I kulturtidskriften The Baffler, nr 5 - 1993, kommenterar Thomas Frank
de många alternativa kulturer som tenderar att finnas i kapitalistiska samhällen:
There are few spectacles corporate America enjoys more than a good counterculture, complete with hairdos of defiance, dark complaints about the stifling ‘mainstream,’ and expensive accessories of all kinds. ..
Bland ananat kommenteras föraktfullt den "alternativa" rockmusiken på 90-talet:
Almost without exception, the groups and music that are celebrated as "alternative" are watery, derivative, and strictly second-rate; so uniformly bad, in fact, that one begins to believe that stupid shallowness is a precondition of their marketability. Most of them, like Pearl Jam, play pre-digested and predictable versions of formulaic heavy guitar rock, complete with moronic solos and hoarse masculine pourings.
Franks poäng är att allt kommersialiseras i kapitalismen - inklusive den alternativa vänsterns kritik mot kommersialiseringen. Han exemplifierar med bandet Stone Temple Pilots:
A band called the Stone Temple Pilots, who grace the cover of other national magazines, have distinguished themselves as the movement’s bargain boys, offering renditions of all the various "alternative" poses currently fashionable: all in one package the consumer gets sullen angst, sexual menace, and angry pseudo-protest with imitation punk thrown in for no extra charge.
Bästa formuleringen är kanske denna
Marx’s quip that the capitalist will sell the rope with which he is hanged begins to seem ironically incomplete. In fact, with its endless ranks of beautifully coiffed, fist-waving rebel boys to act as barker, business is amassing great sums by charging admission to the ritual simulation of its own lynching.
Frank avser själv kritisera kapitalismen. Men det är inte enda tolkningen...