This year, the city of London is celebrating the 40th anniversary of punk with a series of events called Punk London. While there are surely many people who are enjoying the festivities, and some who are annoyed by it, one man is reacting particularly poorly, to the point that he plans to burn $7 million in punk memorabilia in protest.
The man in question is Joe Corre. His name may not mean anything to you, but he’s the son of Malcolm McLaren, the manager of the Sex Pistols, and Vivienne Westwood, the fashion designer who was greatly influential on the rise of “punk” fashion. This is how he came to be in possession of $7 million worth of memorabilia to burn.
Why is he doing this? To spite the Queen. You see, Punk London is being sponsored by the British Film Institute, the British Library, and the Museum of London, alongside other organizations. This does not sit well with Corre, who said in a press release, “The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard. Talk about alternative and punk culture being appropriated by the mainstream. Rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a f*cking museum piece or a tribute act.”
Corre plans to carry out his memorabilia burning November 26, the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols’ song “Anarchy in the U.K.” He’s also encouraging other punk fans to join him in burning their punk accoutrement in protest. Whether or not Corre is able to pull off the burning of $7 million worth of stuff remains to be seen, but it certainly seems like he won’t be too concerned about what the government or law enforcement has to say about his plans. Whether or not that is punk is in the eye of the spike-haired beholder.