I heard a cover of "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" the other day. It was electronica-fied crud, and it made me a little angry. Don't screw around with that song, I muttered.
But then somebody sent me this picture from a fashion website. This young man is wearing a shirt I've owned for 25 years and sporting a bag emblazoned with the logo of another favorite band.
Evidently, the 80's are back. I missed the memo. But if THIS is the version of the 80's that's survived long enough to become counter-cultural again, I think maybe we're going to be okay.
For those of you playing the home game, The Smiths were among the most important bands to lionize and valorize ambiguous sexualities, poetry, and irony. To a 16 year-old kid growing up in Omaha in 1986, they were a crucial discovery.
Joy Division also came from Manchester in the 80's. Singer Ian Curtis's life, as it's been written by his wife Deborah and by filmmaker Anton Corbjin, was a postmodern Greek tragedy. But before his death, he managed to embody and disseminate profound disabilities as revolutionary empowerment. I missed that notion at the time, but now that I'm the father of a developmentally disabled kid, I understand that unflinching and unsentimental depictions of what the French theorists call diferance are crucially necessary.
So the sun really DOES shine from our behinds. And our love's not like any other love. Fly those flags for me, kid. Whoever you are.