The Punk Movement And Reggae Essay

2243 words - 9 pages

An examination of American counterculture as it exists today would make for an excruciatingly boring 15 pages. I refuse to drag you along in a discussion of my generation, devoid of originality or conviction, in an age where the so-called subcultural movement, if one even exists, is defined by apathy. While institutionalized American greed, exploitation, entitlement, and deception propagates at an alarming rate we find ourselves enveloped in our own narcissism. It is much easier to update our Facebook statuses than to face that the human race is driving itself into extinction as we defecate into our resources and onto our neighbors. In a world full of distractions and convenience there is simply no room for a rhetorical movement; maintaining opulence takes priority over basic human decency and few care to realize that we are pawns in operations all leading to our ultimate demise. If we had half the conviction of our predecessors, perhaps I could speak proudly of my generation; instead I am left to admire the rhetorical movements of yore.

I am not going to waste your time by writing exhaustively about how and where Reggae began for three reasons: 1) you definitely know; 2) you have read at least 25 papers before mine with explicit and redundant descriptions of the birth of Reggae; and 3) I don’t think that much else matters for the purpose of this paper besides the reason behind the formation of Reggae culture. Karl Marx once said, “Jamaican history is characteristic of the beastliness of the true Englishman,” which alone designates causation for a raging revolution. Jamaica was stolen, pillaged, exploited, cultivated, massacred, raped, and defecated on by the British empire. With its social darwinistic institutionalized racism and racial subjugation, there is nothing even remotely surprising about the civil unrest that plagued the Jamaican people for centuries. British colonialism oppressed the minds, bodies, and spirits of the Jamaican people. There needed to be a response. Thus, there was reggae culture.

Greedy and exploitative America is the principle villain in both the punk movement and the mature manifestations of the Reggae movement (but guess who America learned it all from? cue the original God Save the Queen.) Jamaicans thought they had overcome Britain’s institutionalized racism in gaining their independence, but after only 16 years of independence

Unlike the reggae movement, there is not a single place to which the dawn of punk is attributed, but rather a set of injustices and frustrations in several Anglophone countries (although that is not to say that punk is exclusive to Anglophone countries, as the uproar had various global manifestations, particularly in other parts of Europe and Japan.) Most often, punk is said to have originated in America and to have reached the UK to inspire the overtly publicized British punk movement. If America had started the punk movement, then, there is still the debate of which band...

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