Thursday, November 3, 2016

We need another subculture (a manifesto)

For a long time the only real meaning of the term 'subculture' referred to a club which I really wanted to go when I was older but closed down by the time I was old enough to enter. Nowadays we are living in a world where everything is available at the touch of a button. Why go and find a girl when you can stay in and watch porn? why go to the cinema when you can stream films directly to your TV.  I worry that culture is being slowly replaced by a series of packages that are available at only £10 each, including next day delivery which ensures that you never have to leave your house again. Night-life has taken a huge hit over the past few years. High profile examples include the closure of Fabric in London and the threats to Ministry Of Sound. What's more worrying is the story of The Owl Sanctuary in Leeds which was closed after the furniture shop across the street bought the rights to the building, without the owners knowledge or consent. 
Someday's I feel like I wasn't meant for this world of Tinder, snapchat, David Guetta remixes and endless Buzzfeed quizzes. With my cheekbones, I'd have made a great New Wave kid, or a hippy or a ska-kid. For a long time I was an indie kid, but I now longer feel a part of that culture. The emo trend is alive and well but the maturity and responsibility of adulthood makes it difficult to stick with in your 20's. Metal head culture will never die, while Chav culture was never really a culture anyway. 'Mod' has been reduced to Ben Sherman shirts and scooters, and the New Americana thing can fuck off. 
The Hipster trend is a conscious fight against the gentrification and consumerism of today. While I love craft beers and I like my beard, It's not something that unites people, it's far too pretentious.
If you haven't got the point, subcultures are the enemy of the gentrification of modern society. It's why hippies were banned from holding free festivals in the 1970's and history repeated itself during the acid house years of the early 90's. By growing our own food and supporting our local communities we can help keep the old ways alive. The revival of vinyl is just one example of hipsters going out of their way to support local industry's and avoid the streaming services. 
To paraphrase Liam Gallagher 'I want to start a revolution from my room'. While music is constantly evolving, I want a look and an attitude that goes along with it. It's why I feel in love with the antic's of Odd Future back in 2011, and the dirty glamour of B-Town in 2012. When the looks of past subcultures have been tamed, faked and reproduced at low cost in high street stores, and the sounds rehashed, there is nothing to truly believe in. I'm not bemoaning the lack of good music, I just want to feel part of something. Years of depression have taught me that you can only ever live in the present,  our present is a dark, scary and uncertain place, but our rose tinted nostalgia of tomorrow, needs to be based on memories and events. Not the pointless sweets, TV shows, and nonsense of the current 90's nostalgia. So dye your hair strange colours, wear odd clothes, make strange music and make friends with like minded people. Keep doing this until something sticks. 

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