Punk Rock Is Good for Those Kids

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“It socialized me and shaped my values. If you wanted to be part of the committee that booked bands, planned events and made decisions about the direction of the venue, then all you had to do was show up, commit to clean the place up, and submit your suggestion for consensus. That was DIY, an ethic that became a religion and taught teenagers about individual and collective responsibility.

Most importantly: it was supposed to be a place where you would be made to feel unwelcome if you groped someone in the pit; if you made a homophobic or racist remark; or if you engaged in otherwise destructive behavior.

You could be drunk or high and have sex — you weren’t supposed to be, but no one was really going to stop you — but if that translated into behavior that threatened others, your ass would be kicked out. It was filled with contradictions — a scene that supposedly glorified nihilism and free expression being so rigid? — but they were resolved, intellectually speaking, according to the baseline principle that those were the basic social responsibilities needed for the world in which we wanted to live to exist, a haven from the aggravating bullshit around us.”

How can we say an ethos like that is wrong? The genre is telling the truth, the way they see life, the way they see politics and not whitewashing it because their are kids out there. They are giving responsibility to kids and asking them, “What are you going to do with it?”

Too many kids are growing up entitled and expecting society to give them everything. It’s not real life and it isn’t going to happen. Punk rock has a history of “do it yourself” and make it happen.

Fitting in with the Misfits

There are lots of kids that don’t fit in. They aren’t jocks, they aren’t cheerleaders, they aren’t at the top of the class or the bottom of the class, they aren’t dressed like everyone else, the list goes on and on. The bottom line: they’ll fit in with the punk rock crowd.

Punk rock is not exclusive, it is inclusive.  As Ackerman stated, punk rock was supposed to be a place where the instigators and, for lack of a better word, the mean people, were not accepted. You are encouraged to be yourself, be who you are. If you don’t have a crowd, make your own.

Saturday night I saw many different kinds of people. I briefly talked with a 39-year-old mom who was keeping an eye on her teenage son and some of his friends. Many of the people there were in their 30’s and 40’s. They had been fans of Pennywise since the beginning. The kids had nothing on these middle aged punk rockers.

If you have some aggression, some primal urge to get everything off your chest in a wild and crazy way, this is a great way to do it. Find a punk band you like, turn it up loud, and move until you can’t move anymore.

 *It’s not a forward, it’s a forewarning, you are warned before you read that this will probably ruffle your feathers, if you are uptight like that.


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