Let’s get Fuckedby Max Barashenkov, images by Camilla Rose / 28.09.2010
Fuck TV, fuck newspapers, fuck radio, fuck online publications, fuck producers, fuck editors, fuck the whole media machine that cares not for the craft – be it music, be it photography, be it writing, be it any form of creation. Fuck the Sex Pistols, fuck the Ramones, fuck the Misfits and fuck punk rock. Fuck Trainspotting, fuck Bukowski, fuck Thompson, fuck this cynical post-modern world where every original emotion is reduced to a pre-packaged derivative of every original past thought. Fuck ideals, fuck belief, fuck the Jam Sandwich and fuck Mahala.
It is only halfway through the Hog Hoggidy Hog tour, at the camera crammed farce of a show for the SABC, that I finally understand what ‘punk’ actually means – it’s believing in something so hard that you don’t give a fuck about much else. You just do it, without support, without respect, without even hope, you just do it because you can’t not. You do it because it tears out of you and if you don’t release it, you will die as a human being. Punk can be anything – Lenin was punk, changing an entire society; Bill Gates is punk, with his drive for the ultra-rich to give up their wealth; the whole social media movement is punk because it is showing the business world a clever middle finger. Punk is stripped raw, beaten honest, flogged off pretentiousness and, sadly, goes hand in hand with near-constant disappointment. I realize this now, faced with unfortunate editorial retardation, but then I look at the sour faces of the Hogs as they mill about the utterly empty Bassline hall with the TV vultures flapping about them, trying to squeeze out scraps of coverage, to be cut, de-contextualized and perverted later. When did they realize what punk means? Surely it was at some early point of their 16 yearlong career? Then how are they still doing it? How are they not letting the weight of disillusionment sink them into their graves? That is the story I want to write, despite the ‘who gives a fuck’ snorts from around the office, and the Jam Sandwich affair confirmed that it is a story worth telling, even if just to myself.
As with most things, the initial idea is great – pit two bands of totally conflicting styles and make them record a song together, videograph the whole process, supposedly look into their souls and broadcast as an hour-long program on national TV. And, by God, if the people producing it actually cared about music, it would have been magnificent – the mash-up track by the Hogs and the Terrible Twins, an ex-gangster Afrikaans rap duo from PE, is fucking amazing. If they cared about music, they would not put the bands through the humiliation of having to play a fake non-show to an empty hall, with day-time fill-lighting, for their ‘live performance’ shots. It is clear that the producer, whose beady eyes and wicked little smile inspires no trust, has never been to a rock show, all she is concerned with is putting the bands in compromising situations, pushing controversial topics down their throats. Add to that miles of bureaucratic red-tape, over-the-top secrecy about everything, lack of any real organizational skills and you will be vomiting at the mere sight of any television set you come into contact with. The cogs are turning, the machine is churning, but the Hogs are optimistic about not being crushed in the general sick of it all.
At one point, Lee Lips tells me that Mahala ‘are the punk rockers of the journalism world’ and, from him, that is the highest praise possible. Right now im not so sure if Mahala is really that punk, but let’s hope I’m wrong. Lets hope I’m very, very wrong.
*All images © Camilla Rose.