Sunday, May 13, 2007
Sundays for me follow a pattern established through the years – at least when I am in England. In France (two weeks each month) I buy the Observer (if available). Here, I take the Sunday Times as well, probably under some misguided notion that my objectivity is increased by placing the acetate of the Right over the Left so that their combined image is a truer reflection of ‘what is going on’.
I have discussed in a recent blog on Bryan Ferry how commercial interests have taken the rebellious, anti-establishment voice of rock and roll and used it as soundtrack seduction to get us to buy anything from flash technology to pensions. The assumptions behind such adverts may include the fact that:
1) we, relatively well-off baby boomers, sentimentalise our rock heritage and are more vulnerable to any advertising that appeals to it
2 ) most consumers in their fantasies like to feel they have a wild side
3) we all hate any suggestion that we have become the establishment
4) most of us feel we are failed rock and roll stars
5) the great decades of rock and roll (mid fifties to late seventies) have become an Elysian past, an Atlantis of radical creativity and retro-reference has, therefore, become obligatory
6) we all become conservative with age
Thus it is no surprise to be faced with the gross irony – not to mention hypocrisy – of the Sunday Times trying to sell more copies than its competitors by offering a CD compilation entitled 30 Years of Punk. After all, most of those thirty years have involved millions of words fulminating at the nihilism of the upcoming generations with their excesses of drinking, drug toking, sex and fashion And, to illustrate this splenetic hatred, beatniks, hippies, mods and rockers, skinheads, punks, Goths and hoodies have all been pictured, sneeringly, in forensic close-up. The Sunday Times has railed against the ‘shock of the new’ in every medium and level of post-modern art as though it constituted a portal into anything from societal breakdown to communism.
‘Anarchy in the UK‘ is the first track on the CD.