Monday, June 15, 2009


I tried to listen to some punk the other day. I mean the music, not a guy who'd forced himself on me in a crowd.

I was there. Late Seventies. With the Pistols and the Clash emerging and everything that came before it dismissed suddenly as execrable nonsense.

And I bought into that. For a while I thought anything that predated the Pistols saying "fuck" on the Bill Grundy show was worthy of nothing except burning.

But when I listened to this punk the other day--I can't remember which band it was--all I heard was a lot of stupid adolescent posturing. And dumbass posturing too. Like a brat of two throwing its toys at mummy.

Back then it seemed so profound. And the critics who wrote about it thought they detected in it some kind of subtle value system.

No more celebrity! The word from the streets! Direct! No lies! (Or something.)

But the street is whatever you make it. "A new world is only a new mind," as W C Williams said.

Punk (with only a couple of exceptions) just encouraged victims of an unfair, unjust, unbalanced, uninteresting society stay in their place, exactly where the monsters running the show wanted them. Hip hop (with the exception of Public Enemy) and R & B do the same.

Like Don Letts said about something or other, "It's designed only to take your money and keep you stupid."

That's why my mind returns again and again to the music of the Sixties. They wanted to take your money too, but in return for your outlay you got the door to freedom.

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