|Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Is it me or is Punk just getting dumber and dumber?
I would like to hear your opinion.
|Why would the punk scene be serious about something like organizing workers when the whole punk
culture has the negative anti-job / anti-responsibility attitude? It doesn't apply to working class people for
the most part. Of course there are exceptions, but I'm just saying that's why you rarely see punks past
their early twenties. It's like oh shit; I've got to get a job to survive... I've got to cut my dreadlocks. If we're
ever going to see revolution, it has to be made relevant to working class families. I'm a punk, but I'm also
an Anarchist. Unfortunately the two don't usually go hand in hand.
I'm not encouraging people to drop out of the punk scene. Just to acknowledge what it is... a scene. Like
A//Political once said, "Revolutionize the world, not just your scene!"
Posted by Tall Paul on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 at 3:50 PM
|Punk as a sub-culture is seriously in danger. More and more, everyday, we see what we considered
our only means of security within the dominant culture either A) becoming more like the cultures we
oppose [i.e. elitism, scene creds, fashion points, sexist/homophobic/racist agendas, ect. ad
infinitum] or B) slowly integrating within the mainstream apathetic hipster culture. All else aside, the
music sucking and the shitty lyrical content in contemporary punk rock is all based on opinion. We all
have our different tastes in sub-genres of punk rock. Personally, I'm more into acoustic catchy
anarcho-folk punk, anarcho-pop punk, ect; I still listen to pretty much anything any crust kid listens
to... but musical tastes in punk rock are eclectic as fuck and I don't see that as a bad thing. The
danger we face as punks are like what we've seen with gopunk.com and conservativepunk.com.
Punks for the system; not only for the system, but for a totalitarian system, including patriarchy,
patriotism, and all that shit. The punk scene integrating with the mainstream (via hipsters, kroq, and
hot topic) has created a viable outlet for both fashion and music for middle and highschool kids.
What they've failed to provide are the elements that youth needs to question their position in our
society. Punk rock isn't mentally stimulating anymore, for the most part (save for the bands within the
anarchist and socially conscious circles). Mainstream punk does not provide that kick in the ass,
brutally honest message it did in the past (when punk rock wasn't just a fad or something to do to
stand out). Just my two cents...
Posted by Anarquista Borracho on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 at 5:42 PM
|I have to say, if it weren't for punk I may have never become a feminist or had any critiques that I have now about the
world. These started with me getting into punk. Kids that get into it have heart and energy and know that what they're
supposed to be is shit. They know they're being lied to. That's a good start.
things still great about punk
you can be dirty
people don't get plastic surgery
you can be odd
punks have a sense of humor
why punk is similar to jocks and cheerleaders
women compete and also try to be cute so idiots will think they're hot
punks dont put their drinking in check when it seems sooner or later everyone gets groped on or raped much due
people fight each other for their egos and cause they drank too much. almost never for good reason.
they think its funny to be shady.
people are proud to be alcoholics
theres a few for now
one thing though
i hope this isnt some place where people try to justify why they stopped trying
what people should do is try to become self sufficient and live with people of like minds who may or may not be
punks and try to make their dreams come to life.
because punk is not fulfilling deeply or financially is no reason to go become a hipster
keep your beliefs. dont get too burned, just keep trying or you can just sell your soul and become an idiot. use your
acknowledgement of the punk scene to just find good people. Just open yourself to different types of people. I look
for honest people with heart.
Posted by emily (G.M.T.) on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 at 8:49 PM
|(I got this email from my friend - I took the names off due to it was sent to me not to this board. But the words
touched my heart and would like to share it with you)
you sent an email to the _________ account about this but i figured i would write you from my account since i'm not
really sure how ____ or ____ feel about the issue...I know how ____ feels about it cause we have conversations
about this very thing like once a week it seems like!
But yeah, i understand what you're saying and feel the same way a lot of the time. In the past few years it seems
like a lot has changed. There seems to be less focus on doing things that are constructive and that make a
difference and more focus put on making money, fashion, and scene points. It's like people put more effort into
sewing patches on to their clothes than they do into trying to make a difference in the world. I don't know...i started
noticing a change in things a while ago. It seemed like, as the mainstream punk stuff got bigger and bigger, a lot of
people in the underground scene started trying to act just like the big labels. All the labels and distros starting
raising their prices on records and cd's...bands started worrying more about getting big payouts ...just everything
started moving away from politics and substance and towards making money and making a "name" for yourself.
And it seemed like, because of this, the emphasis on punk being relevant and revolutionary started slipping away. It
didn't matter anymore if a band had something to say, only if they sounded good and if they're records sold well...
I don't know...this is something that I can seriously talk about for hours..._____ can attest to that cause there are a
lot of nights where we'll talk about this very thing for hours.
It's just hard cause it's like, on one hand, I've lost a lot of faith in the punk scene because of the stuff that I have
seen over the past several years and in many ways I just want to walk away from it. But on the other hand, we are
always meeting people that tell us that a record that they ordered from us, or a song that _______ wrote, or a letter
that we sent them with an order changed their life and that is the kind of thing that makes me want to stay involved
and keep fighting. A lot of times my feeling is that, even though it seems like punk is becoming stagnant and falling
apart, it needs to have people that stay attached to it and put forth a positive message and speak up and say that
the way things are are not right. Cause if all the people that really cared about making punk relevant just dropped
out, all that would be left is the money grubbers, and the people that don't really care about the true spirit and
importance of the movement. Thats a lot of the reason that I still stay attached to it...to try and be that voice that says
that there is a better way and that tries to provide an outlet and source for people.
But sometimes it just gets really hard...and sometimes i think about walking away from all of it...but i just can't. At
the last show that Contravene played here in Phoenix, I quoted a couple lines from a band called Sweatshop Union
that say "we tried to change the world but we just talked a bunch of shit". After I said those lines I said something
like 'so lets not just sit around and talk a bunch of shit...let's change the fucking world' and after I said those lines I
almost started crying because it's one of those things where I truly believe that that is possible and that we could do
that, but I know deep in the pit of my stomach that most people don't give a fuck about that...they're more concerned
with getting drunk, or buying a t shirt, etc., etc. and it just pains me to feel so torn and uncertain about something
that used to make so much sense to me.
I know that there are good people out there, people that care and are trying to make a difference, but those people
seem to be so few and far between lately that its getting harder and harder for me to understand why i even want to
be associated with this thing called punk anymore...
damn, i guess this is just a lot of random thoughts from me here...i had hoped to be able to sit down and write
something a little more clear and to the point but there is so much shit that ties into this whole issue that it's hard,
especially on the computer...
i don't know, _______________________ doing constructive and positive things to make a difference, so hopefully
my thoughts can help or provide support or something.
i suppose i should go for now...its getting pretty late.
Hope all is going well for you. take care and i'll talk to you later,
Posted by MYSPACE LIBERATION FRONT (formerly J.Lee) on Thursday, June 02, 2005 at 2:52 PM
|I couldn't agree more with most of what your anonymous friend wrote in this message.
I think it is down to people like you, me, the person who wrote the above email, and others who still know what
this movement is truly about to link arms and get things back on the right track again.
All the Anarcho-Punk/Crust bands have been put up on a pedestal by so many of the younger scenesters, and
are being worshipped like they were rock stars -- THEY ARE MISSING THE WHOLE POINT -- it's not about
sewing patches on your hoodie, getting fucked-up in the parking lot and bitching about "The System" while not
actually doing anything about it or wondering "what Nick Blinko is really like in person" -- it's about ACTION; it's
about taking control of your life, your environment, your community, and creating something for yourself. It's
about resistance; it's about change.
The potential is still here -- it always has been; it's up to those of us with an understanding of what CAN be
done to continue to work together to educate and expand this potential into actual realization. Surely Jang, you
HAVE noticed that some of our number have returned to action of late after periods of inactivity? Why do you
think that is? We all know that there is much work to be done -- and here we are. Let's get on with it.
Posted by MYSPACE LIBERATION FRONT (formerly William) on Thursday, June 02, 2005 at 3:55 PM
|First of all, dont take punk so seriosuly! You cant rely on punk to actually pe a driving force for change can you? Keep your
ideas, and politics, we need them... but punk, for me, is just for having fun..... You didnt think we can make a revoultion by
growling over blast beats, did you? Punk for me, is to have fun, relax, listen to good music.... I would never get out of punk
because then what kind of music would I listen to? Coldplay or fucking KROQ or MTV??!! Fuck no! Punk has taught me a
lot of things but thats all its good for, teaching kids a few things, being the stepping stone to a larger thing...... Punk is
meant for fun, not for change.... But does that mean I would get out of punk? Fuck no!! Just dont expect it to be this huge
revolutionary movement and then your all good.......
Posted by AGAINST EMPIRE on Friday, June 03, 2005 at 9:57 AM
|I think that the punk scene can be very restricting after awhile. At first it's cool because you know you
meet all these people that are just like you and you learn a lot but after time, it's like there are all these
"rules" and not a lot of room for a person to grow or change. Personally I got out of the scene because in
Portland where I am from, it was very negative at the time. Most people I hung out with were alcoholics
and not really doing anything with ther lives. I got a lot of criticism for wanting to go to college and to
eventually have a job that I actually enjoy. It's ironic because a lot of punks are very intelligent people, but
many squander their intellect working shitty minimum wage jobs and by drinking all the time. Another
thing that really bothered me was how judgemental the scene can be. Whenever punks would get out of
the scene, it was common for them to be called sell outs or yuppies or a variety of other labels. It was
like friendships were based solely upon the scene itself and if a person changed and become
disinterested in punk, their friends seemed to vanish. There are good qualities about punk, but I
definately feel like it can hold a person back to base their whole life on it.
Posted by Katie on Friday, June 03, 2005 at 2:11 PM
|punk too me and i mean to me has always sort of been a joke, even back in 1981, when the pioneers of this
so-called revoluntary trend emerged from the streets to the stage, the bands were the fans, the fans were the
bands, not fucking rockstars!! or are they not, some think they are, believe me!!! i've been around since 1979
people i've seen everyone at some time or another, punk was a rebellion to the staus quo and too the music biz,
a from of protest and social change ??? dont know, it is a fashion ...skinhead or crasshead still a label and a
certain look , a way of thinking with limits and prejudice towards those that dont conform to its way......today its
even worse ....call them deadheads wearing black with patches, think the same, act the same..same fucking
farce!!!!...there not even punks!!!
Posted by Mark on Friday, June 03, 2005 at 6:40 PM
|looks like i am last in line to respond. I would have to say I am pretty bitter. I went from what I feel was pretty
extremist anarchsist punk organizing (a//political, crasshole collective, crasshole records, counter culture
newspaper, the Anarcho Punk Federation, counter culutre press, and the zine disorderly conduct on the side), to
moving to Portland. I thought in Portland I could just participate in the huge punk community there, rather than
consistantly being one of the few who did everything. what i found was that it was a joke. so many of the bands i
had booked that meant anything to me were full of shit, it was just lip service, so i basically made a conscious
decision to distance myself from that circle of punks. not all circles just the ones you all likely know in Portland. I
focused more on organizing and such and stayed on the fringes. I was pretty bitter.
BUT while punk seems to have soooo many issues around the word community, it is there. to some degree. I
know i will always find someone who isn't going to argue with me (nececcarily, i mean try and bring up straight
white male privilege to some punk boy....oh the defensiveness). But i know i will have a place to stay likely, a place
to go, meet someone interesting.
I guess the older I get I see punk as less of a movement and still as a monumental stepping stone for a lot of
people into radical thoughts and actions. its not the complete picture to me, but neither is Anarchism anymore. I
guess i try to take a step back and see for what it is and what I can get out of it, as well as put into it. (always the
commie at heart)
I would not say punk is any less exclusive to queers, women, or people of color today than it was ten years ago. I
would not say punk has more sexual assaults today than ten years ago. I think maybe actually, its talked about
more openly. in Portland, maybe not to that circle I chose not to be part of, but many punks talk about gender
dynamics, and queer anti-assimilationism, and being allies, and such. things that were takenfor granted at best
ten years ago.
and lastly i just want to say, while its been like five years since i was last in LA, I think its awsome that you all keep
the anarcho punk alive. I mean how many bands besides those in southern california even circle their a's or talk
about anarchism at all? none. and i think its sad that kids today don't even do that. but yeah, you all inspire me for
sure, and I am moving to oakland soon so i can come and visit!
anyways sorry for typing so much.
love and revolution-Angel
Posted by angel on Sunday, June 05, 2005 at 7:35 AM
|( Heres a long ol rant. Sorry, I might have some typos here and there)
I feel ya. Honeslty what I took from punk rock was the mind set of wanting to " be yourself" and well that I have
learned but being yourself takes alot of honesty and an open mind, some people think it's only " about themselves"
in the scene, about how they dress and who they can meet.It's not just a punk thing.I just wanted to be treated the
way I treat anyone.
The sad thing is that I come from a sad land called Carson and in my earlier punkish days I was made fun of by
other chaos punks for being vegetarian, bi, feminist, anti racist and so on. To them it was just about the look and
how much weed and beer they got. Both sides dressed punk but it meant nothing. I even got it from the gays and
other jocks, I mean shit, Negative situations are what sucked really. I never let the way I dressed affect my mind and
my passion, for wanting to make a change. I guess Punk is fun, but to me Anarchism is my way of life. It's funny
now that I'm older and don't look punk people treat me a bit different but still once I talk about how I feel or what I
think, it's still the same thing again. The cycle is endless.
If we as people in our personal lives can't make a change than whats the point .
Punk music can have it's good times, I mean I learned alot from Anarcho bands such as Crass, Subhumans,
Zounds. I never learned much from The Cure and that's one of my favorite bands. Im not gonna lie and say that
Punk didn't affect me, cause it did, I just took what I liked out of it. Honestly I haven't gone to a punk show in almost
a year and it feels great, I get more of my projects done without the use of a show, such as Food Not Bombs,
writing zines, having collectives. Not to say that shows aren't fun, but sadly I used to look for some hope in a show,
maybe people who wanted to make a change and help our community out, but that was rare.
A friend once said to me that "Punk is a gateway drug to Anarchism" For me it was and it was probally his gateway
drug also. I guess all in all, your life is your life, you learn from your culture, your music, your family,your friends,
your jobs, etc... and apply those to our everyday living. If we can take the best parts of those learning experiences
and make things happen than maybe we did learn something, if punk was one of them then kool but punk doesn't
run out lives, it was just there.
You might find some shady people at a punk show or even at a club, no matter were you are, but that doesn't mean
that there aren't some alright people out there.
I guess what Im trying to ask you J is Do you feel it sucks because of the way you see your life and how punk rock
can be a bit discouraging or do you just not like the punk scene for what it is. Sometimes I feel it's both for me. I get
a bit sad when Im at a show and see people fighting or talking down to others. That just makes me think that
people, not the scene needs alot of work. - M.T
Posted by CYSTAZONLY on Thursday, June 16, 2005 at 8:52 PM
|Punk is just a label just like anything else... who wants to be labeled??? not me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but if one wants
to hear really angry "punk" right now listen to then punk coming out of latin america... the 3rd world
conditions in latin american make liverpool and la bronx look like the the ritz carlton!!!!!! anyway fuck
labels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! peace....... glenn
Posted by Glenn on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 at 10:42 AM