I did a long and very serious interview with a European “weird art + bad ideas” magazine called Pork and they laid it out like a Crass album. You can see the whole interview here. Highlights after the jump…
SEAN: When I first came across Vice Magazine in the late 90s… I had my subcultural identity cracked open and this whole big world opened up. I know you were heavily into Punk, so did something similar happen to you?
When I was about 18, I was at this anarchist conference in Vancouver and I was arguing with a bunch of dykes about the environment. I told them recycling coffee cups and sorting plastic are Band-Aid solutions because the real issue, by far, is population. Mother Nature can take the odd kick in the cunt but when people are having 8 kids and those kids are having 8 kids, her cunt collapses (I wasn’t brave enough to use that exact analogy).
She called me racist and said the only reason I have a problem with overpopulation is non-whites are doing the overpopulating. I knew the accusation was false because I actually didn’t know that whites weren’t part of overpopulation at that time. That’s the day I realized political correctness has nothing to do with truth. It’s a Marxist con used to win arguments. Like the Frankfurt School used to parrot back in the 1940s, “Members and front organizations must continually embarrass, discredit and degrade our critics. When obstructionists become too irritating, label them as fascist, or Nazi or anti-Semitic…The association will, after enough repetition, become ‘fact’ in the public mind.”
SEAN: The campus culture of political correctness is more of a “Cargo Cult” phenomenon of kids mimicking what was expressed generations ago.
Like Crass said, “Their ideas of freedom are just oppression now.” Look at the evolution of feminism. All the cougars in Marketing have their boy toys at companies desparate for their ads. And look at what sexual harassment has become. Some girl gets fired for doing coke and all of a sudden she wants $40 million because she’s convinced her boss was acting inappropriate.
SEAN: I’ve been trying to isolate the central thrust of political correctness.
It’s anti-Western really because it’s about censorship. What PC is really all about is class. It’s about the upper classes telling the lower classes how to talk.
As a punk kid, I was guilty of this too. We used to fight Nazi skinheads every weekend but they were all white and so were we. The Pakis and Jews and blacks we were pretending to defend had no idea this war was going on. Nor should they. It wasn’t about them. It was about middle class punk kids (us) getting beat up by working class skinheads (them) for being snobs. I didn’t realize it back then. I thought I was doing the right thing but in the end, it was about me and my rich friends thinking we were better than poor people. It’s all about this patronizing superiority complex the middle class has.
SEAN: Julia Kristeva, the Structuralist philosopher who was a key figure in political correctness, ended up denouncing it saying her ideas were distorted by Americans, and that identity politics and political correctness in general were totalitarian.
It drives me nuts when people say PC is a 90s thing and to bitch about it today is to rail at a paper tiger. Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy just quit the Oscars because Brett was caught saying, “Rehearsals are for fags.” Hank Williams junior just got kicked off Monday Night Football for making a Hitler analogy.
I was talking to my nigga Ann Coulter about it the other day and she was joking about liberals eventually deciding the word “The” was racist. Then we both realized that had just happened in real life! Donald Trump was in shit because he had said he was good with “the blacks.”
When people said PC was over in the 90s, I agreed because I could see places like the Simpsons, Howard Stern, South Park, Vice etc. saying whatever they wanted. Now I’m thinking I’m wrong and things have actually gotten much worse.
The Simpsons is PC. The white male Father is borderline retarded and the young girl is smarter than the whole town. Stern made it after a ton of hard work but he still has to have a black female sidekick sitting next to him at all times. South Park is a good example but they have had their battles and don’t think the shit I said at Vice went unpunished.
SEAN: The word “hipster” has been used not unlike “nigger” or any other pejoratives increasingly to dismiss anything that is just the youth culture of the past decade.
The term hipster goes back to the 1940s. It means what it always meant, “predominantly young people with an enthusiastic interest in contemporary pop culture, specifically, music and fashion.” What goes back even farther is old people shaking their fists in the air and bitching about “The kids today.” It only seems different now because we didn’t used to hear old people doing this. They were at the factory or sitting at their local bar with all their grumpy friends.
SEAN: You have championed CRASS, which is funny but makes a lot of sense. The CRASS-hole Punks were usually the biggest politically correct pains in the ass in the scene.
Crass attracted a lot of dogmatic pricks, even the band’s own members. Pete Wright, the bass player was a pedantic bore. He recently tried to prevent the band from rereleasing their catalog because he felt it was dishonest or some stupid shit. And yes, there are a lot of commies in the anarchist movement which I’ll never understand.
Overall however, Crass got it right. I visit Dial House regularly and still strongly identify with the lyrics to “White Punks on Hope.” Crass were about individual freedom and not getting caught up in the duopoly of Left and Right. “There is no authority but yourself” is about not letting people tell you what to do, especially the government.
I was just with Gee Vaucher at Occupy Wall Street and she was giving some kid shit for having the Communist Manifesto on his table. He had a Crass shirt and had no idea who she was. I think a lot of their followers have no idea who they are. Actually, if you’d call yourself a “follower,” you already missed the point.
SEAN: What do you have to say to the kids out there who are looking for a way to do things in the future?
My motto is, “I don’t care if you don’t help me, just don’t hinder me.” Big Business annoys but they don’t hinder. The government hinders because you go to jail if you don’t buy their product. They’re like an overpriced store that sells invisible stuff it’s illegal not to buy. So, I’d like the kids today to develop a healthy hatred for government.
When Penny was asked if he had accomplished anything with Crass he said he hoped he’d taught kids to ask themselves, “Is the life you’re leading the one that you actually want to live?” Unlike Penny, I think you are who you are from birth but I love his idea of going with your gut and pursuing that no matter how crazy it is. Nobody’s less happy than the accountant who wanted to be a ballerina or the ballerina who wanted to be an accountant. When your gut tells you your calling, go fucking mental on it until it pays the bills.