God Save the Queen (Amen)

Punk rock has changed little over the past 20 years, or so it might seem to an outsider looking at today’s punks. They wear the same spiky hair, combat boots, and safety-pinned army jackets. Their music is still mostly your standard driving, frenetic, three chords charged with anger and teen angst.

But in reality, much has changed in the punk subculture, says Ryan Bigge, writing in the Canadian political and cultural journal This Magazine. Back in 1977, when The Sex Pistols sang God Save the Queen, ‘they were delivering a scathing rant against God, Queen and The System.’ Today, their successors are no-booze, no-drugs ‘straight edge’ bands with names like Brethren and Disciple. They wear the same revolutionary rage. But the politics behind the music has changed.

Witness these lyrics:

Marvel not that the world hates you
if you were of it
it would hold you high
but as it hated Christ it hates those that follow him…
count the cost
suffering all lost
in the name of Christ
take up your cross…

That’s right, Christ. The lyrics above are from the straight-edge hardcore band Strongarm. Bigge traces the history that led punk down the path to this ‘new breed of musicians who represent that strange collusion of punk and religion called Christian straight edge.’ Go there>>

Below the fold —

The Great Greenwash, Richard Gilpin and Ali Dale, Red Pepper
Companies sick of being beaten with their own environmental records are using public relations to make themselves look acceptable to the public, write Gilpin and Dale in the British left magazine Red Pepper. ‘Green petrol, ozone-friendly aerosols, plastic nappies that make great compost… If you haven’t noticed this kind of oxymoronic labelling the chances are you’ve been ‘greenwashed’. Don’t take it personally, you’re not alone. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary has only recently put a name to one of the most pervasive phenomena of the past 20 years.’ Go there>>

Viruses on the Internet: A Microsoft Monoculture Breeds Parasites, Felix Stalder, Telepolis
‘Monocultures, as any farmer knows, are particularly vulnerable to parasites,’ writes Felix Stalder in Telepolis, a German web journal of digital culture. ‘Once they are attacked by parasites, there is no stopping. The parasites can replicate without limits and kill the entire plantation because the entire plantation is made up of a single crop that just happens to be the parasite’s niche.’ Stalder compares the Internet and the world of PCs to a monoculture ecosystem. ‘On the Internet, the case is similar, most of the recent viruses could spread so fast and so deep because a few Microsoft products are used so pervasively.’

‘[D]iversity in itself is the best protection, not against viruses, but against massive damage caused by viruses. It seems that software engineers could learn a lot from farmers.’ Go there>>

–Your host Leif Utne surfs the Web so you don’t have to. But he always loves a good tip. Have one? Send it in.

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