Every dispute in history has been about aesthetics. Think about it. The eighteenth century question was: Are the French better or the English? The answer depended wholly upon whether you preferred the lifestyle of the Protestant country gentleman or the urban French Catholic.
The nineteenth century struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat came down to private sphere middle class austerity vs. the less rigid, more communal lifestyle of the worker. The twentieth century battle has been between dictatorship and democracy. Which style of life and way of appearance does one prefer?
What people have not yet realised, and what I feel they should, is that these same aesthetic struggles are still going on today, despite the seeming downfall of communism and the appearance of the "new world order."
See, we've already determined that capitalism and democracy win. Those rigid hardline dictatorial regimes cannot compete with the inherent profit potential of the good old market system. Yet people are still unhappy? That's probably because even though we've discovered the best *system* we have not perfected the details, not yet.
American capitalism has its problems. Greed is not particularly aesthetically appealing. Neither is slovenliness. Especially to a younger generation more concerned than ever about ethics and about appearance. The problem is, the under-thirty generation in America hasn't fully realised this yet. At least not consciously. They have in the UK. Not only have they discerned it, but they have proceeded to find a way around social norms by developing their own forms of culture...or subculture.
"What," you are probably asking yourself by now, "is she talking about?" It's really quite simple. All you have to do is listen to Pulp, or Blur, or Supergrass, or Oasis, or Marion, or Gene, or Suede. Read a couple of issues of Select or the New Musical Express. Go read Trainspotting. It's all about being frustrated and upset with not only the greed of our parents' generation, but also with the boring, stuffy appearance of what they have created and draped across our society and, in return, with reinventing yourself. In the UK a number of subcultures sprung up, all directed towards destroying the old society and juxtaposing something fresher in its place.
American youth revolted, as they should, but they went in the wrong direction. They seem to believe that youths should "get back" at the mess their parents have made by rejecting everything their parents enjoy -- even if it includes hygiene. Look at the so called "alternateen" in the U.S. Shabby long hair, dirty, baggy clothes that don't fit. And heavy drug use which dulls the mind and makes it impossible for you to think straight enough to be of any use to anybody, especially youself. It's hip to be part of the great unwashed.
That only lasts so long. One day you finish puberty and you actually want a life. In America you have one option...dress like mom and dad. Adopt their culture. If you are clean cut and presentable you are automatically part of the System. That's crazy. And unnecessary. And if you look at present-day England you can see that isn't true. It's like Mark Renton says in the closing bit of Trainspotting, "I choose life."
Just like Renton, you CAN choose life, a big TV, a house in the country. You just choose it on YOUR terms. It's sad that American kids are so far behind. But I have something that might help them.
See, for years Anerican culture has been imported by the ton into the United Kingdom. McDonalds, soap operas, and Sweaty Vedder saturating the marketplace til any trace of what was British culture had practically disappeared. Until people got mad. And just like in the 1970's when the punks took to the streets to complain about the squalid conditions for working class youths, the Britpoppers picked up their guitars and began to complain LOUDLY. They got sick of clinging to the edge and doing nothing more than merely getting by. And things got better.
And now they're coming over here after us. They want to teach us a few things, and they sent the brothers Gallagher as advance scouts. They want to know just how bad things have become for us over here.
They have a plan. Deep into the night the same masterminds that devised the whole Blur vs. Oasis scandal and that sent Jarvis Cocker to wag his butt at Michael Jackson's assertion that he was Jesus, have a plan to conquer America and to reclaim the minds and hearts of the under-thirty populace and to turn them onto the new aesthetic which will lead us into the twenty-first century.
They want to save our souls so to speak by giving us back our individuality through the adoption of their subculture.
Their plan begins not with the would be Lennon-McCartney team that has proven that America is ripe for invasion. Instead it begins in the heart of America itself with a core of us who do understand. We know what they know. And we want to explain it to you. And this zine is dedicated to making it VERY clear what it is we stand for.
We're taking up where punk left off. We know what they did wrong. You don't have to reject everything, you just have to reject what doesn't work. You can take what is there and just USE IT FOR YOUR OWN PURPOSES.
We're sick and tired of people thinking that the only way to get back at the older generation for the wreckage they've created is to reject what's out there, and to sit on their arses smoking dope and complaining about how much the world out there sucks.
It's stupid to reject everything outright when we all know damn well some of it sounds pretty good.
We want to look good. And we do. "We wear the same clothes cause we feel the same."
We want fast cars and big houses and paid vacations to the country. "We want to roll with it in our very big house in the country"
We want important jobs we enjoy.
We want to listen to good music and go to the theater on occasion.
We're sick of being told we have to get an education and when we get an education of being told we need job experience instead.
We're sick of being told we're too young, too inexperienced, too flighty.
We want to be able to tell anybody who doesn't like us to go to hell.
We only believe in the knowledge that life is short and that we should enjoy it while we can in the best way we know how.
The world is fucked up enough without having to follow somebody else's rules.
We're children of the bleak urban generation and we want to give ourselves a chance.
So I quote Brett Anderson of Suede in saying: "While the styles turn and the books still burn/Yes it's there in the platinum spires/It's there in the telephone wires/And we spread it around to a techno sound/But like a new generation RISE."
Life isn't about sitting on your arse being morbid, cynical and depressed, it's about a big party. And we're here to show you, one fashion victim at a time, how to join in the party. We're going to give you back your individuality by making you a part of our group. If you do what we say, you WILL get your life back. It's really the only way to go. Join our subculture. Become one of the indoctrinated masses.