we-have-to-talk-about-kevin

We Need To Talk About Kevin

There once was scorpion that needed passage from one side of the river to the other. A passing turtle was asked to be his ride. The turtle, wary of the scorpion’s sting declined to help for fear that a simple strike from the creature would end his life. The scorpion argued that doing so would drown the both of them and so the turtle agreed. Reaching midstream, the scorpion strikes out with his barbed tail and stings the unassuming turtle. To which the turtle asks, “why have you doomed us both?” The scorpion explains that it is his nature.

Like a scorpion, Kevin Lyman has something in his nature—some hair-trigger impulse to doom our scene to a lack of consequence and false hope. In my last column on Alternative Press, I praised his planned initiatives and stood behind him. I come before you now midstream, stung with the revoked promise of moral leadership in our fight against abuse within our scene. By allowing Front Porch Step to take the stage Wednesday in Nashville, Kevin Lyman single-handedly invalidated his former statements and endangered the very scene he helped build.

Early this year, a number of damning allegations towards Jake McElfresh came to light online. These allegations were backed up by numerous photos, stories, and publicized conversations that solidified one thing; Front Porch Step does not belong in our scene. In response to these allegations, Lyman was brought to task—asked repeatedly to remove Front Porch Step from his tour. Several of his tweets confirmed that this was happening.

Five months later, images began to circle around the web of the Acoustic Basement stage set times. These included an unannounced set from Front Porch Step, which was confirmed hours later by reporter Chris Hampton as he captured images of McElfresh on the Warped premises talking to Kevin Lyman himself. Chris, a member of tour sponsor Journeys’ social media team, was later banned from returning to the tour—not for a stated reason, but most likely for his updates on the ground that sent the alternative music Twittersphere into complete hysteria.

The sentiment was the same almost unanimously: Front Porch Step shouldn’t be there and an answer to Kevin Lyman’s decision to allow an alleged sexual predator into his grounds needed to be made. No such satisfaction was given and despite the protest and some sever weather conditions, Front Porch Step was allowed a platform in the Acoustic Basement tent early that afternoon. Video of the set taken by Hampton showed a clearly unremorseful McElfresh. What’s more, he and the individual introducing him made note that the performer himself was a victim. These comments were met ungracefully by both booing and jeering from those with an invested interest in our scene as well as cheers from his fans who clearly have no regard in the well being of their fellow concert attendees. Handguns guitarist Brandon Pagano reported from the scene, explaining that those interrupting the set were removed from the area. There has been no word on whether or not the several security guards assigned to McElfresh’s detail were responsible for those removals.

From first discovery early that morning throughout the remainder of the day, Kevin Lyman remained quiet on his decision to allow Front Porch Step to play. This made statements by musicians that much louder. The Wonder Years vocalist Dan “Soupy” Campbell went so far as to cancel his Aaron West set at the Acoustic Basement tent, earning him waves of respect from his fans and peers.

The official statement, which was delivered exclusively to AltPress after the gates closed that night, was short. Lyman claimed that he met with Jake McElfresh’s counselor who conveyed that letting him play the tour was good for his therapy. This I don’t understand. Why the option was even considered by the tour-boss is a complete mystery to me. I believe that anyone is entitled to therapy; but for McElfresh, the place for that therapy is not here. Not this scene and not this tour. There was clearly has no regard for anyone on the grounds that have suffered at the hands of men like this one. It was a misguided sense of responsibility that allowed an alleged predator back into his hunting ground, a tour full of underage girls that Kevin Lyman is directly responsible for.

Front Porch Step should have never been allowed to play. He should never have been given a platform to speak. His “statement” delivered in April, 3 months after completely disappearing from the Internet (and penned with plenty of time to earnestly think about his behavior), was an unapologetic, victim blaming, ego-laden essay of complete garbage. Giving him the chance to say things like “The difference between you and me is that I know who I am, and I fucking am very proud of that.” on stage is revolting to me. This didn’t seem to matter much to Lyman though. “If he was a legitimate danger to anyone, he simply would not have been here,” he said in his statement. Let me make something perfectly clear: Kevin Lyman is not making the patrons at Warped Tour safe by allowing men like McElfresh into the tour and although this particular individual was never charged for his misconduct, the danger he presents is very real.

In addition to the discomfort patrons must have felt knowing McElfresh was there, I feel terribly for the musicians and workers of the Vans Warped Tour that had absolutely no say in the matter of letting him in. Fans called for more to follow in Soupy’s footsteps Wednesday by canceling their sets. That is something I would completely support if a band decidedly chose to do so, but in calling for it, we are asking hardworking musicians to throw away everything they’ve worked towards to get on the tour—which makes things difficult. American Opera said it best that afternoon, “There are 80 bands that you should see today. And only 1 that you shouldn’t.” That sadly didn’t stop the tent from filling.

We can NOT give those who harm us a platform. Such a place should be reserved only for those with the courage to speak out against and educate our community on the signs of abuse and dangers of the men that prey on the unassuming. No more victim shaming either. Victims of sexual assault are often scared to pursue legal action because of the time, money, and pain it causes them to do so. Their names are dragged through mud and over coals by fans of celebrated and esteemed members of our musical community at the slightest mention of an attack. We can not blame them for keeping the law out of it. We can’t blame what is happening on the poor strength and ignorance of women. Victims need our support and we need to do everything in our power to barricade predators from our scene. Otherwise, this sort of thing is going to happen again and again and again. Like Danny Samet posts every night on tour with Say Anything, “Music should be a safe community. One strike, you’re out. Do your part.”

We’ve been promised that Jake McElfresh will not be appearing at any more Warped appearances, but the fact remains that he did appear at one. A man that promised us recognizable change gave him a platform. We were let down by a man I hoped would lead the charge for a safer scene, but that doesn’t mean the fight is over. This is our community and if Kevin Lyman isn’t going to create positive change, you can be damn sure we are going to do it ourselves.

If you’d like to be part of a conversation about positive change in our scene, feel free to shoot me an email or mention me on Twitter.


Further Reading:

Have fun guys :-)

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged you’re supposed to write a note with 92 truths about you. At the end choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you: blisslessparadise

what was your:
last drink:
 water
last phone call: Mum
last text message: Kevin and Eva b/c we are still talking
last song you listened to: Fight Song - Rachel Platten
last time you cried: last week? Idk i forgot

have you ever:
dated someone twice:
 no who woULD DO THAT
been cheated on: no
kissed someone and regretted it: no b/c i never kissed anyone heh


lost someone special: yes
been depressed: I don’t know tbh
been drunk and thrown up: yeah when I was 14 LOL 
list three favourite colours: blue green and aquamarine

in the last year have you:
made a new friend: yes LOL even though we’ve been in the same year for a while now haha
fallen out of love: uh i guess

laughed until you cried: with tears of joy yea
met someone who changed you: 100% yes
found out who your true friends are: yes c:

found out someone who was talking about you: b/c im so popular mah?

kissed anyone on your tumblr followers list: no

general:

how many people on your tumblr followers do you know in real life: 8
do you have any pets: yes a long fur dachshund c:
do you want to change your name: nope 
what did you do for your last birthday: nothing LOL im lazy ok
what time did you wake up today: 9:30am so early jesus christ

what were you doing at midnight last night: Skyping Kevin, which lasted until 3am LOL 
name something you cannot wait for: falling asleep b/c it’s 1am already
last time you saw your mother: 20 minutes ago 
what are you listening to right now: im not listening to anything rn
have you ever talked to a person named tom: i think so?
what’s getting on your nerves right now: my AC taking a long time to cool the room down
blood type: B
nickname: Jasanana/ Wonja and a lot of other random ones that i dont remember

relationship status: single
zodiac sign: virgo
pronouns: she/her
favourite tv show: debating between Two Broke Girls and Orange Is The New Black LOL 

tattoos: none but i’d like a small one under my left ear 
right or left: ??? right-handed LOL?
first surgery: a scar on my right cheek
first piercing: ears
first best friend: i dont remember 
first sport you joined: WHAT SPORT
first vacation: i doNT REMEMBER
first pair of trainers: I DONT REMEMBER OMG WHO REMEMBERS THAT

right now:
eating: nothing
drinking: nothing
i’m about to: try to sleep 

listening to: nothing 

waiting for: myself to fall asleep
want kids: maybe?
get married: IM ONLY 17 OK STOP
career: something that allows me to buy myself a loft apartment b/c omg loft apartments are so cool and Audi R8 b/c it’s so fucking beautiful and cute

which is better:
lips or eyes: eyes omg GREEN EYES THOUGH
hugs or kisses: hugs for sure
shorter or taller: taller
older or younger: older
romantic or spontaneous: idk? spontaneous i guess
nice stomach or nice arms: armsss heh

sensitive or loud: sensitive b/c im loud enough already

hook up or relationship: relationship
trouble maker or hesitant: uh trouble maker..?

have you ever:
kissed a stranger:
 no wtf LOL 
drank hard liquor: yeah
sex on the first date: too much no
broke someone’s heart: i hope not
had your own heart broken: honestly i dont know
been arrested: no BUT IT’D BE A COOL EXPERIENCE WOULDNT IT
cried when someone died: yes from novels and movies all the time
fallen for a friend: WHO ELSE WOULD YOU FALL FOR? A STRANGER ON THE STREET?

do you believe in:
yourself:
 no
miracles: no
love at first sight: no
heaven: no
santa claus: no
kiss on the first date: no
angels: no

I tag xsong-of-silencex endpain slimdays 1983andtheinnocentones tingahrong allhailconrad rpphan i-heartyou to have fun w all these questions

4

dean appreciation week

day four - favourite feature

2

This music is about YOU. Using an ancient scientific process (work + time + heart), we have done everything we can to make sure you have the f#$%ing time of your life listening to this record. On the day you win it all, on the day things couldn’t get any worse, crank it. May it give you strength & unbreakable hope. May it kindle wild ideas and empower you to make them real. May you turn all the NOs into big boody YESes.
     Love, Nick, Kevin, Sean, & Eli

It’s like this: you wake and watch TV, get in your car and listen to the radio you go to your little jobs or little school, but you don’t hear about that on the 6 o’clock news, why? ‘Cause nothing is really happening, and you go home and watch some more TV and maybe it’s a fun night and you go out and watch a movie. I mean it’s got so bad that half the people on TV, inside the TV, they’re watching TV. What are these people watching, people like me?
—  We Have To Talk About Kevin

My loft 89 story:
This is longgggg over due but on June 2nd, 2015 I got chosen for loft 89. So it all begins that day while we were getting ready for the concert we took pics and I uploaded it to tumblr when everything was all said and done. Keep in mind I didn’t have but like 17 follows and I got the account a week before the concert. Ok so we get to the arena at 3 and walk around it like 10,000x so we could get ourselves out there and meet some tumblr & twitter friends!!! We met some pretty awesome people they were SO sweet and adorable!!! So this guy from taylor nation (before he was popular, and you can guess, yes it was kevin;) asked to take a pic of us to put on the taylor site I guess and he did and then we talked to him for about a min, then he left and then it was around the time to go in the arena. We were headed straight for the taylor nation booth and we couldnt find it and neither could this guy that started talking to us (his name is keith and keith was awesome, ends up he went to the nashville secret sessions!!!!!) ok so keith knew our posters had been taken away (I forgot to mention that earlier) and so he talked us up to the tay nation lady and he told us to show her a pic of our posters when we got up there and so we did and she was so sweet, we took our pic then went to give her a hug and thank her. While we were walking away she ran to us and was like I have 2 extra floor tix you want them and we were like YES AHHHHH!!!!!! So we get to the floor and freak out cause TAYLOR SWIFT IS GOING TO SING RIGHT INFRONT OF OUR FACES AND WE WERE DYING!!!!!! She comes on and we die and then during I know places I see momma swift and wave to her and then the management tells us to come to her and Momma swift asks us to come to loft 89 and we were FREAKING OUT!!!!(btw we had a dance party with her) So the concert is over we go into loft 89 tay comes to us like the 4th or 6th group I don’t exactly remember and she was the SWEETEST AND I LOVE HER AND MISS HER SO MUCH!!!! She talked about her wardrobe malfunctions she had that night, and we asked about her cats and we talked a little more then she went to the next group and then me and my friend emma went to the photo booth. We talked to her mom for a couple min and she was the sweetest!!! After we got done with talking to her mom tay goes “BYE GUYS” to everyone and they leave. We stayed for 2 min after taking our last pics of the place and then Kevin was like its you all again you made it!!! Then when we left we took a group pic of everyone that was in loft 89 that night bc one of the girls wanted to. It was an amazing experience. I probably left a lot out in this post cause there was a lot to type and remember haha. The concert was just amazing it was my 9th concert Tay concert and its been amazing to see her grow throughout the years!!!! Thank You to everyone who reblogged our outfits that night it meant a lot!!! Don’t give up your day will come when you meet her I promise!!!!! Have a lovely day
- Callie taylorswift loft89experience