Um… so there's a new Escape-ism record out and the situation around last year's awkward self-cancellation of Ian Svenonius is still murky as fuck.
Quick refresher: Last year, around the time when it became known that the California garage label and record store Burger Records had been a hotbed for sexual predators and creeps for years at that point, reiginiting the discussion around sexism and predatory behavior in the punk scene (also leading Burger Records to cease operations soon after), Washington D.C. scene legend Ian Svenonius (of Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Weird War, Chain and the Gang, Escape-Ism, XYZ…) did a weird kind of self-cancellation post on instagram, admitting to predatory or at least very creepy behavior towards women in the past and apologizing for it, then deleting the whole thing soon after.
The reactions were varied. Merge Records seem to have gained some deeper knowledge about the accusations and deemed them severe enough to sever ties with Ian Svenonius.
Dischord Records, on the other hand, who should also know a thing or two, are still working with him, keeping his old records in print and in-stock. The new Escape-ism record, while not a Dischord release, is being sold via the Dischord Records website right now. No clue how to interpret that coming from a label that has been so well known for their strong ethics in the past.
I'm just gonna say, the whole situation stinks. It's been over a year and we know pretty much nothing about what was happening around Ian Svenonius. As a fan, music blogger, webcaster, i am especially conflicted. What kind of person am i supporting if i buy his records? Can i still justify posting his stuff? Should i remove all of his music from 12XU Radio?
At first, i really wanted to give Ian Svenonius the benefit of the doubt. It seemed like he was actually feeling remorse for his actions (their severity still being unknown) and some dude actually apologizing, being honest about it and willing to work through his shit would have actually felt kinda refreshing at that point.
Instead, it looks to me like the punk scene has collectively agreed to shove the whole thing under the rug, not demand any answers and move on as if nothing actually ever happened. Once again, everyone gets the silence treatment. I think that's the worst possible way to go about this. This. Sucks. So. Much.