As time goes by, it becomes clearer and clearer that most pop music fans and critics – and many of the poseurs play-acting at what some call “punk rock” -- have never understood the punk rock movement.
But now, as Cancel Culture Karens lob word grenades at titanic music figures such as Morrissey, Roger Daltrey, Van Morrison, and The Reverend Horton Heat for standing in favor of various “gauche termes impopulaires” such as decentralization, Brexit, British culture, freedom of association, and the Bill of Rights, and as those rockers show skepticism of politically-connected, politically-pushed pandemic policers, we who have been liberty-minded parts of the punk scene since our childhood are here to remind the pop world what “punk” means.
When, in late-September, pics reappeared from 2018 (taken through the window of his home) showing the 64-year-old, British-born, naturalized U.S. citizen in a red “Make America Great Again” t-shirt, pop culture parasites appeared to be confused. Wasn’t Lydon a leftie musician/writer/artist? If he was involved with music and “art,” he’d better toe the leftie line. Was he mocking Trump and the “MAGA” meme? God forbid, was he supporting Trump’s policies? Was he just wearing a shirt to tweak people either way? Did he even care what was on the shirt?
Well, a couple weeks have passed, and now the faux-punk Karens again are flipping their dayglo mohawks, because Lydon has explicitly expressed his appreciation for Trump, has derided those who unfairly and without evidence call Trump “racist”, and shown them that he doesn’t care what they think.
In so doing, Lydon has shown the presence of mind and integrity to openly revise his views of the political landscape, and even THAT has triggered Karens.
The 64-year-old, who led the Sex Pistols in the late 1970s when the British punk group was in its heydey, previously identified himself as a supporter of President Barack Obama and criticized Donald Trump and played down his prospects of winning an election.
But things have changed, and Lydon acknowledges his own change of mind about Trump, even as he observes one of the things that prompted him to revise his views.
‘What I dislike is, the left-wing media in America are trying to smear the bloke as a racist and that’s completely not true,’ the rocker said. ‘He’s a total cat amongst the pigeons … [He’s] got everybody now involving themselves in a political way. And I’ve been struggling for years to get people to wake up and do that.’
Indeed, Mr. Lydon is the man who tried to warn Britain about the child-predator, television star Jimmy Savile, decades before it was revealed that the BBC had known Savile was involved in a terrifying, vile, life of crime that harmed hundreds and hundreds – perhaps thousands – of kids.
As The Guardian reported in 2015, and as the rest of the world finally saw glimpses of the horrible reality hiding behind Savile’s BBC-woven, government-supported curtain, Lydon reminded them that he was banned from appearing on tax-funded Aunty Beeb decades earlier, because he spoke out about Savile.
Speaking to Piers Morgan for his Life Stories show, he said: ‘I’m very, very bitter that the likes of Savile and the rest of them were allowed to continue. I did my bit, I said what I had to. But they didn’t air that.’
Indeed, it took Lydon, himself, to get the 1978 BBC audio footage from friendly interviewer Viv Goldman and release it on a Public Image Limited album reissue.
He continued: ‘I found myself banned from BBC radio for quite a while, for my contentious behaviour. They wouldn’t state this directly; there’d be other excuses.’
Lydon is the kind of man who doesn’t “go along to get along”. And now he is exhibiting that trait again. As some have read, he has shown the kind of loving devotion to his wife (who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease) that many could stand to express or feel if they had a family member affected by it, or if they, themselves, suffered from it. And Lydon sees that Mr. Biden has troubles, one of the reasons he now looks more favorably on Trump.
Joe Biden is, in all practicality, senile, and delinquently senile. My wife has Alzheimer’s — I know the symptoms.
And, regarding changing his mind on Trump, he added: “I’d be daft as a brush not to. He’s the only sensible choice now that Biden is up – he’s (Biden is) incapable of being the man at the helm.”
As Paul Joseph Watson noted on October 12, Lydon also has shown the integrity to criticize rights-crushing COVID crackdowns, as well as recognize the destructive results of the cleptocracy’s tax madness:
’It seems to me that what the Democrats here in America are promising will be tax hikes beyond belief, more lockdowns, more confusion, more bureaucracy and less answers,’ Lydon urged, adding ‘I have seen what Democrats have done to California. They have destroyed this place.’
And because Lydon doesn’t care what Karens think, because he is being true to his nature of contemplation and revision, and is not allowing pop parasites to bring him down, he is showing that he is stronger than Cancel Culture.
Perhaps it takes time and growth for rebellious youngsters to really understand what being a “rebel” means. Perhaps some young “rebels” never attain the wisdom to know that integrity, self-control, the love for life and individual connections, and the courage to resist political collectives, were the hallmarks of the “do-it-yourself” punk credo.
As years pass, and as lives go on, one hopes that those “rebels” understand that the state is not God, that it takes an individual to recognize worth and the human spirit, and that the herd mentality and reality-bending pop media stand against the peaceful use of individual will.
If Johnny Rotten does something that makes you angry, consider the possibility that you've become your parents.
Punk is not a fashion, and as time goes by, people are starting to see that it stands not only for musical/artistic integrity, for anti-pop-herdism, and self-reliance in those fields, but also for integrity in life and respect for life itself.
That’s why John Lydon still defines “punk,” and why the Karens are outraged, because they just don’t understand that “punk” merely means believing in the freedom to think for oneself and embracing the principal of living in peace among others.
(Cover Photo: Ed Vill)