Billy Corgan continued his downward trajectory towards irrelevancy (wrestling, anyone?) last week by not only insulting, slandering and threatening violence against Portland-based guitar pedal maker Devi Ever, but by making some incredibly transphobic statements for all of the Internet to see. Luckily, in Devi Ever we have not only a talented guitar electronics tailor but an incredibly level-headed woman adept at responding to such ugly words.
The whole tirade stemmed from a series of interactions between Ever and Corgan over Facebook and message board postings. After some not-so-glowing reactions to several of Ever's pedals, Corgan hinted over Facebook that he wanted Ever to develop a guitar pedal just for him. Ever took some time and enlisted the help of another Portland pedal maker to develop what would become the Silver Rose, which, even for Ever, looks like a pretty sophisticated piece of kit.
Devi Ever sent the pedal to Corgan for him to play with and, even after several weeks, got zero response from the former/current/forever chief Pumpkin. After frustration at Corgan's lack of response, Ever vented in a since-deleted post on a Smashing Pumpkins message board, expecting responses from a group of only 12 people. Seeing this post, Corgan vaulted head-first into a flurry of hateful Facebook messages written to Ever and tweets sent out to his Twitter fanbase. The A.V. Club, Pedestrian.tv and Queerty picked up on the story before both parties deleted much of the online evidence.
Among other Facebook nuggets of wisdom, Douche du Jour Corgan wrote "..if i ever run into you, anywhere, at anytime, for as long as i live, i will knock your fucking lights out." And as if threats of violence weren't awful enough, his string of tweets launches into even more overt, undeniably transphobic statements. Corgan continued, knowingly insulting Ever as a transwoman by using the pronoun "he/she," saying, "his/her pedals suck. He/she sucks. Never associate my name and his/hers ever again."
Using some pretty harsh analogies herself, Ever illustrates how hurtful and insensitive the phrases "he/she" and "his/her" really are in her nearly 20-minute long Youtube response. She has since removed the video (and almost all trace of the dispute) from the Internet, which is a shame, because the composure she retains in the face of the incredibly hurtful things Corgan has been throwing at her are really astounding. In a message board comment (also deleted) she confessed that she ought to have
"gone for a hike, cooled off, then spoken with Billy privately about my disappointments with his reactions / non-reaction to my pedals over the years, but I still don't think that excuses Billy for going as far as he did in retaliation, and I'd still greatly appreciate if Billy apologized via Twitter, and perhaps donate to a trans-rights organization"
Come on now. Billy Corgan running off his mouth as per usual is truly BORING, but Billy Corgan thinking he can get away with hateful transphobic statements makes me want to scream. Devi Ever should be proud that she stood up to Corgan's unbelievable ranting.
We should all admire Devi Ever for not stooping to Corgan's level and for maintaining a level of maturity that we have yet to see from the historically transphobic Smashing Pumpkins leader. She not only works in a fiercely male-dominated industry (as Amy Klein writes here), she has risen to the forefront of boutique guitar electronics manufacturers, finding patrons in the likes of Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and the Flaming Lips. A statement on her Facebook demonstrates the ridiculous amount of strength she's shown over the past few weeks that everyone (especially a certain douchebag) ought to take a cue from:
"Treat yourself well today. Play a lot of guitar. Drink a lot of water. Feel free to not sweat the little things. ♥"