The Best 90s Punk Compilation EVER!
Or was this advert the first ever troll?
Skiving off doing actual work at work, I stumbled across one of those remarkable cultural artifacts YouTube was invented for reviving. Now I can't tell you how well known it is across the internet, because I have better things to do with my life than poring over Reddit, but it's incredible. The video is an advert made at some point in the nineties for a "punk" compilation CD, staring two typical punk rockers cheesed off with the quality of compilation CDs. Finally, they've found the perfect one! Crass! Black Flag! The Germs! No, nope, and not at all! But if you like to do your punk rocking quietly in the afternoon, this is the record for you!
Amazing, right? And while you don't expect advertisers to be massive Crass fans, it did leave me a little bit confused as to the advert's motive. I thought to myself, there can only be three possible explanations for this video:
1) It's a genuinely misguided attempt at creating a Punk Rock compilation CD made by a bunch of clueless record label execs with a limited back catalogue.
"Hey, you know who we need on this compilation? That crazy guy who takes his shirt off n' shit"
"Nah, guy with the fuckin' bouffant hair."
"Nah. American guy, real punk rock shit, name begins with an H."
"Erm, Henry Rollins?"
2) They've taken on a liberal interpretation of the word punk, claiming it as more of an idea and an attitude than an aesthetic.
This is about the only thing that John Lydon and Malcolm McClaren could agree on, that punk was not really about a sound or look of any kind, but was more about a kind of rebel spirit. Of course this opened the door for prats in second rate bands to say things like "Of course, Rimbaud was the first punk," but there could be something in it. And why can't Crowded House be seen as punks!? They wore funny shirts and... well that's about it. But, umm, "Always Take The Weather With You" is a nice song right? It's a situationist anthem of sorts, isn't it?
3) It's the finest example of proto-trolling known to man.
When was trolling actually invented? And who invented it? Like punk itself, the concept is hotly debated. But my God, if this advert is taking the piss, then it's like a trolling cave painting, proving that the fine art was flourishing long before AOL was invented, let alone Twitter. There's something about those wigs, the delivery, the very idea that The Fixx could ever be seen as a punk band which screams: TROLLLLL.
So which is it? I'm completely in the dark, so answers on a postcard sent to the comment section please. All I know for sure is not to call that number unless you're looking for a reasonably priced Chinese Takeaway in Northern Missouri.