The barrier between Friend and Foe [was] thin, At certain times of the day there [was] only us…. We [were] the 1% who [didn’t] fit and [didn’t] care!
Once upon a time, long, long, long ago, in a land beyond time, there lived a deviant couturier called Vivienne and her erstwhile accomplice and partner in crime, Malcolm.
If you found yourself in this land and followed the trail of breadcrumbs and bullshit up a long, winding and twisting road you would finally arrive at the end of the world.
There, at the World’s End, beneath an eerie blue strip light, stood an opaque glass door, impenetrable to light, sound, heat, and radiation. Only those with the hearts of lions dared step through and venture beyond, and of those that did, well, it is told that none returned untouched and unstirred.
Beyond this mysterious great glass portal, through the secret hole in the wall, lay an enchanted land, a refuge, an asylum that offered liberté, égalité and fraternité. A sanctuary to a ragtag bunch of outlaws and renegades, misfits, heretics, deviants, urchins, dissenters, vagabonds, antagonists, secessionists, seditionists, separatists, subverters, nihilists, agitators, traitors, turncoats and defectors. An iniquitous haven for conspirators, the mutinous, the insurrectionists, the nonconformists, the discontented, the angry, the furious, the disenfranchised, the Punks.
Beguiling, bewitching, seductive, spellbinding, this gingerbread house was stuffed to the gunnels with sorcerous talismanic robes, totemic tribal vestments and haunting regalia. This arcane livery would shroud the bodies that housed the fiendish spectral minds of these nomadic anarchistic black sheep iconoclasts that populated this utopic land beyond, bestowing on them the inscrutable and esoteric powers of the cabalistic phenomenon of Punk instilling a new morality and integrity that destroyed what had gone before.
Punks were marginalized, excluded and despised. We were the ruination of humanity, the lowest of the low, an infestation, a septic contagion. We were a scourge that soiled and tainted a small-minded, sectarian, bigoted, racist and cruel society like a plague, the scum of the earth.
It meant something to identify yourself as a punk. It took character and courage to suffer the brutish slings and arrows of the mindless, unquestioning, acquiescent and subservient gutter press fed hoards that would abuse and attack remorselessly. These attacks were considered justified, even meritorious. Punks were a stain on the fabric of the surface of the earth that needed eradicating so that the foul and feculent fabric could once again adorn those that sought uncontested control. No quarter was offered, none was taken.
We questioned and confronted, challenged the scheme of things, denounced it for what it was, an antiquated and anachronistic system based on nepotism and rigid class structures, designed to subjugate, divide and control, feudal in its anatomy and framework. We were the NO FUTURE generation, a disordered army fighting against the imposition of institutionalized suppression. The establishment was not going to tolerate this base insurrection: Punks were ostracized and persecuted, beaten and bled.
Punks chose to separate and disassociate themselves from the mundane, hypocritical, witless mass of the dull, grizzling general public and embraced a sublime future with values like loyalty, honesty fairness, decency and camaraderie. We turned our backs on those pious and vicious, tunnel-visioned, class riddled league of institutionalized Yes-men, dutifully toeing the line, blindly adhering to whatever command the glib dictatorship of arrogant, despotic, self-righteous and corrupt politicians graciously deigned to deliver. These politicians walked hand in money grabbing hand with the ruthless corporate executive monsters and together they choreographed the Babylonian mechanizations of the greed driven Military Industrial Complex. We refused to listen to the pumped out propaganda, attempting instead to find the truth out for ourselves. Punk was uncontrived, it started as something innocent and instinctive, a natural reaction to the political climate, social mores, the status quo and a feeling of alienation and insignificance. Punks weren’t trying to create a phenomenon; it was a spontaneous and instinctive combination of environment, chemistry and conditions. We promoted homosexuality, acceptance of different cultures, an end to racism, an end to mindless violence, instead we celebrated personal expression, creativity, social evolution, uniqueness, possibilities, making ugliness beautiful, challenging taboos, complacency, ignorance and the fear of social repercussions. It wasn’t premeditated and formulaic, you can’t consciously and deliberately create something that’s significant and real, that will touch people’s existence in the way Punk did.
The clothes we wore, clumsily made by our own stumbling inexperienced but expressive hands, or scrimped and saved hard for, had enormous significance. Seditionaries [and other shops] were constantly raided by the police, the stock confiscated due to its alleged immoral and offensive nature, the wearers often subject to arrest and prosecution. They were [and still are in many cases] treasured as iconic signifiers. They provided an identity and anti-identity, a uniform and anti-uniform. They were a means of identification, a symbol of a discontent, conscience and integrity, a symbol of a will to change, a symbol of an ethos, a moral code, a wish for a fairer, more balanced, honest and decent society, they offered a unifying quality and wearing them you felt part of something special.
This integrity means nothing to you. Instead you debase and devalue it, prostrating yourself for LVMH and Louis Vuitton. LVMH, that £18bn luxury conglomerate that posts annual revenues in excess of £6.4bn and owns De Beers, Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy, DKNY, Kenzo, Fendi, Pucci, Dom Perignon, Veuve Cliqquot, Glenmorangie, Hennessy, Krug, Tag Heuer, Hublot, Chaumet, Zenith, Princess Yachts, to name a handful, the list goes on and on… how very Punk. You piss on our values as you moronically cackle, “If they have no bread, let them eat cake”, from your opulent ivory towers. You denigrate the rebellion and the whole phenomenon, creating a faux and fey mockery for billionaires so they can pretend to be ‘real’ and almost ruin their manicure.
You cater exclusively to the privileged clique, notable for their rigid conformity, a prejudiced and intolerant troupe of shallow snobs, autocrats, oligarchs and inbred aristocratic buffoons who feel a divine entitlement. They wouldn’t know originality if it fucked them up the arse and wiped its cock on their fine silk curtains. You sell to affluent social delinquents, snugly isolated in absolute opulence, preening and posing in their sumptuous surroundings, stinking of luxury. The sole unifying factor of these wart riddled, caviar-belching toads, is that they have more money than they know what to do with. They don’t have the bollocks to be different or original, to think for themselves. They rely on a court jester like you to pillage other people’s idea, tart them up and sell them the Emperors New Clothes, while they scream “GENIUS”.
You fawn around playing with fashion, pretending to have a modicum of originality, rehashing and copying pioneers that boldly went before. Your designs, dull and monotonous, are mundane and unintellectual. They have a reassuringly ‘lowest common denominator’ stale tediousness to them. They lavish upon the prosaic wearer an insipidly ‘elegant’ mediocrity that is sufficiently trite and banal to guarantee it will never rock any boat, let alone make a [New] wave.
You are a charlatan and a fraud. Your haughty £10,000 Posh Cunt charade “homage” is “pillage”. A “Punk For A Day” carnival distortion of something valid, a pomp and circumstance tainted Punk fantasy, it exposes your lack of imagination but allows you to justify your no doubt obscene salary. Every high street turd of a fashion chain is ‘doing Punk’, you are so ‘on trend’, you couldn’t be less original if you tried. And try you do, however ultimately you can’t polish a turd, it is what it is, the kidnap, rape and murder of an archetype.
But is this really an homage, or simply arrant imitation? If it is an homage, then where is the credit to Vivienne Westwood? Whose work you have exploited, whose designs you loot and pillage, whose shop front you copied and recreated? You give a shout out to Nemeth [because you paid a fat license fee to use his print], but to Westwood not a mention, no recognition whatsoever, nothing, apparently your urban streetwear sensibility found inspiration in anarchic Punk influences but no mention of Westwood or McLaren… You deserve a good slap you cheeky cunt.
Like you, the vile McDonald’s corporation has jumped on the bandwagon, appropriating Punk and Jamie Reid’s artwork into their propaganda, in their quest to bring diabetes, obesity and impacted bowels to the world whilst desperately attempting to boost the flagging sales of their toxic menu. LVMH and all those cunts at McShit, Pepsi, Mastercard, Virgin Money [with their 18.9% APR], Nike, Royal Caribbean Cruises and all the rest are no more than rapacious bottom-feeding scavengers.
It is cringingly embarrassing to witness the corporate and institutional world shamefully subsume and consume Punk in pursuance of profit, it is a wanton act of cavalier invalidation, the hijacking and piss-dilution of dissent and defiance in the exalted name of capitalism. Fuck the 40 year anniversary. Fuck the nostalgia you joy ride in on. Why 40 years? 40 years of what?
I’ll tell you what: 40 years of contrition, subjugation, chicanery, conforming, contempt, subservience, subordination, deception, empty promises and blind obedience. There is no challenge to authority, no rebellion, no statement, no spear in the side, no fly in the ointment, no values, no culture, no call to arms to those that want to see meaningful and progressive social change. Nothing but token empty gestures, a vacuous imitation, a counterfeit reproduction, a bit of fancy dress and ultimately a mockery.
And while we are at it let’s have a quick butchers at who peddles this farce of an anniversary, who is it that lurks behind this vomited regurgitation… Hmmm, oh look, those bastions of rebellion, Bullingdon Bullyboy Boris Fucking Gism, the British Fashion Council, the Museum of London, the British Library, the British Tourist Industry, the Queen… you couldn’t get a more corporate and institutionalised group representing the establishment if you tried. The British Tourist Industry… Has Punk become the equivalent of a thatched cottage on a biscuit tin?
There is more of a need for Punk now than there was in 1976. Climate Change, the environment, the air, the ice caps, the oceans, the rivers, the soil, fracking, the sale of any state-owned asset, TTIP, the reinvention of slavery, sterile frankencrops, illegal greed driven wars. Our cities die as the air becomes too toxic to breathe, food banks, social cleansing, subsistence wages, offshore tax free havens etc ad nauseam. To quote Oscar Wilde, you “know the price of everything and the value of nothing”. Your audacity in plagiarizing Punk is the absolute epitome of hypocrisy, nauseating and offensive in every aspect. At a time when austerity, insecurity, racism and poverty remain real and serious threats to the lives of many people in the UK and worldwide, the only thing sacred is the bottom line profit on a corporate balance sheet.
The ultimate irony is that your poor snivelling shop staff are predominantly at the opposite end of the financial spectrum, forced to grovel and eat crow, they brown-nose and humour the uber-rich in a vainglorious attempt to make their dirty commission.
To add insult to injury, at the end of each season, all leftover stock from your shops is destroyed. Everything must go, shoes, boots, bags, hats, coats, clothes of all descriptions, made from the finest, most expensive and luxurious materials, masterfully tailored, beautifully crafted, every last piece INCINERATED. This abhorrently wasteful practice accomplishes two things, keeping the prices of your goods artificially high, by ensuring your merchandise can only be purchased at the iniquitous prices that you wring from your decadent patrons, and secondly, that there is no danger of your brand being contaminated by falling into the hands of the any dirty proletarian untouchables.
Don’t keep this practice quiet, invite everyone to watch your sumptuous stock burn, have a proper bonfire outside your shops, chuck the vulgar peasants a bone, keep the homeless warm. Why don’t we join you, we can burn everything together outside one of your massive emporiums, maybe Bond Street?
In fact, why not make the whole experience more complete and visceral for your clients, let them walk the walk, they too can get spat on, get the shit kicked out of them, lose a few teeth, get beaten to a quivering pulp by cops and squaddies. We could help you start a movement, an open call to anyone to batter the fuck out of anyone with anything LV, spit on them, slash their face, abuse them, piss in their handbags, I’m sure the prissy poseurs would really enjoy the tenuous reality of the moment.
You, Louis Vuitton and the privatisation of a once significant movement are symptomatic of all that is wrong with society, a society that Punk despised and stood to change.
Burn Louis Vuitton! Burn Louis Vuitton! Burn Louis Vuitton!