• Dr_A

    Nice reading. But wat I miss here is a genealogy of the movement. You mainly write about the British fraction of the subculture which was inflicted by specific socio-political conditions in UK of the '70. On the other hand the situation in the US (or Japan for that matter) was quite different and it constitutes the other important branch of punk history. We are used to think globally, but I guess that culturally the punk movement was quite differentiated. For example in Poland there was a very strong scene, that somehow reflected the British one - it was very political, directing the hatred against the communist system. The famous punk festival in Jarocin often ended in riots and I'm quite sure that for these people it was something more than 'fabricated rebellion'. I wonder how it did look in Austrialia in the '70/'80? Anyway, what I would like to add is that mainly punk was youth and musical movement. It's hard to differentiate between the different contexts, but both the rebellious and mizogynist spirit were also present in rock culture. What punk did was re-evaluate these concepts and that's why I find it important to look back to the roots of the movement. Geez, I wrote too much... but that only proves that I found your journal interesting. Hope I didn't distort it's meaning in my comment. Cheers.

    Mar 10 2007, 9h31
  • whereswaller

    I don't know if subculture is as infused with music as you allude to in your opening paragraph. Certainly some of the more recognisable subcultures, due to the outragious fashion sported by its followers, stem from music. Some non-musical examples include the computer-game subculture, internet subculture (which we are participating in at this very moment), drug subculture and, to the downright bizarre, vampire subculture. Perhaps an interesting observation is that musical subcultures so often manifest themselves in the clothing of their followers. Although, it baffles me that the rebellious punk movement included tartan (a somewhat traditional type of dress) and the union jack (is there anything more unifying than a national flag!). Furthermore, a majority of these subculture leaders are male (think of the leading hippie, punk, grunge and, now, emo artists). Why is it that females appear to prefer following than leading? Finally, I'll just make a point about the commercialisation of subcultures. Eventually, this is what leads to all their downfall. Many teenagers express their rebellious nature by being 'alternative' and, as you quite rightly pointed out, when a subculture becomes mainstream culture they will busy themselves with new a form of counter-culture. What I find ironic about the current emo subculture is that the leaders don't follow the same ideals as their followers. Many are merely trying to make a living, you wont find them indulging with a cold steel blade after a concert nor do they truely believe in toppling the establishment that has made them so darn wealthy. You're not going to get much better from me at 6am in the morning. Interesting read, Elly. Peace and love, James

    Mar 10 2007, 19h34
  • Bayou16

    Really nice reading! Thx for sharing =)

    Mar 11 2007, 2h28
  • Metal_Circus

    I liked the ending, very true unfortunatly. Good job man. It made for interesting reading ;)

    Mar 15 2007, 21h28
  • mbatterham

    something else about the cover of london calling look at the cover of elvis' debut [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/51/Elvispresleydebutalbum.jpeg[/img] now look at london calling [img]http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B00002MVQO.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg[/img] see any similarity? i think what the clash were trying to say is, THIS is the new rock and roll

    Mar 16 2007, 4h26
  • johnnytwotone

    I'm glad someone pointed out the Elvis cover. Second, the swastika was not originally a symbol of racism. It was originally a religious symbol in many Indian cultures, and has been for centuries. The Nazis coopted the symbol for their own uses. Most Westerners will equate the swastika with hate, but this does not thereby define what the swastika is. It remains a religious symbol in many Indian cultures to this day. Third, someone's already pointed out the issue of subcultures you raise in your opening paragraph. Certainly there are musical subcultures. But there are also religious, ethnic, socioeconomic, even intellectual subcultures. Also, the rebellion initially present in punk rock is missing today? For one thing, the Sex Pistols were as much a commodity as anything. They were outrageous, sure, but rebellious? Not really; cursing on a TV show and writing a song about anarchy isn't rebellious. And further, there are plenty of bands around today that are as rebellious as anything from the original era. The thing is, they're not what people are calling punk today. The rebellious bands are playing in ridiculously minute sub-genres of punk, hardcore, and metal. And that's how it always has been. You also mention original punk rock ethics. But there was no original ethics, except to do whatever you wanted. That's why artists as diverse as Television, Patti Smith, The Ramones, and even Talking Heads are all called punk. Punk was never codified until a bunch of kids decided that you had to be X to be punk. But the initial thrust of punk rock was not a code of ethics, but in fact a denial of a code of ethics: that of the rock star. Just some thoughts on content. I'm glad you posted this. It's a worthwhile journal. Cheers.

    Mar 16 2007, 12h14
  • mbatterham

    The Swastika wasn't the only thing hitler ripped off, he took his moustache from Charlie Chaplin. I heard an analogy for punk today. [quote]A guy walks up to me and asks 'What's Punk?'. So I kick over a garbage can and say 'That's punk!'. So he kicks over the garbage can and says 'That's Punk?', and I say 'No that's trendy![/quote] I believe in that. To me, someone like Frank Zappa would be more punk than modern punk bands (both the mainstream type [like greenday, don't bitch at me, i know they're not punk, they're here to illustrate a point] and the less well known stuff [guess bands like against me and rise against]). Why's that? In his times, he eschewed a lot of musical traditions, whereas common punk bands are lifting a LOT of their style off of first wave bands.

    Mar 16 2007, 14h01
  • johnnytwotone

    The Nazis ripped off everything. Half their philosophy is a bastardization of Friedrich Nietzsche. Emphasis on bastardization. I've heard that analogy, and it's a good one. My current theory is this. Punk, like any other music movement is an artistic movement. Artistic movements are confined to specific social and temporal contexts. Punk is, in fact, dead. Now, artistic movements all embrace certain formative principles. Punk embraced radical individualism, most notably. The reason Zappa is more punk than, say, Green Day, is because he embraced the same principles as punk. But Zappa isn't punk, because he created music quite distinct from the artistic movement of punk. Any bands today that play punk are just revisionists. That isn't necessarily bad. But they're not punks. They play punk music. That is, they're playing music that is entirely inspired by a specific artistic movement. Punk is no different from trip-hop or bebop or disco. It's a movement in time. Hope that makes some sense.

    Mar 16 2007, 17h04
  • mbatterham

    I understand your point. I guess my point could make punk be inter-changeable with avant-garde/experimental/progressive.

    Mar 17 2007, 1h47
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