So, my column for Liability is going to revolve around TV, Documentaries and Film, because lets face it… I’m old, I’m married and I’m skint! What else do I do with my time? Originally this months column was going to be all about the documentary thats gripping the nation “Making A Murderer” (the Steven Avery story). However, I’ve just watched something else that has filled me with inspiration… I am one of these “lazy” writers, I have to be struck by an idea, or a mood to fill me with motivation, I don’t stick to a schedule, I can’t work to deadlines and I can’t control my impulses.
As a self employed person it’s quite cool, as when my mind goes off on one I can kind of just take a step back.. so that’s what I did. This morning I changed out of my business attire into a baggy Spiderman T-shirt, washed off my make up, put on my glasses and sat down in front of the TV with a sugary tea. I did this, because I needed to. I need to not read emails and religiously check my whatsapp every once in a while. So, after staring blankly at my oversized TV, I decided to educate myself by watching a documentary, probably to ease the impending guilt of the fact I was actually doing FUCK ALL.
I came across the Kathleen Hanna documentary “The Punk Singer” on Netflix and as soon as the opening credits started to roll and “Rebel Girl” started to play, I was hooked. Now, this documentary was actually released in 2013, but I just thought it was so apt that I would watch this on the week of my article deadline for Liability Magazine, an all girl magazine, surrounding girls with varied disabilities!
The documentary follows Kathleen Hanna (Lead singer; Bikini Kill, Julie Ruin, Le Tigre, and THE Julie ruin) throughout her career, personal life and battle with her own illness. Watching the documentary really gave me an overwhelming feeling of pride, it made me look at my personal situation and made me want to succeed. Throughout Kathleen’s life she was/is viewed from the outside as a weirdo, she was often misunderstood but really what she was doing was quite revolutionary. She was doubted by many and truly, completely underestimated. She was the prime example of someone who was spurred on by being told that they wouldn’t/couldn’t succeed… AND because of this, I see so much of myself in her. I see so much of every girl in her!
She fought for what was fair, and she was just… HER. I think people apologise for that too much these days. Kathleen released a fanzine with her peers called “Riot Grrrl” they didn’t copyright it, they didn’t censor it or overproduce it. Riot Grrrl was what you wanted it to be. Each fan had their own Riot Grrrl Manifesto which was literally, anything they wanted. Riot Grrrl empowered. Riot Grrrl offered support, Riot Grrrl proved that you weren’t alone.
With internet culture as it is these days, there is little to no support for anyone out there trying something new, and as soon as there is a constructive comment, there is a destructive one. People are easy to criticise others, because ultimately people are afraid. People are afraid of change, afraid of revolution, afraid of saying no. There is nothing encouraging creativity, there are no virtual “pats on the back” and so many people sit, wish, do nothing because they feel incapable.
As a disabled girl, I doubt myself on the daily. Literally… waking up on a bad day a million thoughts crowd my mind. I can’t dress, I can’t write, I’m not a serious business woman, I drank a whole bottle of wine last night… I can’t WALK (haha), the list is literally endless! and it’s depressing… I feel like a pretender. I feel like i’m wearing a costume, I feel like i’m sitting at my computer now, scruffy hair, glasses an all, PRETENDING to be a writer, pretending that my opinions and thoughts really matter to SOMEONE. But then I realise, if we do not pretend. Then what is the point, if we do nothing, what is the point in our existence? If we don’t try something new, if we don’t give into our every impulse, then how will we know what will stick.. Were we not put on this earth to shine brightly? To experience all that this wonderful place has to offer? So what if one day I’m Hunter S Thompson and the next day i’m fucking, Alan Sugar..? So what if I go to business meetings in Doc Martens covered in last weeks Jaegermeister? I am me… and without me, and you.. the world would be completely unliveable.
You were put here to be creative, to try new things, to be the best version of YOU! We were put here to be flakey, to act on impulse, to look like shit, to throw our all into things and get knocked back! That’s just life. So do it, be a Riot Grrrl and let that mean whatever the hell you want. Take that chance, come out of your shell, do that class, eat that burger, do whatever it is that you want to do… because that’s just it.. You are you, and no one else can be you. So just make sure, that you are really, fucking, AWESOME.
Thanks for reading (if you did!)! To find out more about Kathleen Hanna and her life/career watch “The Punk Singer” available on Netflix.
P.S, If YOU have any cool show/documentary/film recommendations or just want to talk! please drop me a line on Twitter – @Kellypeebz.