Rock ‘music’ is a cultural disaster

It was as if Dalrymple had gone round Pakistan impugning the character of the Prophet

Rock ‘music’, writes Dalrymple,

is the nearest to being sacrosanct of anything that we now have in the Western world. If you suggest that its ubiquity is anything less than a cultural triumph—that, on the contrary, it is a cultural disaster—you will soon be the object of execration the like of which you will never have experienced.

He reflects that he once wrote an article for literary magazine in which he made the point that

a rock ‘concert’ is like a fascist rally of libertinism.

This was too transgressive for the magazine, whose staff threatened to resign en masse if the article appeared. Dalrymple had touched a raw nerve. He observes:

The eagerness of young people to abandon their individuality at rock ‘concerts’ by uniting themselves in an hysterical quasi-communion with thousands of others, making gestures not very different from fascist salutes in response to a carefully staged event, brings Nuremberg inevitably to mind. I have always detested (and feared) such manifestations of individual submission to mass conduct, whether it be in football crowds, political rallies, prayers in unison or rock ‘concerts’. It is the voluntary abrogation of human freedom and therefore of responsibility; it is the beginning, though not the end, of brutality.

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