“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

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.


Paul Stott said...

I saw him a copy of years back at a rally at the International brigade memorial on the South Bank.

He was visibly nervous around the Anarchists (perhaps because we have called him a wanker so often over the years) and I have always thought people saw him as a lot more radical than he actually is.

He's take a lot of flak recently from the far-right for pontificating about the BNP in Barking & Dagenham, whilst he himself lives out in Dorset or Devon. I think some their punches have landed.

His recent mini-tax strike was perhaps not just a little return to form, but an attempt to up his reputation a little.......

darren redstar said...

he lives in a country house amongst acres of land outside bridport. I remember his first act when he moved down was to declare that as labour could not win in dorset that everyone should vote lib dem instead. as soon as he did so labour won in south dorset!
He seems to have taken over the tolpuddle martyres rally as his personal fiefdom.
I am not a fan of the Laird of Bridport