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

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Demanding the Impossible

When the Kill Your Et Puppy Collective met The Mob

Midnight. One more night without sleeping. Spent some time today in a surreal exchange on facebook about the pic below when Viv Albertine defaced a  punk exhibition at the British Library for ignoring women.
"After seeing female punk bands erased from an exhibition celebrating the genre, The Slits guitarist decided to take things into her own hands..."

Apparently, more women were involved in country and western music than punk so Viv should have scrawled 'What about Dolly Parton?' instead.

I did something similar myself once. Reading a book which highlighted the importance of Crass in anarcho-punk, I scrawled 'What about The Mob' on the page and wrote to the author....who didn't know anything about them. So it goes...That was 20 years ago. Not much has changed since then. Crass still define anarcho-punk in the same way the Pistols still define punk.

Eleven years ago I started this blog. Here is the first post. 'In the beginning there was punk' about the summer of 1976. Mark Wilson of The Mob saw it and rated it, which was encouraging. And here is the third 'Subway surfing anarcho-goths' Among other things it connects the Parliament Hill Fields Mob gig with the St James Church flyer above and the gay punx page from Kill Your Pet Puppy 4 (September 1981) below.

Pinki, who is mentioned in the gay punx piece is in this 1978 photo in pink and black. So is Lisa (later singer  with Blood and Roses) and Phil and Cory. Cory is also in the gay punx piece. I think it is Evelyn half cut off on the left. It is a bit hard to read the gay punx article, but if you can mange to, it is a shocking powerful description of what life was like back then in 1979/81.

Next up is Kill Your Pet Puppy Communique 2. 29 February 1980. I have been trying to work out the original sources for this. So far I have found one is a surrealist document from 1925 (see below)  and other is the Communist Manifesto from 1848. This is the original quote from the Communist Manifesto "The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. " See if you can spot where it pops up in the KYPP Communique. (Hint, second page)

I have underlined in red the surrealist quote used in the KYPP communique. It is on page one. 

What is quite amusing about the use of version of surrealist and communist quotes in the KYPP Communique is that Guy Debord  did something similar in 'The Society of the Spectacle'  Example:

Thesis 1
"All of life in the societies in which modern conditions of production reign presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles."
Marx, Capital: "The richness of the societies in which the mode of capitalist production reigns presents itself as an immense accumulation of commodities."
For more see this greengalloway post 'Sources used in The Society of the Spectacle' 

In other words, when Tony Drayton was writing the communique he was using the same situationist techniques as Guy Debord. Impressive, huh? And since Tony had started 'Ripped and Torn' in Glasgow back in November 1976 and carried the zine on through 17 editions ( Ripped and Torn 18 was edited by Vermillion) before starting Kill Your Pet Puppy in 1979, his punk credentials are beyond question...

What is your point, caller?

My point is that for all the millions of words written about punk and more recently about 'anarcho-punk' the particular reality/experience of punk which found an expression in Kill Your Pet Puppy remains unknown. Sure, the zines exist, the music of The Mob, Brigandage, Blood and Roses, Hagar the Womb and Flowers in the Dustbin also exists as do hundreds of photos buried away in the KYPP archives.

But the actuality of our lives and our world remains forgotten.

Society of the Spectacle Thesis 157

Another side of the deficiency of general historical life is that individual life as yet has no history. The pseudo-events which rush by in spectacular dramatizations have not been lived by those informed of them; moreover they are lost in the inflation of their hurried replacement at every throb of the spectacular machinery. Furthermore, what is really lived has no relation to the official irreversible time of society and is in direct opposition to the pseudo-cyclical rhythm of the consumable by-product of this time. This individual experience of separate daily life remains without language, without concept, without critical access to its own past which has been recorded nowhere. It is not communicated. It is not understood and is forgotten to the profit of the false spectacular memory of the unmemorable. 

|Maybe it is a compliment. That what is actually/truly subversive will always be excluded from history, will always be too complicated and confusing and dangerous to be fitted into narratives of recuperation. That we were and still are realists who demand that which  remains impossible 

 the revolution of everyday life.


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