What is the counterculture these days?

Started by Fambo Number Mive, November 23, 2021, 04:02:39 PM

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The Mollusk

Is progressive-thinking antifascist black metal counterculture? As a genre of music its roots of nationalist warmongering have been mythologised to the point of circling past post-irony right back to online comment sections (genuinely, still, in 2021 for fucks sake) being spammed by gatekeepers calling out anything that isn't TRVE KVLT trad-based nihilistic nazi garbage and labelling it fucking soy metal for cucks or whatever. It's important to note that tonally black metal was always a form of punk but quickly became attached to some very horrible ideas and mentalities. It's mad that in its three decades of existence its legacy has remained tarnished to the end that there's only ever been traditional black metal or weird/experimental/atmospheric black metal, but no real uprising of properly reappropriating the genre and wielding it as a force for good.

I feel like the artists pushing against that like Spectral Lore, Mare Cognitum, Victory Over The Sun etc. are a real counterculture when being a right wing homophobic nazi sympathiser on the internet is still seen as the true way to engage with the genre. "Filosofem" by Burzum is still the top ranked black metal album on Rate Your Music for fucks sake.

Quote from the above linked article:

QuoteIt's OK to make escapist art – I do myself, after all, sometimes we want to get away a bit and it's also actually a way to experiment with what we believe and what we want. But if you want to be edgy in a meaningful way, include the real world and real problems in your stories. Take seriously what you sing about and take a stand in real issues. If you want to be dangerous, you'll have to also face danger itself, there can't be any other way.

Retinend

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on November 23, 2021, 09:31:06 PM"conservativism is the new punk" goes back to Alex Jones and Gavin McInnes. The idea that being a normal dad/mom/single person, with typical values and mainstream cultural tastes is the most rebellious thing is spread widely across the left and right. I never really understood how Normcore was different to any other kind of hipster conservativism, but they read Deleuze so they must've been smart and living anti-fascist lives.

The hipster moment was real bad, huh.

Wait, are you actually drawing a line between "Alex Jones" and "hipster", by means of Gavin McInnes?

"Hipster conservatism" is a retrospective narrative that depends on the existence of Gavin McInnes and other outliers. It's not really a thing that hipsters became conservatives en masse. If it were a thing, then McInnes wouldn't have been forced out of his role as editor of Vice in 2008, or he would have founded a similar magazine for conservative hipsters like himself.

Most hipsters were creative people who dressed cool and listened to cool music. That's it. Yes they read Vice magazine and that magazine's founder became the Proud Boys leader, Gavin McInnes... but that does not mean that Alex Jones was a hipster.

And what is "normcore"? Is that the same as "tradcon" circles on the "dissident right"? They aren't hipsters. Most dissident right/alt right people are nerds/NEETs/basement dwellers. They aren't the kind of people who went to ket parties in East London in the mid 00s.



Pijlstaart

The more subcultures, the more things to buy. Pepsi showed us protest movements could kum-bah-yah together with the police, they did it first and defined our culture, the Bowling Green massacre wouldn't have happened with a sufficiently compelling beverage on the front lines. Pepsi has invigorated the left, it is my sincere hope that Men of Purpose exorcise the goblin king barynard sanders and let the sweet old man trapped inside repurpose his twitter account to market Old Spice.

Watching the novara media boys get tattoos and become sexually experienced, documented by a line of commemorative t-shirts has really compounded the allure of consumerism, through the tiktok lens we are reborn, dynastic, divorced now from skill, from accountability and agency, pillared by huel adverts we reign resplendent. You lay down in a tub of water and ask all the young ladies to go bobbing for your dolly mixture rumpus cock, they won't have it, they seem adamant, but do it in a shop, and then they will. Big detergent's done a number on us, wash your clothes (Hang on a minute, even work clothes?), from the fringe to the mainstream they've tied up the whole market, the nation loves detergent and in so doing we deny ourselves, a market propped up on the suffering stacked bodies of the unnecessarily fragrant.

bgmnts

Nothing. I think we all have just accepted we're on a one way trip to pure apocalyptic dystopia and most of us will be impoverished or die in resource wars and political crackdowns.

Fuck is point of counter culture now?

Stoneage Dinosaurs

Drill music maybe? I mean you can usually judge what the counterculture is based on whatever the right wing media get all panicky about. So either that or 'critical race theory' I guess

Retinend

In Berlin these days, techno is the establishment. The counterculture is twee ukulele music.


Dex Sawash


It's the name of the place I buy coffee beans


Modern protest movements like XR, climate strike, and other climate justice movements don't seem to have spawned a cultural form - maybe because famous bands claim to support them, like 1975. And BLM is associated with mainstream acts like Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar. There are some radical queer bands like T-Bitch still trying to subvert the system with moves stolen from the New York Dolls, and there's maybe a certain more moderate queer/genderfluid subculture with bands and poetry nights and certain clothes/hairstyles/looks and other stuff, but it's far less a way of life than being a skinhead. The idea that a particular way of dressing or doing art is capable of bringing about a new social order or destroying the old system has been fairly extensively debunked.

But there will always be goths, (Rees-Mogg-esque) reactionaries, and paedophiles.

Retinend


November 24, 2021, 01:48:42 PM #41 Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 02:23:10 PM by Video Game Fan 2000
Quote from: Retinend on November 24, 2021, 09:01:20 AMWait, are you actually drawing a line between "Alex Jones" and "hipster", by means of Gavin McInnes?

"Hipster conservatism" is a retrospective narrative that depends on the existence of Gavin McInnes and other outliers. It's not really a thing that hipsters became conservatives en masse. If it were a thing, then McInnes wouldn't have been forced out of his role as editor of Vice in 2008, or he would have founded a similar magazine for conservative hipsters like himself.

Most hipsters were creative people who dressed cool and listened to cool music. That's it. Yes they read Vice magazine and that magazine's founder became the Proud Boys leader, Gavin McInnes... but that does not mean that Alex Jones was a hipster.

And what is "normcore"? Is that the same as "tradcon" circles on the "dissident right"? They aren't hipsters. Most dissident right/alt right people are nerds/NEETs/basement dwellers. They aren't the kind of people who went to ket parties in East London in the mid 00s.

Alex Jones was never a hipster, no. But a lot of his early success was playing his libertarian/weirdo image as punk or outsider. He openly invited comparisons to Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison in his show, and he is at least partly serious when he calls himself a performance artist. Sam Kinison is clearly who he wanted to be. The rants about gay frogs and screaming devil voices make more sense if you put it in this context. "Conservativism is the new punk" and "conservativism is the new rock and roll" is something he literally used to say a bunch on his show. He talks up his counter-culture credentials all the time - me and my libertarian pals smoking weed at all the parties before the satanic cokehead leftists took over, that's how I know so much I've partied with both sides etc. I think to understand Jones best you have to realise that being openly a kook and a weirdo was part of his image until the Infowars storefront took off and he had to stop alternating between serious conspiracies and crazy nonsense, and be pretty much always serious aside from an occassional gay frogs rant. Then Trump happened and he got pretentions of being a proper right wing news station.

Normcore was a theory paper by a New York trend forecasting group that used a bunch of then-trendy continental philosophy references to argue that countercultures were about being "special" but mainstream and popular culture was about being "free" - the word got picked up by fashion nerds to mean dressing like the cast of Seinfeld, and probably contributed to the word "normie" after that. Essentially poptimism, just about everything, not just music.

Hipsters weren't just cool young people listening to cool music. It wasn't just Vice and McInnes. There was always an undercurrent of traditionalism and reaction involved. There was stuff that was deliberately racially provocative like the "Kill Whitey" parties. As well as a lot of misogyny and shit like the hipsterrunoff blog.

In other words, our moral superiors and betters in New York felt very differently about things not ten years ago.

Sebastian Cobb

Crypto could be seen as some form of legitimate form of counterculture through the right lens.

Of course in reality it's a load of ancap bullshit that for all its talk of decentralisation is basically a religion centralised around private property rights that fly in the face of the egalitarian ideals of information flow that the Web was founded on.

An tSaoi


Goldentony

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on November 24, 2021, 03:04:58 PMCrypto could be seen as some form of legitimate form of counterculture through the right lens.

Of course in reality it's a load of ancap bullshit that for all its talk of decentralisation is basically a religion centralised around private property rights that fly in the face of the egalitarian ideals of information flow that the Web was founded on.

loads of cunts nobody could possibly be mates with trading millions of quid does sound extremely out of step with modern society

Retinend

November 25, 2021, 10:14:08 AM #46 Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 10:25:57 AM by Retinend
Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on November 24, 2021, 01:48:42 PMAlex Jones was never a hipster, no. But a lot of his early success was playing his libertarian/weirdo image as punk or outsider. He openly invited comparisons to Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison in his show, and he is at least partly serious when he calls himself a performance artist. Sam Kinison is clearly who he wanted to be. The rants about gay frogs and screaming devil voices make more sense if you put it in this context. "Conservativism is the new punk" and "conservativism is the new rock and roll" is something he literally used to say a bunch on his show. He talks up his counter-culture credentials all the time - me and my libertarian pals smoking weed at all the parties before the satanic cokehead leftists took over, that's how I know so much I've partied with both sides etc. I think to understand Jones best you have to realise that being openly a kook and a weirdo was part of his image until the Infowars storefront took off and he had to stop alternating between serious conspiracies and crazy nonsense, and be pretty much always serious aside from an occassional gay frogs rant. Then Trump happened and he got pretentions of being a proper right wing news station.

What's your point about Alex Jones? That he was punk, if not per se a hipster? Screaming about turning the frogs gay is some sort of performance art? (performance art being synonymous with punk?) That he is - or was ever - in any sense - cool? In his own head, maybe. But not among anyone actually cool.

"me and my libertarian pals smoking weed at all the parties before the satanic cokehead leftists took over"

Moreover, libertarianism is not punk. Libertarianism is wanking over tax cuts for the rich and telling poor people to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. There's nothing less punk than libertarianism. Alex Jones was neither a punk nor a hipster. Without Gavin McInnes as the poster child for reactionary hipsterdom, there is nothing to this theory that "there was always an undercurrent of traditionalism and reaction involved" in hipsterdom.

I mean, - not "NOTHING". You'll always be able to hold to some soft version of this theory where there's an amorphous, timeless, "counter-culture" that simultaneously includes hipsters, new york art performers, punks, Sam fucking Kinison, "rock 'n' roll" ... and Alex Jones, the fat conspiracy theorist dweeb. But with a net that big, you catch a lot of different fish.

SpiderChrist

Quote from: Retinend on November 25, 2021, 10:14:08 AMMoreover, libertarianism is not punk. Libertarianism is wanking over tax cuts for the rich and telling poor people to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. There's nothing less punk than libertarianism.

Amen to that. Had an chat with an acquaintance about getting vaccinated, and he threw the Crass quote 'There is no authority but yourself' at me, which I thought was missing the point by a country mile. Libertarianism doesn't strike me as being communal or about caring for others, more of a selfish 'I'll do what I want regardless of how it affects others' sort of attitude. Happy to be proved wrong, though.

The Mollusk

Quote from: SpiderChrist on November 25, 2021, 11:20:39 AMAmen to that. Had an chat with an acquaintance about getting vaccinated, and he threw the Crass quote 'There is no authority but yourself' at me, which I thought was missing the point by a country mile.

You sure you didn't steal this story from me? You replied to me addressing it directly when I told it in the Covid subforum...

SpiderChrist

Nope, it was someone I know who goes to a different school is involved with Strawberry Fair in Cambridge.

The Mollusk



November 25, 2021, 12:49:06 PM #52 Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 01:05:13 PM by Video Game Fan 2000
Quote from: Retinend on November 25, 2021, 10:14:08 AMWhat's your point about Alex Jones? That he was punk, if not per se a hipster? Screaming about turning the frogs gay is some sort of performance art? (performance art being synonymous with punk?) That he is - or was ever - in any sense - cool? In his own head, maybe. But not among anyone actually cool.

No, I don't think he was ever a punk or a genuine counter-culture person, but that he aspires to be that. My point is that the way he was thought about 15, 20 years ago was a lot different and he had a measure of acceptance among 'cool' circles that seems unthinkable in hindsight. You know he appeared in Richard Linklater films, right? The guy who invented the modern hipster! He wasn't always a persona non grata and a name on the media no-fly list. Some people thought he was cool. As much as people in general would want to pretend he was always seen on the same level as David Duke or Ernst Zundel, that simply isn't true. In the late 90s and 00s there was a still a big fascination with UFO and conspiracy subcultures which bled over into underground stuff, anti-fascist stuff, early internet culture and Jones got a measure (not a lot, but a measure) of positive attention from that. 

If you've ever seen his earlier videos or documentaries, up until about 2009 and the "Obama Deception" DVD, they were about half standard far right dogwhistles and antisemitism, but about half knowingly wacky shit about transhumanists making deals with interdimensional entities to steal your pineal glands and blast their brains into space. He was playing two sides: half John Birch redbaiting and white nationalism, half wannabe Philip K Dick knowingly bizarre stuff. It was a very profitable mix.

When you see him palling around with people like Rogan and Red Scare today, people who are prepared to act like all the disgusting shit he spews is just some big joke, you see a glimpse of the wannabe performance artist, the guy who wanted to be Hicks or Kinison or Carlin. He goes straight into the weird and funny shit about demons and aliens, starts telling crap jokes. It's completely transparent.

QuoteMoreover, libertarianism is not punk. Libertarianism is wanking over tax cuts for the rich and telling poor people to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. There's nothing less punk than libertarianism. Alex Jones was neither a punk nor a hipster. Without Gavin McInnes as the poster child for reactionary hipsterdom, there is nothing to this theory that "there was always an undercurrent of traditionalism and reaction involved" in hipsterdom.

As much as I wish that this was true, and all the best punk stuff is the antithesis of libertarianism, plenty of "cool" punk guys in hip bands were and are fucking libertarians. Even guys from great bands. Buzz Osbourne, Tom Hazelmeyer, Greg Ginn, the lanky one from Nirvana. Unfortunately you could list them all day.

QuoteI mean, - not "NOTHING". You'll always be able to hold to some soft version of this theory where there's an amorphous, timeless, "counter-culture" that simultaneously includes hipsters, new york art performers, punks, Sam fucking Kinison, "rock 'n' roll" ... and Alex Jones, the fat conspiracy theorist dweeb. But with a net that big, you catch a lot of different fish.

I think you should be careful of the idea that the far right radicalisation, as a subculture, is a NEET/basement dweller thing. Not reject the idea, just be critical about it. Ditto cultural conservativism and traditionalism, which is a different thing and has some overlaps with left and liberal things. I think you're 100% right that the whole thing about McInnes and hipster racism is a retrospective narrative, but you should look at it from another direction. Presently and historically, most far right subculture stuff comes from comfortable people who are socially mobile and educated, its only when the boots hit the streets that the working class and disinfranchised get involved en masse. This has been shown time and time again about the so-called "alt right": comparatively wealthly, successful people, men and women, who own homes and can afford to fly out to rallies and events, and give whopping donations to various causes. Its not losers in basements eating tendies their moms buy and it never was. 

I know for a fact a lot of people who now flaunt flawless anti-fash credentials and have far left social media personas used to be on the more libertarian side of things during the hipster years, sometimes with connections to some nasty shit. It'd be just so fucking convenient after a quarter century of dabbling with far right resurgence from the educated and well-off classes, all of that is not relevant and what was really the problem was those low-status losers in basements not getting laid.

If you think there is nothing between 90s/00s hipster and reactionary stuff, I think you're just wrong.

The defining, archetypal hipster artifact was the ironic acoustic cover of a gangster rap song.


chveik

Robert Wyatt and the rock in opposition lads were more consistent marxists that those punk types

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on November 25, 2021, 12:49:06 PMI know for a fact a lot of people who now flaunt flawless anti-fash credentials and have far left social media personas used to be on the more libertarian side of things during the hipster years, sometimes with connections to some nasty shit.

i'm guessing they were not keen on age of consent laws

Retinend

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on November 25, 2021, 01:00:41 PMIf you think there is nothing between 90s/00s hipster and reactionary stuff, I think you're just wrong.

The defining, archetypal hipster artifact was the ironic acoustic cover of a gangster rap song.

whats a 90s hipster? surely hipsterdom is a 00s thing. Nathan Barley couldn't have been made in the 90s.

Quote from: Retinend on November 25, 2021, 01:39:38 PMwhats a 90s hipster? surely hipsterdom is a 00s thing. Nathan Barley couldn't have been made in the 90s.

Hipster dates from the mid 90s but it was much smaller then.

First wave emo and slacker stuff. Ian Svenonius. Pavement. Post-rock. Beck. Hipster was mostly interchangeable with "emo" until emo meant goth adjacent and androgynous looks.

Retinend

welcome to VGF2k-land
alex jones is punk
libertarianism is counter-culture
emo is hipster
the sky is green
the pope is protestant
hamburgers eat people

There's tons of stuff online about what "hipster" meant in the 90s. Just google it. You'll find forum threads from 15 years ago where people argue about whether the true hipsters were Seattle grunge fans or New York slackers.

Pavement are inarguably the defining hipster band, the band that had people calling each other hipsters, and their first record came out in 1989.

Quote from: Retinend on November 25, 2021, 02:06:08 PMwelcome to VGF2k-land
alex jones is punk
libertarianism is counter-culture

You know I never said this.
(although there are actual libertarian counter-cultures they just haven't come up yet)