I’m sure you are very “hardcore” and “hate the man” and all that other stuff you think your heroes were talking about in their music. Wow, you’re making a real difference in the world, right?
Listen to yourself. You have become the very thing you think you hate. You turned yourself into a second rate, carbon copy version of a faded ideal that hasn’t had a decent soundtrack for almost thirty years.
This isn’t about me trying to define “punk”.
It’s about letting the pretentious, self-appointed “real punks” know that they are full of shit.
Your revolution was created in a factory, packaged by the media and dictated to you under the false pretense of rebellion. You are not expressing yourself. You are expressing a marketing concept that has been Xerox copied so many times that the words are illegible and the meaning, if it ever had one, is lost.
You don’t stand for change, or revolution, or anarchy. Anarchists are born of oppression and circumstance and are the real deal. Real anarchists, I’m talking about people who lead movements, risk their lives and die in rebellion, don’t have time to be “punk.” Ironically, if you subscribe to the core concept of “punk” then they define it in spite of themselves.
Dominic Mallary, of the Boston band Last Lights, said: “Hardcore without punk isn’t music, it’s a genre of porn. And punk isn’t a genre of music, it’s a thought process.”
He is already more “punk” than you just for having said that. Add in the fact that he died – from injuries sustained during a live show (dude strangled himself with his mic cable) – and he transcends your “cred” one hundred fold … by accident.
Want another awesome quote?
“Fashion is never wrong.” ― Malcolm McLaren
Yep! That idea that you love so much and that belief system that makes you so special and feeds the “rebel” attitude that you base your snap judgements on was popularized by a guy who owned a clothing store.
Slow down purists, I didn’t say he invented it … but he did as much to popularize it as anyone. And why? To overthrow the English crown? Um, nope …he did it to make money. Oh, and he created a subculture in the process and convinced a lot of people they were world changing non-comformists because they all dressed alike.
In a recent article on Cracked.com about the “more punk than you” ethos, they stated:
“While there were a handful of Punk bands that attempted to affect social change through music and lifestyle choices, regional punk scenes quickly became a competition over who could spend more time and money letting the world know they didn’t care what anyone thought.”
Sound familiar? Be honest.
Sorry to burst your bubble but your precious “punk” is a product. It’s a faux revolution with its own haircut and a uniform you can buy. Worse than that, “punk” has been about elitism for the past 30 years and is as hypocritical and condescending as any Wall Street hedge fund manager ever was.
If you have ever condemned anyone for not being “as punk as you” then you are a lie. Some of the most “punk” people I know would punch you in the face simply for using the word as a noun. And I promise you that the most “punk” person on this planet, by its very cultural definition, has probably never uttered the word.
Make music, make art, make your own clothes … whatever. But define yourself by your actions and not with a word that you adopted under false pretense and didn’t even help create.
Real punks don’t waste their time “hating” things. They change things. – Allan Carter