Out of Step, with the World

So I woke up this morning (Saturday) around 8:30 am…I watched License to Drive, then utilized my own by cruising down State Street listening to Dag Nasty ‘Can I Say.’ En route to nowhere in particular, I stopped on Dobbin’s Landing to hang out along the water. Sitting by the bay relaxing, I was distracted by three teenage kids in mommy’s Subaru honking at me. These youths were no older than 16 and had black shirts, dog collars and spikey hair (I think one kid have a winter hat on.) Curiously, I turned to examine these youngsters who, at first glance, could be considered “Punk Rockers.” As I viewed these rebellious roughriders, I was greeting with lanky middle finger out the car window as they drove away.

Am I that much of a square? Am I not punk enough to hang with these pristine pimply buttocked teens? Were these kids dead on, or were they just uncultured human zombies with empty eyes and cable television? I have been up listening to punk rock for over 18 years and will forver live by the beliefs of individuality, self expression and D.I.Y. I have seen a wide majority of the finest bands the genre has to offer, from Social Distortion to the Descendents to Chaos U.K. I’ve played in punk bands and have made lifelong friends with people I have met at punk shows. When I first heard punk rock, it was loud and fast and the guys were ugly and my mom hated it and they didn’t play it on the radio and that was cool. I look at the modern face of this music now and none of these attributes apply.

It has always bothered me that punk rock is the only music where fans compete amongst each other for supremacy. I mean, have you ever heard two dudes bickering “Naw man, I’m way more hippie than you are dude!”But within the rebellion realm, it has morphed into “Who’s the most punk.” I recently read an article in Alternative Press, (at one time a GREAT underground music magazine, now a shitrag which takes it cues from MTV) and they were interviewing some twirp ‘punk rocker kid’ about the differences between real punks and posers. Apparently there are rules to follow in order to be a ‘real punker.’ I always thought the whole punk rock aesthetic was about going AGAINST the system?

Actually, I guess I could be construed as “selling out.” I went and got an education, I cut my hair (which has since grown back) and I have a real job. But when 4:30 pm on Friday rolls around I kick open the door, peel off my shirt and sing along with Black Flag on my way home from work. It’s all about balance. It’s all about doing what you want.

Maybe I just wasn’t punk enough to be accepted into those kids’ ‘punk pit.’ I guess I never received the 2005 edition of the “How to be a Punk” …or maybe…or maybe I’m still writing the book…

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