The warmest summer I can remember was during a war. Of course, we still are at war. The War on Terror is not something you can put on pause and forget about. No, fundamentalism will not indulge itself the luxuries of your Attention Deficit Disorder, it will not obey the caprice of your liberal individualism, it will not lay down it’s tenets as you explain “we are all the same, we all want the same things, we all want to be happy”. Theoretically. It’s all theoretical. They are over there and so far away. We have our focaccia and sun-blushed tomatoes: nothing can touch us. We have our skinny jeans and rock ‘n roll: nothing can touch us. We can’t be touched and we can’t touch. This does not mean we aren’t happy. We are happy in our worlds. This is not false consciousness. These webs are not trapping us, we really are happy, there is nothing outside.
There are other webs, though. Some webs are made of rock and stone: flexibility does not come easily to them. They gnash their teeth, we all roll our eyes and in unison ask: “is it wicked not to care?”, I try to raise my voice, I try to declaim; but all that falls to earth is a sigh. Not even a long drawn out sigh. Nothing as dramatic as terminal apathy, we do care, really we do. Just, not that much. Our principles lack fundamentals, they are liable to change; this might make us stronger, we won’t be susceptible to tyrants promising stability at all costs. That’s the hope. Audacious. Very audacious.
A pop video by a band called Terris
Gavin Godwin was the last man. The last man in history. He was the lead singer of a band called Terris. I am not sure if this is another story, but it needs to be told. He was the last British pop star to care, he was, of course defeated. Blindsided by privilege and indolence he was left looking stupid. He was brave, he said things that mattered; things that mattered so much that a younger me underlined them in magazines. His finest moment was “Fabricated Lunacy” a clenched-teeth kiss-off to the rock ‘n roll era. “Condemned to Rock ‘n Roll” with a groove. It spat half thought passion like a school talent show Joy Division. It was as anthemic as prime Bon Jovi, yet failed to chart. Then came the war and no one wanted to rage against anything anymore. Gavin went home to Wales and, I guess, that was that.
Could someone write, perform and get released a song like “Fabricated Lunacy” in the 2008? I don’t know. I really don’t know. Could someone write, perform and get released a song like “Nothing Ever Happens” (Del-Amitri) in 2008? These are the questions that in a just world would be troubling the great thinkers of our age. Have we become so flexible we can’t imagine anything above and beyond flexibility itself? Anything else is gauche and naive right? Or else you’re just Have Your Say, and no one with half a mind wants to Have Your Say, right?
A pop video by Del Amitri.