At this point, I’d assume everyone on Earth is aware of the pathetic coup attempt by right-wing brainlets on January 6. Among these brainlets were two musicians: John Maus and Ariel Pink. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love John Maus and Ariel Pink, which is why I got a total of thirteen (I’m not exaggerating, but I wish I was) different people sending me texts about their attendance at the event. The Internet quickly jumped to crucify the two, rightfully so, but I, myself, didn’t join in because, well, I’m a bit conflicted. It’s not because I’m biased towards Maus and Pink as musicians, considering the fact that they are two of my favorites, but it’s because I’m aware of who they are as people, which is what I’m going to get into here.
So what was the purpose of the coup and why were they there? To answer the first question, Trump supporters scheduled the coup attempt for January 6, the same day Congress was supposed to vote to confirm President-Elect Joe Biden. The purpose was to delay the vote for as long as possible, which didn’t really happen.
Instead, what happened was that the right-wing extremists rioted outside of the Congress building, eventually making their way inside. Four rioters died -- including some guy who allegedly tased himself in the balls, causing him to have a heart attack, and a woman who was shot and killed by Capitol Police. People scaled the walls to get onto the grounds of the building, leading Azealia Banks posting an image of the people climbing to her Instagram story calling it “meth activity,” which wound up being my favorite commentary of the day’s events.
Nothing that the extremists wanted to happen, happened, besides a handful of people getting inside. Everyone there simply made a fool of themselves, and many of them are paying the price by getting fired or losing book deals, like Senator Josh Hawley.
But why did John Maus and Ariel Pink go? The story goes like this. Maus and Pink went to DC with Maus’ wife and also Alex Lee Moyer, a documentarian known for her works regarding controversial topics, like TFW no GF, which took a look into the lives of incels from a more sympathetic lens. Maus alleges that Pink stayed behind at the hotel they were staying at to nap and he attended the event with his wife and Moyer, who is making a documentary that Maus and Pink will be scoring. It was unclear what the documentary will be about, but it’s easy to assume that it has to do with something regarding the coup attempt.
I do not believe that Maus attended the event in support of Trump because he’s been quite outspoken about his leftism in songs like “Cop Killer” and “Rights for Gays” and in general, having stated that he is “left of left of left of left” on the political spectrum in an interview with Vice’s Noisey, but there is still something about his attendance that doesn’t sit all that well with me. There is a sort of tone-deafness in going to an event like this in the middle of a pandemic knowing that Trump supporters are flagrant deniers of Covid-19. Even though Maus states that his attendance was to ensure the safety of a woman attending a Trump event, his response was relatively off-putting, as he cryptically tweeted a speech given in 1937 by Pope Pius XI condemning Nazism. In my honest opinion, the easier thing to do would have been for Maus to tweet out “I’m not a white supremacist and I shouldn’t have gone to the riot,” but that is simply not who John Maus is. He is a pretty smart man (or at least a man put us all under the impression that he is smart) with a PhD in political science and a background in philosophy. Studying at Beloit has given me many opportunities to find other white dudes with the same educational expertise as Maus, and that’s just, like, the standard for political science and philosophy bros, not that it excuses it, but do we honestly expect them to not be pretentious?
As for Ariel Pink, I don’t really have anything to say other than this is the kind of stuff he is known for. He isn’t a very good person and we shouldn’t be shocked. However, he has recently been vocal about his support of Trump. For me, it’s hard to take anything Ariel Pink says or does seriously because he’s too far gone, but there’s really no excuse to be in support of Trump, whether it be seriously or for jokes.
It seems like I’m being hard on John Maus and Ariel Pink, and I am because I’m upset with the fact that they attended such an event, but I don’t think they did anything inherently wrong. Now, let me explain myself. I think the thing to blame for their attendance is their privilege as white men. This privilege allowed for them to travel out to DC in the midst of a pandemic to attend an event meant to disrupt democracy in support of a facist president. Knowing how odd, and at times problematic Ariel Pink’s takes on the world can be, he has always been skating on thin ice in my eyes, but now that ice is beyond thin. As for John Maus, having been one of my favorite musicians, he used to be skating on super thick ice, but I’d say he’s now skating on normal ice. I won’t be getting rid of any of my John Maus or Ariel Pink records any time soon, but I also probably won’t be buying more of their records any time soon, either. I’ll still listen to “Cop Killer” every day, though.