Over at The Ringer, I wrote about Guy Stevens, Federico Garcia Lorca and the fortieth anniversary of The Clash’s ‘London Calling’, an album whose clear-eyed humanity is as generous and galvanizing as any artwork I know of. Check it out if that seems like something you might like to read!
It starts in Camden, by the Thames, waters rising, alarms at full blaze. It starts at the end. An apocalyptic event, another kind of destiny. World War II and the bombing of Britain and the economic shudder of the empire through its shaky postwar years and the rise of the right and the shadow of the Cold War and the memory of the Aberfan disaster. Everything, it seems, is in those two chords. London is drowning and the Clash are … ambivalent? Stalwart? Maybe the word is prepared. Prepared for death or the feral future of life in the aftermath of utter catastrophe.