Is the Clash Just Skrewdriver in Disguise?

Being on the right and being into punk rock… but those things can’t POSSIBLY go together? Or so I’ve been told by a handful of people who recently called me a poser, saying I remind them of Ian Rubbish, the singer for a made up band called the Bizzaros (not, of course, to be confused with the Bizarros from Cleveland), that was featured on a Saturday Night Live skit and whose Johnny Rotten-esque singer – played by Fred Armison – praises, rather than denounces, Margaret Thatcher.

Well, yeah, England COULD use another Margaret Thatcher no matter how many songs the Exploited wrote in which they call her a cunt. But, what’s interesting, aside from how people found it hilarious to compare me to this Ian Rubbish character, is that people said I CLEARLY missed the message of punk as espoused by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, the Lennon/McCartney figures of the Clash (well except that Mick Jones is a guitarist, but that’s besides the point).  THE CLASH?! REALLY?! Clearly YOU, Mr./Mrs. Know-Nothing-About-Punk-Rock, missed the message of punk as espoused by THESE songs:

“Well there goes a girl and a half/she’s got me going up and down” – “Peaches” by the Stranglers

“I don’t really wanna dance/Girl, I just wanna get in your pants” – “I Need Lunch” by the Dead Boys

“You’re wild, and I’m wild about you” – “Wild About You” by the Saints

“I got a new rose, I got it good/I always knew that I always would” – “New Rose” by the Damned

“Gonna smile, I’m gonna laugh/you’re gonna get a blood bath” – “Glad to See You Go” by the Ramones.

“Why don’t you get raped?” – “Get Raped” by Eater (my last ex REALLY liked Eater by the way.)

“You tried it out for once/find it all right for kicks/and now you find out that it’s a habit that sticks/you’re an orgasm addict” – “Orgasm Addict” by the Buzzcocks

So there you have it. Punk rock stands for girls and a half who make you “go up and down”, while wanting to get in a girl’s pants, who you are wild about and who might be your new rose, all while laughing before giving someone a blood bath or telling a girl to get raped; oh, and of course jerking off.

How did you people, who know so much about punk rock, miss THOSE messages?!

But what’s really ironic is that these people, who claim that I missed “what punk’s about” because I don’t follow whatever Marxist/leftist nonsense that the Clash espouses – and which Kathy Schaidle, the adorable punk rocker turned Takimag columnist who told me to check out the Forgotten Rebels, called “gay” on the Savage Hippie podcast – apparently missed what it’s about as well. At least according to the anarchist band Crass, who spits on the Clash, their phony labor-leftist pose and their being signed to CBS-fucking-records for crying out loud.

They said that we were trash,
Well the name is Crass, not Clash.
They can stuff their punk credentials
Cause it’s them that take the cash.
They won’t change nothing with their fashionable talk,
All their RAR (rock against racism) badges and their protest walk,
Thousands of white men standing in a park,
Objecting to racism’s like a candle in the dark.
Black man’s got his problems and his way to deal with it,
So don’t fool yourself you’re helping with your white liberal shit.
If you care to take a closer look at the way things really stand,
You’d see we’re all just niggers to the rulers of this land.

Oo, almost got a Jim Goad vibe going there… err, maybe not…

Of course, I think Crass and the Clash are both retarded.

But THEN, I read the lyrics to the Clash song “Safe European Home”, and I had a “what the fuck is THIS shit?” moment! I’m nearly getting a boner at telling the modern day, Clinton supporting, corporate leftists that their “anti-racist, left-wing” proletariat heroes are pretty much about as racist as Skrewdriver. Don’t believe me? Okay, let’s see…

Well, I just got back an I wish I never leave now
(Where’d ya’ go?)
Who that Martian arrival at the airport, yeah?
(Where’d ya’ go?)
How many local dollars for a local anesthetic?
(Where’d ya’ go?)
The Johnny on the corner wasn’t very sympathetic
(Where’d ya’ go?)

translation: I just arrived in Jamaica, and I REALLY feel like an outsider. None of these guys even want to sell any drugs to me!

I went to the place where every white face
Is an invitation to robbery
An’ sitting here in my safe European home
Don’t wanna go back there again

translation: I’m white, Jamaicans will rob me, this place is scary and I want to leave.

Wasn’t I lucky, wouldn’t it be lovely?
(Where’d ya’ go?)
Send us all cards and have a lay in on Sunday
(Where’d ya’ go?)
I was there for two weeks, so how come I never tell now?
(Where’d ya’ go?)
That natty dread drinks at the Sheraton Hotel, yeah?
(Where’d ya’ go?)

translation: I’ve been here for two weeks, and this place still sucks.

They got the sun and they got the palm trees
(Where’d ya’ go?)
They got the weed and they got the taxis
(Where’d ya’ go?)
Whoa, “The Harder They Come” and the home of ol’ Bluebeat
(Where’d ya’ go?)
I’d stay and be a tourist but I can’t take the gun play
(Where’d ya’?)

translation: I thought I would like this place because of the sun, palm trees, weed, taxis, The Harder They Come and bluebeat, but I’m a white guy who can’t handle all of the crime in this country.

Okay, that’s not as bad as Skrewdriver and their, “they come here to this country from the jungles and the trees”, but it’s still not the leftist, politically correct, “power to the people” crap that people typically associate with the Clash. I mean, the group is blatantly saying, “Jamaica is a shithole, and as a white person,  I probably don’t belong there.” Hey, don’t yell at me! I didn’t write it! I prefer non-racist bands who talk about banging broads and killing people.

Of course, knowing punk fans, they’ll probably rationalize it and say that I’m totally mistaken and misread the lyrics. OR, maybe I can get the leftists at Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll to denounce the Clash the way they did with the Anti-Nowhere League for THIS song:

 

7 thoughts on “Is the Clash Just Skrewdriver in Disguise?

  1. Yes, you have misunderstood the lyrics to Safe European Home. As everyone knows it was inspired by a disastrous songwriting trip to Jamaica taken in 1977 by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. Their hopes of experiencing a culture as they imagined it were dashed by the realities of poverty and violence. It is a song that reflects on their own naivety and romanticised notions of a world and their place in it versus the reality.

      • Well, I agree that in retrospect a lot of The Clash’s stuff is patronising, naive and irritating, but I think in this case I’d give them credit for a level of self-awareness rare in punk (or most rock and/or roll). I read SEH as saying “fucking state of us spoiled middle-class white boys, we just got a good hard lesson in reality. Sorry about White Riot. And that hamfisted cover of Police And Thieves.”

    • Crass were inspired to start a band after seeing the Clash, not commonly known but true. Crass have mellowed over the years themselves but it must be remembered, the Clash were very young men and musicians first, but at least they tried to have a message (however hazy it was), whilst virtually all of their contemporaries had none. Refusing to appear in TOTP cost them success and they would have known that, but kudos to them for it. They weren’t political philosophers, but they would lend their support to causes most other ‘mainstream’ acts would avoid.

  2. Wow, this is the most click-bait article i’ve ever read, The Clash are racist because they expected something different from Jamaica, You’ve never been to Jamaica to know what it is like there, and instead of looking into why they’d say things like “I went to the place where every white face is an invitation to robbery.” You just heard the word ‘white’ and immediately pulled a racist alarm, and the only coherent thought through your article is, “racist because they didn’t like visiting a poor country.” Fucking sad.

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