Thursday, 11 February 2010
Never trust a hero.
A recent comment on this blog regarding Billy Bragg has got me thinking. First off I have to admit to being a long term fan of Billy Bragg and I was pleased to see him at the G20 last year. As you can imagine I was disappointed to see him, an hour or so later, being escorted through the police lines while the rest of us remained in the kettle. From Bob Dylan to the Sex Pistols my music heroes have tended to let me down by failing to live up to a political stance that they never claimed in the first place.But what is important here is not my own naivety about Billy Bragg or any other rock hero; that doesn't concern me that much and certainly should not concern anyone else. What matters is the whole issue of expecting others to live your life for you, and expecting them to live their lives according to your own image of them. Look, what I'm trying to say here is that it may not matter much if I fetishise a musician and they fail to live up to my expectations but we are also very capable of fetishising any group of people-an organization, a political party, even a whole class. When we feel let down on this much grander scale, the political consequences can be profound-and sometimes profoundly unpleasant.