Punk's In Again? Finally!
My new arch foe Ratface linked to this article, teased with "A spate of upcoming documentaries shows that a movement some had declared dead may be newly relevant for today's youth". And as we all know, documentaries are slaves to fact and objectivity.
It's full of the usual trend humping and wishful thinking - activist journalism applied to pop culture. I've been listening to this music since 1974. How it ranks in Faith Popcorn's trend reports has never concerned me. Some years are better than others but punk ain't going nowhere kids. It'll always be with us, like rap (unfortunately) and Abe Vigoda (more god than man).
As usual, the article pretends punk was and is always about "something". Having musicians explain themselves is as useful as a five year old waxing poetic on the meaning of life. If I've said this once, I've said it at least one time: anyone who tells you they know what punk is and what it stands for is lying to you. Here's a flying wet diaper right now:
Steven Blush, the author of "American Hardcore: A Tribal History," the book on which one of the documentaries is based, agrees that part of the attraction of punk was that it never allowed itself to be co-opted. "In a world where everything is a sellout, a TV commercial, a blur of Hollywood nonsense, it's the one thing that stands as pure."Oh my god. They interviewed unreadable Marxist theorist Dick Hebdige, whose book on punk is the most impenetrable rape of paper and ink ever. Here's a typical line: "This is not to say that semiotics was easily assimilable within the Cultural Studies project. Though Barthes shared the literary preoccupations of Hoggart and Williams, his work introduced a new Marxist 'problematic' which was alien to the British tradition of concerned and largely untheorized 'social commentary'".
In the article Dick spouts:
"We're now in a hands-off culture of the World Wide Web," says Dick Hebdige, the cultural theorist and UC Santa Barbara film studies professor who wrote the punk anthropological bible, "Subculture: The Meaning of Style," in 1979. "There's [an underlying] desire to get down and dirty. Punk is about rolling in the dirt in the darkness to become strong."
"Punk is about rolling in the dirt in the darkness to become strong". Once again, oh my god. Can't you just smell the mental manure? He makes a very good living putting random words together. His book is here called a "punk anthropological bible". I'm staring at the screen now, unable to come up with words to accurately describe how horribly wrong that is on every level.