Thursday, September 14, 2006

Montreal Killings As Pseudo-rebellion

One aspect overlooked in the commentaries about the recent Montreal shooting is the marketing of pseudo-rebellion. Many disaffected young people, rather than becoming genuine rebels and trying to change the system, identify with groups that project an image of rebellion but are reactionary in outlook. Think of metalers, gangstas, Goths, Emo's and whatever similar cult that comes along. All these groups are anti-social, narcissistic and cynical. It is the same message over and over, “Society sucks, nothing can be done about it.” There is a fascination for violence or death. And in the same way that the marketed pseudo-freedom of owning a hot car and driving fast results in unnecessary mayhem, the end result of anti-social youth sub-cultures is also death.

Prior to the pseudo-rebels, there were (and still are, I should add) youth cultures with a genuine rebel content. Think of the hippies, Yippies and punk movement. Even though considered anti-social by the media, they were not. Rather, they attempted to create alternate societies as a means to change society as a whole. These same counter-culturalists were (and are) at the forefront of the peace, environmental and anti-globalist movements. Is the marketing of pseudo-rebellion at a time of growing opposition to the corporate order merely a coincidence?


Blogger mollymew said...

Some time ago I read a book entitled 'The Rebel Sell:Why Culture Can't be Jammed'. The authors took a much broader swipe at subcultures than is done here. But it puts me in mind of that book. Never did like any of this sort of stuff. Good post Larry.
Gotta admit that I had to look up what an "emo" was. Nope, not 'Emergency Measures Organization' and no relation to an "emu". Of course my goal is to be as fashion free as it is possible to be in a society such as ours. I look forward to the day when the only "stars" I can name are all at least ten years dead. Sometimes I review the matter with examples like, "what do I know about say Paris Hilton(any other "name" would do). I "think" I "know" about 6 "factoids" about this mythological personage. It's pretty unavoidable to miss all mention of such, but I'm convinced that in five years I'll "know" only three of these and in 15 years-none.
I cultivate memory loss like some people cultivate vegetables, and I think I'm much happier for it.
Anyways, I suppose that the events are so sad that one shouldn't joke, but I can't help the following.
It's a well known fact that belief in life after death will act as a rationale for people to do all sorts of irrational acts. Killing yourself in the delusion that you'll be around to enjoy the suffering it causes is one such misuse of imagination. But I have to say that the 'Goths' have developed this fantasy to a much higher level than anyone else. Others believe that there is "life after death". The Goths believe that there is "life after death- before death". Fangs a lot guys. Cough...

8:38 PM  
Blogger Werner said...

It's interesting that the Goth website "" is now pleading for "understanding" about the cult of which Kimveer Gill was a part. The "regular" media is/will twitter about the "human" angle in exceedingly bad taste,
God, they're disgusting!!! A small but growing chorus of Liberal/BQ hacks are sniffing around for an issue to use against Harper. What else is new ... I, also, would like to forget these kinds of people exist but it seems to be a kind of continuum. Junk culture at the top mirrored by junk at the other end. AH ,"Strength through Joy"...

5:00 AM  
Blogger pman said...

I had to go to work right in front of Dawson when I learned about the shootings. I skipped my 1:30 class to go home and study. Had I not, I would have been in that area at the time of the shooting.

It makes me wanna puke when I see these wretched politicians coming on TV to give speeches, as if their holiness will soothe our souls. In reality, they are just looking for votes, as werner says.

And Larry, you're right about the pseudo-rebels who glorify gun culture, greed, and pimpin' as rebellion.

Still quite shocked. Studied there for five years. Surprised? No.

10:50 AM  

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