About Vampire Weekend

Some thoughts on the last time I gave Ezra Koenig a lot of thought.

About Vampire Weekend

The last law school class I attended in person was an intro Criminal Law class. My dean was the professor. We all sat distanced from each other in an undergrad lecture all because the law school didn't have enough space in their lecture halls for us to socially distance properly. It was late March of 2021. That day I sat in my seat and I wrote a little essay for my newsletter talking about the recently canceled David Dobrik, the open secret that Ezra Koenig was the older man Tavi Gevinson was referencing in an essay about the Free Britney documentary and some other broad thoughts on reactions to harm. At the time I was spiraling out of control. I was in a relationship with a man who had sexually assaulted me a year and a half prior and my facade of being able to get over it had fully cracked. We had moved to Philadelphia together and I felt trapped. I walked to and returned from classes in a haze. I found some solace in writing about harm done to others– harm done by others– because I couldn't cope with what had happened to me.

I'd drop out of law school a few weeks later and I'd keep writing.

Today I'm thinking about this part of my life because Vampire Weekend has put out some new songs. On its face, I think I probably am not really in need of new songs from them. I'm not overly impressed with the singles. It's fine. But I am thinking about Ezra Koenig and the things Tavi Gevinson said about– presumably– him.

on david dobrik, ezra koenig, and taking advantage of your public reputation
This piece of writing discusses sexual assault and describes a situation which may be triggering to some. Be kind to yourself. I am, unfortunately, big into Youtuber drama— the valid, the stupid, the Much Too Serious To Call It Drama, all of it. I watch lots of channels that could

As a teenager and in college, I loved Rookie Mag. Tavi Gevinson was so cool to me. She still is for reasons that aren't that different than when we were both younger. I remember reading the first installment of The Infinity Diaries– a series of personal essays Gevinson wrote back in 2016– and relating to her feelings, but being in awe of how cool she seemed. She tells a story of going out with and then sleeping with an unnamed older man through the familiar medium of a conversation with a friend. There's vulnerability and humor in her discomfort with things like not knowing what drink to order and the description of a bizarrely empty bedroom. There's a half-confidence in her self-perception– dressing and grooming not for a man, but for herself to feel more comfortable. This man continues to convince her she has the power here.

Tavi is 18, this guy is 30.

When I look back, I still relate to her anxieties and her use of how she looks to give herself a sense of control and I relate to a man telling you you have power where you have none. At the time, it all just sort of seemed glamorous in a relatable way– like she was just a teenager fumbling through an impossibly cool life.

The Infinity Diaries - Rookie
The first in a series.

In her piece for The Cut about Britney Spears, there is reference to being pressured and uncomfortable with an older man. It's not outlined that these are about the same older man, but the timeframes line up. She talks about her perceived power and I think about that essay from 5 years prior. I think about the 2016 essay and the insistence that she has the power. It makes my skin crawl to think about it.

Britney Spears Was Never in Control
Why did I ever believe a teen girl could hold all the power?

I don't think it matters if people do or don't listen to Vampire Weekend. I'm not sure it even really matters that people do or don't talk about the Tavi stuff. I'm not trying to scold, but it lives in my brain in a way I can't remove for the same reasons I already wrote 3 years ago.

It's a dead end conversation. There's no call to "cancel" Ezra Koenig, but I still sit and I think about it. I know I think about it because I see aspects of the worst harm done to me in the way she describes being sold this lie of power. My own experience of sexual violence lives parallel to my feelings toward this band I've loved for many years and that's where it ends. No action to be taken, no more discussion.

I don't think the new songs are very good.

Miranda Reinert is a music adjacent writer, zine maker, podcaster and law school drop out based in Chicago. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram for more reminiscing on the year: @mirandareinert.  This blog does have a paid option and I would so appreciate any money you would be willing to throw me! You may also send me small bits of money at @miranda-reinert on venmo/on Paypal if you want. As always, thanks for reading!