End all business relationships with Sparklefight and its members
This petition had 1,155 supporters
Sparklefight are a Philadelphia band composed of Michael Gallagher, Michael Beer, Ryan Horvath, and Nick Macklin. In 2012, the band posted a video on Youtube entitled “Rape Whistle: A Hilarious ‘How To’ in Rape Prevention” depicting graphic rape, kidnapping and torture. While the band claims the video is satirical, their message is clear: rape victims are to be made fun of and attacking women is entertaining.
As the credits roll, Sparklefight’s song “Habit of Mine” (detailing former band associate Stephen Benford's brutal 2010 murder of his girlfriend Gina Schickling) plays: “She never had a clue what I was about to do / I smashed in her pretty face / her blood all over the place / I guess it’s safe to say that this is just a habit of mine.”
The rapist in the video is played by friend of the band and promoter (“Useless Drunk Promotions”) Martin Jason Schlacter (AKA “Shlak”), an associate of Neo-Nazi group Atlantic City Skinheads. These Nazi skinheads were part of the core audience for Schlacter’s and Sparklefight member Michael Beer’s now defunct band Call the Paramedics, who played a benefit show for ACS member Chris Arlen and sold sweatshirts depicting a masked man and the text “It’s not rape, it’s surprise sex.” Beer also played in a band called Rape Master Awesome, whose “No Means Yes” EP (words also featured on this band’s merch) included the song, “Don’t Make Me Turn This Rape Into A Homicide.” Schlacter and Beer are currently members of the band Eat the Turnbuckle.
Unsurprisingly, Sparklefight's aforementioned content is not the band's only endeavor into exploiting victimization for shock "humor." Released in early 2015, the punchline behind the transmisogynist song "Hot Chick with a Big Dick" is misgendering and fetishizing trans women as exotic sex objects. The song's accompanying video has already been banned from youtube.
Connie’s Ric Rac is a South Philadelphia venue who employ Sparklefight member Michael Gallagher as a show promoter and sound engineer. Additionally, the venue leases their sound system from Gallagher. The venue is also host to shows thrown by Schlacter, including an upcoming event in October.
Connie’s tacit approval of Sparklefight’s and Schlacter’s agendas creates a space that is not only unsafe for survivors of sexual assault, but also a space where perpetrators can feel approved and encouraged to laugh at their victims.
Misogyny, transmisogyny, promotion of rape culture and a welcome environment for hate groups is unacceptable in the Philadelphia music scene. To Connie’s Ric Rac, as patrons, performers, and promoters we pledge to boycott until the following actions are taken:
- Ban Sparklefight from performing at Connie’s Ric Rac
- Cease any and all business ties with Sparklefight members Michael Gallagher, Michael Beer, Ryan Horvath and Nick Macklin
Demands ceded as of 9/8/2015:
- Reaffirm your ban on Eat the Turnbuckle from performing at Connie's Ric Rac
- Cancel and ban any shows promoted by Martin Jason Schlacter (AKA “Useless Drunk Promotions”)
We also call on any and all Philadelphia venues and businesses to cease working or booking these individuals and bands.
Today: Michael is counting on you
Michael Lasday needs your help with “Petition to Connie's Ric Rac: End all business relationships with Sparklefight, its members and Martin Jason Schlacter”. Join Michael and 1,154 supporters today.