How Has Punk Rock Evolved Cultural Studies Essay

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The phrase punk first appeared in the world of popular music during the 1970s. Punk style music came to the world's attention, primarily as a result of the well publicised antics. Punk became a media hit and, as a consequence.

In this essay I am going to look at:

the origins of punk rock

how it has evolved since its beginning in the 1970s

the impact it has had on its audience

and whether it remains as subversive today as has it has historically.

In addition I am going to use the album, The Holy Bible by the Manic Street Preachers as an example of modern day punk rock and show how it illustrates the subversive nature of punk .

A subversive nature is a state of mind, resist sense of show. It's a way for young people to feel empowered and have a voice on their own. So... what are we talking about here? T shirts, fashion etc. Appealed with vintage style fabrics each design carries a unique message that is delivered by them using their own things like buttons, badges etc to be themselves. Punk was simply part of the next generation fumbled attempts to get drunk, listen to the band, get laid and gets the last bus home. Punk is merely adolescent doing what comes natural. Punk did have a unique, distinguish feature, a refined ability to shock. The leather clad and Mohawk figure spitting and snarling into the camera. It has been seen a thousand times on TV, in the press and even on London's souvenir postcards. This is the image that, while once feared by conservative societies across the globe, has become a cartoon or pastiche of itself. Rendered harmless by the corporate flogging of its music, style and art, in its previous state it can no longer be classed as a subversive movement. However, punk and its core values have survived. In most ways it has morphed and evolved into something unrecognisable as its former self but the spirit lives on.

Punk may have originally stood as the musical voice of the lower class, though now it seems that the sub culture consists of middle class punkers. So what does it really mean to be a punk in this day and age? Punk today is about doing what you want when you want and not caring what others think of it. It's about feeling a connection with the music people, being independent and doing things for you. It may be the case that some of the original punk ideals have been lost ashore by misdirected adolescent anxiety. Throughout the years punk rock has changed its style enormously, but the societal and political messages it delivers have not changed. The punk rock bands of today have used and expanded the messages that older punk rock groups attempted to express. They have used the inventive process by continuously adding on or revising the original political and social message that some of the first punk bands introduced. The punk rock bands of today, though some of them still remain from the 1980s, have taken the same stance against the current republican run government that is in place today. Other bands that have used the inventive style of revising, by sticking with political, economic, and social issues that earlier punk bands instilled but changed the subject matter of these issues include Anti Flag, nationalism and fascism.

Holy bible by Manic Street Preachers released 29th August 1994 art work created by Jenny Saville

Manic Street Preachers are post modernists. They believe bringing more beauty into an ugly world has no value, whereas reflecting the ugliness and trying to rectify it does. The have no interest of escapism or ecstasy. To them, it's just a middle-class version of the culture of consolation. Their song 'Stay Beautiful' is a convincing on their own retro terms, in other words it's about clinging to your sense of total possibility and sense of waste. They believe there's more to rock 'n' roll than just music, its cultural corruption. Manic street preachers are from a traditional working class town in Wales, which has given them the motivation to try and better themselves. The band have known each other since primary school. They were heavily influenced by punk bands such as The Cash and were nicknamed 'The Welsh Clash' by the media in its time.

I have chosen this image because the album's lyrics deal with themes including prostitution, American consumerism, British imperialism, freedom of speech, the Holocaust, self-starvation, serial-killers, political revolution, childhood, fascism and suicide. The image is ironic because it shows misogyny, taken from the Greek, miso meaning to hate, and gyne for women, hatred to women. Its showing oppressing fat women is considered ugly, and women are expected to be attractive for men. Songs on this album are mainly on topics relating to politics and human suffering.

Feminism is the encouragement of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Feminism is about women gaining equal rights with men, desires of all peoples everywhere for human equality. Punk rock was dominant by male. The girls would try to have power over the males while claiming this to be equal.

The artist who created this cover is called Jenny Saville. She is well known for her monumental imagery of women, usually using her as the model, sometimes using others. The name of the piece of art is South Face/Front Face/North Oil on canvas 274 x 640 cm. Her paintings are not following a cause or promoting a social issue. She sees beauty in the body and in all its deformities and expressions. She expresses beauty by understanding art and social theory. It would seem to me, she has many different roles in social life. Pleasure is one of its goals, the joy of considering beauty. Exploring the nature of beauty and what she comes to call beauty is another of her roles. This is the point at which she understood that accountability enables the other to see beauty in different, non-normative ways. Saville's Strategy over the Naked Ladies for our daily living is to show aware of the many different perspectives of both beauty and woman.

Saville tends to work in large-scale .Like Freud, Saville is discovering the connection of body and soul. The physical weight sensed in a symbolic style and the inflictions performed on Saville's figures both allude to the wounding of the awareness and the enormity of reality crises in modern and contemporary human beings.

Lucian Freud Benefits Supervisor Sleeping - 1995

Compared to Freud's painting, as you can see in the image, you can see people's heads in relation to the scale of the painting, isn't as weighted and out scaled as Saville's. Even the models in these paintings look the same. They both used a mild, soft yellow, white and brown to create the shadowing beneath the loose amount of flesh. 

The position these models are in, highlights their body mass and flesh. Saville has captured the woman from below whilst Freud has taken it in a completely different subject by displaying the matron on a sofa. With her legs off the floor and overlapping, whilst one arm is resting on the back of the sofa and the other is clenching underneath the model's right breast, making the stomach and chest the main view point. 

Both Saville and Freud accentuate their flesh by not only the paint tones but also what they are wearing or not wearing, and their body language. Saville has captured this woman wearing underwear, I don't really know the answer why, but to me the strap on the underwear underlines the large stomach because it is bulging out. In Freud's piece, as she is lying on her side on the sofa, her stomach overflows her weight down, like gravity, giving you an idea of the amount.

Punk subcultures have responded to postmodern society has involved a quest for authenticity and independence from the culture industry, thus altogether rejecting the existing culture of media, image, and hyper commercialism. Whereas the first response to post modernity appropriates signs, symbols, and style for the purposes of shock and semiotic disruption, and insulate punk subculture from the superficiality of postmodern culture. Punk musicians and fans are in search of realism, they establish local institutions of alternative media outside the culture industry while moving musical production above fashion and appearance as the only sincere basis of creative expression. Within punk subcultures, the process of creating free media and interpersonal networks in resistance to the communal media is referred to as the do it yourself ethic. While both variations of sub cultural practice is evident throughout the history of the punk genre. It is more effective or politically progressive than the other, empowering possibilities and regressive boundaries within each of punk's responses to the condition of post modernity. The culture has allowed some punk performers to enact dramatic refusals and parodies of power, periodically capturing the media spotlight and inspiring further acts of defiance among the young and disaffected. But these gestures of resistance have typically proven to be as brief and temporary as postmodern culture at large. Moreover, punk's spirit of negation lacks a utopian counterpart.

Postmodernism is linked to the term modernism. Post means to come after, postmodern is thought that which comes after or expands from modernistic thought. To begin with, we should firstly identify what modernism is. A general and wide ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others. Modernism also refers to a certain era of western cultural, artistic and sociological history. This time wraps nineteenth and early twentieth century's. Modernism is an indistinct and universal term that refers to a period of great change in the western world. Postmodernism is mainly a response to the supposed certainty of technical, or purpose, efforts to explain reality. In real meaning, it stems from gratitude that reality is not purely reflected in human understanding of it, but rather, it is raised as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. This change refers mainly to an adjustment in thinking and a growth of different views of reality. One of the main factors that shifted this radical change in thinking was the First World War. The war was so shocking and, with modern technology, it changed the awareness of Europeans towards their system which led them to question the powers that be and the organization. For this reason, postmodernism is highly cynical of descriptions which maintain to be suitable for all collections, societies, customs, or races, and instead focuses on the relation realities of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything, reality only comes into being through our understandings of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over theoretical principles, knowing always that the outcome of one's own experience will necessarily be imperfect and relative, rather than certain and collective.

My analysis therefore expands upon those of other academic who initially revealed the close relationship between punk style, music and postmodern culture at large. Educated interest in punk has focused primarily on the British and New York subcultures of the mid-1970s, my conclusions relate more to the culture of deconstruction than the culture of authenticity, the latter of which emerged principally within the subcultures of California and Washington D.C. during the early 1980s. By comparing these two divergent cultural practices and relating them to the socioeconomic conditions of post modernity, my study reveals that structural transformation creates multiple possibilities for artistic and political response, rather than a simple correspondence between economic base and cultural superstructure.

Although I have not covered all the bands that began or continued the inventive process involved in punk rock I have used an example that definitely made a contribution to the punk rock landscape. The process of invention in punk rock will continue as long as there is a need to continue striving against unjust systems.