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Thirty-three years ago ...

An amphetamine-fuelled post-punk. Full of ideas and ideals – of how music should sound, of how films should look, how books should be written and media consumed. How barricades were there to be overturned, how history belonged to someone else, how rules were to be ignored, to be broken, to be consigned to the dustcart of history … consigned to a dustcart of history that no-one believed in. How politics was just so much politicking, how advertising was the only refuge of the scoundrel, how logos and brands were there to be re-appropriated, stolen, defaced and re-invented.

Thirty-three years ago … when every day was new. Was full of possibility. Was there for the taking.

Thirty-three years ago … when we lived a dream.

Of course, every cultural and counter-cultural movement lives through that same false dawn. That same dreamlike state.

It could be signified by the cut of a trouser, the shape of a hairstyle, the choice of a drug – whatever. It was simply the acceptance of a lifestyle choice (and this was in the days before the very notion of “lifestyle” existed, let alone the idea that there might be a choice involved). It was the sub-sonic rumble of a bassline. It was an atonal note played on a one-string guitar. It was a nightclub that had no name. It was the Berlin Wall. It was a dance in a favela. It was the South Bronx and the West End of London and a shantytown outside Port-au-Prince. It was … thirty-three years ago.

Time passes, as it always does.

Thirty-three years later …

It’s Romeo Beckham dancing in a Burberry advertisement, a football player earning in a week what a cinema usher earns in twelve years, a SmartPhone that tracks your every move … and click … and thought.

Hell, it’s progress.

But then again … something happens. Something that is a reminder of what it was to feel like thirty-three years ago.

An electronic message, through one of the many and varied platforms that we all use so freely now, that jogs the memory – that asks a question. That question being: Did you write this article thirty-three years ago?

Yes.

I did.

It was me.

I wrote about Lizzy Mercier Descloux thirty-three years ago. And I stand by what I wrote. What I remember. What I felt. What she meant to me. What we all felt, and desired, and believed. What we hoped for.

Thirty-three years ago.

Or was it thirty-three and a third? That would make a kind of sense.

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