Joy Division Music Documentary, 2007

Posted: January 24, 2021 in Chat
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Last night we watched a biopic of English band, Joy Division, released in 2007.
This is not CONTROL, the film of Ian Curtis’ life, but a documentary.

It is the sort of documentary that you can bring away a different aspect every time you watch.
I can see many other aspects to the events, people, times, but for me this time it was this:

The distance of time gives such a perspective on many aspects of that era.
We both grew up in the same era and area of northern England.
Footage from the time shows just how shocking conditions were, conditions that we took for granted, our normal.
London, of course, was different, another world as far as living conditions and expectations were concerned.

And, yes, the north was badly, terribly, neglected.
The main industries were gone or were going, and as yet there was little to replace them.
The scars of war were still being healed. Twenty-five years afterwards.
Which also shows very clearly how little input had been provided by hugely south-centric governments and planning.

The biggest jolt came, though, with comments/reminiscences of their first meeting, by Annik Honoré.
She was a major member of Plan K, and was to become Ian Curtis, Joy Division’s, lead singer’s girlfriend (she has since died, 2014. Ian Curtis died in 1980).
The band were booked to play at Plan K, in Brussels. It was 1979.
It was their first trip out of England.
This also is very telling. There was so little money available, and so there was little outside travel.

Annik described them, as compared to her fellow Belgians and Europeans of the same age, as
undernousished, wearing thin, cheap clothes … thin coats in Winter.
They were barely 21 year’s old.

And we were. This was all of us.

On the whole most people in Europe were better fed, more aware of the world, more clued-in.

Why was this?
England had joined the EU only a few year’s previously. The effects had not yet been felt, recognised. Nothing yet had trickled down through society.
We were still living in English isolation.

Given five years and we were in a boom. It burst, but the way ahead had been seen, and we built on it. The fabric of life, and living standards, had improved hugely. Five years’ time and we could hardly believe how we had been back then.

I do not blame Ian Curtis’ death on these conditions. Is there a link? I don’t know.
This is not the angle I am looking at it all from.
But I will say that since those days there is a very well established epilepsy and autism centre, and care groups, set up in the area Ian Curtis lived and died.

Joy Division got their impetus from Punk.
The Punks used to say, Never trust anyone over 25.
The over-25s had already forgotten was it was like to be young.

Maybe We should now say, When the BIG decisions have to be made, never ask anyone under 50.
The under-50s never knew how horrible and grim it was. What we took for normal back then.

And now, with the huge unemployment from the prolonged periods of quarantine under Covid, on top of Brexit….
Goods are already becoming hard to buy; what there is available is becoming expensive. Quality of life, of services, and foodstuffs, is already falling.

Never trust anyone… who had not lived through those horrible times… to decide for you.

And do we turn against this present government for forcing this?
No, we turn on each other.

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