I feel like having a blanket “it’s great!” or “it isn’t great!” about this question would be kinda weird! Like…it depends! Sometimes it’s the best, sometimes you feel like it sorta takes off in the wrong direction. I’ve had audiences sing along with “San Bernardino,” a quiet song, and have it be the best damn thing in the world (respect forever to Manchester, I think of you often and send my love), but then sometimes people are singing with a song where it just doesn’t feel like that serves the song, or shout-singing where that just sorta misses the point of a lyric…and that’s the question with any instrument / vocal part / harmony / anything at all: is this serving the song? does it make the song cooler? whether anybody ever hears it or not: does this increase the radness? when the answer’s “yes,” then it’s great.
but it’s tricky and elusive and there’s no “this is great” or “this isn’t good” answer that serves all purposes. people who get a dour look on their faces as soon as people start singing along should check themselves! but not every song is a sing-along and some songs just work better when a band is playing and an audience is listening. and some songs are singalongs some nights and work better as music-in-silence on others. the only difficulty is I feel like some people want a yes/no on this q (“are we supposed to be singing or not?”) when actually the answer is “it depends.” because it does! if people are singing along with every song just reflexively, I feel like that’s probably uncharitable to their neighbors at the show and that we’re not really that kinda band - not every chorus is an anthem - but all that can be worked out by using the “does it serve the song?” formula. not the performer, it’s not about how I feel. it’s about whether something increases the radness. but when it’s working? and I find somebody’s eyes right at the final chorus of “Up the Wolves”? how is that anything but rad? it is rad.
Big movements start with individuals. When many people make small changes in their personal lives, we create a place that’s safer and better for everyone. The Safer Community Pledge is a simple step people can take to stand up against sexual violence and harassment. We hope that this pledge encourages us to make small changes in our personal lives, and that it encourages us to continue discussing this critical issue.
You can take the pledge by sharing this post on your favorite social media site. By sharing, you’re committing to the following:
I pledge that I will always prioritize consent. I understand that consent is the presence of an enthusiastic yes rather than the absence of a no; and that consent cannot be given when someone is asleep or physically or mentally incapacitated.
I pledge that I will respect my partner’s wishes, and that I will not pressure or coerce them into doing anything that makes them uncomfortable.
I pledge to stand with survivors of sexual abuse or harassment by showing them compassion and respect.
I pledge to never blame the victim for any abuse they’ve experienced. Sexual violence is never the victim’s fault.
I pledge to admit when I make mistakes, and to apologize for my actions. When someone tells me that I’ve said something sexist, victim-blaming, or otherwise offensive, I pledge to be open to their words.
I pledge to support conversations surrounding sexual abuse and harassment in a way that is respectful of my needs and the needs of those I am speaking with.
I pledge to create safer communities, both online and off.
After taking the pledge, we encourage all of you to let us know why you did so! We’ll be sharing responses publicly throughout the campaign. We hope this sparks discussion and shows how much support there is for positive change.
Join the discussion and join the movement! Pledge to make a safer community. #SaferCommunityPledge for a #HealthyYoutube
How I feel has nothing to do with it. I immediately sent this message to the NZ police and directly to the FBI and directly to the victims’ assistance counsel who has been keeping me up to date on everything, informing them that you, my stalker, have now broken the terms of your arrest.
The terms, as a refresher, were:
- No using the Internet
- No using post
- No contacting Melissa Anelli or any of her family and friends
- No contacting anyone in North America.
No one but my stalker would have had any information about the severity or lack thereof of her sentence. And after 6.5 years I can spot a sentence she has written from a mile away without reading glasses. I am publishing this so that it is well known that she has broken the terms of her bail. Because the last time I wasn’t silent about one of her messages, it led to her arrest. I don’t want this break of her bail conditions - while awaiting sentencing no less! - to go unnoted.
The Melissa of a year ago would not have published this. But I am so done. I have done everything everyone has asked. I have written the letters to the judges going over the whole thing in excruciating and personally painful detail. I have saved evidence with the organization of a librarian. I have answered every question and waited through every deferment and delay, and I am done just doing what is usually done in these instances. This is endless, and it is harmful, and it must stop, and “getting off lightly” would be a complete travesty. As is the fact that no one is monitoring her well enough to see how she is breaking the terms of her bail, and that no one is convinced she should be incarcerated in some fashion.
You know what I’m not done with, and can’t just decide to be done with? Being a victim. That is up to the people who work for the legal system of New Zealand. My being a victim. Up to them. How I deal with being a victim? Up to me. Whether I am continually victimized? Them.
And maybe making this public will make me less sympathetic to some judge down there and that will lessen her sentence for some completely non-sensical reason, I don’t know. But I am so beyond done with it being everyone else's call.
This is life with a serious stalker. Everyone who is worried about harassment on the Internet needs to see and know and understand this. This goes beyond getting hordes of hateful or threatening YouTube comments: this is about when someone gets in. We are talking about 6.5 years of constant threats and abuse that go offline and into the physical realm, stalking and harassment that touch everyone I know, that has not yet been deterred by TWO ARRESTS and the threat of jail. If you aren’t sure what this post is about, read this for a reminder.
Excuse me. I must now go and undo all of the small victories from the past few months, starting with the allowing of asks.
It was nice there, for a while, feeling normal.
I share this, because this story has been such a horror. 6.5 years. Hundreds—is it thousands? it must be well into the thousands now—of graphic rape and death threats coming from one clearly identified (self-identified, even) person. An FBI investigation. Two arrests. And still, even during sentencing, the stalker tries to taunt Melissa.
This is the reality of online stalking.
Here’s my wish: that this case is a precedent for justice and action taken. If the New Zealand courts fail now, then they really fail. Please share this—because it’s real. I’ve seen this, what’s it’s done to Melissa. I’ve gotten notes from the stalker myself. Press, victim services, whatever you can reach, please reach. Please reblog. This one has to end. They all have to end.