Punks not Dead sang Watty, but, by now, it most definitely is. When you over intellectualise the argument, it’s definitely not punk anymore. Quick review of a recent article published on Unherd.
In “Punk’s spirit is broken”, Lias Saoudi, the frontman of Fat White Family, reflects on the evolution of punk spirit and the challenges of producing provocative art in an era of moral scrutiny. Saoudi recounts an incident with a Liverpool fan, indicating a shift in the way transgression in art is perceived. The article examines the tightrope between creating edgy content and not causing offense, especially in an age dominated by social media. Saoudi concludes by lamenting the state of current music, suggesting that the industry has settled for mediocrity and predictable provocations.
Overall, the comments reveal a mix of nostalgia, critique of the modern interpretation of punk, and a defense of contemporary punk music. They touch on broader themes of rebellion, the evolution of counterculture, and the commercialization of music.
While Saoudi offers an insightful look into the pressures artists face in today’s overly scrutinized world, the irony lies in the article itself. Punk was an anti-establishment movement, with its core essence being the embodiment of raw emotion and rebellion. Over-analyzing its decline somewhat defeats the purpose. Sid Vicious famously said, “We don’t think, we just do.”, capturing the essence of punk: it was about raw feeling and reaction, not overthinking or intellectualizing. In a way, dissecting punk’s downfall with such meticulous scrutiny is just another nail in its coffin.