun Kil Moon.  The War on Drugs is just a band.  Anyway, so War on Drugs is too loud for Mark Kolezek and he gets pissed at them, for some reason, and he says something like this onstage: “This next song is called ‘The War on Drugs Can Suck My Fucking Cock”.  Now, to make a really long story somewhat short: the indie music press loves feuds (who doesn’t?) and reported on this idiotic stage banter promptly, and Kozelek being the guy he is, he just kept making the problem worse and being extremely mean to War on Drugs for months now; for their part, War on Drugs has stayed mostly silent, seeing as they did truly nothing.  Sun Kil Moon went as far as to release, last week a song called “War on Drugs: Suck My Cock”.      You can read very interesting reporting from the feud as it went down here, or here, or here.

ANYWAY, here is what I want to talk about:  the very first time I read that story, I winced at Kozelek’s choice of words.  Suck my cock, while a slam I may have directed at many a male friend of mine over the years, is not a way I would choose to talk to today.  I don’t want to say I am evolved or enlightened, but I think it would be fair to say I am certainly MORE evolved or enlightened about this topic than I used to be.  The topic, as far as I can generally state it, is men using subtle violence and aggression in every day life to perpetuate the patriarchal society we’ve all come to inhabit; even as women gain a more visible foothold toward equality, men still casually sit with their legs wide open on trains, depriving women of proper legroom (your cock isn’t that big, guys), we use terms associated with the female anatomy to mean negative things (what does it mean when you so viciously call another person a pussy as if it is the last thing on earth you’d like to be?).  Men gawk at women as they walk past on the street as though nobody can tell–or that nobody should care.  And men like Mark Kozelek–ostensibly a very artistic, extremely intelligent man who skirts the edges of our culture in a way that one would assume means he’d be more enlightened–uses the language of male aggression to another man; the suggestion of this language goes deep (NO PUN FREAKIN’ INTENDED) and does more than hint at a latent hatred for homosexuality, not to even begin exploring what a mean-spirited “suck my cock” says about the speaker’s opinion about the women who, one would assume, have done so to him willingly.

Look, I know this line of thought seems “out there” to some people, maybe a little too new-agey. Being a male in today’s culture isn’t easy.  We still want to treat women nice and be chivalrous, but it’s tough to do that and play the equality game.  I get that.  We’re not always going to be perfect at it; ours is a culture in the middle of change, and it’s tough to keep up with that as individuals.  But really, at core, it’s easy.  Treat everyone correctly, and realize that language is also action.  The things couched in what you say are real and have meaning, not just academically, but to your listeners.  Realize that your actions in public, even if they seem benign–looking, where you sit or stand, things you say within earshot–can still reek of male supremacy.  Go ahead and hold the door open for your sweetheart (unless she’s told you to bugger off with that shit), but make sure you’re both standing beside each other at the Starbucks register.  Don’t be a fucking asshole.  What are your thoughts?


4.  As much as Mark Kozelek has pissed me off with his War on Drugs feud, his song (as Sun Kil Moon) “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes” off this year’s new album Benji, is one of the best songs I’ve heard, not just this year, but in years:


5.  I like a lot of stuff.  I think I have made that fairly clear over the years.  And most people know that I love backscratchers.  But nobody has ever bought me a really good backscratcher.  #justsayin

9 Responses to “Sack Races Can Blank My Blank”

  1. 1. Sack racing is in your blood, you know. I was the champ at Oakville Elementary and went on to have my pic in the famous Valley Times Star for coming in first at the Newville Festival. Congrats on continuing the Dellinger tradition.
    2. I read that about 50% of homeless people are very smart and ask for books while begging.
    4. Nice!
    5. Bet you get a lot of back scratchers for Christmas.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Of course I remember your sack racing ability! I should have even mentioned that in the post. I was very proud to carry on the tradition!

  2. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    My thoughts on your thoughts on the Kozelek choice of words are as follows; I mostly agree with you. Phrases like what he said or your other example of calling someone a, “pussy” (something I referred to myself as in our podcast recording mere hours ago!) are phrases that we throw around too loosely without realizing the connotations they imply.

    It goes without saying my thoughts on equality with both sexuality and gender. Of course I, Kozelek, or most anyone who uses phrases like that don’t mean it as anything against homosexuals or women. If I get to the root of it I think it just means sucking a cock is something I would not like to do, so I wish it upon you in my moment of anger toward you. There are a million worse things a straight guy can do that put a penis in their mouth, but all the same I’d really not like to do that. Now to say that to a woman would be idiotic and I know it’s not a thing but saying to another straight dude, “go eat a vagina” is just as idiotic. That’s not an insult. I do think it would be really funny if one gay dude said that to another gay dude though!

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Well, see, this is where I think you are wrong: I don’t necessarily think the speaker himself is being a homophobe or misogynistic by his intent if he says “suck my cock”, but that doesn’t change the fact that the phrase IS THOSE THINGS and that your audience or listeners may take it that way; what you are saying is the product of generations of a masculine aggression culture. Just because YOU don’t mean it that way doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean that. And I definitely noticed you calling yourself a pussy on the podcast; don’t worry–I only recently became this enlightened, you’ll get here eventually :)

  3. The mental image of you sack racing cracks me up!

    Also, I think homeless people may read a lot BC the the library and shelters probably offer reading material.

    Thirdly, thanks for addressing that it is still manly to be chivalrous. 😍

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Hey!! Why does me sack racing crack you up???

      Being chivalrous is a sticky issue for us nowadays…how we do it and to what degree requires a lot of thought!

  4. Seth,
    The simple thought of you jumping around in a sack makes me giggle and that you took it very seriously. Your mom’s comment is also funny! More then one champ! Hahahaha

  5. I meant to type than vs then. Damn autocorrect and I couldn’t let the post that way. It was irritating me.

  6. Speaking of sack races…

    And wow, wonderful commentary on the ingrained nature of the patriarchy and language. What we say and how we say it really does matter.

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