[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE OF A MINOR, RAPE CULTURE]
I published this first on Medium because honestly I want more people to see it than they would here and more honestly because I signed up for that fucking "Medium Partner Program" and if I can make 3 cents off of the thing it'll almost be like there's meaning to the whole thing.
It took me a long time to be able to write this. I still can't listen to his music.
I don’t really know how to write this. Maynard James Keenan didn’t rape me. He raped a 17-year-old girl and who knows how many others. What right do I have to complain about how bad I feel about the news of the rape of someone else? And don’t come at me with any kind of defense of Maynard. This goes even beyond my dedication to believing survivors. Sometimes you just know, you know?
The truth is that I knew before a Twitter account appeared detailing a story of a 17-year-old girl being singled out by Maynard to be raped in his trailer later. When the #MeToo movement kicked off this time around, I knew Maynard would be outed sooner or later. I knew because he is just exactly that kind of person. Because everyone knows Maynard’s a complete asshole douchebag. That was why I hid that I was a Tool fan for all those years. That and because the only person who’s as big a douche as Maynard himself is the average Tool fan.
And I could just feel it. It was a gut-level certainty that I can’t explain, but when the news of the accusations came out, I was not surprised. I was only devastated.
I was more than just a Tool fan. I didn’t have every lyric from every song memorized or know all the useless trivia there is to know about every band member. What I mean is that I loved everything Maynard did. My favorite bands used to be Tool, Puscifer, and A Perfect Circle, in that order. Now my favorite band is “um, *shrug* Beyonce.”
As embarrassing as it is, Maynard’s music, the strange, ambient sounds with his voice and the spiritual themes of his lyrics spoke to me in a way that no other music ever has. Since age 13 I listened to that music in my darkest times, and all the times when I needed to feel like there was more out there than what we can see. 46 & 2 was my favorite hymn. Grand Canyon became my morning prayer. Most recently, A Perfect Circle surprised us with a new album containing the kinds of “the world is doomed” themes that I fucking need right now.
And now every bit of that music is poisoned. I can’t listen to one note without remembering and knowing what Maynard did. Even if I wanted to pretend that I didn’t believe this one victim, I couldn’t listen to it. It’s gone.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Maynard’s music was a huge part of my spirituality. Music gets me there in a way nothing else does, and nothing got me there like music made by that rapist. Now my head is quiet except for the constant worrying whispers from my anxiety. I went through an actual grieving period over this, and six months later, there’s nothing left. I don’t know where to go to find any connection to the spiritual. It’s like I had a link to god, the cosmos, the universe, whatever, and that was destroyed.
Since then, everything has seemed duller. I tried pitching this as an article so at least maybe I could get some money out of this loss, but the topic already been done to death. And honestly, there is no un-pathetic way to write about how sad and empty you are because the lead singer of the worlds most douchebag-magnet of a band raped someone who is not you.
But I am sad and I feel empty and I don’t know what to do. All I know is that I hate Maynard for doing this to her and I hate Maynard for doing this to me. Thanks a lot, you fucking asshole. I hope you know that you not only hurt multiple women and girls in the deepest and worst way possible, you hurt so many fans who needed you.
You once wrote a song about how you only kept making music because you met so many people along the way who were hurt and needed you. As it turns out, the world probably would have been better off if you never made music to begin with.
Well, you can stop now.