Punk is dead. New Yorker’s got a taste of its demise via a MET art exhibit, but the nail was hammered home with Queen Elizabeth II calling 2016—the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK” single—”the Year of Punk”. And Joseph Corré isn’t taking the news lightly.
According to a press release, the son of Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and punk queen Vivienne Westwood will set fire to his entire collection of punk memorabilia, estimated to be worth about $7.1 million.
“The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard,” Corré says. “Talk about alternative and punk culture being appropriated by the mainstream. Rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a fucking museum piece or a tribute act.”
Though dramatic in tone, it’s worth mentioning that the Queen didn’t actually utter those words, but the British Cultural authorities have stated that punk culture would be celebrated in 2016 with a “£100K heritage lottery grant” that will fund exhibits at the Museum of London, the British Library, Rough Trade, and more. And Corré’s own mother was knighted a Dame by the Queen herself.
Also of note, the anniversary is still many months away—the expected bonfire is set to take place in Camden on November 26. A move that has some critics questioning The Agent Provocateur businessman’s motives behind the early announcement, and it’s not the first time his pr relations have come under, ahem, fire. New York magazine’s Véronique Hyland deemed his antics “as punk as North West wearing a Thrasher shirt to Build-A-Bear Workshop.”
For his part, Corré sees the Queen’s nod as the ultimate sign of complacency amongst his British peers, noting the sentiment behind “Anarchy in the UK” is what should be celebrated. “A general malaise has now set in amongst the British public. People are feeling numb. And with numbness comes complacency. People don’t feel they have a voice anymore. The most dangerous thing is that they have stopped fighting for what they believe in. They have given up the chase. We need to explode all the shit once more.”