Friday, January 25, 2008

f****ing ridiculous

Note from our moderator: the way the article appears was edited as per the rules to avoid excessive profanity. The way the article appears below is NOT how it appears in the original article cited. To see the unedited version, please follow the link to the article. Amanda's words which appear below the article were not edited.- Carissa



The Rise of Adolf Knitler: The crochet-fascists are back.

by Steven Wells


You know what really annoys Philadelphians? Journalists who get neighborhood names wrong. Write that the corner of 23rd and Analretentive is in Whogivesaf***, and you’ll get 100 letters and phone calls sneeringly pointing out that Analretentive stops just south of Getaf***inglife Avenue, which means the corner you’re talking about is actually in Stupidyokelwithnothingbettertodo, “you f***ing idiot” (no matter how politely they start the phone call, geographical pedants can never resist swearing right at the end.)

But giving these local-geography fascists a good run for their money in the hysterical overreaction stakes are Philadelphia’s legions of extremely sensitive and appallingly badly dressed knit-Nazis. Boy do they get pissed if you write rude things about them.

I should stress here that knit-Nazis are in no way like real Nazis (apart from being really touchy and big fans of the films of Leni Riefenstahl). I use the term because it’s an astute parody of the way the crafts most associated with brain-dead, soul-destroying pre-feminist housewifery—knitting, beading, stitching and crocheting—have been re-packaged and successfully sold to smugster sheep as radical, alternative and edgy.

I have two books on my desk right now, both pushing the strange idea that twiddling about with bits of wool is totally punk rock. And they’re just the tip of a huge knitted iceberg. There are entire sections containing metric sh**-tons of these knit-Nazi manuals in every book barn in America.

First up there’s Alter Nation. There’s a rad-lookin’, crazy blue-haired rebel chick on the cover alongside a boast that it contains “25+ DIY fashion projects.” Be still my punky heart.

Then there’s Anticraft, subtitled “Knitting, beading and stitching for the slightly sinister.” One can only assume they’re using “slightly” here to mean “not at all.” And that “anti” is a misspelling of “auntie.”

Seriously, if you called housework antihousework, would that make it cool? If you anticleaned the kitchen after antichanging the kitty litter before antipicking your screaming brats up from school and antidropping them off at soccer practice before rushing home and nearly anti-overdosing on antidepressants so you can face clearing up the vomit your sh**-faced alcoholic of an antihusband has puked all over the bathroom (while still finding time to knit an amusingly decadent antitoilet-roll cover) does that mean your lifestyle is somehow edgier and more interesting than that of your poor burnt-out-at-40, dead-by-50 great grandmother?

Put it this way, young goths: Vlad the Impaler didn’t crotchet his own ear-flapped bobble hats. And neither should you. If you need a hobby, take up spitting.


Does anyone else feel insulted?
QUICK!! Let me run to Hot Topic and purchase something! Would that make me more punk?
We have the CHOICE to craft, and incorporating a DIY aesthetic into things is a good thing.

A poster on a board I'm on said something that resonated my feelings on 'choice'. Just because I like to do some of the things my gramma did, doesn't mean I want her life, her salary or her marriage.

As Jawbreaker once sang...
"You're not punk and I'm telling everyone!
Save your breath I never was one
You don't know, what I'm all about..."

9 comments:

Zsanica said...

Guys named Steven are usual rather in touch with the feminist movement. (It's a well known fact!)

I can't say I feel insulted at all actually. The one thing he wants is people to react.

Then again, maybe he's grumpy that he has an excessive amount of saliva.

DAWN said...

Or could it be he has "needle envy" or feels he is lacking yarn balls. Just sayin'.

Gothknits said...

It sounds to me he has no clue about knitting, feminism or creativity. It is easy to stand back and criticize. The hard part is getting out there and DOING something. No one can tell you what is 'punk' or 'goth' or 'anti' anything. He's just a whiny brat who gets his kicks by getting people riled. The best way to deal with people like that is to just ignore them and continue with your life as YOU see fit.

Amanda said...

Carrissa.. sorry about that! thanks for the edit! amanda

Mouse said...

I agree with Gothknits.. the dude has NO idea what he's even talking about. As a goth knitter formerly from Philly... I'm totally disgusted with him and I'm sorry that I even bothered clicking the link to read the story in its entirety. He doesn't deserve my web traffic.
Doesn't this fool know that its not nice to taunt people who's craft consists of pointy metal or wood sticks?

pins&needles said...

That poor stupid man. Or more like, that insanely stupid man. Because of the fact that he thinks that the crafts we do are "granny" and not goth/punk doesn't give him the right to say it is or isn't. That's based on his perception. If we said that sports are "manly and full of men who are overweight and stupid" without even trying to watch/going to a sporting event and that's based on a non-sports fan's perception of them, that doesn't give them the right to go balistic on how their biased opinion. This man is beyond ignorant and has publicly shown it. I understand there are kits and craft books that target a certain audience of crafters, but that's just marketing and advertising. It's our choice to do what we want to do regardless if it looks punk or not. I like what I do and I enjoy what I make. I'm proud of what I like as should everyone at this blog. Besides, isn't DIY punk anyway?

Heidi Bo Bitey said...

I have afeeling that if he owns two knitting books on his desk he's just upset because he is either a) dumb enough to buy a book with out looking through it first or b) upset that he can't grasp knitting himself.

By the way it is very possible Vlad the impaler and other such manly men did knit as it was a mans craft before a womans craft. What a dork.

KeenJoy said...

Wow. This person obviously TRIED to knit or Crochet and could not get the hang of it, like all phobes I believe thou doth protest too much...

His defensiveness preceeds him!

And no one would have WANTED Matching hats if Vlad's Knitting friend hadn't made them look so darn kewl.

KJ

Shannon said...

Oh, it gets better, actually -- I'm one of the authors of AlterNation, which isn't even a knitting book at all!

(ok, ok, it has one pattern where you knit a sari silk sleeve for an existing denim jacket, but that's it).

It's utterly clear he didn't even crack the cover on either book, nor did he read my ranty rant in the intro about the power of DIY. Bah!

It gets better, though -- a week later he issued a half-hearted apology and characterized knitting as patchouli-scented hippie nonsense instead. Sigh.

Shannon
knitgrrl.com/alternationbook.com