No Fun: Rotten Reflects
“Ah ha ha. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”
So said John Lydon, AKA Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols, as he squatted on the edge of the stage at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom. It was the end of the band’s 1978 tour of America, and the end of the Sex Pistols too. Despite cashing in with member berry reunions in the 1990s and early 2000s, the Sex Pistols were spent as a creative force.
Lydon’s meaning was ambiguous and therefore multifaceted, open to interpretation. Was Johnny mocking the audience for enduring a lackluster performance from the group? Was he talking about himself, and how he had been manipulated by his scheming manager? Or was he still proclaiming the punk wake up call that the powerful are abusing the people?
All three possibilities can be true. In that moment the Pistols were still the unwitting oracles of art, acting as puny transmitters of cultural forces which rocked the world.
Johnny Rotten was a symbol not a just a man. This dead end Irish kid briefly manifested therapist Carl Jung’s comments on the role of the artist:
“Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purpose through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is ‘man’ in a higher sense— he is ‘collective man’— one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic forms of mankind.”
Those who’d claim the Sex Pistols and punk in general were never a creative force to begin with just needs to look around at the world today. The music still gets played, the stories are retold. It is part of who we are now as “collective man.” It has endured the test of time, the most telling measure of art’s effectiveness.
Vast numbers of people display the tribal garb of artificially colored hair, torn clothes, tattoos and weird piercings that once signaled a determined, tiny subculture of would-be rebels.
The look is a cliché now, pure mainstream. A chuck of the populace is walking around wearing the skinsuits of a few outsiders who got aggressive and defiant about being cast as losers by the status quo, and decided make a visible and noisy issue out of it.
You might not like punk, but it prevailed. We as a people were transformed because it is art that shows us how to be. “Empire follows art, and not vice versa” was the assertion of an earlier rebellious English artist, William Blake. Empire in this quote can be read not as a specific political entity, but as the unifying ideas which direct a civilization. Hegemony is the word academics use for it.
Another Jung quote about art’s power is “All art intuitively apprehends coming changes in the collective unconsciousness.” Unfortunately, for over 100 years, the elites have been showing us through the art they promote their collective unconscious consists of an authoritarian insistence to worship power, enforced by fraud and force.
Galleries and museums are now chock full of off-putting and incomprehensible junk with insane valuations. The only reason it can be recognized as supposed art is because it is in a gallery or museum, placed there by the consensus of corrupted cultural institutions. Some examples of typical Postmodern masterpieces:
Maurizio Cattelan “Comedian.” Not funny.
Performance Artist Marina Abramovic. She’s Definitely Not A Satanist or Anything Though
Yet Another Banksy Half Assed Editorial Cartoon
Huckster Jeff Koons
We are being told to accept the lie that absurd trash is art because those in charge tell us it is. If we can’t see the validity, that is our problem for not being sophisticated enough to enjoy the emperor’s new clothes.
The establishment ordering us to accept fraud as art can be extrapolated into ordering us to accept the fraud in our elections. Once we capitulated to the first big lie, the rest come easier.
This Postmodern model, which demands we believe the groupthink dictated from on high instead of trusting our own eyes and instincts, has expanded outside of the arts and now is a global operating system. As I described in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:
The arrogant ruling class is possessed by Postmodernism. They’re all in on the idea that tearing down the traditions and standards of Western civilization will cement their grasp on unaccountable power.
Once you understand that, the promotion of Postmodern art as the pinnacle of artistic achievement becomes understandable. It explains the Orwellian efforts behind the elevation of mindless attention-seeking as an attempted substitute for values, achievements and principles. Hyping soulless, unskilled art has a toxic, weakening effect on society as a whole.
Postmodern art is a tool of oppression.
Postmodern power relies on the people’s acceptance to dwell in an artificial construct shaped by the preferences of the powerful. This fake world just swallowed up yet another election here in the United States, and we are expected to go along with it.
The country is a mess, everything is going wrong, and in defiance of all historical trends, red tsunami pre-polling, and common sense, we are expected to believe we all voted for more of the same. To add insult to injury, the fake president told us they were doing it again.
Unfortunately, as far as punk versus the corrupt status quo went back in the day, real reform is much harder to transmit than making a fashion choice. But art is once again showing a rising transformation which will rock the world.
In 2000, two English artists, Charles Thomson and Billy Childish, described a principled practical alternative to Postmodernism when they described an artistic philosophy they called Remodernism. Remodernism is a reboot of the culture which will wipe out the virus of Postmodernism. It was the harbinger change is coming to the collective unconscious.
Even those mainstreamers who’ve adopted the punk costume may intuitively know it means defiance. They are just unclear who it is they need to defy.
Our empire will follow art away from lies and back to authenticity.
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