For those of you who haven’t been following the ongoing saga of the dissolution of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s relationship, here’s the latest news: Thurston Moore is a dick. Moore and Gordon officially announced the end of their marriage in 2011 (whoa, when did 2011 get to be 3 years ago? crazy), and rumors immediately began swirling that the couple’s demise was due in no small part to Moore’s infidelity. Gordon explicitly confirmed this in an interview with Elle magazine last year (not to be confused with The L, even though people always do!), and then Moore himself finally acknowledged it in a recent interview with UK publication The Fly, saying about his relationship with art book editor Eva Prinz, “I’m in a really romantic place with Eva; we’ve kinda been a couple for close to six years… a lot of those years nobody was very aware of it except us. The cat’s been out of the bag a while now.” Ok, then!
Following this interview, Moore was roundly derided as being an insensitive dick by several media outlets, including Jezebel. In a post titled “Thurston Moore Confirms He’s a Dick,” Erin Gloria Ryan calls out the “aging indie rock cool guy” for being a “dickhole” because Moore “had been fucking around on Gordon for years with a much younger woman… the pregnant girlfriend of another man.” It was a short, to-the-point post, maybe light on nuance and heavy on ad hominem attacks (Moore is “aging,” while Gordon is “ageless”), but that’s Jezebel for you. In contrast to the Jezebel post (though it is linked within it) is Tom Hawking’s excellent essay on Flavorwire, “Thurston Moore: Twilight of the Idol,” in which Hawking explores why exactly it was so disillusioning when Moore and Gordon split, and also why Moore’s duplicitous behavior wasn’t just harmful to Gordon, but also pierced the hearts of so many fans. Hawking writes, “for a certain generation, the Kim ‘n’ Thurston romance was a sort of rock ‘n’ roll fairytale, an aspirational love story intertwined with the history of one of the best bands ever to grace a stage together. Just as crucially, it was a repudiation of conventional rock ‘n’ roll mythology—it proved that you didn’t have to choose between burning out or fading away, that there was a third option: doing neither, and instead going on to lead what looked for all intents and purposes like a normal life.” Hawking doesn’t call Moore a dick, but the content of his post is much more damning: Moore isn’t just some run-of-the-mill asshole, he seemed to set an example “that you didn’t have to be a heartbreakin’, groupie-shaggin’ alpha male to be cool,” but then proved to be not so different from one of the guys from Mötley Crüe.
All of which isn’t to say that I find Moore a dick because of how he treated Gordon or even because he presented a public image of marital bliss while simultaneously carrying on a multi-year affair. The truth is that it’s impossible for any of us to know what the Gordon-Moore marriage was really like. Many couples that have been together for decades stay together have far more complicated relationships than we’d like to imagine from the outside, and stay together for reasons that have nothing to do with romance. And, obviously, in the case of Moore and Gordon, this was further complicated by their professional relationship, one upon which many other people depended. None of which is to say that Moore didn’t behave like a dick to Gordon. It sure sounds like he did! But I try not to pass judgment too harshly on situations like that because, eh, who has the energy? All of us are going to fuck up in our private lives sooner or later, and it would suck to have it all dragged under the media’s microscopic gaze.
And so, I probably wouldn’t even think that Moore was any more or less of a dick than, say, Brad Pitt or Bill Clinton or, like, literally every other man (and many women!) who behave imperfectly toward their spouses, except for the fact that Moore’s response to the Jezebel article proved that he is, in fact, as huge dick! Apparently, Moore didn’t like being called a dick by Jezebel, so he took to Facebook (like the middle-aged man that he is) and accused the site of practicing, “gender fascism” and writing, “by not having any real critical facility to understand, in their case, men in relationship to women (presumably them) they opt to promote hate by imperialist blather. By couching it in feminism is a distinct lack of class, but i’m sure they’re having a bit of online fun and when they grow up maybe they’ll glean the complexities of real life and love.” Which, seriously? “Gender fascism”? I’ve accused Jezebel of a lot of things, but that isn’t one of them. Besides which, if Moore was SO UPSET at being called out for his past infidelity, why only attack Jezebel? Why isn’t Tom Hawking—whose essay was far more comprehensive and damning, as well as being just better—accused of being a “gender fascist” who can’t understand “the complexities of real life and love”? Oh, is it because he’s a man? Got it. Cool. Fuck you, Thurston Moore. Jezebel was right. You’re a dick.
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