For an artist with only a modest-sized fan base, Amanda Palmer has an exceptionally large and passionate group of antifans. It’s a diverse group of haters: professionals and amateurs, people who despise her for the disparity between her artists’ rights advocacy and her blithe willingness to ask other musicians to donate their time to her profit-making ventures, and ones who simply think that she makes terrible music. One thing that we all have in common is that we’re easily trolled.
Palmer’s exploited that tendency masterfully, which is basically the only reason why anyone who’s never self-identified as steampunk even knows who she is. Her latest attention-seeking gambit is a poem about suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that is one of the worst things ever written, on a number of different levels. Seriously, you shouldn’t read it unless you want to get worked up over something stupid, which this poem definitely is. (Not to mention tone-deaf, solipsistic, and badly composed enough to qualify as an insult towards any potential readers.) It’s already been written, it’s already been read and reacted to, and if anyone else reads it and gets pissed off (which is really the only proper response to the poem), Palmer will have already won.
So instead, I suggest you check out what cultishly adored Scottish electronic group Boards of Canada have been up to, which is kicking off a deeply cryptic puzzle that might possibly have something to do with their long-awaited next album and definitely has something to do with a surprise mega-limited-edition Record Store Day exclusive that appears to be full of coded information. It’s fun and mysterious and in no way callously exploits a national tragedy in order to feed a pathological hunger for attention that’s so insatiable that it doesn’t matter what kind of attention it is. Saying no to trolls is good for you, and it’s good for America.