Thursday, June 21, 2012

I still long to change the World, I'm still looking for new England

Suzanne Moore's column in G2 today reminded me of why I love both her and her writing.
Apparently there's an official London Olympics playlist. It has long struck me that if you are an international organisation which likes to descend on cities and tell everyone what to do, London is not the best city to descend on.
Never mind the bollocks, what I liked was Suzanne's evocation of Punk which we both lived through as teenagers.

What I can't forgive though is the pretence that punk was the pure source. Even at the time it was the most mediated, dissected and goadingly self-conscious of subcultures – and very quickly commodified. Most people who were part of it never ever wore bondage trousers or mohicans or any of the uniform. We were messing about with loads of makeup, silly "sexy" clothes while listening to loads of dub. We did want to upset people. But mainly just people at the bus stop. We wore synthetic nan dresses from charity shops and stuck toothbrushes in our hair. That was enough to look different.
That's how it was too, just bloody-minded silliness.  Personally I was never interested. I'd come across Jamie Reid's Situationist pamphlets at Compendium Books in Camden (and not understood a word of them) and I dressed in clothes I bought in the Camden flea market, but when the Sex Pistols said rude words on TV, I never felt  they represented me, because, after all it happened on TV and what was that to do with anything?
There was a burst of something, a feeling that there was no need to be passive consumers, we could, in the best traditions of Mickey Roonery and Judy Garland, put on our own show

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