I've chosen to limit my social contact, BECAUSE I love people and also integrity. I got tired of always having to find ways of expressing my honest
opinions and deeply felt beliefs without hurting the feeling of people who saw my views as judgements.
It is very hard to see people you care about buying into things (behaviours, popular opinions, consumerism actions) which you feel are detrimental to
them, their families, society...but when you try to explain this issues, you either offend, or scare them....either way a gap is created in your
I have recently been corresponding with a friend I've come to know a bit more this past year just through the net- he being in another country....we
had actually met in the states in the 80's in the "punk" music scene as he was a musician in a "punk" band for which I was a part of his
audience-part of the music "scene" of the day in that city...
it's taken me almost a year of contact with him, to discuss my true feelings on that scene as a whole...a scene I left shortly after meeting him and
he continued in for some...20 years....making several albums/cd'd and touring...
of course he never got rich...he never got paid...but that was the punk way...I finally got the nerve to say "bullsh*t!" to him
I was a great proponent of what I refuse to call punk music but have always called "hardcore" and "underground" mucic because I took exception to
the lable "punk" a derogatory term embraced by ignorant punks as a badge of honor...
I had liked the non-conformist message/and style of alternative music. Yes, even on a gut levell I liked the profanity at times, as base as it was
sometimes "f*ck" was a gret way to just express something with great emphasis for me . Yes, I know what George Washington said about vulgar
language, but nonetheless as a young person, vulgar language expressed the deeper anger and resentment and discontent I felt than trying to more
articulately express it politely-lol
Anyway, he's been rather receptive to my opnion on the punk scene, though I don't know he entirely agrees,...for one thing...it would mean being
both part of the problem and a victim as well...
I've tried to explain that the whole scene was controlled and subdued by introducing the propaganda that "true punks" in contrast to posuers were
all about music and and non-conforming...but really they were all buying into conformist crap of the worst sort!
They all conformed to ideas handed to them as to what it was to be "punk" and this was: to dress punk (even at great costs at times-leather jackets,
expensive boots, tattoos, piercings alternative jewelry, etc) and to act punk (be anti-authoritarian, take jobs that would not make you conform to the
enemy-society. (thus you wouldn't put it behind you for a decent paying job)
...and above all...listen to punk music...local music and music of actual punk bands recorded on indie lables...love it, live for it...but uh...never
pay too much for it...WTF?
Hell no, punk musicians weren't in it for the money, they were in it for the statement, so they should never expect their "fans" to pay much...if
they expected that they'd lose all credibility as punks! Theyd be seen as selloputs.
If local establishments wanted to draw in the punk crowds for their audience/consumers...they knew they could only charge $4 at the door for the show
or they'd be boycotted....so then that's what they'd charge...of course then they can't pay the band sh*t either.
My view was that these ideas is what controlled and repressed us (me being a "punk" at the time...) I began to rebell against this idea...I had once
shaved my head to 1/2 inch all around so as to displaya dyed an anarchy symbol in balck on the dyed red hair...
but I realized my statement was not individualistic in this scene, and decided to stand out and grow my hair out...and I left the leather jacket at
home and began to simply wear jeans-clean ones- and nicer shirts when not wearing a band T...but I did wear band T-shirts because it SUPPORTED the
bands...thus funded the scene as well...
I also got a regular job...yep, let someone else tell me what to do and how to do it, and was in the service of the very public I had some derision
My credibility as a "punk" was questioned in the scene...even to the point of thretened viloence at this point, whereas when I looked punk (and mean
I guess) my status was never questioned...but now it was since I looked so "conformist" now...
however it was I who was helping the guys in local bands pay the rent, set up weekend gigs and buying amps for their guitars...all because I had a job
and the money to do it...and trying to preach that it was ludicrous to think punks who could buy jackets, jewelry and tatooes, couldn't pay more than
$4 to see a band...
I got exasperated with the ignorant idea that being punk was being about partying, listening to music, and being non-conformistly (is that a word?
... when all I saw was a herd of people all falling prey to a propaganda that would keep them controlled, impoverished, and never respected as people
of thought or relay a social message beyond the fact they refused to conform
...at least outside of their own subculture.
I don't know, like I said I'm not very articulate or eloquent...maybe that's why no one understood me then,...well not no one...it's not like I
didn't know "punks" who were people of thought...but still they wondered...how to break this cycle of thinking...how to explain to the scene/kids
they'd been decieived from the begining...
See, they were quite happy with the way things were...felt comfortable with it, knew the rules and could live by them...and telling them they were
part of the problem as much as the "establishment " they hated and rejected, even living victims of that very establishment by being "punk"
instead of overcoming it as true non-conformists as they thought they were...was no easy task...
...and not many of the minoirty who saw it and understood wanted to take on the masses...the punk masses that is, and stand up to them... but all
around we saw the entire scene selling out to an idea of "punk" handed to them to control them...it was sickening
Like I was telling my friend..."it's OK to get paid!" it doesn't make you a "sell out" and he argued, no, it's a great theory but in reality,
no one is going to pay....FEAR CONTROLS
The bands were afraid they'd not get paid, the kids were afraid they weren't truly "punk" enough, or they'd not be seen as punk enough by their
peers (Since when does a NON-CONFORMIST give a rats ass (can I say "ass?" here) about PEERS?!?!?!?!?!" WTF!!?????????
But if they didn't go by the rules...look, dress, act punk...and never sell out to the establishment...*never pay much to see punk bands much or
they've sold out* (SAYS WHO?) *and so have you if you pay too much...you're a social sell-out*.... and thay all played by these rules...well who the
F*ck made those rules...HUH?!?!?!?!
Oh it so disillusioned me, and I'd have fought it like the caged wild bird...but I abandoned them to their doom and here is is 20 years later and my
friend had a good time, a good , though impoverished, life and he is just starting to see my point of view...yes, maybe by the time he was 10 years
into it it was too hard to change things...they'd become complacent as a band-were not trying to make a stand or push a message anyway-just playing
music and having fun...
but to me it could have been more...should have been more...even though bands do get paid better these days...the control is still there...the
peer-pressure is still there-the propaganda is still there...though I've gotten so old how do I know? I just know I never saw it change much on the
inside looking around or the outside looking back in....but I seem to see more retrosectively anyway...
sorry, I know this turned into quite a rant...and my message or point if there was one probably lost...
but I'm glad I finally felt I could speak up to this guy and really be me...and not feel I offended him or was rejected by him...but fear...fear
controls...fear isolates...I often feel isolated...I'm trying to understand what are my fears?...and are they legitimate...or handed to me to control
me, you know? In a nutshell, that is my life question...what are my fears...and from whence do they come?