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Its 1990 and many people say punk is dead Others say punk is still dying Still others say the story ofrock and roll is nearly over Such people have at least learned one thing from punk they have adopted thesame blind pessimism that caused so many bands to burn out so quicklyMany believers of this theory often see only the superficial qualities of the subculture made visiblethrough the mass media The fashion and the well-publicized scandals of Sid Vicious and friends were asfar as most people saw from outside the subculture In Facing The Music edited by Simon Frith MaryHarron reduced the meaning of punk to the spectacle of middle-class children dressing up in a fantasy ofproletarian aggression and lying desperately about their backgroundsHarron attributed her perceived failure of punk firstly toward the bands misdirected hatred -- toward starsof the previous generation like the Who or Rolling Stones toward their record companies toward eventheir fans with more venom than they directed toward the government Because they had no realpolitical focus no mass consciousness for social change nor a single issue like Vietnam Harron believedpunk accomplished little besides reviving the British pop industry before it failedHarron went on to generalize that punks second generation suddenly switched from anarchy andmayhem to orthodox left-wing politics adopting the same ideas of grass-roots networks and alternativedistribution systems that the hippies had during the sixties counterculture adding only rock hype --rebellion and conscious exploitation of the media She said it was only briefly that punk was able toexploit hype while challenging it on its own ground both through its consistent attack on the values of themusic industry and by exposing to its audience how that industry worked Then their puritanism was sobad for the music that post-punk austerity began to pallHarrons most amusing generalizationwas yet to come -- after simplifying the punk movement into a splitinto rock and pop she implied that the two styles transcended and left behind the punk
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