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Discourses of normality and denormalisation in German punk lyrics

13 Normality kills: discourses of normality and denormalisation in German punk lyrics Melani Schröter Punk and normality seem mutually exclusive; whoever is normal cannot be a punk, and whoever is a punk cannot be normal. Debates regarding the demarcation between ‘real’ and ‘fake’ punk(s) can be boiled down to a question of true deviation (essentially not normal) versus mere imitation (disguised as not normal). Because punk defies normality, being a punk is not easy. Firstly, denormalisation involves risk, e.g. psychological disintegration, marginalisation

in Fight back
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East German punk in its social, political and historical context

10 Ostpunx: East German punk in its social, political and historical context Aimar Ventsel The availability of ‘cultural and social means’ is an obfuscating expression. In plain German, it should be put [as follows]: those who only have ‘small cultural and social means’ (to use politically-correct EU speak) are not sufficiently intelligent, educated or stable in their behaviour. Defined in this way by the EU, the poor are disburdened of responsibility for their situation and relieved of the moral pressure to try to alter it.1 The citation above comes from

in Fight back
The relational character of subcultural ideology in the case ofCzech punks and skinheads

9 Shared enemies, shared friends: the relational character of subcultural ideology in the case of Czech punks and skinheads ˘ Hedvika Novotná and Martin Hermanský Punk in Czechoslovakia began to form prior to 1989, in a society substantially removed from that in which it had first been born. In other words, punk was imported into a Czechoslovakian society that was determined by a political system that claimed to be socialistic, was aligned to the idea of communism, and whose primary characteristics (regardless of the name) were built on repression, fear and

in Fight back
Ecosystem health and the punk poetry of John Cooper Clarke

6 ‘Flowers of evil’: ecosystem health and the punk poetry of John Cooper Clarke John Parham The ‘punk poetry’ of John Cooper Clarke displays a keen awareness of its environment. ‘The Day the World Stood Still’ freezes, for a day, a world of traffic noise, dirt, flies. The curiously named ‘I Travel in Biscuits’ opens with a bombardment of the dirge disharmonies of the city: the sound of the daylight the smell of the urine the rain on the drainpipes the filthy two-two time i should know better how an animal feels;1 Across his descriptions of these ‘garden[s] of

in Fight back
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Torino and the Collettivo Punx Anarchici

among youth. We cannot explain punk, for example, by simply asserting a deterministic link between young people and a decaying urban environment. Industrial conurbations, from the post-war years through until the 1970s, offer a common paradigm for urban development in Europe.2 They have provided the setting for many individual and collective destinies, though young people have more typically used popular music as a means of escape than a means to celebrate the environment in which they live. An examination of the Collettivo Punx Anarchici of Torino, meanwhile

in Fight back
How the Communist Party of Great Britain discovered punk rock

11 Comrades in bondage trousers: how the Communist Party of Great Britain discovered punk rock M atthew Worley Speaking in June 1976, Paul Bradshaw, the editor of Challenge, the newspaper produced by the Young Communist League (YCL), surveyed the state of British youth culture.1 Superficially, he reasoned, things did not look good. The youth movements that helped define the 1960s had fragmented; popular music appeared depoliticised. Although glam rock had briefly offered an interesting challenge to masculine stereotypes, and reggae continued to provide a

in Labour and working-class lives
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Class, locality and British punk

2 Oi! Oi! Oi!: Class, locality and British punk Matthew Worley [What is punk?]: That’s an open question. It always was. You can’t put it into words. It’s a feeling. It’s basically a lot of hooligans doing it the way they want and getting what they want.1 Writing in late 1981, the punk poet Garry Johnson described Oi! as being ‘about real life, the concrete jungle, [hating] the Old Bill, being on the dole, and about fighting back and having pride in your class and background’.2 For Garry Bushell, who adopted the term in late 1980 as the title for a compilation

in Fight back
The milieu culture of DIY punk

5 Crass, subculture and class: the milieu culture of DIY punk Peter Webb This chapter presents an account of the activities and social formation of the DIY punk band Crass in order to develop a critique of the notion of ‘subculture’ employed at the time of the group’s existence (1977–85) by the Birmingham University Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS). It supplies a narrative of how the band and the cultural movement known as `anarchopunk’ provided a ‘milieu’ where class identities could blend and develop hybrid forms of cultural and social capital.1

in Fight back
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Alternative Ulster?

, ‘many resources in aesthetic alter-­modern spaces of the past via which to experiment with steps forward’.5 Wark’s comments were made in response to Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek’s #Accelerate: Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (2013), but through its critique #Celerity forms something of a manifesto in itself. In the following concluding remarks, I draw upon this document, but I do so in the context of another manifesto or movement of sorts, namely Northern Irish punk. My focus is on the punk fanzine Alternative Ulster and, more particularly, a polemic piece

in Northern Ireland and the politics of boredom
Essays to celebrate the life and work of Chris Wrigley

This book reflects upon the wide range of Chris Wrigley's research and publications in the study of the various aspects of British labour history. It presents a set of themes revolving around the British labour movement and the lives of those connected with it. The book begins with a discussion on biography in the shape of George Howell's work on trade unions and presents Herbert Gladstone's view that the unions emerged from the medieval workers guilds. Chris was also interested in political figures connected with progressivism and the labour movement, which is reflected in the examination of Gladstone's role in the Liberal Party. There is an examination of the Co-operative Party in the north-east of England, the 1911 National Insurance Act, and the relationship between the unions and the Labour Party. The inter-war British labour politics is covered by the disaffiliation of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) from the Labour Party and by a study of the Progressive League. British and German working class lives are compared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Female trade unionism is dealt with a focus on Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries (AWCS). The contribution of the Lansburys is brought by an essay on the role of the family members in working-class politics, including women's enfranchisement. The book also deals with the attempt by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) to engage with punk music, and ends with a discussion on the theme of Labour disunity.