December 26, 2015
‘For a movement that famously proclaimed there was no future, punk rock has had a remarkably durable half-life’
Eugenia Williamson writes:
In a post called “Miley Cyrus Is Punk as Fuck,” no less than the punk editor of Noisey, Vice Media’s music site, declared the millionaire exhibitionist ingénue “the most punk musician around right now.”
“There’s a difference between punk and being a slut,” argued Facebook user Danika May. But judging from the other comments on this piece—each clearly from the social media account of a passionately invested young person—it seems the general culture has at last fully embraced punk. (…)
It’s easy to imagine a time in the near future when U.S. punk documentaries will reach the same level of formalism that they have in England, where every film, regardless of its subject, is obligated to note that punk changed everything, show the same five-second clip of Johnny Rotten lurching bug-eyed over a microphone, and use Big Audio Dynamite toaster Don Letts as the all-purpose talking head. (…)
This endless retelling of the same stories from every conceivable angle lends itself to the kind of didacticism that also plagued the pop music uprisings of earlier, less self-aware eras, ones far less preoccupied with shrugging off the shackles of ’60s hegemony. Punk is now the province of the rockists—people who adore lists and minutiae as much as they do rock music and who know the intricacies of Television set lists as intimately as they know the different kinds of pedals Hendrix used at Woodstock.