Support Your Local Scene, My Ass!
by Scott Hefflon
illustration by Opie
Whoever came up with the now-mandatory slogan “Support Your Local Scene,” didn’t set the parameters very well. For some reason, the phrase is usually interpreted as, “We couldn’t afford a decent studio to record our amazingly mediocre band demo, but since we live down the street from you, we’re hoping to prey on your sense of community spirit. We’re counting on that, and all eyes are watching.” I don’t get it. If you suck, it doesn’t much matter where you suck; what matters is the fact that you suck. (I’m sorry, I guess that’s just an opinion, right? Yeah, convince yourself of that when you nag me so much I finally do review your insipid band and the nicest thing I have to say is, “I hear they put on a good live show.”) I’m amazed by the lack of perspective taken by these people. Why does “Support Your Local Scene” end with shitty bands? They’re usually the ones to chant that mantra as their one leg to stand on, but what about the rest of the Local Scene (capitals necessary, even when speaking, and preferably stated in a majestic OXY 10 voice and ending with a Harumph!)? What about local retail? What about local businesses that don’t have the glorious external face of Local Scenedom, but hire a great number of starving artist-types who actually would be starving artists without them?
If there is to be a point, this is it: “Support Your Local Scene” is a whiney cop-out used the most by the people who deserve it the least. Others try to pull off this I’m-So-Supportive act, to mask their being vicious back-stabbers and, well, business people. They cash checks like everyone else.
The main flaw in the utopian phrase is that many people in this oh-so-alternative culture we’ve been consuming are rude, self-serving, arrogant, and downright mean. That’s fine with me. (Yeah, sure, a little more hippy-peace-and-love-and-smile-on-your-brother bullshit would make the world a happier place, but I’ve never been able to buy into that, so I don’t hold it against others who can’t either.) What offends me is the disregard for common courtesy shown by the same pathetic chumps who are “asking” for support. It rubs on my nerves like an insulting panhandler.
The instances of rudeness are uncountable. To list them would be as whiney as the rest. Most of us have our own pain, and we don’t need others to lament endlessly about theirs. (Why is it considered so cool to find existence so stressful? “Oh, my Pain, my Pain!” Yeah, rent really sucks. “My Pain, my Pain!” Yeah, your boss/roommate/parent/friend really sounds like a jerk. “My Pain, my…” Why don’t you shut the fuck up and get on with it?) Most of us really don’t give a shit about your agenda. If you want something, ask. If you’re worth what you think you are, you’ll get it. Without having to panhandle for support. When you order a pizza, do you delve into pseudo-philosophical banter about why you need a pizza and why they should make you one?