Thursday, 10 December 2009
Disclaimer: I understand right after this, I am going to probably get plenty of nasty comments and have plenty of little kids threatening to defecate down my throat and pound me with their swizzle sticks. I'm here to tell you, kick rocks. This post is too mature for you to understand.
Punk, to me, is a genre or a culture that very often eats itself.
It was supposed to be the aftermath of being exiled by "normal" society, and an embrace of what other people in society call mistakes. In other words, punk embraces everything they can't be in society: abnormal, outside the lines, complete screwups, and complete failures on the parts of those that raised or educated them. Because they know in some way they are not always ordinary, and very much think for themselves.
The problem is punks seem to think that the same sound, same dress code or the same attitude of punk is the key, when it has mostly faded into being as ordinary as the things the claim to despise. In fact, the idea of punk was that anyone who did it or joined in the culture was not even cool or couldn't be cool. In turn, those who could relate or build a community around it turned something underrated and small into "cool". What irony, huh?
For example, skating to punk, dying your hair, being mean: that is the typical act of punks. Now, I know the idea of punk is to be against the grain, but more and more, kids are trying to adopt this, thinking this is how you go against the ordinary. There has been plenty of bands that do it well, just by calling out the whole culture and noted it for what it become: Dead Kennedys and NoFX both were well-known punk rock bands that dared to speak out against the genre, because it has become samey or it never really lasts.
Where a lot of bands were liberal, Johnny Ramone being one of the first recognizable Republican punks to ever turn people's hypotheses of what punk is or became right on its head. Where more punks created Rock Against Bush, he was one of the punks to openly support George W. Bush. Clearly, "always" and "usually" isn't in the vocabulary of those who really understand the culture and the protocol of punk.
Because of this, every time an emotional person (emo), or a Christian person or anyone that does the exact opposite of what punk was in the beginning, punks living by the old-fashioned rules sport quite an elitist attitude, when in the grand scheme of things, Christian punks, Ukranian punks, queer punks or even (aye caramba) Nazi punks understand the meaning of punks goes against the fashion of such genre.
Every person who got interested in the genre are so fixated with the speed guitar and drums, the rebellion hair and all that they forgot the whole point of punk being born was because kids out there are being teased or chastised for what they are, and this was their home to be themselves, and to remind other people, assuming they care, that this is what they are. Maybe, even try and prove that across the world, there are people just like them. It was a safe haven for people who have been dissed, beaten, rejected or undermined and need a community that just happens to be equal opportunity, whether most of us liked it or not.
So, if that was the case, how did punk some of the time become a little (oh, I don't know) elitist or normal?
Mancouch Says: Punk became normal because of the emos and Christians and such jumping on board. Christians and Republicans are part of mainstream society. They aren't creating their own subculture, they are just appropriating the look and sound for their purposes. As you yourself said this is what punk has become. But it is because the normal people joined. Nazi punk is an oxymoron. Just because it goes against the grain of the genre does not mean it is living up to the true meaning of the genre because simply by being a Nazi they are making sure that what was supposed to be a safe haven for misfits isn't one. Intolerance of intolerance is not intolerance. Queer punks is a natural fit and when punks exclude people because of their geographic region that shows elitism, but it's more of a defense mechanism because of the Republicans, Hot Topic shoppers, Christians, Emos, and Nazis that want to appropriate their community's icons and emblems for establishment purposes. That said Punk does eat itself because success is deemed evil. Sorry for the long one this time, but this post hit my sweet spot.