Fuck You Fashion Industry, Fuck You ALL to HELL
Let me tell you a few things about Punk. Because what happened last night is perhaps the most egregious and offensive appropriation of a crucial cultural movement that has ever to occur. The fashion industry, though incapable of this, should be ashamed of itself. There is not a single #punk within the industry itself, because if they were truly #punk, and truly believed in those values: egalitarianism, freedom, purity, well, they simply wouldn’t be in the fashion industry.
I came late to punk, wasn’t until my late 20’s, and my entry point was Lester Bangs essay on “The Clash” at which Lester marveled at the beauty, truth, purity,unabashed freedom and raw energy of music that was being made, that needed to be made, in reaction to the decadence of the 1970’s: namely, over the top Arena Rock and Disco.
You see Bangs was a child of the 60’s, he loved the Velvet Underground, MC5, the Beatles, Miles Davis and many others. But he hated most musicians and thought they were poseurs in it for the drugs, or money, or fame, but not the real power, the liberating power of ROCK AND ROLL.
“Don’t ask me why I obsessively look to rock ’n’ roll bands for some kind of model for a better society. I guess it’s just that I glimpsed something beautiful in a flashbulb moment once, and perhaps mistaking it for prophecy have been seeking its fulfillment ever since.”
Rock and Roll was youth, rock and roll was freedom, rock and roll was a rejection of the status quo that wasn’t built for us and was our primal scream against authority, against a failed leadership, against politicians, ad men, lawyers and war mongers.
But Rock and Roll lost its way you see. By the end of the 60’s the dream was over, drugs, violence, corruption, Altamont, the Mansons; The Beatles had broken up, Jimi, Janice, Jim, and many others were dead. It was over. And in its place, came the second wave of rock and roll. And the 70’s ugh. Man did they suck for music. And sure there was Led Zeppelin and a few others, and yes Miles made some great music in the 70’s, but for the most part Rock and Roll became decadent and spoiled and the stars and musicians grew further and further apart. Tour buses, brutal security guards, destroyed hotel rooms, this was decadence and it was the exact opposite of Rock and Roll’s existence.
And then years go by and the world becomes shittier and shittier, Nixon > Ford > Carter, for instance, and music and art just continue to go straight the fuck down the cultural shitter.
And at the very end of the 70’s, CBS Records sends Bangs to listen to this powerful little English band gaining traction across the pond. And Bangs expects to hate it, but no, he doesn’t. In fact he loves it, and everything he’s heard about PUNK, that the crowds were violent, that they were disgusting, that they stabbed you and vomitted all over you, and POGO’d up and down mindlessly and that Punk bands like The Clash and the Sex Pistols (and stateside, The Ramones et al) were corrupting the youth turning them into tiny little nazi faggots who were going to destroy EVERYTHING.
Bangs has a revelation, and he can’t believe it. He had given up, he had given up on rock because it had given up on him. All the drugs and death and corruption and image behind rock and roll had been gone and wasted for so long. But THE CLASH saved Lester Bangs and SAVED rock and roll. Reconnected it to its earliest mission, to be a force for pure unadulterated Freedom, a rejection of the culture “out there” that doesn’t understand youth, can’t understand you and simply wants to to turn it into a consumer that will passively be controlled, told what to do and how to think and eventually what to buy.
“I was amazed when I was on tour with The Clash to do a story on them, the thing that they would actually do at the end of each show, go out into the audience and meet the kids in these towns and say “Hi, what’s this town like?”. And then they would take some of the kids they really enjoyed talking to back to the hotel with them and sit up through the night talking to them. It wasn’t a groupie scene, you know, they were really actually interested in these kids and what they were up to , and what they were like. And that kind of openness and accessibly I think is much more exciting and everything then all this elitism.”
So fuck you Fashion, fuck you fashion industry, for finally having the balls and social control to do something so outrageous, so disgusting, so felonious that I never, ever have to take you seriously ever again. I used to believe fashion was art, that there were people responding to moods and trends and the world out there and making something out of it. And I am sure those people are still out there, but unfortunately the rest of your shitty disgusting industry has ruined it for you.