I wonder if my story is typical, but as I’m having this thought I know it isn’t. Society is not the same anymore. Well, it never was. Compare decades and noticeable differences are immediately visible. Still, there is a fundamental difference between before and after Internet. My story of discovering Joy Division is a random series of events; walking into the library, getting mysteriously attracted to the minimalism of the Unknown Pleasures record sleeve, borrowing it, and then just feeling blown away, transformed and disoriented after a first listening, a process that began instantly with the hollow, distant drum beat of Disorder and ended with the echoes of shattered glass on I remember nothing. And I see myself, in a state of total confusion, not understanding what just hit me, knowing one thing and one thing only, that the experience of listening to music would never be the same again.
Poor kids of today. Nothing to discover, all out in the open before you get the chance of finding out yourself. Still, every year a new generation of kids experience the same as I did once. Not in exactly the same way, after all, the times they are a changing, and in today’s society it is highly unlikely to just stumble over something, to do anything before reading the user reviews, and establishing that you are part of the same class of people. But whatever the story, and whatever the circumstances, every year a new generation of (lost, hopelessly romantic, slightly desperate) kinds find an entry point to Joy Division and discover it is an addiction for life. Every year a new generation of kids experience the same as I did once, that every single hook, every single melody and every single piece of Joy Division lyrics was written for them, and them alone.
Together we form a cult, a secret society. Outside we just nod when we spot each other, token of recognition, knowing exactly who’s in and who’s not, without wanting to give away our secret, opening it up to too many people, making it popular. We’re an underground society, steadily growing but not too fast. Some people have reunions because they were in the same class at school, joined a student union at the same time, or just spent time together in the military. They have a shared history, some shared stories, and a boundless desire to relive old days. If we would get together, all past and present members of the Joy Division society, we would have just one story to share; how we all, at some point, got touched (from a distance) by the magic and empowering feeling of not being alone, not completely at least.