A large part of me (especially that part whose interpretation of socialism is closer to that of north-east England than north-west England, though rest assured that my view is always far more internationalist and left-libertarian than that of David Lindsay, who appears to think the landed aristocracy is more quasi-socialist than Sly and the Family Stone were) does think that socialism and pop culture in the form it has come to take today and which Lex loves the most are irreconcilable, and if this leads me to say things that people who do not want to recognise the inherently political nature of every aspect of life in a capitalist society do not want to hear, then I really can't help that. I willingly admit that the actual sonic impact of the music I've written about hasn't been my strongest area - I realised that with a start several years back when I noticed that my LiveJournal piece about the Kinks' 1973/4 Preservation albums literally didn't mention how they sounded once. I don't defend that. But the serious study of mass culture needs specialists in each specific field, and my own expertise in the socio-political impact of a music can fit perfectly with the expertise of others in sheer sound.
Let us not forget, at this point, that I also got into trouble on ILM because of my po-mo, relativist streak, and for suggesting that the authenticist line that grime and similar styles do not "belong" in places such as the one in which I lived (and live) is profoundly problematic, to say the least. I can reassure Lex and anyone else of his ilk that I do not want a quasi-feudal or Communist Britain, or indeed the Clark/Lindsay nativist hybrid of the two. I just wish that, say, Martin Solveig's "Hello" was higher in the charts than played-out Rihanna songs (great as she usually is) or BRIT School pseudo-pop, and I notice the fact that in Scotland (and even more so in the wholly separate Irish chart) it is higher than many of those things, and I wonder whether Scotland and Ireland's specific histories may be a factor in this - whether political or cultural alignments deep in history, and long-standing battles against a former empire's attempts to bury them, may affect 2011 audiences' conceptions of pop, and where they want their countries to be in the world, which will itself be a key factor in which kind of pop they feel an affinity to. And I wonder whether someone like Alex Macpherson may come from a family where the idea of being part of a great power was historically central, and whether he may align himself to the present great power more out of a basic, elemental thrust to feel important, part of something the world supposedly aspires to as it once supposedly aspired to the values of the British Empire, than out of any genuinely progressive thoughts or aspirations. I also wonder whether he may be in hock to the things he is in hock to more out of a desire to distance himself from the values of learning and aspiration which he was probably raised for (as I was) than because he really does love them unequivocally and instinctively. This does not equate to puritanism, conservatism, Communism or a desire to censor and suppress. It simply equates to a desire to ask questions about the nature of the economic system we live under, and whether what we are being sold at the moment is as fulfilling or challenging as it should be. I really don't see what can be wrong with that.