X-Ray Spex front woman Poly Styrene passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. Germ-Free Adolescents remains on my Desert Island List of Greatest Punk Albums Ever, and Poly is as ever an example. (I still dress like her in these videos.) As French philosopher Jacques Derrida observed so well, “an example always carries beyond itself: it thereby opens up a testamentary dimension. The example is first of all for others, and beyond the self.” Thank you, Poly, from all us “others.”
3 responses to “RIP Poly Styrene”
Her amazingness will live on forever. She’ll always be one of my faves. Thanks for posting this!
Hooray for this post! Thanks to Threadbared I now think Poly Styrene’s voice opens up a testamentary dimension of voice in general—all the forms of voice and expression. Also, when I looked up “testamentary,” I found this, in relation to legal wills: “An individual is said to have testamentary capacity to make a will when that person has sufficient mental ability to comprehend what he or she is doing, the nature and extent of his or her property, the natural objects (which means appropriate persons or recipients) of his or her bounty, and the interrelationships among these three concepts.” Poly Styrene had the capacity to comprehend: what she was doing, the nature and extent of her voice, and the natural objects of her bounty. I feel so lucky to be one of those natural objects.
Final note: I really really love the song “Dragon Lady” by Geraldine Fibbers, which mentions X-Ray Spex and inhabits the testamentary dimension of voice. Turns out it has a real old-fashioned music video!
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