Dalrymple has a new post at the Social Affairs Unit inspired by recent news involving a former punk rocker.
The punk ethic, as far as I can tell from my brief researches, consists of the following: an utterly conformist non-conformity and an insensate individualism without individuality, allied to brutal and deliberate bad taste – ugliness, be thou my beauty. Commitment to non-conformity is, of course, a conformity of its own; and bad taste requires no discipline, or hardly any, to achieve. To be accused of lack of commitment to these “values” therefore seems to me to be a compliment rather than the reverse, and not something to feel insulted by.
Brilliant, and so very true. We’ve seen it a thousand times. The “individuals” among today’s countless herds of “individuals” can often be identified by the presence of a brand – a tattoo. On this, google for TD’s great book review/essay called “Exposing Shallowness.”
By the way, if anyone knows where the allusion (“ugliness, be thou my beauty”) is adapted from, please point it out. I’m betting Shakespeare.
I may have found the source of the allusion, or at least an intermediate source:
I found the following in Dalrymple’s 1998 essay Trash, Violence, and Versace: But Is It Art?:
By John Milton
I believe this is when Satan is on his way to Eden to tempt Adam and Eve and, after expressing self-doubt, “confirms himself in evil”.
For the record, I would have guessed Shakespeare, too.
This source makes sense. Many thanks.
Speaking of Milton, today is the 400th anniversary of his birth!