Friday, September 16, 2005

punkfish - a response

so when other blogs have really great posts, i have this tendency to rant in the comments section, and i'm not sure people really appreciate that. so i'm trying something new. this is in response to Henjin's inspired (and inspiring) guest post on tesco's blog and keep in mind this is all just my perspective:

to begin with, you're right: punk is dead

that is the movement, the music (if music can die), not the attitude. the attitude is laying in wait for the right moment, the next great adventure, for its time to cause havoc again. i suppose you might say that it is waiting for a messiah - but then, aren't we all.

for those of us who grew up in the eighties and came of age in the nineties when punk had already made its point, become a "movement" and then a fashion, we had to discover punk backwards - DK was one of my first and i had to get to the beginning in order to realize that, punk had suffocated in its own puke and like all subcultures, it fell victim to the aesthetic principle: if you don't look like us or listen to the "right" music you're obviously the enemy. but that was in the eighties and i was still using kool-aid and permanent markers to color my hair.

by the nineties, as rebellious and violent as the punk-culture had become, you could actually go to HotTopic at the mall and for a few hundred dollars(!!!), come out looking like a street punk - if you hadn't noticed, this is a contradiction. most of the punks i knew in the nineties were strutting around like over-stuffed peacocks and projecting the "fuck you - i'll look any way i like!!" attitude to - well, everyone. these punks were aching for the same meaning, the same release that punks in the seventies fought for: the ability and expression of rebelliousness; but the media and fashion had already gutted the rebellion. (this is definitely not unique to punk - making something mainstream is a great way to tame anything out of the ordinary - it works kinda like kryptonite).

i didn't consider myself punk at this time and in fact i'm not sure i ever have, not even when i had a 4-in mohawk. i'm not so good with labels, you see, and besides i died my hair so much because i wanted to be born with purple hair (or blue or green or or or...). i had punk friends though and one of them (with a tri-hawk at the time) sat me down long before i ever "looked punk" and explained how i was like the seventies punks, the ones who thought too much and decided that the best way to be heard was to stand out and yell.

so where does all of this leave us in 2005? to be honest, i'm not really sure - i've basically lost interest in new music. "punk" fashion is now worn by pop-idols and many would-be punks are listening to techno, trance, house and lounge - some of which, like any music genre, is really good. i know there are still underground punk and hardcore scenes in basements across the country and college radio - if you can find a good one - is still a good, if random, place to find music that hasn't been stripped to fit the crap that mainstream radio pushes between commercials. Hey - there's always internet and satelite radio right?

there's a few punk and rock bands out there that i can still dig - Happy Anarchy for one, Flogging Molly for another, but as a whole it feels like since mainstream music is between waves so is sub-culture rebellious music - afterall, the two mirror each other like evil twins. my advice? listen to whatever you like, it makes no difference to me.

thanks again to henjin and tesco for inspiring this rant.
- mysfit signing out

9 little fish:

Blogger tescosuicide swam up to say...

Nice response. What if I told you that the guy who wrote that post is 24 years old? I've always been so impressed by his insight that I've been begging him to guest post for months!

Unfortunately, I disagree with you; The attitude has died. The style and the music has grown, in some ways for the worst... ie 'Hot Topic'. We who did grow up in the eighties were living on the back end of the real thing... you mentioned your style compared to the seventies Punks - that is cool, but at the same time it was the kids of the eighties that used the style to create the attitude. Walking around with home-made bondage pants, boots and a mohawk was a suicide mission. That kind of rebellion changes a person. The ones back then that didn't play the part never got to experience that feeling. In the nineties it became almost normal to look abnormal... this was the beginning of the end for the attitude. Now it's so excepted it's just silly. The new millennium has become 'everyone can be whatever they want'. So much for rebellion. I'm not saying childhood angst doesn't exist, that rebellion will always be, but Punk is gone dude. Consider it history.

2:39 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

i believe you - i know some very insightful people, and age is not the defining feature, it's experience and POV.

i think you're right about the new millenium - but i guess we're just going to have to disagree (but i'm not sure we do): the attitude is lost, that's all, not dead - punk itself will never be revived, this is true, it won't be punk next time. i just think that music is in limbo right now, society is in limbo right now and maybe this sort of "everyone's weird" societal expression was what we were fighting for but i don't feel any better, do you?

music has lost it's place in society and with everything that's been going on - i can't figure out why that is. to me it feels like the storm is just over horizon; like punk, metal, rock, hardcore etc, might be dead but we have not seen the end of the rebellion, we just haven't seen its new face - the attitude is waiting and we have not seen the worst of it either - but then, this might just be wishful thinking.

3:04 PM  
Blogger tescosuicide swam up to say...

"maybe this sort of "everyone's weird" societal expression was what we were fighting for but i don't feel any better, do you?"

Wow... I used to say that all the time! I think we're both on the same page from what I can tell, we're just saying it a bit different.


Go take my test at Blank Forever so I have a reason to fly you out here. ;)

7:14 AM  
Blogger Fence swam up to say...

Once you label something you are, in a way, creating something. And anything that lives has to die. Doesn't mean it won't be reborn later though.

Labels can also limit as they define.

11:30 AM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

anything with a personality has an end.

thank you, terry pratchett.

by the by, mysfit, i'm totally behind you on this one.

7:37 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

anything with a personality has an end.

thank you, terry pratchett.

by the by, mysfit, i'm totally behind you on this one.

7:37 PM  
Blogger malachi trizec swam up to say...

'hot topic' is owned by the same suits that own 'the gap' & 'old navy'...did you know that?

11:35 AM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i didn't, but i'm not really surprised.

12:29 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

yes well - i expect they're all owned by disney anyways

1:31 PM  

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