The apparent 5 million quids worth of punk stuff that went up in flames from a London knicker salesman who has then spoken about the death of punk has bemused a lot of people.
The context of this small statement was that it was made at a Museum of London event – the last gig of Punk.London conceit (Nov 18th).
The panel were asked to kick off proceedings with a 1 minute response, each in turn, to the question ‘Is London still Punk.’ I read this…
‘Is London Still Punk?’ I’ll respond in two ways.
Firstly, no. My reading of ‘punk’ has nothing to do with place, music or fashion. Rather, it’s the Trickster spirit, arising through history to energise people, activate communities and disrupt the norm. To American First Peoples, Coyote; elsewhere, Loki, Monkey, or the great god Pan. Timeless, ageless, endemic in human culture. Not 40 years old, not even 4000. A spirit that, now more than ever, perhaps, we need to invoke.
Secondly, yes. Using the term ‘punk’ from American convict slang, despite itself, London assumes that position. Its clubs; its disenfranchised; its disaffected; its disabled; its homeless; its people struggling to even rent, buy or maintain a home; its fire, police and prison services; its health services; its child services; its welfare and care services; its education services and – I guess I have to obviously add – its library services are all being …