Counterculture

Goodbye To All That

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The lice were animatronic and waved legs and feelers. Animatronic pubic lice and knighthoods to rock singers sum up one aspect of the Blair Government's cultural legacy pretty well.

That's the conclusion to a piece by Hal G. P. Colebatch over at The American Spectator (which seems strangely invested in ye olde Englande's aristocratic traditions for a U.S. mag started in Indiana).

Colebatch has got his knickers in a twist over Bono from U2–and even worse, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland–being given a knighthood by Bush poodle Tony Blair. Feel the anger of a man who despises the "proletarianization" of the Sceptred Isle and who "has lectured in International Law and International Relations at Notre Dame University and Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and worked on the staff of two Australian Federal Ministers":

To make it plain that knighthoods, or other honors, are regarded as really meaning nothing is to admit that the whole Marxist-deconstructionist mindset is correct and there is no objective value of worthiness to be recognized and honored, only baubles to be used for cynical political advantage, or to be deliberately abused in order to distress and demoralize class or political enemies. It is, in a queer way, part of the social totalitarianism that has never been far below the surface in Blair's Britain.

Whole thing, well worth slogging through for the animatronic pubic lice punchline, here.

I'll grant Colebatch his discontent but he's got it all wrong. Giving knighthood to rock stars isn't an insult to English traditions. As I argued in the wake of Dee Dee Ramone's death, it's killing rock and roll.

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  1. “[T]here is no objective value of worthiness to be recognized and honored, only baubles to be used for cynical political advantage, or to be deliberately abused in order to distress and demoralize class or political enemies.”

    The above is hardly an idea limited to Marxists and deconstructionists.

    If you didn’t want us mucking up your “honors”, you shouldn’t have given us the vote, guv’nah.

  2. Sounds like a man headed for greatness, i.e. lecturing on all 7 continents…and telling you about it.

  3. U2 is rock and roll?
    Bono is a rock singer?
    I had no idea.

  4. Highnumber, I absolutely swear he and they were.

    Once.

  5. Is it just me or is Bono starting to look more and more like Robin Williams every day?

  6. Is it just me or is Bono starting to look more and more like Robin Williams every day?

    As Oscar Wilde once astutely observed, “By the age of 50, everyone has the face they deserve.”

  7. Totally agree on the killing r ‘n’ r thing Nick. I mean, I thought it was weird when McCartney was knighted, but at least he was rock royalty before I was born. I lived through the early days of U2. Them being that establishment is alarming.

    That said, I always wish these rock stars would be real rock stars and tell the PM to F off.

  8. Some of us will never forgive U2 for suing Negativeland! We will never forget!

  9. Fuck Bono AND Fuck this guy..

    There are enough reasons to dislike Bono and this guy is not helpful at all.

  10. Is it just me, or does Bono in this picture look a lot like Robin Williams.

  11. Is it just me or did I just experience deja vu?

  12. Steven Gerrard* is getting an OBE as well, where is he whining about that? At least Bono has been active off the stage.

    Current football player for Liverpool Reds and England.

  13. That said, I always wish these rock stars would be real rock stars and tell the PM to F off.- Brian24

    Seriously. Blair isn’t even Mr. Vox’s Taosaich. There’s something especially dodgy about an Irishman accepting a K from na Sasanaigh.

    Kevin

  14. Re The Ramones; I have long had a fantasy to start a cover band with the two members left
    http://www.kauhajoki.fi/~jplaitio/story/ramstory.
    html

    I’d call it “The Remains”…

    boom_tish…

  15. Spur,

    Come on, he deserved it for that goal in the FA Cup Final.
    I’m no liverpool fan but I HATE West Ham.

  16. To be fair, rockstars don’t get knighthoods until they’re far past their prime.

    I seriously doubt anyone is rushing out to buy a guitar and start a band in order to get a knighthood in 30 years, so I can’t see what effect it has on the music, which is predominantly a product of young guys trying to get laid, not middle-aged married guys.

  17. “That said, I always wish these rock stars would be real rock stars and tell the PM to F off.”

    Didn’t Keith Richards do that?

  18. My mistake, it wasn’t Keith (though he probably would and thought it preposterous that Mick accepted one).

    David Bowie did reject one, however, in 2000.

    (Other refusals: Kenneth Brannagh, JG Ballard, Roald Dahl, and celebrity foodie Nigella Lawson. Nigella Lawson is more punk rock than Bono.)

  19. Next they’ll be giving knighthoods to Wogs.

  20. Kenneth Brannagh refused one?

    What a fucking tool. Yeaaahhh, fight the power Kenneth. Adapt Macbeth to be set in Basrah, with an over-arching geo-political context. Down with the Empire!!

    I fucking hate actors.

  21. If you truly want to see the absurdity of Knighthood think Sir Paul McCartney then try to determine exactly when the Queen might send him forth in chain mail & broadsword on a gallant steed to do battle…..

  22. Well, Ken Brannagh is originally from Belfast.

    He allegedly declined the C.B.E. (Commander of the order of the British Empire) in 1994.

    “I feel more Irish than English. I feel freer than British, more visceral, with a love of language. Shot through with fire in some way. That’s why I resist being appropriated as the current repository of Shakespeare on the planet. That would mean I’m part of the English cultural elite, and I am utterly ill-fitted to be.” – from imdb.com

    Good man, that!

    Kevin

  23. I obviously don’t know for certain what is going on in Bono’s mind, but he is a practical guy, politically speaking, and if he thinks that a title will help him get done what he wants done, he’ll take it. I don’t see a problem with it. The guy is in his 40s: snubbing the establishment works for the young, but when you grow up you realize that meaningful change comes from within and that insisting on remaining on the outside just to satisfy some sort ideal of aesthetic purity is just so much onanism.

  24. EDIT: some sort of

  25. Brannagh is still a turd.

    ‘I feel freer than British, more visceral, with a love of language.’

    Anyone who describes themselves as ‘visceral’ is a cocknocker. Fact.

  26. ‘The guy is in his 40s: snubbing the establishment works for the young, but when you grow up you realize that meaningful change comes from within’

    I would agree with that completely if he didn’t carry on thinking that getting a bunch of hippies and drunk teenagers in a field to listen to rock music is going to change things.

    Anyway, my grievance with Bono was never with his politics. Good luck to the guy. I sincerly hope he makes things better for a few people. Gees, he’s doing more than me. My problem was always with the music.

    It. Fucking. Sucked.

  27. Mark VIII,

    You English. Always oppressing the Irish.

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