I’m probably the wrong guy to be teaching about punk rock & the Sex Pistols. The most wrong guy that could ever be found, perhaps.
But I’m doing it anyway, and boy am I grateful that I ordered that Greil Marcus book Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century. And that I didn’t get rid of it the first time I tried (unsuccessfully) to read it. I may actually meander my way through the whole thing sometime soon. It’s interesting, if a bit circumstantial at points.
UPDATE: As if on cue, I came across something at Antti’s site, involving French Situationist film (made by overdubbing on Korean film, seemingly North Korean.) Amusing stuff, sort of. The Situationists are a big deal in Marcus’ book, as he sees the punk of the Sex Pistols as a kind of repackaging of Situationist “thinking” or “values” or something.
The question I left my Popular Cultures in English Speaking Countries class with today was this: “If, in the song ‘God Save the Queen’, Johnny Rotten is saying no to God, to England, the Queen and the future, is he saying “No!” to everything? Or is he saying yes to something? What could he be saying yes to?” It’s not as easy a question as one might think, but some students did come up with interesting suggestions — that he’s saying yes to nothing, or that he’s saying no to the upper class’ version or definition of tose things… but I left them with the question, to mull it until next week.