Raoul: I guess the first thing that most people want to know is, how did you get to be a countercultural activist?
Reinhardt Haydn: It’s difficult to say – so often the first thing that people want to know can be pretty prosaic. Something like ‘any idea where the khazi is?’ The questions about counterculture activism generally come much later. If at all.
Raoul: Right. Reinhardt, how did you get to be a countercultural activist?
RH: That’s not a term I’d use to describe myself.
Raoul: But you do. I’ve heard you do so on numerous occasions. You told John Major exactly that.
RH: Yeah. But that was pretty much a ploy to get his alarm bells ringing.
Raoul: What was the point of that?
RH: I wanted to see how he’d react to that kind of heavy situation.
Raoul: How did he react?
RH: I think he basically freaked out and shut down.
Raoul: How so?
RH: He just looked straight at me and said, ‘I see, have you met Norma?’
Raoul: Maybe he didn’t hear you…
RH: I’m pretty sure he did. If you ever meet John Major, you’ll notice how good his teeth are. Very white. Strong. I doubt that anyone who was signed up to such a good dental care programme would be likely to let his hearing go to pot.
Raoul: Do you approve of private health care?
RH: Sure. Except that it ought to be free for everyone.
Raoul: But then it wouldn’t be private, Reinhardt
RH: Only if you apply the dogma of the current regime.
Raoul: Getting back to my original question; when you describe yourself as a countercultural activist, what exactly do you mean?
RH: Yeah. OK. OK, I accept that at some point I may have described myself as a countercultural activist. However, these are not absolute definitions. The degree to which I am effectively a countercultural activist depends, at any given point, upon a number of variables.
Raoul: Such as?
RH: Firstly, the extent to which that which the current counterculture embraces that which corresponds to my own opinions – which in turn determines, in part the level to which I am active within said counterculture. And (b), how active I’m feeling.
Raoul: So right now, how do you feel about the counterculture?
RH: That kinda depends…
Raoul: Upon what?
Raoul: What – the woman from the Manson Family?
RH: No, the pop group.
Raoul: How are your feelings in respect of the current counterculture determined by Kasabian, the pop group?
RH: Well, basically it depends whether Kasabian are representative of the counterculture, or the culture to which the counterculture is in opposition to.
Raoul: I see. So, what if it was the case that Kasabian, the pop group, were representative of the counterculture?
RH: That would mean that I would have to disengage from countercultural activism until this was no longer the status quo.
RH: Because they’re rotten.
Raoul: In what respect?
RH: They’re a boy band. They’ve got some vague pseudo revolutionary gimmick, which is their version of The bay City Rollers’ tartan – although, it has to be said, that unlike Kasabian, the Bay City Rollers were deeply subversive – there’s no genuine revolutionary intent and they sound like a bad Primal Scream tribute act. They’re as bard as the Manics. At least with The Alarm, you knew what they stood for and they had a solid ideology.
Raoul: Which was?
RH: Something like, ‘we’d like to be The Clash, please’.
Raoul: So, therefore – if Kasabian were representative of the mainstream culture, then you would describe yourself as a countercultural activist.
RH: Absolutely. You bet.