Hard to believe that, as a phenomenon, Punk is nearly forty years old. Yet the imagery is still a very potent one for rebellion and non-conformance.
Punk came along at a time in my life when I felt a bit rootless. I was too young to be a hippy and deemed by the hip, young gunslingers to be a dinosaur, because I listened to prog rock bands like King Crimson and Genesis. They had a point. When I first heard White Riot at a party, I thought it was an unmelodic row. Now, the Clash get played on Radio2.
I feel a bit betrayed. I come from proud working class stock. I went to a Secondary Modern (later a Comprehensive) School and I still carry some barely discernable socialist hormones in my biological make-up. To be told by a privately educated, older than me in years, Punk that I'm a dinosaur still annoys. Joe Strummer may have been a lovely bloke and remained true to his principles, but to label me and other people like me in that manner and from that position in life strikes me as hypocrisy.
Silly, isn't it? Forty years on and I still get cross.
This week's competion was a tribute to the recently deceased master, Martin Honeysett. The entries were all equally brilliant to my eyes. This was a really interesting personal excercise. Before I even started, my subliminal amalgam of Honeysett cartoons in my mind was of anger. The strongest sense was that of 'angry eyes'. Research soon dispelled this notion as the cartoons I revisited (with great joy)depicted broadly happy faces (if in usually macabre circumstances). His style also changed quite dramatically over the years and yet remained "Honeysett" throughout. So why did I have a sense of 'angry eyes'? I think it came from one single cartoon. Two bears are changing into teddy bear costumes. One bear angrily remarks to another, "If there's one thing worse than being in a zoo, it's being in a children's zoo." An amazing week. Circumstances prevented me from voting, I'm glad to say. I couldn't have made a final choice.