Discover more from bad cattitude
more american than apple pie
When they kick out your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun
When the law break in
How you gonna go?
Shot down on the pavement
Or waiting in death row
You can crush us, you can bruise us
But you'll have to answer to
Oh-oh, the guns of Brixton
-the clash, guns of brixton
Now every cheap hood strikes a bargain with the world
And ends up making payments on a sofa or a girl
"Love and hate" tattooed across the knuckles of his hands
Hands that slap his kids around 'cause they don't understand how
Death or glory
Becomes just another story
Death or glory
Becomes just another story
-the clash, “death or glory”
released in 1979, the clash “london calling” was the alpha and omega of punk, an album that encapsulated the whole of the movement and saw the full sweep from commencement to consummation.
“the guns of brixton” extols the never go quietly/they must face us agit-pop of defiance and “death or glory” admits the inevitability of becoming that against which you used to rail. it so perfectly predicted the life-arc of the children of the 60s as to induce the envy of nostradamus.
free birds were caged and the mantle of rebellion and the brash megaphone of dissent traded for the hall monitor’s sash and the censor’s pen.
rebellion became rulership.
and we got fooled again.
much is being made of this new(ish) song “try that in a small town” as though it were some kind of terrorism, oppression, or a call to hate and white supremacy.
while i must confess i do not think it’s a terribly good song, i think these criticisms are badly wide of the mark and well into self-indulgent hallucinatory hectoring from the denizens of echo chambers of intolerance too recursive to countenance any music not of their own composing.
it’s a bit sad really.
it’s not insurrection, it’s america. hell, probably america IS insurrection.
perhaps that’s our super-power.
but i do know this:
america is freedom rock and freedom rock is america.
always should be.
and if the music is too loud, then you’re too old.
speaking as a member of a generation weaned on the anti-war anti-government rock of the 70’s and the rollicking born to be wild we’re not gonna take it fight for our right to party of the 80’s and the wild re-invention of unity love and respect from the 90’s rave culture, there is just nothing odd or dissonant here.
what has been odd and dissonant is the lack of these sentiments in our music and our art. this has been a great loss, a gaping societal hole where the beating heart of our perpetual individual rebellion should be.
music has long been the expression of society and societal segments resisting forces they felt unjust. the songs of the 70’s were rife with anti-war and anti-government sentiment. but now that those who once grooved to them are the arbiters of government and appliers of government power, they sure do not like folks doing what they once did and resisting state and social imposition of that which they did not want.
they now see this as something near treason.
and they are wrong.
this is what a society trying to protect itself looks like.
this is what the rejection of morals and mores that a society will not accept looks like.
it’s nothing new.
we get to choose. not them.
it’s the american way. it’s how societies are shaped and how undesired social movements are rejected.
there is a rich history here.
this is a paean against invasion.
this is a power ballad against the draft for viet nam.
this is the attestation that “the moral majority is neither” from the 80’s.
this is roger waters demanding our minds back.
this is dee snider telling us he’s not going to take it.
We've got the right to choose, and
There ain't no way we'll lose it
This is our life, this is our song
We'll fight the powers that be, just
Don't pick on our destiny, 'cause
You don't know us, you don't belong
We're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
We're not gonna take it anymore
Oh, you're so condescending
Your gall is never ending
We don't want nothin', not a thing from you
this is the rebel rock that underpins a healthy society of free thinking individuals.
there is ZERO new in the message.
it’s the listeners who have changed and become that which they used to hate and adopted the stance of those who sit upon thrones rather than those who seek to live free and pull thrones down.
generation woodstock became generation twitter files and the poor millennials and gen Z’s are left alone in a world so oddly permissive yet so intensely proscribed that they find themselves both lost and hopeless.
deprived of the classic vectors of teen rebellion that each generation uses and must use to carve out its own space and identify from the one that came before they have, like an immune system deprived of outside pathogens against which to respond, turned inward and are tearing themselves apart rebelling against their own identities, interests, and biology.
they have been falling for every mass movement that comes along because they failed to form the full individual identities needed to resist such predation. there is a reason that cults first seek to strip their acolytes of their sense of self and self-worth and to fill their lives with doubt about their own validity and with a sense of intrinsic guilt that can only be propitiated by adherence and obeisance to ideological diktat.
but a funny thing happens:
generations seek to separate from and rebel against the generation ahead of them and carve out their own identities.
what will rebellion against the wokester warrior diversity crybully self-hatred cult look like?
it will look like individualist swagger of good old fashioned american rebel rock.
and that is a VERY good thing.
this is america reverting to form.
and more is coming because the rising generations have had it with the milquetoast monopoly on culture and civilization by a bunch of oldsters too afraid to let go of the power they once had and whose cultural revolution turned maoist in the end and ate the free world they thought they wanted but would not allow others the agency to scrawl their own designs upon when their turn came.
they have had it with the mindless, outsourced-identity compliance of generation outrage and the misery it has inflicted upon them and anyone who has to be near them.
they do not want this for themselves.
they want to BE themselves.
it is right to push back against this.
it is righteous to knock this down and to sing songs about reclaiming our world.
and it feels good, doesn’t it?
it feels correct.
because it is.
society is and always was ours.
and it’s time we made that clear as we invite this rising youth to join us in what should have been.
Like a true nature's child
We were born
Born to be wild
We can climb so high
I never wanna die…