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From Heroin to Anarchy – How the West Was Lost

A few weeks ago, something very disturbing happened: an oil advertisement featuring John Lyndon, one of the most sacred icons of the punk movement. Now oil punk? Will you be English or will you eat English country punk? The rotten, persecuted by cows, carries a message of anarchy and filth? Has Rotten become mainstream? Is he still rotten? When you talk about punk these days, you might think of those dirty, cruel kids who draw Iroquois, wear skin and shout about anarchy, but is that the only truth? Lou Reed belongs to sid vises? How did the band, dressed in clothes similar to the New York Dolls, have such an impact on the Sex Pistols? Why does Rotten hate modern punks and why does he advertise it? What is punk?

Some will say that punk is synonymous with cruelty and is best represented by skinheads who are feared all over the world. Others, on the contrary, will say that punk is all that goes against the current. From this point of view, it would be wrong to place the term in an exact time frame (officially – mid-1970s – early 1980s) it would be wrong: if punk is not mainstream, the idea goes beyond history and can relate to everything and everyone. from Adam and Eve to Elvis and beyond. The term was coined in 1975, when Legachi McNeil and John Holmstrom founded Punk magazine. It was the perfect word to describe a generation of bandits.

Punk originated in the United States as a reaction to the popular chewing gum culture that flourished in the postwar period. The company, which had formed the Roaring Twenties decades earlier, was experiencing a moral renaissance with pink glasses. Women had to return to their home world, sex became taboo again, and communism was a pharmacological tool, and it had to be eradicated at all costs (see U.S. military policy in Asia in the second half of the 20th century). Centuries). But something happened in the 1950s: a new enemy threatened to please the souls of young people, as the Cold War turned into a routine rock ‘n’ roll.

Again, as happened at various times in the 20th century, black music grew louder and louder from the social periphery. While some voices saw the devil in Elvis’s eyes, America had another weapon against the rebels: popularity. Black music turned white, hints were erased to please all citizens. It’s time to explode the ball of chewing gum. Enter The Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, Television, New York Dolls, Patti Smith8, The Stooges, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie, and so on, also known as proto-punks.

In the 1960s, when the number of amateur garage punk bands grew, there were artists, or at least students-artists. It’s no secret that proto-punks were culturally enlightened underground creatures, from Patti Smith’s poetry to the inclusion of Andy Warhol from Velvet Underground, where Iggy Pop recognized Harry Partch as a big influence on his music, with such proto-punks as Patti Smith (and Warhol!) promoted the career of the poet Jim Carroll (after he was previously discovered by Jack Kerouac) as Pere Ubu or Tom Verlaine. It’s time for a second act, “Over the Ocean.”

The move was made by Malcolm McLaren (ex-husband and partner of Vivienne Westwood, the original mainstream fashion punk). After a less-than-successful bid to lead Richard Hell and make him famous in England, McLaren created one of the best-selling brands of all time: the Sex Pistols and their loud cry, which was passed on to the entire virgin generation.

Today, anarchy in the UK and God Save the queen have become synonymous with punk. Even if they were preceded by such important bands as The Ramones with their music, lyrics and strong, cruel and incendiary appearance or MC5 with their famous line Kick out the jam, a string of bastards, pistols and their influence in music, behavior, politics, art, literature or life in general have become what is now perceived and understood as punk.

From there, punk reached a superficial audience, and such performances as The Clash, The Damned or later The Misfits became possible. Punk entered the mainstream, there was no turning back. Over the years, punk has spawned eclectic, sometimes quirky hybrids such as psychedelic punk (Ween, Butthole Surfers), Countrypunk (Cruel Women), Celtic Punk (Dropkick Murphys, The Real McKenzies, Flogging Molly), Gipsy-punk (Gogol Bordello) ( 17), Horrorpunk (The Misfits), Hardcore punk (Husker D) and others. The last purely deconstructivist punk and social movement was grunge in the late 80’s, near the end of the 90’s. , and it popularized the style of soft-strong (whisper-scream), which was indiscriminately introduced into the underground Pixie (18), speying all the anger and disappointment of the future youth. Stapler’s attitude. This pessimistic view of life and the realization that the future was not just a threat, but a reality, more or less determined the transition from punk to hardcore, and then to genres such as death metal, goth or younger son, emo.

As a style, what we consider to be punk today has a different origin and in itself is a melting pot for cultures and then for musical genres. In the case of the punk movement in England, this mix is much more complex because it adds elements that were unpopular in the United States but which were important components of British identity. Obviously, when we add conflicting elements, the resulting combination will be quite unstable, as Dick Hebdigue concludes:

… all of these elements were in constant danger of secession and a return to their original sources. Glam rock contributed to narcissism, nihilism and gender confusion. American punk offered the aesthetics of minimalism (e.g. Ramones “Pinhead” or Crime’s “I Stupid”), street worship and a penchant for self-harm. Northern Soul (a truly secretive working-class youth subculture dedicated to the dynamic American acrobatic dances and soula of the 1960s, focused on clubs like Wigan Casino) has brought its own underground tradition of fast beats, jerky solo dances and amphetamines; reggae is an exotic and dangerous kind of forbidden identity, conscience, fear and composure.

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