This is the first Dresden Dolls song I ever heard. It blew my mind. I think it’s a clear illustration of why I fell in love with this band and why I had to have their names tattooed on my body. They no longer play together, though Amanda Palmer remains a fabulous beacon of inspiration. But although they didn’t produce a huge discography, what they did produce is enough to place them in the pantheon. It simply doesn’t happen that often, that moment when, after hearing just one song, you know you’ve discovered an artist who’s going be a part of your life forever. And it feels like they already have been a part of your life, you just didn’t know it. It was definitely a ‘where have you been all my life?’ moment with The Dresden Dolls, and I will definitely follow Amanda Palmer forever. Her aesthetic combines pretty much every single thing I’m drawn to; she’s theatrical, glamorous, subversive, intelligent, sexually liberated, witty, socially conscious and a nice person on top of all that! A true Classy Lady.
Who else can write such a perceptive song about statutory rape? From the viewpoint of a needy, vindictive Lolita who doesn’t know herself if she’s the victim or the perpetrator. It’s obviously a little creepy, but it’s also the best five minute look into the complexity of female sexuality you’ll ever hear. It’s a musical reflection of a very adolescent mentality; the desire to be desired at any cost, and the simultaneous disgust and resentment at being desired, and the childish urge to lash out in anger and yet still expect to be loved. Most of us grow out of feeling this way, I hope, but I think every girl has toyed with the idea of playing Lolita. Some find the fantasy exciting and even empowering, some find themselves in situations that leave them traumatized for life. I shouldn’t have to clarify that this is not a relationship dynamic I’m in favor of, nor should anyone be, but as a fantasy it’s potent and very, very dangerous. I consider myself extremely lucky to have lived through my Lolita years without getting harmed; not everyone gets the privilege to come of age unmolested. We all spend time dwelling on the power we wield as sexual beings, and how that power can potentially be abused, how it can be stripped away from us, and how we can use it to hurt others. It’s the topic of a lot of harmful rhetoric and sick fantasy, but it’s rarely discussed intelligently, rarely discussed with empathy, rarely discussed in any way that’s helpful to those most at risk of being steamrolled by the harmful forces of desire. Certainly never before in a pop song, and perhaps a pop song isn’t anywhere near to enough, but we’re under-served here; we’ll take whatever nugget of empowering sentiment we can get to help us live to adulthood.