“Empathy will become a weapon.”
– Army training DVD commissioned during the Iraq counterinsurgency circa 2010
I read this in a book called Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, by Deepa Kumar (which should be required reading for every person in America right now.) It made me unspeakably sad.
We live in a world hell-bent on weaponizing even the tenderest human instinct. There’s something about such profound cruelty being so casually transcribed into official policy that makes hope feel really far away.
I’m not sure what radical empathy looks like. Compassion, maybe? Whatever it is, we need more of it, and art occupies a cross section of its space. Especially art that says, “I don’t really know you, but I see you. And I love you.”
This is that kind of art.
Blond Ambition is Brian Harding (formerly of Ex-Cops). Of “Stupid Boy / Girl,” he says,
“This song belongs to trans people. For someone to know who they truly are and not be able to be that person because of fear and hate is an epidemic level spiritual tragedy.”
Blond Ambition’s debut album, Slow All Over, will be out May 19. In the meantime, they’re playing an LA show at Out Of Order in Silverlake on Feb. 23. Be thereee.