They Always Show Themselves

They Always Show Themselves
Image:Ben Horton (Getty Images)

Hours into Wednesday’s domestic terrorist attack on the nation’s Capitol by Trump supporters and election conspiracy mongers, news circulated that indie musicians Ariel Pink and John Maus attended the mob with “red-pilled” “filmmaker” Alex Lee Moyer (known for TFW No GF, a celebratory incel documentary that managed to bypass Elliot Rodger, Chris Harper-Mercer and Alek Minassian, and which sounds like something that might’ve had legs a decade ago, much like the music of her co-rioters).

Whenever a celebrated artist is revealed to be an unintelligent piece of shit with inhumane politics, it makes waves: fans attempt to justify their actions as part of some “outsider art / documentary” situation because their canceled musician shirt drawer is getting full. But this shouldn’t come as a shock to the system. These artists always reveal themselves: desperate for relevancy, clawing their way out of the pit they crawled into for a few unadulterated moments of attention.

According to Metro UK, a photo taken from Moyer’s private Instagram account made the rounds on social media Wednesday night, depicting the three in a D.C. hotel room, allegedly confirming their attendance. “The day we almost died but had a great time instead,” her caption read. She also posted a video of Maus on the grounds of the Capitol.

Pink later responded to a Tweet about Moyer’s photo, which read: “proof that both @JOHNMAUS@arielxpink were at there. never once did one of these artists express ñ their solidarity for the BLM movement. it’s crazy how indie artists claim to follow this alternative lifestyle, yet express such traditional and archaic views,” with a statement: “its true- i dont and never have advocated for violent confrontation or rioting. must be my boomer upbringing.”

Pink added, “proof that i stormed congress. yeah i dont see it. are u suggesting the congress building has a bed and breakfast we somehow got access to.” He also wrote, “i was in dc to peacefully show my support for the president. i attended the rally on the white house lawn and went back to hotel and took a nap. case closed,” and finally, “vote for trump.” He’s expressed support for Trump before, a fact seemingly no one before last night knew, because no one cared to inquire about a has-been’s voting record.

Maus hasn’t commented publicly, but did share a link to an encyclical from Pope Pius XI to the Archbishops and Bishops of Germany from 1939, and highlighted the section, “Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community – however necessary and honourable be their function in worldly things – whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinises them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts and order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.”

Once again, none of this should come as any surprise. In 2017, Maus was involved with a canceled, alt-right Adult Swim show called Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace, which, according to Pitchfork, “gained a reputation for promoting racist, sexist, and bigoted viewpoints and symbolism,” and most musicians involved with soundtracking the show distanced themselves from it immediately and disavowed its creators, but not Maus. “I don’t want to make any apology, but I also didn’t want to…. The guys I met were nice. They weren’t burning crosses or doing anything like that. In other words, I never had, from what I know about it, any indication that anything other than certain instances of a sort of trolling was going on,” he told Noisey in an interview. “What did they do that made them Nazis? Maybe I haven’t looked into it. Or why were they alt-right people?”

Pink, meanwhile, is ham-fisted in his public behavior, long “trolling” the public with the same breed of unimaginative, offensive humor that fuels 4chan dwellers: everything from stating that he was “maced by a feminist,” calling Grimes “stupid and retarded,” labeling himself “Rush Limbaugh Pink,” expressing admiration for the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church to more generic maxims taken from the book of a middle school bully: “It’s not illegal to be racist,” “This gay marriage stuff pisses me off,” and “I love necrophiliacs,” according to The Guardian. Real artists can be provocateurs, and this ain’t it. This is scraping the bottom of the barrel and praying the scum will worship you.

So seeing Pink and Maus at a violent terrorist attack in the name of Trump? That’s anything but scandalous. They always show themselves.

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