Speaking of rebellious rockers...it's generally agreed, by both fans and skeptics, that rock and roll is all about attitude, so in these post-modern, post-truth times, it's only natural and proper that Pussy Riot, a Russian group that has never released a record, has become the biggest punk rock band in the world. More famous, with more famous friends (from Daft Punk to Paul McCartney) than any other punk band.
Not on the basis of their music, which is unexceptional, but on the basis of their self-described "impudence." Being outrageous in an Orthodox church, for instance. Shouting at the tyrant Putin, miming playing guitars, but with no sound, for thirty seconds. The perfect post-modern performance.
For which they were sentenced to two years in prison yesterday, a sentence that rewards their "impudence" with preposterous over-punishment.
This has occasioned much commentary, but none more telling than from Irish novelist Roddy Doyle, who on his Facebook page recounts a conversation (of his creation, we presume) at a pub, in his usual profane, sly, beguiling style:
-That’s just middle-age. It’ll sort itself ou’.
-No. The Russian young ones. The group, like.
-What abou’ them?
-I can’t get me head around it. Hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. What the fuck is tha’?
-It’s just the excuse.
-It’s nothin’ to do with religion. They’re in jail cos Putin doesn’t like them.
-Is that all?
-Listen. Remember punk – back in the day, like?
-The Sex Pistols. God Save the Queen an’ tha’.
-I wasn’t mad about it meself. But annyway. It blew the other music away.
-Putin loves it.
-Serious. He’s mad into Gary Glitter.
-Tha’ makes sense. They prob’ly like the same videos.
-Ah now. Anyway. Fuckin’ Putin an’ the other cunts in the politburo all have platforms an’ silver suits, an’ he mimes along to I’m The Leader of the Gang an’ Do Yeh Wanna Touch Me.
-Ah, fuck off.
-I’m telling yeh. He’s been doin’ it for years. He fuckin’ hates punk.
-An’ that’s why those young ones are in jail?
-The Pistols made Gary Glitter look ridiculous an’ those three young ones make Putin look even more ridiculous.
Irony alert: Important to note that Gary Glitter was once a huge star in the UK, with many hit songs, including the (nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey, good bye) anthem often heard in sports arenas. Also important to note that he was convincted of possession of child pornography in the UK, and then, after fleeing charges on his yacht, traveling the world, and being booted out of Cambodia, again allegedly for sexual abuse of children, was arrested and convicted of child molestation in Vietnam.
Though in his 60's, Glitter served time -- about two and a half years.