vonChristian Ihle 28.09.2020

Monarchie & Alltag

Neue Bands und wichtige Filme: „As long as the music’s loud enough, we won’t hear the world falling apart“.

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Schon seit längerem schwelt ja in der britischen Indie/Punk-Szene ein Dissens zwischen Fat White Family, Sleaford Mods und Idles. Grob zusammengefasst ist der Hauptvorwurf von ersteren gegen letztere: ihr seid Mittelklassekids, die sich als Working Class ausgeben.

Interessanterweise hat sich nun anlässlich der Veröffentlichung des neuen IDLES-Albums “Ultra Mono” aus diesem Beef zwischen Bands tatsächlich eine tiefere Diskussion entwickelt, die mir fast paradigmatisch für den Diskurs innerhalb der Linken zu stehen scheint: die Frage zu “Links sein & die Gesellschaft verändern in 2020” wird von Joe Talbot (Idles) und Lias Saoudi (Fat White Family) ausgefochten und hat erheblich mehr Substanz als die gute alte Blur vs Oasis Geschichte damals.

IDLES-Position: ““I never said I was working-class,” although, he adds, criticisms like Williamson’s “devalue how hellish two of our bandmates’ upbringings were who were working-class”. Nor is he, to use a phrase he doesn’t like at all, “sloganeering”. “I’m not virtue signalling,” he says. “I’m not hiding behind any sort of surrealist bullshit. I’m saying: this is what I believe in.” (…) “There’s wishy-washy politicism in popular music,” he says. “Why go halfway? Our government hates the poor, otherwise they wouldn’t treat them so badly. There is a class war in this country, and I just wanted to say it as clearly as possible.
“I will not apologise for my gender, my race, my class,” he continues. “All I can do is use my privilege in as productive and beautiful and loving a way as possible. I feel like I’ve got it out there properly and the rest of it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t go to bed at night going, ‘Should I have said that?’”
Another track, Model Village, is about small-minded patriotism, observing people “saluting flags ’cause it’s British”. “I was done to death with this country when I wrote that song,” he says. “I’m just frustrated at the relationship that a lot of people in this country seem to have with the vision of an empire that’s based on murder, mass genocide, and rekindling that with a quirky phrase like Brexit is dangerous and stupid.” He doesn’t believe that rightwingers are necessarily to blame for everything that’s wrong with Britain, but he hopes that Idles’ music can turn heads.” (aus diesem Guardian-Artikel)


FAT WHITE FAMILY Position: “IDLES are a band that purports to be about unity and zero tolerance of prejudice of any kind, yet feels it necessary to pour scorn on anyone that comes from a small town that hasn’t quite managed to adopt the same middle class metropolitan point of view they call their own. Having been beaten, spat on and racially abused in a village growing up, I can confirm that a great deal of bigotry does reside there, but who is Joe Talbot to wag his finger and cast judgement on these people? Who is he to deny these people a pride in their national identity? It was always the kids from the crumbling council estates that would lay into you, not the ones whose parents, like mine, lived in detached bungalows and owned their own cars. When you grow up economically oppressed in a world which offers you ever diminishing prospects, a world where violence and abuse are the norm, sooner or later the hopelessness of it all has a fairly good chance of morphing into hatred: labelling these people scum isn’t progressive, it’s decadent.
The group represent everything that is wrong with contemporary cultural politics, with a left to whom the future used to belong, in defeat now collapsing into whimsical utopianism. A left in love with its own marginality. Theirs is the sound of an inverse solidarity, one that revels in the sanctimonious condemnation of people not quite up to speed whilst offering up no valid counter strategy. (…)
personal failure is now most easily drowned out in illusory collective action. Let’s all warm ourselves by the fire of false atonement! Immigrants are beautiful! Bury all the homophobes! Half of my family are homophobic Algerians, what say you to them? The personal dimensions of our current crisis are thus conveniently left to one side, resulting in a one size fits all ‘trickle down morality’, an unquestioning subscription to which allows one to feel like less of a power-fixated narcissist, which 101.4% of us inevitably are in the late capitalist west.
How does one negate the lattice work of exploitation that now encircles the soul? How does one negate the abstraction of contemporary slavery, how do you get around the cobalt in your smartphone? In a world this shitty, infinite self-flagellation seems somewhat a waste of time. Your best shot at innocence, if that’s your bag, is self-immolation. For me, any leftism that doesn’t place the issue of class at its core is a betrayal of the people it purports to represent. (…)
The group claim that vulnerability is their armour, where exactly is all of this vulnerability? It’s as if the lyrics have been generated by a Guardian designed algorithm, every red button issue of the day systematically addressed in the most predictable way imaginable. (…) The easiest way to gain popularity online of course, is simply to regurgitate what everybody else already believes. It’s in this way we’ve ended up in a freefall where meaningful self-expression is concerned. Terrified of making a wrong step in a world where people are regularly hung out to dry for not having the right beliefs, the right points of view, we have left ourselves marooned in a monoculture, and I purport that IDLES are the indie rock manifestation of this depressing trend. (…)
For me, politics in art are always incidental; it’s the ability to offer up a meaningful reflection of the world through the prism of personal experience that really counts. I didn’t realise the world I was growing up in was brimming with violence, racism, and misogyny, my brain had to normalise all that, it was the only way to get through it. I didn’t realise at the time how difficult all of that poison was going to be to expel later in my life, that I’d still be fucking my life up decades later because of it. My only faith has been in the redemptive power of art. It is through the black magic of art that pain becomes sensual pleasure, it is the only source of power open to one and all. It is my only reason for being. Utilising risk free, ready-made ideological fast food to inflate your own prestige – I consider a betrayal of that philosophy. If you want an album that’s actually about toxic masculinity, not just one that points a finger at it and exclaims ‘WRONG!’, why not try the Slim Shady LP or even Kanye West’s Yeezus? When an artist takes it upon themselves to chart in hideous detail the spiritual, moral and psychological cataclysm of our age unfolding within themselves, we stand the slightest chance of getting a good enough look at the mess we’re in to do something about it.” (aus einem sehr lesenswerten, noch längeren Essay von Lias Saoudi für The Social)


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