For those that didn’t read Part I of this Punk Rock Politics series, I am a former skateboard kid RAISED on punk rock music. (If you haven’t read it yet, you can do so HERE)
While hippies listened to bands like The Grateful Dead, the Mamas and the Papas, and Joni Mitchell, my friends and I were raised on the wailings of The Misfits, The Dead Kennedys, and Minor Threat.
These two musical genres, indicative of two entire eras, couldn’t be more different, and yet they also have a shocking number of things in common.
Where the bands of the 60s talked about peace, love, and harmony, the bands of the late 70s and early 80s talked about anarchy, chaos, and taking down the establishment.
Both were singing of revolution but in very different ways.
Thus, the voice and attitude that encapsulates the hippy’s era would arguably be Bob Dylan. However, when it comes to the voice of the punk rock era, the consensus choice would be that of John Lydon, otherwise known as Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols.
A Reversal Of Ideologies
While other punk bands were around before The Sex Pistols, it was Rotten’s attitude and charisma that kicked off the punk rock scene.
He is the physical embodiment of Punk Rock…
And, in recent times, the British rocker who now lives in Los Angeles has also become a Trump supporter.
Reconciling those two facts may seem hard to do, but Lydon, who still very much embodies the spirit of Punk even in his mid-60s, seems to have embraced Conservatism.
In that previous article I mentioned, I talked about the Twitter user who pointed out that Conservatism is NOW punk rock, having become counter culture while Liberalism has become the more “accepted” ideology.
Liberals control the media, Hollywood, and Congress, making them the establishment.
That makes embracing Conservative values a totally Punk Rock move.
When asked about why he’s made such a huge leap in his personal ideology, Lydon, who once backed Obama and Hillary but currently supports both Donald Trump and BREXIT, explained why he’s moved towards the Right: “I’d be daft as a brush not to. He’s the only sensible choice now that Biden is up. He’s incapable of being the man at the helm.”
But do you know what REALLY turned Lydon on to Donald Trump?
The fact that the Left started calling him a racist.
Lydon told the reporter, “I’ve been accused of the very same thing, so I’m offended for anybody who’s called that.”
This accusation happened back in 2008 and the punk rocker was “shocked” by the labeling, seeing as his grandchildren are mixed race and he was a huge supporter of Rock Against Racism.
He also pushed roots reggae, worked with Afrika Bambaataa, and pushed Virgin Records to sign reggae acts.
When he was asked about the killing of George Floyd, he said with a hint of sadness, “There’s not anyone I know anywhere that wouldn’t say that wasn’t ghastly. Absolutely! It doesn’t mean all police are nasty or all white folk are racist. Because all lives matter.”
He said it and he believes it.
Wise Words From A Punk Rock Icon
He also feels that political correctness is part of what’s killing America, saying, “It’s taken too far, though. Death by committee, trying to slam your dictates into another person’s face. That’s not healthy.”
And he’s absolutely right…
He also thinks EVERYBODY should be questioned because it points out where your thinking is flawed. He said, “If I’m wrong, I’m highly capable of correcting that. I’ve done that many times and I’ve had to. That’s why I love debate and conversation, because you learn from it. Don’t become entrenched in one opinion and get stuck there forever.”
And that’s the key right?
Being able to accept other ideas? You don’t have to incorporate them into your own beliefs; you just need to recognize their validity.
How weird that we’re getting sage advice from the man that once screamed into a microphone, “I am an anti-Christ! I am an anarchist! Don’t know what I want but I know how to get it. I want to destroy the passerby ’cause I want to be anarchy.”
This is what we’ve come to…
A punk rock icon making more sense than a Democratic member of Congress.
But that’s where we’re at in the 21st Century…
And it’s quite amazing.
“Sometimes the most positive thing you can be in a boring society is absolutely negative.” – John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten