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A Post-Punk Manifesto (1993)

Found in a now unfindable short-lived magazine Verbal Abuse from 1993 - a post punk manifesto by 'editrix' Chi Chi Valenti in a special Punk issue 'No/ The Future.' Coming out of New York's early 90s underground demi-monde (especially the legendary club Jackie 60) the magazine was, in this issue, boldly keeping the punk flag flying 15 years after its demise. It was a time of  AIDS and cyberpunk, just pre internet… Vogue was championing punk fashion for that fall. Contributors included Richard Hell, Matthew Barney, Patti Smith, Charles Henri Ford, Chris Stein, Alan Vega etc., We like a good manifesto and this is a curiosity- a manifesto after the event, proclaiming former glories possibly with a view to re-igniting the dying embers. But some say punk never died..

Punk made good on its only promise -DESTROY- by self-destructing while still in its infancy, thus guaranteeing eternal life.

Punks morals were spray-painted like prophecies on Paris walls by the rioting student of 1968 : 'NEVER WORK' 'BE CRUEL' 'IT IS FORBIDDEN TO FORBID.'

Punk made black-and-white beautiful in the post technicolor world.

Punk's name was already 'in the air' in 1975 when Legs McNeil and John Holmstrom founded their new magazine and a generation found its B-movie moniker.

Punk spit on its idols, who often spit back.

Punk was speeded-up Dada for the information age. Cyberpunk is faster by a thousandfoldfold: Duchamp's bride on overdrive with all of punks adolescent rage intact.

Punks  printing press was the Xerox machine. Tens of thousands of handbills, broadsheets and fanzines were distributed during Punk's golden age, most of them free.

Punk introduced the dominatrix as shopgirl (Jordan), as dream girl (Sue Catwoman) and as career girl (Anya Phillips). Now she's the girl next door.

Punk's most famous phrase was no future years before AIDS would prove it true.

Punk artists brought the old Situationist device of détournement (the theft of fine art and advertising images and their co-opting for propaganda purposes) to the masses. Jamie Reid's safety-pinned Queen Elizabeth is the détourned poster girl of punk.

Punk made the terrible child sacrosanct  and the martyred junkie a saint.

Punk was the final solution to the visual mistakes of feminism, driving a generation of girls to the bleach. Some have never returned.

Punk's call to arms was drafted by the newly formed Situationist International (S.I.) in 1957, the year Sid Vicious was born. It began 'first of all we think the world must be changed.'

Punk rocks again this winter if one is to believe the September issue of Vogue, whose writer hastens to assure her readers: "But don't expect any death-to-the-establishment messages this time."

Punk made fools of its merchandisers once, and stands poised to do so again.

Viva La Punk!

Chi Chi Valenti, Fall 1993

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