What, exactly, did we prove by hating Amanda Palmer?

Interesting article I saw about Amanda Palmer earlier today.

Found via Danny O’Brien

Thank you for the link :thumbsup:

I knew absolutely nothing about the situation. It would have been completely inaccessible to me if I was not familiar with “Coin Operated Boy.”

Now, I get a chance to try to understand the question you posed in the thread title.

oddly enough this was the first time i had heard of amanda palmer. the other “problematic” women the author lists at the end illustrates the point that she made earlier that a male celebrity has to do something morally criminal to begin to receive the criticism that a female celebrity can do for being “overbearing.” i can’t be bothered to hate miley cyrus or kim kardashian for anything they’ve done with their celebrity, money, or leverage because they have the right to be their own persons, even if that persona is silly or self-exploitative. marginalizing a woman for her tone is one of the worst forms of sexism. i expect the women in my life to be as honest and as blunt as any of the men in my life and i can’t, or perhaps won’t, dismiss criticism from women just because it comes from a woman.

thanks, i think, for the link and giving me one more reason to weep for humanity.


Dunno anything about her music, but any rockstar who has succeeded in pissing that amount of people off is probably doing something right and should keep right on doing it.

Edit: Hey, wtf?! Where’s my :metal: horns emoji gone?


OK, I’ll come clean: I kind of hate that she draws her eyebrows on. It just freaks me out.

Other than that, I think she’s fine by artist (read: all great artists are at least a little crazy) standards. I never understood the controversy, because on the whole she seemed pretty cool and rational if you listened to her talks or read her articles – I never heard her music.

But, you know, then this:

(you can find my comment on that article if you search for “atwood”)

I mean, if you want to pick someone to really hate, couldn’t you do a better job than Amanda Palmer? If that’s the best hate target you can come up with, I’d say you kind of suck at hating people and should re-evaluate your life choices vis-a-vis hatin’.


Wait. I was listening to the Dresden Dolls in high school and I never got the memo on hating Amanda Palmer. Am I just clueless, or was this one of those subtle cultural moments?

As for the fact that some people apparently did get the memo; Palmer, seriously? There must be literally millions of better options, quite possibly tens or hundreds. Hatability is not a particularly scarce resource.

1 Like


I think the article has managed to jump through a large number of hoops in order to miss the point.

Instead of concluding that it was wrong to write hateful articles about Amanda Palmer because the target of the writer’s hatred was a person, and doing that to anyone is wrong, the article concludes that:

  • The hatred didn’t do its job properly- Amanda wasn’t bullied into reacting the “right” way so all that effort was wasted
  • There were other, more deserving targets of hatred out there, so the writer’s hatred was disproportionately allocated.

And all that is topped off with an airy denial of responsibility. She keeps on writing “We” hated Amanda Palmer. in a disingenuous diffusion of guilt to the readers and other writers. No. She wrote the words. She hated this woman.
If you’re going to try to justify or explain away hate, at least have the decency to own it.


Love, love, love her thoughts on arts and the music industry. Not a huge fan of Dresden Dolls, but I have a deep seated respect for anyone who cut their teeth on street performance. Kind of freaked out by her eyebrows.


I used to buy flowers from her when she was the living bride many years ago, and I became a dresden dolls fan and then realized sometime after that she had been the bride. Bumped into her at cafes, after shows *where she is the single most accessible musician I have ever come actross. Even got invited to a party by her housemate. Even took the leader of her backup band out for drinks once accidentally.

But I have zero desire to meet her in person (not a pedestal, just a healthy distance).

She scares people because she is preaching a message of actual change from behind an intentionally ‘hot topic’ look. Unlike most, she is preaching and acting the change, not selling the look.


I believe she sings some songs that get to the real base of some of the dysfunctional relationship dynamics prevalent in modern suburban life. I doubt her haters have listened much, but the songs speak to and empower a certain type of person.

And that person has been a victim a lot. Why wouldn’t habitual abusers get pissed at a musician that helps their most likely targets (insecure oddballs) wise up and like themselves a little better?

The 8 year old photo is also a hilarious dig. I get the impression the author is arguing with who she was. (and I’m not sure if I mean who amanda palmer was, or if I mean who the author used to be, probably both)


That’s how I’ve always felt about KISS and Insane Clown Posse.

Though, I do get the impression that Amanda FUCKING Palmer is more sincere and less corporate than that lot.

Well, I’ve posted my piece about her several times, so I won’t repost that, but I’ll post this instead:

And this interview:

[edit] I honestly think she is what she is. I don’t think she’s a manufactured star, but is making music that matters to her and trying to make connections to people who like her music. And I think she’s fucked up, too, because she’s a human being. But she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. I like her. I like that she has written songs about Judy Blume, and cutting, and friends who stay in abusive relationships and how frustrating that is, and break ups, and being the bad guy in a relationship. I like that she loves to do covers. I liked that she referenced Twin Peaks in her first solo album.


Okay, the whole second paragraph just screams, “I hate weirdos”… and that she’s okay because she sounds “normal”…? And her albums sounds like charli xcx? Really? I don’t see that at all. And what’s so great about making mainstream pop music? And I really dig her last album, but I also think that Who Killed amanda Palmer is a much better album in many ways.

The author is correct that the way that people were hating on her is deeply gendered, and it’s upsetting that a fair amount of women were part of it, and the tone of it took me right back to high school and how people back then treated people into subcultures. It’s cliquish BS in other words. I’m all for calling people out for insensitive things (Evelyn-Evelyn)… but to use that as a means to basically bully someone (and the backlash against critics, too) is just so… high school.

[Edited to add] And I think it pissed people off that she points out that art is a commodity and that artists are not magical beings who are all rolling the dough, while simultaneously rising above the petty needs of the rest of humanity of doing things like eating, having a place to sleep, clothing oneself, and sometimes raising families. She kind of disrupts the narrative of indie authenticity too (being an indie artist) by drawing attention to the fact that artists in the modern age operate within a capitalist system.


I like her eyebrows.


I really liked the Dresden Dolls and Palmer’s solo work for a long time, but she has not handled herself well when the intensely public way she’s chosen to live her life has resulted in intensely public criticism - not just Evelyn Evelyn, but the Boston bombings poem, defending Jian Ghomeshi, the “work for exposure” thing, and so on. She wants to “put it all out there” and commodify herself for her fans, but she seems to have a compulsive inability to listen to constructive feedback and respond thoughtfully (as do many public figures, sadly, and I don’t think well of them either.) She became someone I didn’t want to identify with any more.

The whole May/December thing with her and Neil makes me think poorly of Neil, not of Amanda, as does the way he’s wrapped her into his public career.

I went from really wanting to follow everything she did, to feeling like every time her name comes up, I was going to be smacking myself in the forehead again, and it took the pleasure out of her music for me.


I think that’s fair enough, though I’m not sure I agree. However, I think that even then you should take issue with the often gendered tone of many of her detractors.

What’s the alternative for being a working musician?

I think there are two ways to read their relationship - that it’s all a front (which many have actually argued), or that they really are in love and that is why they are wrapped up in each others work. Despite the age gap, they are two adults -she’s my age and he’s in his early 50s now. If she were a teenager, that would obviously be creepy. But she’s an adult, so I don’t find it so. But YMMV.


I always feel like I’m prying into someone’s private life whenever I read about Gaiman and Palmer, or see their twitter interactions. Makes me really uncomfortable. I don’t want to know that much about people :smile:.


I can understand that, but it’s their life to reveal, I guess.

1 Like

I agree. And I do. I don’t think a niche market quirky indie artist who was male would be so widely known among non-fans as “a person to dislike.” And poking at her for performing in her underwear, etc. - hello? Madonna?

Well, there’s commodify and commodify. Amanda filled a niche that Tori Amos had filled for me prior to that, but Tori was much more private in some ways; then again she was also pre-Web2.0 so she wasn’t blogging about her recovery from rape and her daughter and etc., she was hinting about them in her songs and interviews. And her fans liked to get “up close” with her as well (ask me how many hours I spent before and after shows hanging around to talk with her a little bit), but she wasn’t doing the “hey, come be in my video, come hang out on the beach, come be in my show” thing. So Amanda’s had a much hazier work/life boundary, which is fine - but it means the rough edges are going to show, she’s going to say stuff that bugs people, and so learning to say “oops, my bad, I apologize” or “I don’t know about that - can you tell me more?” is a skill that would have served her well, which she appears to have never developed. Hence why I started thinking of her as “Amanda Facepalmer” or “Oh, Amanda Palmer, no!”

I’m sure Neil and Amanda’s thing is very real - I have friends who are close with them, and have been friendly with Neil in passing - I just hate the way it reinforces that whole “older, powerful men can get young, attractive women to replace their wives with” thing and frankly, Amanda isn’t that much older than Neil’s oldest daughter IIRC. But I can freely admit that that stuff is my issue, and that some of it is sheer envy too (who wouldn’t want a soulmate to world travel and perform with, who also doubles your stable of interesting and creative friends while they’re at it?) I just tire of reading about it on Neil’s blog, especially when Amanda’s been particularly irritating in public lately.


i had not noticed her eyebrows