☚ The Ballad of Whirr & Daniel Murphy: Context, Hate, Actual Harm & Second Comings ☛

Like the rest of America (and the world?), I got swept up in WhirrlGLOSSgate 2015 earlier in the week. Whirr is (was?) a band no one's ever heard of and someone used their Twitter account to start shit with another band no one's ever heard of. And by start shit I mean, tweet the fairly innocuous statement "Lol @ G.L.O.S.S." and then precede to plummet straight down an @-reply rabbithole of progressively worse transphobic insults, culminating (somehow) in the glorious hot take on suicide that if someone's gonna do it (attempt suicide), they ought to actually follow through with the act. Pretty edgy stuff, definitely the first person to say/think that about suicide. It makes you think, you know?

Anyway, here I am, having just a super cursory awareness of either act's existence suddenly thinking deeply about both bands. It was just as big a PR win for G.L.O.S.S. as it was a career-killer for Whirr, who deleted all the tweets and told us the dog ate their homework. The lead singer of G.L.O.S.S. actually joined Twitter to capitalize on the publicity shoot off some scorching burns back at 'em. @trannyterrorist is a good handle, if not a little too literal. Watch out now!

Then I started to think about the Babe Ruth of our time, one New York Metropolitans second baseman, Daniel Murphy. Before he turned into the fiercest slugger that postseason baseball has ever seen, most casual fans probably knew him as the guy who took paternity leave, which divided the nation into two camps: The "How dare he!" conservatives and the "Good for him, so progressive!" liberals. If they didn't know him for that, maybe they knew him as the dude who outed himself as a low-grade bigot after being forced to meet Billy Bean.

If this is a thinkpiece than I'm not sure what that says about thinking or thought.

It's fair to say that this comparison––if that's even what's happening here––is a stretch. But my brain connected some dots, so allow me these words as an attempt to justify my ultimate conclusion, which is: I AM HOTLY ANTICIPATING THE NEW WHIRR RECORD. JK. Sort of.

Have I actually ever listened to the music of Whirr before, you ask. No. Not yet. But I have their previous LP Sway (very shoegaze title, much reverb) queued up on the Spotify as I write this. I followed them on Twitter. I'm not exactly a fan (yet) and I'm not exactly even rooting for them to succeed at all. What I'm fascinated by is how quickly the hive can destroy someone/something, and how the subjects respond in turn. It's about perseverance, man! I'm basically interested in how they proceed, if they proceed at all.

I can safely say that I will never give a penny to see or hear Whirr or purchase any Whirr-related product. I think they are either trash or hang around with trash people and are thusly trash by proxy. But their influence was really small. I mean, they had ~4K Twitter followers. It's some weird modern phenomenon that the literal end of one's career is also their highest point.

Whirr has no real recourse to return from this scandal. The indie music world is not MLB fandom. There's no amount of homers they can hit that will make the people forget about their gross personal beliefs. I applaud the people who are trying to use this moment as a platform to let everyone know that Daniel Murphy's way of thinking is not OK.

But for every one of those voices there's at least 1,000 screaming #LGM ten times louder. In the case of Whirr, though, it's only echoes... pouring out over a vast horizon with the waning drone of bad shoegaze sputtering into the best and worst sound in the world: silence.