The Problem with Punk

Peter Carlton of Film Four in the UK has said that they make films your mother wouldn't like. If you're a filmmaker it's a constant mantra from financiers... "hip and edgy".

A few years back, I went to the local supermarket and was loading up the aisles when I noticed the music over the tannoys. 'White Riot' by The Clash. I laughed to myself as I loaded up the pizzas. "White Riot, I wanna riot. White Riot, I wanna riot on my own..." Someone must have been asleep at the scheduling wheel or having a laugh. But no... the dulcet tones of Larry Gogan followed; "That was today's Golden Oldie..."

Hold on, that was White Riot... on Radio 1... in the mid-afternoon... on Larry Gogan... as a Golden-Freakin'-Oldie.

I recalled the NME during the punk era and what they called men of a certain age. 'Boring Old Farts' was the term they coined. Is this what's happened, have all the punks become the boring old farts who run the show?

My generation sneered at those hippies who were becoming middle-aged guys, still with the long hair and beads. But hey now, it's my generations turn. Angry Punk Dads, pushing shopping carts, loading up with stuff for the kids, somewhere inside still giving the world the finger.

When I ask my students who watches TV every day, a handful put up their hands. When I ask who goes online everyday, they all do. They are the Add Me generation. The current crop of Gen Ys and Millenials are a far nicer, more connected and more concerned bunch than the set of Angry Punk Dads that have preceeded them.

They're not that hip or edgy really, in fact they're rather nice. My mother probably would like them... perhaps she should have a word with Peter. Television might be losing it's audience in more ways than one.


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