Title: AnarchoShorts
Subtitle: Sex Pistols credit card...Charges dropped against Subcommandante Marcos
Notes: Fifth Estate #396, Summer, 2016

Anarchy in the UK, the Sex Pistols, the athletic shoes...and the credit card!

Beginning in the late 1970s, punk as a form of rebellion, along with the do-it-yourself ethos, engaged many people with anarchist and anti-authoritarian ideas.

But, whatever happened to the Sex Pistols, one of the punk rock scene’s founding groups?

After playing together for less then three years, they broke up in 1978, and went their separate ways, twice reforming for reunion tours including one in 2007–8. Their earlier affronts to authority with songs like “Anarchy in the UK,” “Pretty Vacant,” and the anti-royalty, “God Save the Queen,” made them wealthy.

Since classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Bob Seeger sold their songs to sell cars, aging punk rockers are probably equally happy to cash in their once rebellious stance.

Among the Sex Pistols off-stage money-makers is one marketed by a U.K. company, Fragrance and Beauty Limited, that released an “authorized” Sex Pistols scent in 2010. According to the firm, “the fragrance exudes pure energy, pared down and pumped up by leather.”

In 2015, the alternative multinational banker, Virgin Money, began issuing credit cards featuring art from the Sex Pistols’ classic LP, “Never Mind the Bollocks.” The average annual interest rate in the U.S. for the cards is 15.88 percent.

Sure, it’s a rotten deal, Johnny, but there’s more. As of this Spring, you can use the card for Sex Pistols sneakers! A footwear collection from Converse features punk-inspired details and, according to the blurbs, “edgy artwork brings the wild spirit of the mischief-loving musicians.”

Could ya puke?

Marcos Charges Dropped

Subcomandante Marcos, the longtime masked spokesman for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, EZLN, will no longer be pursued by Mexican authorities on charges of terrorism, sedition, illegal possession of military firearms and other crimes.

In February a Mexican federal judge ruled that, after more than twenty years, the order for the arrest of Marcos had expired. At the same time the court announced that warrants issued in 1995 for ten other EZLN members had also expired.

The EZLN declared war against the Mexican state on January 1, 1994, the day that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect. During the 21 years that followed, the Indigenous struggle in the state of Chiapas, with which the insurgent army has been affiliated, has had the solidarity of anarchists worldwide.

In a public statement in 2014, the Subcomandante announced that “Marcos, the character is no longer necessary. His character was created and now his creators, the Zapatistas, are destroying him.”

Taking the name of a recently fallen compañero, the EZLN representative has been known since then as Subcomandante Galeano.