R. Hell Site Forum Message
|Posted on:|| 9 Jan 2003|| |
I’m listening to “White Man in Hammersmith Palais” and I’m sorry Joe Strummer died, not because death is a bad thing, in fact death would be a welcome event for a vast number of people who grew up under the influence of punk rock, but it wouldn’t have been for Strummer, who believed in life. His career was a heartfelt protest against death, rather than the celebration of it or lust for it that inspired so many of most of his contemporaries’ songs. For a guy who tried hard to face down and document the ugly truths of this world, Strummer did an admirable job of fighting death and worse: cynicism, which is death in life. To me, he stands for toughness without rigidity, humor without cleverness, disillusion without bitterness, pain without self-pity, vulnerability without softness, poetry without sentimentality, and integrity without surrender. And he’s personally responsible for instilling political awareness in almost everyone I know in my age group (40ish).
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single one of his contemporaries whose recorded worldview wouldn’t lead you to a dead end. Strummer was blessed with, and blessed many of his followers with, an angry, amused curiosity which was supple enough, hopefully, to build a life around. He provided a viable starting point, which is a lot to be thankful to him for.
Of course, it’s easy for those of us who’ve run out of road to write him off as a failed utopian or a romantic innocent child. But listen to a bunch of his songs again, loud, and then try to tell me, honestly, whether you wouldn’t rather still be that kind of child than the one you’ve become. When Joe Strummer ran out of road, he came by it honestly. Can you say the same?
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| ||Joe Strummer by DeCapite, 9 Jan 2003|
| ||Guns by DeCapite, 14 Jan 2003|