THE AESTHETIC OF UNPLEASANTNESS
PUBLISHED 16 July 2017
The internet & especially social-media have thrown us all back together again just like high-school & we're being judged as a vast mass - all around the same criteria as if we have anything in common except for being lumped into this same fucking hell hole we're all trying to get out of or just barely tolerating. Who will you sit next to this year? What stupid metric will they be judging you against? Will the teachers be on your side or against you? I'll bet it's something I don't give a fuck about.
Your musical theme for this piece - the Anti-Nowhere League - So What - Unpleasantness for Unpleasantness' sake.
In 1975, Lemmy Kilmister told Sounds that Motörhead would be “the dirtiest Rock&Roll band in the world. If you moved in next door, your lawn would die.” Motörhead - meaning "speed freak" was the dialed back version of Lemmy's first name for the band - Bastard. It was all a bit of Aesthetic Unpleasantness - it's not the point of it & it's not actually unpleasant - it's about creating a distance between us & them. A distance of unpleasantness that says, "don't bother" & "not suitable for squares". We deliberately present an unpleasant front in order to signal to other people who also don't give a shit - look, I don't give a shit either, let's be pals & to everyone else - fuck off.
It is about being at the cross-roads where the energies are strongest, where you can get the most charged up - but it isn't about any of the paths - it is about channeling those energies for your own stuff - not about adding to anyone else's nonsense - or at least - not anyone who doesn't get it. This is the reason for the leather, the studs, the spikes, the hair, the makeup, the chains, the skulls, the boots, the offensive imagery, the attitude - you have to be armored in order to survive in that battlefield - you have to create a force field of unpleasantness. You also have to be serious in how you don't take yourself seriously.
The Aesthetic of Unpleasantness usually goes hand in hand with satire & parody - Punk Rock having very satirical underpinnings - I went from listening to Dr. Demento's comedy radio show - where I discovered the Ramones - to listening to the Ramones & the Sex Pistols & the only substantial difference was that Punk Rock was cooler & it gave me a thing to be instead of just being a weird kid who liked making fun of things. But within this unpleasant framework - in that constantly shifting world of boundaries, borders & lines to walk or cross - it is like trying to use the gravity of solar system - but not get stuck in orbit. To mooch off of the energy of Saturn without just being another Space Rocker - following along in its wake. These planets have a lot of gravity & it is easiest to just let yourself go along with them - but this is what regular people do.
Handling cosmic energies isn't easy, safe or recommended by society - I would be quick to warn anyone who wants to dip themselves into that swirling vortex - it is a way to not just burn your candle from both ends - it is throwing the whole candle into the fire! A lot of people who try to mess with this stuff end up dying, going insane or having the same energies sucked out of them & being left like husks - drying in the wind. BUT - that's the thing about life - no one gets out alive & that's the point! So - if you're going along to get along - get out - i'll add a few more skulls & other nastiness to the outfit to remind you, we're on a cosmic adventure & your fucking high school rules don't apply here!
- Sean Äaberg