I can’t get my mind around the fact the previous book by Trust magazine main-editor Dolf was released about 11 years ago. I vividly remember reading it and for the most part agreeing what was written. Got Me? Hardcore-Punk Als Lebensentwurf is a collection of columns published in Trust in between 1986 and 2007.
Dolf dove deep into the heart of the matter. Hardcore and punkrock are not just music genres but embrace a wide variety of aspects from politics, food, art and a general view of life. The beautiful german word ‘Lebensentwurf’ means just that. How have you planned your life? How will things you have dreamed of enfold over the course of decades? The writer’s life did not end in 2007, neither did his sharp view on the world surrounding him. The title of the new book, with columns from 2007 up to 2020, does not bode well for his thoughts about the time we currently live in. Losely translated it means; ‘Why does it take this long to get any better?’ He is right! Hardcore and punk have always had as strong message, but the world hasn’t shown any significant improvement over the past 35 years, the time Trust magazine has been around.
One major aspect stands out through many of Dolf’s writings: his discontent with consumerism which is plaguing the western countries. Germany isn’t, in that matter, any different from the UK or the USA. We, that is the majority of people, want to buy, consume, have and most likely dispose of goods in increasingly shorter timespans. Social media, which grew immensly in between 2007 and 2020 is not really helping as we tend to see only the best bits of any one’s life, and want to be a part of that too. For some pieces Dolf has really done some research in how capitalism is working, so it’s much more than just one man’s opinion. ‘Buy low, sell high’, even if it’s about a simple loaf of bread or meat. It’s obvious that a punkrocker loathes the idea a living, breathing animal is nothing but a commodity. Everything else links in with that… the environment, politics, the media and even religion. The core is that we not only have to think as individuals, but also have the courage to live besides the mainstream. To which I have to add ‘with respect and empathy’, as it seems that anger and aggression are taking over in the age of corona. This book is food for thought. The only food you can never consume enough of. Martijn Welzen