You know when you meet someone you always loved and you don’t know what to say? This is how we feel with Bad Breeding. Maybe other fanzines find it easier, we don’t. Bad Breeding is like a mirror, throwing back at us all we stand for and all we want a young band to be.
We could spend hours stating the obvious, instead, we just asked them one thing: How do we feel? Us, the youth generation stuck in a period perfectly described by Gramsci’s sentence “The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.”
Conflicted and often wrought with contradictions, both of the progressive and regressive kind. For me, I harbour near total disaffection with the prevailing system, but still feel that the current climate has the potential to push people to explore more functional and positive means of opposition.
In reference to your mention of Gramsci, I think those monsters you’re hinting at stem from the political mechanisms that govern and interfere with the everyday. We live in an age of perpetual distortion in the media and information we consume and that seems to nurture so much of the fear and anxiety we experience as a society. So many arguments are fought through convenient truths, twisted interpretations and strategic ways of filtering opinions into the public consciousness that it becomes difficult to gain any real purchase on reality. Instead, we live in an absurd environment governed by notions that have been skilfully simplified, where it’s often more comforting and immediately rewarding to accept the dominant modes of discourse placed in front of us.
Are we looking for hope? Results? Confrontation? Which phase do we live in?
The first phase for me has always been one of feeling disenfranchised and alienated, but if you’re able to move beyond the initial confusion of it all, there are far-reaching ways of challenging the current course. In some ways, the political climate in the UK has made me look closer at my own community, at ways of impacting the immediate. Once we realise and accept how complicit neoliberalism has made us all in each other’s suffering, the steps toward alleviating much of the inequality we experience become more obvious. It’s just reaching that point of realisation that seems more difficult for some than others. I suppose that’s part of the lasting legacy of capitalism in some ways… it has conditioned a defining standpoint that values individual gain over collective good, to prize material concerns in the face of gruelling social disparities.
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Cover photo by Owen Calvert