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greengalloway

As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Critique of Situ critique of anarchopunk

If I wasn't feeling a bit tired (school holidays and an election going on) I would try and follow up this very pertinent comment on the Situationist critique of anarcho (radical) punk blogged here recently. But not sure if I can get my brain gear tonight. So for now here is the comment:

a silent punk said...

Hohoho. All the criticism in this article could just as easily have been about situationist texts.

"It is precisely in the commodity form where the absence of participation can be located. The commodified radical band is the pseudo-fulfilment of both the need and desire for revolt: it is the representation of rebellion, a non-living image that reflects, but does not act upon, the basis of revolt. By its continual pseudo-satisfaction of those needs and desires it sublimates the possibilities for real activities that could fundamentally change lives."

The assumption is that the energy sublimated into punk is energy that would otherwise be put into use for the satisfaction of real needs and desires, or revolutionary praxis. But in all likelihood that energy just would have been chanelled into blocks and armouring. With dancing as the most obvious example, participation in a music event loosens armour and can reinforce the impulses for real satisfaction of needs and desires even if that participation is still 'spectacular' to some extent. Even just listening to music can reinforce these impulses which might otherwise vanish from memory. It functions similarly to text. Is all text alienating? In a sense yes but it can also function as a mnemonic device rescuing the reader from alienation.

" The radical band does not participate in rebellion, but reduces it to a frozen frame of passively absorbed images."

The metaphor of freezing is a good one. It's also in the 'everything turns into its opposite' text which was a good one, very accurate in its language and simultaneously vivid and living, thanks for that one.

Comment ends.



2 Comments:

Anonymous b said...

No, listening to music is not like reading text. The former is far more passive. You can put a book down, have a think about it. Music is about eyes to the front, stopping thinking. 'Passive consumption'? Well yes, of course.

It surprises me how no-one -not even the Wise brothers in their history of Notting Hill- have put their finger on the 'contradictions' involved in circumstances where bigshots in the music industry were pivotal in funding shit like 'International Times'.

Here's the rub - we don't need anything 'congealed'. That's when we start losing.

I first went to 121 Railton Road in 1983(4?) and sussed that lesson right away, albeit not especially consciously. I only ever went back once, to take someone there as part of his London sightseeing trip. Today there is a millionaire who is funding a 'radical' centre in London. New? Not at all. Give us a bloody break!

b

8:52 pm  
Anonymous a silent punk said...

If you're listening to recorded music you can stop it and come back later.

Sorry for the congealing
I think I'll stop now.

10:20 pm  

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