About vklynne

VK is a chick who likes to create art in various mediums, paint it lots of colors, cut it into pieces, then glue it back together into Festive Party Hats.

Metal: Women not Weapons

Eve's AppleWho says women can’t get along?

Apparently, a lot of people.  In the workplace, women craftily bully underlings, while schools report female bullying is on the rise to an alarming degree. And social networking is rampant with mean girl antics that would have astonished our mothers.

On the dating scene, the blame is placed on the disproportionate ratio of eligible men to single women. In professional settings, it is noted that there are, many times, so few ‘spots’ for women in the ‘upper ranks’ that any newcomer is seen as a threat to the women in those spots. So they protect their territories- with gusto.

It seems in every facet of society, women are struggling to find harmony- and, no pun intended, the music world is no different.  However, it seems one group of women have found the key to unity- and they are using it to give back.

Eve’s Apple is an international community of female singers in the metal, rock and goth genres. Twenty-four professional musicians, from twelve different nations, make up the group. They have various degrees of fame among them, but all are equal in their “orchard”. Their goal is to support each other, support the music, and, perhaps most importantly, support the young women coming up in the music business.

There was skepticism in the beginning from those who wondered- can a group of ‘divas’ put aside egos and notoriety to accomplish anything worthwhile?

The answer was a resounding “YES!”  They began to  publish articles of advice, experience, tips and relevant news, all authored by the members themselves, and introduce their large following to new bands and singers that showed promise. Most recently, they put their creative powers together and produced a compilation CD, “The Siren’s Garden”, which features 13 tracks by various Apples. Released digitally on iTunes, the compilation’s proceeds will be donated to The Shropshire Music Foundation, which: “provides free musical instruments and instruction to former child soldiers and refugees in some of the world’s most wartorn places: Uganda, Kosovo, and Northern Ireland. Since 1999, [they] have taught more than 10,000 young people that through music they can bring healing, hope, and peace to their communities.”

Eve’s Apple continues to use its unity to help end division. Regardless of nationality, genre, age, or status, the women cheer each others’ successes, support in each others’ struggles, and do all of it with deep respect and great love.

Because in the end – can’t we all just get along?

\m/

Eve’s Apple is:

Melissa Ferlaak Koch
Kerstin Bischof
VK Lynne
Lisa Middelhauve
Helen Vogt
Carmen Elise Espenaes
Zuberoa Aznárez
Maxi Nil
Angel Wolf – Black
Marcela Bovio
Mary Zimmer
Lady Angellyca
Kristell Lowagie
Karolina Pacan
Gogo Melone
Lisy Stefanoni
Charlotte Wessels
Judith Rijnveld
Clémentine Delauney
Manuela Kraller
Heidi Parviainen
Chiara Malvestiti
Lindsay Schoolcraft
Sharon Den Adel

Click here to purchase ” The Siren’s Garden”

 

VK Lynne blogs at AMessLikeMe.  You can also follow her on Twitter.

Osama bin Laden- Alive in Death

Everyone is right, and everyone is wrong.

Perhaps that’s why responses to the death of Osama bin Laden have been hard to define. Unlike the universal grief, anger and fear that Americans felt on September 11th, today, we have been all over the emotional map. Ironically, bin Laden has been more ‘alive’  in our minds in the last 48 hours than he’s been in all the years he’s been in hiding.

Social networking sites often offer more insight into public sentiment than formal news outlets, and today was no exception. After observing Twitter and Facebook throughout the day, 4 distinct positions emerged:

1. Celebration:

Even within the positions themselves, there was a broad spectrum.  Celebratory responses ranged from sober congratulations to service men and women on a job completed to drunken, chaotic revelry on college campuses.

These responses made many feel uneasy; they could understand relief, even pride and patriotism, but outright Team America, Toby Keith, boot-in-your-ass attitudes just made their stomaches turn.  One message board was filled with comments from coeds boasting about the size of the crowds at their respective campus ‘festivities’ and claiming theirs was ‘the best’.

But however distasteful it may seem, celebrating the death of someone that many felt took their loved ones from them in the Twin Towers, or deprived them of years with their military spouses and sons, was their right.

2. Respectful regret:

Again, these reactions ranged from those who felt a death was unfortunate but necessary, to those who all but equated the American troops with Al-Quaeda itself.

The words of Dr. King were quoted and re-quoted all day long: “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”  The Vatican emphasized that this was not a time not for jubilation, but for contemplation.  Many remarked that we’ve carried rage towards and fear of this man for so long, that, by gleefully relishing in his demise, we’ve become the monsters we knew his organization to be.

Taking things further, others remained coolly detached and almost waxed poetic with platitudes about  ‘2 wrongs not making a right’. Some went so far as to condemn the military personnel as “just as bad as he [bin Laden] was.”

3. Disbelief:

These feelings were more sparse, but a respectable portion of the populace doesn’t believe the man is dead at all.  Like the other groups, there were various degrees of skepticism in this category, with some citing the fact that the ‘burial at sea’ seemed fishy (no pun intended), and pointed out that news like this can make an embattled incumbent look very good come voting season, to those who hatched elaborate conspiracy theories that all but involved the Illuminati, Jimmy Hoffa, and of course, Elvis.

4. ‘Pop’inions:

These ran the gamut from the chuckle-worthy to the downright disgusting; they were opinions based on the holder’s favorite celebrity’s opinion.  And there were no shortage of those- while some used their platforms to admonish their fans to educate themselves and take more active roles in their world politically, others saw it as a PR opp and took to their soapboxes to push their own agendas and beliefs. Some were heralded for their ‘patriotism’, while others were revered for their Bodhisattva-like compassion.

In many ways, it was inspiring to see so many young Americans truly considering the issues that will shape their society’s future. On the downside, some were not thinking at all, but merely parroting without understanding, evinced by the threatening vitriol delivered by one teenager to an army wife who challenged a popular artist the teen was ‘supporting’. It became an issue of defending their idols, with the main point getting lost in the shuffle.

Everyone is right, and everyone is wrong.

A political enemy has been vanquished. However, the death of Osama bin Laden does not end terrorism.  Making the news some kind of Mardi Gras occasion simply affirms the ideas of those who believe we are classless, irreverent, and foolish.

Violence begets more violence. But, maintaining that all killing is the same, therefore, we as a nation are on the same level as Bin Laden himself, is irresponsible, and disrespectful to the men and women in the armed forces whose lives we, as civilians, cannot fathom. If all killing was the same, there wouldn’t different words for it: murder, execution, genocide, euthenasia. It is both disingenuous and naive to ascribe universal malice to each. Motive matters. In all things. It must.

Trusting in the government to protect us and always tell us the truth is what got us into half the trouble we’re in. We would do well to remember that Thomas Jefferson’s notion that  “dissent is the highest form of patriotism”  still rings true. However, fear-mongering only taints that dissent with  incredibility, and consoles the gullible with the assurance that only “crazies” would question those in authority.

Today, no one is apathetic. But unfortunately, many people will forget their zeal by next week.

Everyone is right, and everyone is wrong.

Imperfectly, slowly, clumsily, we are sorting out our differing viewpoints- and what they say about us as human beings.

The point is:  We have the right. To cheer, to rage, to deride, to question, to react to this event in whatever way our hearts and minds tell us to. Agree, disagree, discuss, dispute…Because this is America- we have the right.

 

Which is more than the people under the Taliban ever had.

 

VK Lynne blogs at AMessLikeMe.  You can also follow her on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

Cyberbullying Turns Violent for My Chemical Romance Fans

MCRSocial networking. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay, and we’d better start learning how to use it responsibly.

This week, there have been 2 incidents where bodily harm resulted from clashing musical fanbases.  Twitter hashtags sprang up on timelines, trending #SingitforSniper  (‘Sniper’ being a young My Chemical Romance fan who was cyber-bullied by  a Justin Bieber fan to the point where she attempted suicide via overdose; she is now hospitalized and recovering), then mere days later #SingitForShane began its circuit, which was to show support for a young MCR fan who was physically attacked by a group of ‘Beliebers’, which resulted in broken bones and glass embedded in his leg. He is also currently hospitalized.
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A State of Nirvana? Or Lost on Mars?

This week Jared Leto took another step into his journey to becoming one of the most polarizing figures in pop culture.

Why? Because when he released this You Tube video, which he detailed as tribute to Kurt Cobain, he lit a firestorm.

In perusing the video comments, there seems to be no in-between ground in people’s opinions- they speak of all-out admiration or seething hate.

Some made the point that, as both an actor and musician, Leto paid tribute to Cobain in the best way his unique combination of abilities could offer. Others felt that Cobain as an icon is sacrosanct, and Leto’s characterization of him, no matter how erstwhile or well done, was nothing short of heresy.

Some just worship Kurt…or Jared.

Some just hate Jared…or Kurt.

But NO one has NO opinion. And therein lies the genius.

In Hollywood, where “there’s no such thing as bad PR” is a popular phrase, this then can be seen as a coup. Had the world at large LOVED the video, they might have viewed it, and shared it with a few friends. But the cyberworld loves few things more than to HATE.  Rebecca Black proved that in spades a few weeks ago.  She rode waves of hate right into (dubious) stardom.

Furious Nirvana fans flooded Facebook, Twitter and inboxes with links and expletive-flled rants.  Leto supporters took to their timelines to defend their man. Site after site posted the video, along with the obligatory snarky commentary or accolades.  Attention was paid. (Even here:).  The sharp division between viewers’ reactions ensured debate would not only occur, but continue…and keep both artists in the public’s literal and metaphorical eye…at least for awhile.

Perhaps this kind of ‘cyber love/hate’ will cause artists to be more fearless- when there is seemingly nothing to be lost from the public’s scorn, and only gain to be reaped from controversy, maybe we will see more experimentation and greater artistic advances.

Or we just may  have more crap to hate.

This guest post is by VK Lynne who blogs at MessLikeMe.  You can also follow her on Twitter.