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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ben Weasel Hates Me Because I Misinterpreted His Lyrics When I Was 15

Posted by on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM

In the music piece I wrote this week, Pop Punk Puberty, I used Screeching Weasel's song "Peter Brady" as an example of a song that sent me, a young women, a negative message.

I know now, as an adult, and I knew it as a teenager, too, that the song is drenched in sarcasm, mocking a Brady Bunch world, but when the song is part of a genre where young women were consistantly being judged, hated, or pined after (so long as they're the right girl), it's still hard to believe "small tits and lots of zits" don't matter when THEY ABSOLUTELY DO IN HIGH SCHOOL.

As much as I understood the song then, it was still an example of what not to be, because I was, in fact, living in the world Screeching Weasel was mocking (AKA high school).

And even though I acknowledge in the piece that my teenage thought process is laughable and embarrassing (I WAS A TEENAGER—there was a lot to learn), Ben Weasel is unhappy about the shout out:


And now the comments on the story have been taken over by Screeching Weasel's army. There are some intelligent counter-arguments, of course, but there's also a lot of this:





There are over 100 comments on Screeching Weasel's facebook page. I haven't read them. I stopped giving a shit about that band when Ben turned out to be a woman-hitting, transgender-mocking, conservative republican who's too bitter about everything to do anything but complain about it.


Comments (50) RSS

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derek_erdman 1
Posted by derek_erdman on August 23, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
FUCK YES @ that last sentence!!!
Posted by Timothy Rysdyke on August 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
Um misinterpreting it at 15 is fine, the fact that you STILL don't get it at whatever the hell age you are now is what people were pissed about. You imply that you didn't understand it then, but you do now? If you get it, why did you write it?

ooo ooo I feel like Morrissey! Band-aids on my nipples 'cause I feel like Morrissey!
Posted by alecto3 on August 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Kathy Fennessy 4
Sucks. And you've gotta love critics who write, "I couldn't bring myself to read the whole thing." Well, maybe you should before condemning the author.
Posted by Kathy Fennessy on August 23, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Emily Nokes 5
Classic Weasel. Crying about being mentioned in an article, when he should be thankful anyone even remembers who he is. Don't worry Ben, we remember who you are! A douchebag! Shall we repost the video of you HITTING A LADY IN THE FACE because she threw an ice cube at you??
Posted by Emily Nokes on August 23, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
Mike Force 6
I'm glad he pointed out the Stranger is "hip".
Posted by Mike Force on August 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM · Report this
People are dumb and need other people to yell at to feel less insecure. Cheers to not having fucks to give.
Posted by erly on August 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM · Report this
alithea 8
poor ben weasel! NOBODY UNDERSTANDS HIM! look at you manipulating him and making him look like a HUGE MEANY JERK!!!!!!

Posted by alithea on August 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Megan Seling 9
@3 Reading comprehension is HARD.
Posted by Megan Seling on August 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Pick1 10
While, I do somewhat see your side...this post is just as shallow as him calling you out.

It's all about creating a place where the comments you see can help you validate your opinions. If you truly didn't care, you could, you know, ignore every sane person does.

Posted by Pick1 on August 23, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 11
Wow, hard to imagine a guy lashing out like that at the only person who has written about him and his shitty band in likely more than a decade.

What a whiny dickbag.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on August 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
Anyone else ever notice how many so-called punk rockers are whiny, whinging, pathetic little crybabies who turn into Republicans in their old age?

Fuck this guy.
Posted by johnjjeeves on August 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
icouldliveinhope 13
Ugh I got into the biggest Facebook deathmatch over that piece. Also, like, personal essay is SO MISUNDERSTOOD. You're not even ADVOCATING for censorship.
Posted by icouldliveinhope on August 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Report this
I've been a pretty big Screeching Weasel fan for about 20 years. I wouldn't say Ben's a woman-hitting*, transgender-mocking**, conservative republican. Rather, he's a heel, which is worse in some ways.

Now, somewhere along the line, I think he got it in his brain that the Screeching Weasel fanbase is in it for the Ben Weasel persona and his heel-ness, which has been turning me off from him the past few years. So he keeps on saying stupid shit, just to live up to the persona. Maybe he thinks it fuels his "brand." Maybe he just likes playing the bad guy (I'm pretty sure he was a big wrestling fan for a while).

Regardless, I'll admit that it has been a turn-off; not necessarily because of the content, but I get the impression that the Ben Weasel persona is more important to him than his music (and for me, that's the problem. I never got into Screeching Weasel for a circus). Anyway, you already know this, but best not to feed the troll anymore, and ignore his remarks.

*I don't think the woman hitting incident at SXSW was an act. I think it was an insanely regrettable lapse in judgment. I think BW lost his cool, and did something horrible. I also think he issued a sincere apology in the wake of the incident.

**As for the transgender-baiting stuff, I do think that's an act. This is the guy who wrote "I Wanna Be A Homosexual"; and in the past, he's proven to be pretty progressive on LGBT issues. Now that said, I don't like his "act" and I think it's been overshadowing his music since SXSW.
Posted by dave1976 on August 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
blip 15
@3 The fact that you STILL don't get Megan's point after reading the original article and her commentary on this post, while lecturing Megan because she doesn't 'get it,' is a thing of delicious, ironic beauty.
Posted by blip on August 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
Posted by derek_erdman on August 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
The angry hipster version of LOLITROLU
Posted by K on August 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Baconcat 18
@3: "Durrr Durrr Durrr." -You
Posted by Baconcat on August 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Pop punk is still an oxyMORON. Yes, with a capital MORON! I defy you to prove me wrong. While I'm totally on Megan's side, I'm a little disappointed that she even reminded me that this whole horrible genre even happened.
Go ahead and hate me. I don't care.
Posted by Curtis Interruptus on August 23, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
I dare someone to find a whaaaaa'mbulance big enough for this crybaby
Posted by Kelly O on August 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
balderdash 21
I would never have imagined that a guy who goes by Ben Weasel would turn out to be a touchy, vindictive asshole.

Oh, wait, I listened to Screeching Weasel as a teenager and that is a complete and utter lie. He's always been an asshole! That is why I would usually hit "skip" on my mothafuckin' DISCMAN when a Screeching Weasel song would come up on MY SICK-ASS FAT WRECK SAMPLER CD.


Seriously though I miss punk samplers.
Posted by balderdash on August 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
How many times has Ben Weasel had to start a statement with some variation of the phrase "[someone] makes me to be a jerk"? Reading his retort, he sounds like he's still fifteen.
Posted by tiktok on August 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
I used to comment on a AZ punk message board in highschool. The turds reactions remind me of the teenage boys that would attempt to silence even the most delicately put and care-takey thing I would write about their sexism.
Little has changed, except for now im a punk band I love, go to shows I love and the woman who wrote this article is staff at the weekly in my town. (fuck yes)
Posted by AgathaAtlas on August 23, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
Megan wins her own thread @9!
Posted by d.p. on August 23, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
metardtard 25
I'm glad we're still talking about Ben.
Posted by metardtard on August 23, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
I'm now remembering why Maximum Rockinroll sucked ass.
Posted by hmmmmm on August 23, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
Who knew Screaming Weasel still has fans, let alone ones who are idiotic enough to misread that essay or devoted enough to spend time whining about it online. 90s pop-punk lol
Posted by planned barrenhood on August 23, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Larry Mizell, Jr. 28
deeply asshurt manchild says 'bonehead'?
Posted by Larry Mizell, Jr. on August 23, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Huh- wonder what it would be like to have lots of people upset at me for misreading or misinterpreting what I had said about music.
Posted by Chris Jury on August 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
In my experience, if you are misunderstood, contradictory, standing up for yourself, then you are years ahead of the critics in that you have experienced life. Critics can turn things as black and white as they want, and that's fine. It usually means they have a real lack of life experience, and it's part of the growing process. Because anyone who has been through real shit 100% on their own knows there is no black and white, there is only circumstantial. To take specific a specific incident, lyric, whatever it may be, then say "This is who this person is", is straight up ignorant. To point fingers at anyone, instead of looking at yourself and analyzing why we believe the way we do is obsurd to me. I've enjoyed many of Megan's writings, and I'm thankful that Seattle has her. But, I feel this article is more finger pointing, name calling and mocking than her actual point. Things are not this easy to analyze. And to analyze any Screeching Weasel song is wacky. Except maybe science of myth which rules. And side note, I got to play with screeching weasel in 1990 on 21st and Madison. He was super nice to this 17 year old boy, he cracked a few jokes about me being straight edge, and we shared my Gatorade. I saw him again at gilman st. and same treatment. His music really helped this confused kid through some of the toughest years of my life. His outlook was not one side or the other, but circumstantial. The world was filled (and still is) of self righteous left or right. It was something I had a hard time finding. It was certainly welcome in my world. But I found my way through the garbage pile the world gave to me. I never looked back at the taunting, the jocks, the fights, the lacking ability to find a girl friend, I just quietly worked on myself and hope that other like minded people will sense that and maybe get inspired if they haven't quite figured it out. I'm done being a hippy now. Just my 2 cents. And yes, I know I ramble, but I have opinions too.
Posted by Soto on August 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Larry Mizell, Jr. 31
yeah @30 he's The Most Interesting Man In The World, he ran with the bulls and rescued a fucking baby eagle, I guess that's why he's a defensive woman-hitting asshole, CUZ HE REALLY BEEN THRU IT

Megan's talking about how these lyrics and archetypes made her FEEL growing up and she has every right. Just like Ben Weasel can post on FB about his own hurt, hurt feels as being so misunderstood. I just know there's a shitty song to come of all this.
Posted by Larry Mizell, Jr. on August 23, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this
jjm84 32
Jesus Christ. Half of The Stranger staff is in a comment pissing match. Go back to work!
Posted by jjm84 on August 23, 2012 at 2:21 PM · Report this
He mocked transgenders?!? As a transgender who has been a SW fan since the beginning, I'd like to know more about that. Anybody got some links?
Posted by Rudi Burnell on August 23, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
@31 I'll never justify him hitting a woman. I will say that security failed at their job to let her antagonize him, and she was very immature, as was Ben. He reacted extremely wrong. But we all know, are friends with, and are blood with people that have done perhaps worse. To single him out, when in fact he's also helped many people through things, is bizarre to me. Why him? Many of America's revolutionaries have been homophobic and misogynistic. Why someone petty like Weasel? Because its safe? And the running of the bulls is awesome and amazing? To who? And he's not relevant to me today. He was when I was 17. That's part of my point. Why would I go back and attempt to analyze any of that shit? I'm not going to analyze any of the jock rock that I hated and that hated me in high school, I just move forward. And by the way. Life experience is what's dealt to you, not what you choose. You'll find very different experiences from those who choose, and those that have been dealt.
Posted by Soto on August 23, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Fnarf 35
@34, this weasel guy is in his forties. This wasn't when he was seventeen. If you're still pulling "immature" stuff like that in your forties, that you have to apologize for, however sincerely, stuff that causes your entire band to quit in disgust, then maybe you have a bigger problem than just "immaturity".

Pretty interesting that the other guy who started Screeching Weasel wasn't even asked about reforming the band; Weasel just went and did it without him, with all new guys -- a revolving door of all new guys, in fact.
Posted by Fnarf on August 23, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
No doubt he has issues. He's admitted that before the incident. On national tv none the less. And by the way, they were just here with their good friends the queers. And how do we know hes not dealing with them? People attack him like they were there with him at the holiday dinner before the family erupts in anger. There's more important shit to talk about then some accusatory bs towards a punk from someone's child hood. The cause is lost, and the argument misdirected. I'm going to work now.
Posted by Soto on August 23, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Fnarf 37
It's aggro meatheads like this guy that turned me twee back in the 80s. The real punks were the ones like Edwyn Collins of the great Orange Juice, who used to play in front of crowds shouting "POOF POOF POOF" and throwing things while he just flipped his hair and grinned and crooned "I'll be your consolation prize". I'll take that over this kind of sub-Henry Rollins BS any old day. Real Henry Rollins too, come to think of it.
Posted by Fnarf on August 23, 2012 at 3:44 PM · Report this
@33 A lot of it went down on the Pop Punk Message Bored where Ben was a frequent poster for a while (and while the PPMB is a message board, it is, or at least was, sort of a gossip site where many fans and bands interact...and as I understand it BW got into it with some transgender posters on the PPMB).

Anyway, go to I'm sure you can search there and find something about it.
Posted by dave1976 on August 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Jason Eckelman 39
@34 - Yeah, that's fucking ridiculous. This shit: "security failed at their job to let her antagonize him, and she was very immature, as was Ben" is nonsensical false equivalency. Why don't you just say she had it coming and get it over with? To say they were both "acting immature" is completely bananas. The woman was acting "immature", and BW was acting like a psychopath. If a professional musician can't deal with shade from the audience in any other way but by punching them in the face, it's way past time to pack it in. Also, "Many of America's revolutionaries have been homophobic and misogynistic." Really? What the hell does that have to do with anything? And this doesn't make any sense: "He's not relevant to me today". Then why go out of your way to defend him with this 3-comment long crock of horseshit? Sweet Mary & Joe.
Posted by Jason Eckelman on August 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM · Report this
Ben Weasel sounds whiney.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on August 23, 2012 at 5:14 PM · Report this
@34: When your entire schtick is based around your need to antagonize others, others expect you to be able to dish what you put out. Hiding behind security is just sad.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on August 23, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
@39- I like your logic, and The Head and the Heart should also pack it in. Also, I think the point about American revolutionaries was that we often need to celebrate parts of people, rather than the whole person. Rejecting everything someone did because of one thing they did is a recipe for going nowhere. MLK jr. was a 'womanizer' (to use the old lingo)...does that mean we shouldn't teach kids about his part in the civil rights movement?
Posted by Chris Jury on August 23, 2012 at 6:08 PM · Report this
This might be simply hearsay, as I did only heard it said, which was that the Beastie Boys, when they grew up and realized that the women they loved as adults were represented by the women they slandered in a lot of their music, they went back and re-recorded tracks that were more respectful. And maybe this IS just hearsay, and if it isn't it might be a little overboard, but I think it's one of the coolest rumors I've ever heard.

Slamming someone for feeling fucked with by the world, misfit and lonely seems very antithetical to punk, and certainly isn't what I signed up for when I shaved my first mohawk.
Posted by dangerdarling on August 23, 2012 at 10:41 PM · Report this
Gee it sure is surprising when someone with south park-like "humor" turns out to be a conservative regressive asshole.
Posted by hateful humor is at the expense of others on August 24, 2012 at 12:05 AM · Report this
Anna Anna Anna 45
Larry wins: "28
deeply asshurt manchild says 'bonehead'? "
Posted by Anna Anna Anna on August 24, 2012 at 1:23 PM · Report this
if you didn't give a shit you wouldn't have written a follow-up article or tried to engage in arguement with ben weasel on his facebook page. it's bad enough that your an idiot, please don't compound that by being a hypocrite. or do, whatever, you clearly haven't grown much since you were 15.
Posted by veronicahatesme on August 24, 2012 at 3:48 PM · Report this
@39 Whoa, I never said remotely she had it coming. Ben Weasel clearly reacted wrong. But I think it's agreeable that if I go to a show, and start throwing ice cubes at the singer because I disagree with them, I'd be a fucking idiot psycho, and I should leave. They were acting like assholes on both ends. If you've ever worked security, you'd know that securitys job is to prevent an incident from erupting or even happening. They clearly failed. And my real critique is with an article focused around a single individual because it's safe. If it was really to bring the message home, i think it'd be more daring. @39 worded my point better than I did, both about celebrating certain aspects of someone's character, and also the head and the heart. Haha. That band has a trail of drunken dysfunction across the nation. Personally, I recognize humanity, and it's the intention and sincerity of an apology. If a dude was throwing ice cubes at me while at my show because he's miserable, and on a negative path blaming everyone for everything, I would prefer to talk to him one on one, or I could be pushed to my frustration limits as many do. As a cab driver, I have been pushed to my limits of the Belltown Friday night shirt guys, as well as some "punks" who want discounts because I look like a punk too. When things go wrong, I apologize and work on myself. It doesn't mean I'm a bad person. And as I stated earlier, life experience goes a long way. You have the immature who antagonize and push, as well as mock. Much worse and in a form very bigoted of their opposite culture. And I will give you this, sure, i guess Ben weasel is relevant now. He helps me reflect what I found about saying fuck you to elitism and being PC when I was a kid. I identified with him in many (not all) ways. He also taught me that all my homophobic friends at the time needed a kick in the ass.
Posted by Soto on August 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
Ben Weasel turns out to be a giant pussy. Film at 11.
Posted by beef rallard on August 25, 2012 at 12:58 AM · Report this
Whahh, we'll cry "republican" because someone who is supposed to be on my side of the fence called me on my unquestionable given stances.

If a man throws ice cubes at a waitress, man goes to jail on assault charges with no punches need be thrown. How is that possibly not a double standard? Is it assault, or is it not assault? I don't agree with that particular logic, but agree that's how society officially sees it - depending on who.

I suppose he could've hunted down a cup of ice and had a spirited ice-cube fight, which legal bullshit aside would be the appropriate response if a physical one would be taken.
Posted by willos on March 17, 2014 at 2:16 AM · Report this
Whahh, we'll cry "republican" because someone who is supposed to be on my side of the fence called me on my unquestionable given stances.

If a man throws ice cubes at a waitress, man goes to jail on assault charges with no punches need be thrown. How is that possibly not a double standard? Is it assault, or is it not assault? I don't agree with that particular logic, but agree that's how society officially sees it - depending on who.

I suppose he could've hunted down a cup of ice and had a spirited ice-cube fight, which legal bullshit aside would be the appropriate response if a physical one would be taken.
Posted by willos on March 17, 2014 at 2:19 AM · Report this

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