I realize that this argument is supposed to be about my stance on stagediving itself, but I think this whole issue with the Joyce Manor video clip is about something else entirely. Nobody is talking about “policing” shows or forcing anyone to do anything. This argument is about whether or not empathy trumps being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Why would anyone be outraged by being asked to refrain from jumping on other human beings for about 45 minutes-to-an-hour of one band’s set? That’s all that’s happening here, and when people choose to become enraged about it, the only plausible reason for it is the result of a much deeper frustration and lust for power that has nothing to do with Joyce Manor or stagediving. It’s got nothing to do with music or taking a real stand against anything. It’s probably got a lot more to do with the sense of power one gets from jumping on top of the people below, or the rush of trashing human beings on the web with the impunity of an anonymous post. Really, the discussion at hand has entirely to do with power, this supposed stagediving argument that’s taken over our feeds. And look at how people are handling it. The macho crap that’s being spewed forth (let the comments telling me to “shove a tampon in it” roll forth). I get it, on the internet you can call someone a faggot or a pussy and get away with it. You can say the worst things that are inside of you, quickly and without a thought. What a rush! It’s terribly easy to get lost in that world, and on both sides of the abuse.
I’ve heard the common defense of stagediving, that anyone who doesn’t want to be kicked in the face should stand in the back. To me, that sounds more like the mundane everyday bullshit that I thought we all were trying to get away from, we enlightened show-goers. It’s in fact a total mimicry of the outside world, where the abuse of power runs rampant. In my opinion, there’s nothing special or revolutionary about the same 10 to 20 people taking turns jumping on people, especially ones who might be smaller than them. How is this supposed to be about music? Maybe you’re jumping on a kid going to her first show, and you give her a broken nose. Maybe you’re jumping on a 13-year-old, and he leaves the show in a fury that he’ll later take out on somebody weaker than him because he doesn’t know how to deal with it. But you’re not thinking about that, you’re just doing what you feel like doing because you want to and can, you capitalist munch. People talk about the goodwill within the pit and I think what they’re really talking about is basic decency: of course you pick someone up off the ground when they fall. That’s a human being on the ground. It’s got nothing to do with the pit or any scene. You see someone fallen on the ground anywhere, help them up. That’s the bare minimum of how we should regard one another.
I want to be a part of something that promotes thinking outside of oneself. That’s what a real community is, punk or otherwise. That’s what empathy is. If I see people hurting each other right in front of me and don’t say anything, what kind of human being am I? Barry [of Joyce Manor] did his duty as a human being, he saw someone about to get hurt, and quickly stopped it. I hope I’d have the common decency to do the same thing."