chapter  11
18 Pages

The Phenomenology of Authenticity Work: Merleau-Ponty and the ‘Dissonant Sound’ of The Clash


How can the above statement be interpreted? Originally posted on the social media site, YouTube, the blogger indicts the punk band, The Clash, for a lackluster performance at the Us Festival in Los Angeles, which was sponsored by the then-fledgling computer company, Apple (Gilbert, 2004). Whereas The Clash (along with the Sex Pistols) is widely known as a progenitor of punk (Hebdige, 1979; Laing, 1985; Marcus, 1993), the Us Festival performance in May 1983 came late in the band’s career and far from its ‘subcultural’ point of origin in 1976 London. What makes this statement all the more curious, however, is that it was posted in 2011. Does this mean then, that punk remains an instance and even a metaphor for authentic youthful rebellion today?