Courtney Love begins her diary feature for xojane.com not with an introduction (as if she needs any), but with claws: "I kind of want to slam Jezebel, but I won't. I'll save it. Because otherwise the Gawker people will torture me for the next two weeks. Because Jezebel I used to read, but then they do slut-shaming." Okay, let's deconstruct that.
I'll admit it: This breaks my tiny heart a bit, seeing as the better part of my teenage years were spent adoring Courtney Love. While all the flannel-clad kids were mourning Kurt Cobain, I was more worried about how Courtney was holding up. And God, did I love Sassy. Then I loved Jane. I read Jane Pratt's magazines religiously. I listened to Hole constantly. In fact, it's highly likely that I consumed the two at the same time, usually while wearing my nubuck Dr. Martens. So here's Courtney Love, slamming our website on Jane Pratt's new website. Metasuck, if you will. Quit making me feel things!
Why does Courtney think this of Jezebel, a site that employs a staff of free-fucking women, including one who notoriously went by the pseudonym Slut Machine? Not quite sure, frankly. Because we don't slut-shame. Plain and simple.
But if I had to pick apart Courtney's brain — a fascinating if not impossible task — here's a guess: Courtney did once go a little ballistic after we published a a post about Hugh Hefner's engagement to Crystal Harris last December. In that post, Jezebel editor Tracie Egan excerpted a passage from a book written by one of Hugh Hefner's exes, in which the author relays Hef's bedroom routine:
At around midnight, Hef would take his Viagra; it was always wrapped in a crumpled Kleenex (although Holly bought him a nice Tiffany pillbox once, he always stuck to his habits).
Hef would lie on his back in the middle of the bed, and as some of us were getting stoned or drinking Dom, he would cover himself in baby oil. Many of the girls he slept with would get yeast infections, which they blamed on the baby oil…Holly would start off the festivities by orally pleasuring Hef until he became erect…when it was confirmed that no one else wanted to "go," it would be Holly's turn to assume the position. (That appeared to be the distinguishing mark of the number one Girlfriend-not only was she the only one who had sex with him regularly, but she was the only girl that ever had that particular kind of sex with Hef.) Holly was always quick and full of moans and groans and "oh daddy" shout-outs. After that came to the grand finale: Hef masturbated while watching the porn, and Holly sucked on his nipple.
Tracie — that very writer who was once Slut Machine — said that this all sounded kind of gross, like "a baby oil horror show." Fair enough.
I guess Courtney read this and concluded that we were shaming the women involved in said horror show, because soon thereafter the
Faulkner James Joyce of Twitter went off on me. We'd never really interacted before (I'm not the type of editor who has famous friends), so it was surreal to have my teen idol publicly tweeting at me — even if she hated my guts and, it would seem, the figurative guts of Jezebel itself. But I didn't engage, because no one's ever going to win a Twitter battle with Courtney. Unless you're willing to go to court, anyhow.
Seeing as it's entirely possible — dare I say common — to find a guy and/or his proclivities unattractive and still not pass any judgment on the women involved with him, I was/am surprised that Courtney gleaned from the post what she did, particularly since we didn't really publish any commentary on the ladies themselves. We didn't exactly celebrate Hef's fuck ritual, but we certainly never slut-shamed anyone. We're pro-sluts. Go sluts! Slutwalk on with your bad selves.
Anyhow: After a brief return to silence, Courtney reached out to me again, apropos of nothing — this time privately over email at the end of January. Because we never discussed terms of confidentiality, I'm going to go ahead and share that artifact (with a blanket [sic], obviously):
From: Courtney Love-Cobain
Date: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 7:34 AM
To: Jessica Coen
hey bust,. oops venuszine oopps not
cl here, clc actually lately it makes me feel bettter to use my legal name, is it a defense mechanism to being so goddammed persecuted lately? anyway im no less smart, funny or brill than i ever was im just not chic, i want to do a collumm but clearly i want to do it in absouliuyte secrecy not really gossip, because i dont kiss and tell, but sort of bitching about filthy rich plutocrats and toffs which is all i am around lately without naming names, if your up for it, let me know, if you are NOT , that is fine, either way, it is to be of absolute secrecy, just in the mood, i know the gawker crew owns yalls asses and as a feminist i feel i can contribute in a femmeniste manner.
By the by, my normal writing is a long sentence broken by a comma , once in a while, id need edoiting as i have a very definitive voice, i use CAPS alot, which i really mean as italics, i learned style from "spy" aactually terrified that by the time i got famous, which im bored as FUCK of being, ( what does a lyric poet with charisma and a nightmare google first opage do in between vocations, well i do have a plan but its a year lonfg thing and it involves anonymoty and staying inside my big assed house in the village) i will wait your response a sorta sex city surrealistic coded names thing, but poetic, by that i mean i have no grudges whatsoeverr byt for lynnh isrshberg and not fond of dave grohl old news oi know but estranged divorced abandoned by my child isnt goodf for ones soul, your site isnt the place to discuss this too much money and too much money gone shit, but i would marry a man,,,,, for his lawyers.
ok pheasant shooting season is over tomorrow im off to south downs to the duchey of richmonds country seat to badg a few birds and per madge i was here FIRST! been a dual citizen sjincer 1973 thank you,
ps i wiite well and would cover crap decorators to sinkhole yachts, to terrence kohs poo to liz peytons proices and sexims in art to why the fuck rock is no place for a gal to make money andf i have NO AGENDA other than my secret innder bitch ( secret! i know!) wants to express herself in a disciplined short sharo shocky manner, this is not tweets about my finances this is about who owns roman larry or does roman own larry or does larry own roman and why that swing in gwyntehs house goes tits up- no i couldnt i love her, hmmm, well give me an assignemt and lets seed if i can fdo it and lets think if a cool name. you CANT tell, i want to get disocoplined writing chops, and have zero plans to become a mediacrat ewhatsoever i justthink i could make teh site a little more , focused, i see by the way the way you guys like all media discredit me and i know its a phase but its still worrissome, my 3 years of being toitally uncool, bored of the narcissim of being famousd"""""" a biot bored of the blues and excited by art and learning going to columbia to take film tech stuff, bnefore directing eg i want to learn to load, lock, lens and edit myself, set up shots myself, otherwise id do it now, () direc t) but like learning rudiments on the guitar without autonomy one is fucking lost.
and no not page sixing
and yes i hate the hamptons and urban music
It took me a few reads to parse this missive-disguised-as-gibberish, but I noticed that Cork's email made no mention of slut-shaming, so my fingers were crossed that we were beginning a new chapter in our "relationship." I immediately responded, writing that I would absolutely love something written by an Anonymous Rock Star, promising her confidentiality and anonymity moving forward and all that. And I gave her my phone number but, alas, she never emailed again. She didn't even call or text (and I was really hoping for some text messages).
Not to me, anyhow. Out of nowhere, almost two months later, Jezebel editor Dodai Stewart got a present in her inbox, regarding a post about sad panda Taylor Momsen:
From: Courtney Love-Cobain
Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011
To: Dodai Stewart
i would say....
give me an anon columm, youd have to sign an nda and confidentiality agreement but im a big fan of the site when you are not slut shaming, im not saying be "venuszine" and am perfectly aware im not so cool this last few years, but if you had 2, 2 billion and yoru kid snatched from you youd be nutty pissy too, anyhoo since i do know everything and i say nothing about everything ( nyc/london/ la) i think a secret columm is necessary,
Im dating """" allegedly a baron and quuote one Dasher " at least you had teh decency to run off with a baron" but have moved onto Earl.
what i would say is " Taylor, what are your top five favourite songs and albums of all time and au courant?
Taylor can you play an Fm to a B sus 7 fast ? Taylor. "out of your mind" is nonsenical, credibilty is all that matters not what you wear and noonhe actually can play guiat worth dick in "stripper shoes", Taylor honey, i stripped to get a van and a backline, giving my guitar player 3/4 dollars fpor every 5 i made, in no time we had van and
backline. haver youd onne a van tour? would you be willing to? Taylor are youa ware there is NO MONEY to be made in this viocation lately? ytou do it cos you love it or dont bother, dfo it cos you have to or dont bother. and ms Momsen. darl;ing im in a midlife crises anyway and changing ( surprise) vocations in a rather shocking manner, its all
down to love baby, dont throw away years of yiur life on loveless sex please"
Hey there, Corky! Back to the slut-shaming! Nevertheless, Courtney was still pitching an anonymous column (which I had already agreed to, back in January, without reservation). Dodai responded much like I did, with enthusiasm and guaranteeing all the anonymity assurances that Courtney might want. She also gave Courtney her phone number, but sadly no one at Jezebel ever heard from Cork again. It was a cold and lonely spring.
Two months later (there's an emerging pattern to her timing here), Courtney's back and quite publicly proclaiming that Jezebel's anti-slut. Well, we're not, obviously, and it's not like Courtney's insanity isn't well-documented (despite her being sharp as a tack, which she is). And we're not feeling particularly defensive about the mischaracterization — if we were, we'd take the time to link the hundreds of posts we've done about happily slutting it up — though I realize writing this may suggest that we are. Really, I'm just a little baffled that she (a) even remembered thinking we were slut-shamers; and (b) has emerged, almost like clockwork, to remind us (and now everyone) of that opinion. I guess our thoughts on assfucking with Hugh Hefner really left a mark. I do wish she hadn't read the site, some five months ago, in the way that she did. And to the xojane editor — Pratt herself, perhaps — charged with editing Courtney's diary: Bless you, because that must be an experience.
That said, butt sex with a lubed-up, Viagra-fueled octogenarian is not our cup of tea, and we'll stand by that.
Image via Courtney's awesome blog.