And when people say 'I learned all my politics from Strummer' I do worry for them. Well actually I don't. Serves 'em right;-)
I try to shrug The Clash off as being a bit 'naive', but they weren't exaclty 'youngsters' were they?
Hopefully The Clash (and TRB and bands like them) encouraged a few 15 year olds to think about politics and the wider world for the very first time. It's a bit like Prog fans learning to love Stravinsky or Lou Reed fans reading Dostoevsky and Delmore Schwartz. Aside from being drugging, boozing and shagging music rock n roll can open doors on to other worlds that your teachers and parents wont tell you about. Which is its great virtue, but the idea that you would still look at the world from that doorway as an adult is as frightening as the idea that anyone would base their adult political opinions on what a rock star says about the world.
If The Clash did give any political inspiration, it can only be for the worst tbh.
For one, were they about 'socialism'?
Probably not, but they claim to be.
Strummer would bang on about 'squatting', when in reality socialism is more about 'paying rent' to help your fellow man, not concern yourself with yout own little expectations and demands of the world. He especially didn't have to 'squat'. He woz not skint.
Nowadays we see that kind of thing demean otherwise legitimate protest everwhere.. I think you know what I mean.
And Andy Kershaw up until he was able to maintained Strummer was some sort of 'prophet'. Doh!
As LL said, it's their 'patronising' tone that rankles most!