vostoklake: (otterly)
[personal profile] vostoklake
I think I've said before that I have a similar allergic reaction to 60-something ex-hippies as I do to 50-something ex-punks/post-punks/Industrial Music aficionados.

The ex-hippies, on one hand, tend to be egocentric to the point of solipsism, and brain-dead swallowers of every kind of woo and conspiracy theory, somehow managing to turn liberal/libertarian politics into the most selfish kind of conservatism, even Trumpism.

The ex-punks/Industrials, on the other hands, tend to be CULTURE SCOLDS.

What I mean by "culture scolds" is people who read off your politics, your morality, even your worth to the world based on what kind of popular culture you consume. They started off this way fighting the hippies in the Glorious Punk Wars of 1977, tearing down the Boring Old Farts and the music they dug.

In 1982, if you dug the Clash or the Specials you were a Comrade; if you dug Hawkind or Marillion, you were a free target, no better than a Tory. The long-term success of the Punk Wars can be summed up by modifying an old Peter Cooke line - let's hear it for the post-punk, indie and Industrial scene which did so much to stop the rise of Thatcher and Reagan.

The punk crusade against "rock stardom" led, in the end, to freakin' Bono. The style of music was never the problem with prog-rock. Prog-rock suffered from the intersection of young men with fragile egos and TOO MUCH MONEY AND DRUGS - and nothing changed after 1977. The record companies assimilated the punk/gothic/industrial challenge, and life went on as usual.

Not that I don't LIKE 80's post-punk, far from it; but the point is that the culture scolds did not achieve their stated ends, and they can get off their freakin' high horse.

I had a very good friend of that particular vintage who disturbed me the other day by going off on a rant about how the popular culture consumed by those dastardly Millennials is naught but "hopelessly passive distractions which have helped create the developmental vacuum in which evil fucking shitehawks like Breitbart, Infowars, and more or less all of our current political pantheon have been able to flourish". I.e., the "THIS IS WHY TRUMP WON" meme, applied to... bronies and CHVRCHES. And MST3K, for some reason, which is much more of a GenX thing, surely?

It's not the freakin' millennials who voted for Trump, my friend. It was mainly relatively well-off white folks in their 40s-70s. I.e., a distressingly large number of not only the ex-hippies, but the ex-punks. The last time popular music was really revolutionary was when the boomer generation was on the way up - which ended in 1971 at the very latest, more probably 1969. Ever since then we've been fighting the long defeat.

Culture scolding assumes a position of "superior taste" on the part of the scold which comes uncomfortably close to the kind of "degenerate youth" attitude which all conservatives and fascists have in common. But I suppose the post-punks, like everyone else, like to relive their youth, when someone's record collection showed you whether they were the enemy in a Culture War that they like to think they won.
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June 2018


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