Punk Rock Is Good for Those Kids

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Forewarning*: I know some people will probably read this and tell me a horror story about how so and so music is wrong and ruined their cousin’s great-aunt’s brother-in-law’s brother.  I don’t think that ALL punk rock is good for ALL kids. There are unstable people in every group and you never know what will set them off. There are always a few bands who aren’t ideal, in fact they probably shouldn’t ever play, for anyone. In the end, if you don’t like the music, don’t listen to it. 

Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com

This past weekend I went to my first punk rock show.  Nobodys, Guttermouth, and Pennywise were there. I don’t really listen to much punk rock, but of course I’d heard various songs from many different groups in this genre. Punk rock is primal and gets into your bones. It’s music you can’t walk away from without thinking about it.

Over half of the kids there for the first band were young, late teens, early twenties. Average kids, mostly.  While the band, Nobodys, played, these kids “danced.” You can’t really call it dancing, they thrashed, they jumped, they moshed. It was aggressive. They slammed each other, pushed each other, but always helped each other up. If one guy went down, three more were there to pick him up.

Punk Rock is good for your kids. 

Why?

  • They have a release – they have a chance to get out the aggression in a non-criminal way.
  • Punk rock encourages social consciousness and thinking outside the box. The people who live the punk rock lifestyle advocate for the weak and demand social justice.
  • If they don’t fit in anywhere else, they will probably fit in with punk rock.

Primal Release

When I read this bit about metal, I realized you could take out metal and insert punk rock.

Metal [punk rock] teaches people to leave the old ways and live a wild life without any constraints it teaches the man to turn it’s back to the old ways and look for a new order of things.

I think metal [punk rock] teaches man to rebel against any set government authorities and life order.

This kind of music preaches complete freedom from any normal habits, it pushes the fan to live on the edge, get the best of life, rarely talking about the consequences on the person who grasps this abnormal ways (ideas). 

Georgi D. Georgiev

However, these punk rock kids rarely get into trouble. They don’t commit crimes. They live out their primal instincts and urges in the “mosh” pit at concerts.

Keith Morris, front man of the Circle Jerks, commented in "American Hardcore"

“I hate my job, I hate my boss, I hate the people that I work with, I hate my parents, everyone’s poking their finger at me everyone’s bugging me, Friday a punk show comes around and I have a chance to go off” .

My husband noted that kids from the South hunt and that is their way to get out the primal urges. Kids, especially boys, need an outlet, it’s that simple. They need a way to get out the extra energy, the aggression. It’s not just about running ten miles or lifting weights for half an hour, they need to exert the aggression.

We need to stop telling our boys to sit still and be quiet. They need a place to get it all out. This can be that place.

Social Accountability

“Music is a voice for change, if people don’t use it for that, if they just use it to be hip or cool, they aren’t taking full advantage of it.” -Steven Blush

Punk rock music speaks out against social standards they don’t agree with.

Sonic Youth had a song on their 1992 record Dirty titled “Youth Against Fascism”, and it had the lyric “I believe Anita Hill/Judge will rot in hell” on it. It almost feels like an understatement to say that this lyric blew my mind. A man standing up for a woman—a woman he didn’t know, especiallly—in a dispute between a man and a woman over sexualized mistreatment?” -Amanda Marcotte 

Spencer Ackerman wrote about his teenage years and the positive influence punk rock had on him. He was part of a “punk club,” ABC No Rio, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Every weekend bands would perform and the teens would share in the collective responsibility of setting up, cleaning up and keeping the order.  He called it “the punk rock version of the Boys & Girls Club.”

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