On the dark side…


This very dark vision is a part of the testimony of my generation. Boomers used to say we were cynical, that we were too realistic, not enough idealists, and bla bla bla, and bla bla bla… We were only 15 and those of us who were lucide enough to understand what was going on in the world knew that all those dreams of « socialism » and « revolutions » were vain.

It is extremely difficult to write about the 1980’s. Because we live in this video-mass media world and it feels like everything has already been told, writen, thought, digested. But no, I mean, NO!

Most people writing about this decade were from the baby boom generation, from the 70’s and who reached their thirties in the 80’s. I do not belong to their generation. If I use Sartre’s definition, everything divide their generation and mine, actually. Only one thing relates me to them: when we were a children, the future was supposed to be bright, we were supposed to eat pills some day, have trips to the moon and get transported on a supersonic jet as easily as taking the metro. The boomers and my generation grew up in the same world.

But for them, the « dream » had a kind of reality. They could find jobs easily, they had a revolution in 1968, they could go the the White Island and dance naked in the bubbles of foam while listening to Janis Joplin. They even created the criterias of youth which are still available nowadays. Wearing jeans, having long hair, being cool and smoking pot, …! They benefited from the full employement when they decided to be « more realistic » as they say, the healthcare system was great at that time, and housing affordable. They were my teachers, they scolded us for being passive… I could add also that when they were 20, they could fuck as much as they wanted. They « experimented », some of them even talked about fucking with little children…

My generation reached its 15 when unemployement started to soar, we even got the first great recession between 1980 and 1983, with Reagan and Thatcher to manage it (hence, France was not hit by this recession because the government of Francois Mitterrand followed a different policy)! I heard about HIV/AIDS when I was 16, and the first pictures I saw, when I was 17 were extremely violent. When I was 18, the far right reached 11% for the first time since the 2nd world war at a national election. Since then, I feel eveything is just a never ending degradation, with false hopes sometimes here and there like the Summers of Love and the fall of the Berlin wall which preceeded the first Golf war and all those people dying from AIDS during the recession of the years 1991/1994.

They will have, they already have, pension after they retire at 60. My generation won’t, and if we have one, we will have to work until 70. There will be a war someday, maybe someone will press the red button and will kill several millions of civilians. Global warming will do the rest, and the fight for survival and ressources will certainly be the main trend of the 21st century. Who knows, Ebola will help to accelerate this trend of an irreversible decline…

This very dark vision is a part of the testimony of my generation. Boomers used to say we were cynical, that we were too realistic, not enough idealists, and bla bla bla, and bla bla bla… We were only 15 and those of us who were lucide enough to understand what was going on in the world knew all those dreams of « socialism » and « revolutions » were vain. We had hopes, and many of us campained for causes, but we knew there was an illusion to believe we could live in a beautiful and more perfect world. We just had to look at the boomers, they were around 30, and they were just losers. Not the nice losers, no, the pathetic ones, the kind of losers who do not realize they are old already, and all the words they used in their youth to judge the older generation were the ultimate judgement for their own generation. We absolutly refused to be like them.

We were more into intimacy, into friendship, into music, into the moment. Maybe because surrounded by more than 40.000 nuclear heads, we perfectly knew there was not much we could do. My generation didn’t achieve anything great, because we didn’t have these futile ambitions. That doesn’t mean we didn’t do anything. The energy of Act Up was the energy of my generation.

Dark. My generation has a dark side. A sad side. This is something you will never read anywhere because no one wrote about us. Eventually, Boomers specialized in sociology scrutinized us and wrote books to help our parents to understand us. But we were so modests we did not even thought we could be a generation, in the definition given by Jean Paul Sartre. Together, as defined as so by a situation. It might be the moment to wake up and have a look at the ruins the boomers are letting behind us, as the selfiest generation this planet ever had. After all, we are maybe the first generation who took the hit of the shocks to come…

On the Dark side of my generation, there was a band. Joy Division. You can not understand this band, this music, if you don’t have this anger, this dispair, this loneliness, this desperate lucidity. Joy Division was the dark side of the new wave, in a desindustrialized Britain, with poverty spreading, riots, in a world where a nuclear war was a possible option. No Future said the punks…

Closer is the second album of the band, recorded at the beginning of 1980 and released during the summer. It contains sublime arrangements and wonderful, dark songs. Two month before the release, in May, the lead singer Ian Curtis hanged himself. This gives this band the image of an incompromised band, forever, and a special status any other band would never get, never. This is maybe why the suicide of Curt Cobain made me so angry. So much business, so much commercial attention for a record company produced band, when the death of Ian Custis, singer of a kind of an unknown New Wave Manchester band was just ignored, even if the band was already one of the most important band of the 1977/1986 decade before becoming a legend. A got reborn as I will tell you the story tomorrow…

Where have they been… Where have we been?


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