For about ten years, there has been a spectre haunting pop-conservative rhetoric: the spectre of conservative punk. The rise of the alt-right and the desperate attention-seeking of pop-conservatives has returned the phrase ‘Conservatism is the new punk rock’ back into circulation. In Australia, this rhetoric seems to be anchored with Daisy Cousens, whose entire schtick is saying outrageous things for the lulz.
Needless to say, I’m far from impressed by pop-conservative dominance in Australia, and my kind of conservatism is distinctly more art rock.
But if our current crop of pop-conservatives did release a punk album, what would it look like? Here’s my guess at what their first album — Are You Triggered? — would look like:
- Black on White (Violence is Real)
- Sheena is a Shit Poster
- Know Your Property Rights
- I Fought The Law (By Saying The N-Word on TV)
- My Girl is a Body Pillow
- Bomb the Casbah
- I Wanna Be Your Landlord
- Islam Calling
- She Stole My Ponies When She Left (Red Pill remix)
Speaking of punk rock, there’s a Canberra band exploring punk politics: Glitoris (you can check them out on Triple J Unearthed here). I am entirely the wrong person to critique this band because I’m male, conservative, and I hate glitter, but I do recommend it to others. The question you are always going to encounter in this space is the extent to which activities like this will take the aesthetics of radical politics without engaging the intellectually serious aspect of radical politics. Does the band raise more questions about the intersection of entertainment and politics than questions about political protest? And, if so, does it matter? And, if not, does the distinction between ‘aesthetic’ and ‘intellectually serious’ unfairly privilege a particular kind of engagement with politics? I’m the wrong person to engage in those questions, but I really hope somebody else does.
At the very least, fill your ears with Canberra music.