I don’t remember the first time I truly listened to Joe Strummer.
It may have been when I heard “Clampdown” off the band’s seminal 1979 album, London Calling. The song warns young men of the inherit soul-crushing nature of capitalism and reminds them that they — not the government, not The Establishment — have control of their lives.
“Let fury have the hour; anger can be power — do you know that you can use it?”
That line was my driving force in 2016, during the height of the presidential primary cycle. At the time I was volunteering for Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist and agitator of the status quo. I found parallels between Sanders and Joe Strummer of The Clash: Both were champions of socialism and the proletariat, and both were vocal critics of injustice and the oligarchy.
Though The Clash became my soundtrack during that tumultuous political year, the band hung with me long after Sanders lost the primary, Hillary Clinton lost the general and Donald (more…)