The riots in the U.K. in current events immediately remind me of the classic punk anthem by the Sex Pistols, “Anarchy in the U.K.” and its lyrics are still appropriate over 30 years later after the fact. Hit the jump to read more.
Though the topic of the riots in the U.K. is a sensitive subject, I feel that it’s also relevant to bring up this current event and the eerie parallel to the lyrics to the Sex Pistols’ song “Anarchy in the U.K.”
Particularly, the lines I am an anarchist/Don’t know what I want but I know/how to get it/I wanna destroy passerby/’Cause I wanna be anarchy/
No dog’s body/Anarchy for the UK/It’s coming sometime and maybe/I give a wrong time stop a traffic line/Your future dream is a shopping scheme echo the sentiments that many of the youths feel that led to the riots and the looting.
Strictly speaking, anarchists aren’t about violence and rioting, but in the situation I describe, the anarchy I refer to here is the lack of control the state has over the situation, and the “take what you want, do what you please” attitude, mixed with the rebellious punk rock attitude. The self-rule in this case isn’t about taking responsibility, but rejecting the established order while giving it the middle finger.
I enjoyed the attitude of the song and the definitive nature of punk epitomized in this song, and from the time it came, it was reflective of the alienation and frustration the youth felt. The situation has different conditions with the current riots, but the sentiments are the same. Look up “Anarchy in the U.K.” in Google and you will see many references to the riots as well, showing you just how influential the song was.