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Punk Rock Discotheque

August 11, 2016

15 years ago I fell in love with a genre that shaped my life forever. You guessed it by the title. I love everything about the punk genre. Sometimes punk songs are simple and are about simple topics, other times the song’s complexity is surprising. It just depends on the era of the band itself. However, the main thing that attracts me is the subject matter that these bands decide to explore. If it’s a protest song against yuppies in school or just some social statement, I was enthralled with the opinion of a fellow human being. I always felt that punk was the perfect genre to express opinions in a rudimentary way; via quick simple riffs. Not to say that the complexity is not there, but the anger and frustration with the world can be expressed best in a fast 4 chords. It’s an amazing thing to see a bunch of kids share an individual anger, well it would be amazing to see if these fans weren’t so fucking stupid.

I find as the years go by that the anger hadn’t subsided, all I’ve experienced was an increase in my humility. However, humanity tends to fuck up any source of originality by the sheep mentality. Punk Rock was about standing up to your adversities and saying fuck you to “the man” who’s treading on you. Today, just like I felt when I was in high school, people just don’t seem to get it. Fashion be damned, the advancement in trends caused punk to be trendy. It’s not that I don’t get it, the punk look is cool. It was rough, it was angry, and it was menacing. Yet, this trend caused a movement towards attracting attention to say fuck you. I understand wanting to look rough and see how people react to you, but that doesn’t exist anymore. Depending on region I’m sure one can garner such attention. The transition into being a rough and tough kid who will fight when need be into the attention whore attitude had been around since ignorance was introduced to the genre… So, from the beginning.

X wrote a song called Johnny Hit and Run Pauline, which is about a date rape. The meticulous nature of being into a musical genre should prompt anyone who loves the art form to understand what said art form is saying. X stopped playing Johnny Hit and Run Pauline live because kids were waving their fists in the air saying, “FUCK YEAH! JOHNNY HIT AND RUN PAULINE!” Ignorance. It’s not just Punk Rock, but just about everything really. People listen with their ears closed to the message, and perhaps that works for you, but can you really call yourself a fan? Fandom should constitutes a knowledge of intention. What do you know of Circle Jerks’ Murder the Disturbed versus Earth, Wind and Fire’s September? I would assume about the same. Maybe you’re not familiar, which is a great argument, but for the most part you should know what you’re consuming.

The punk attitude has also been affected by this ignorance. Look at what you expect from a punk kid. You’d expect them to be shitty and angry at the world. Look at the lyrics to some of the most famous punk songs, they represent completely different cultures and yet it’s considered one. Black Flag’s Rise Above is a perfect example.

Jealous cowards try to control
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
They distort what we say
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
Try and stop what we do
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
When they can’t do it themselves
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!

NOFX’s The Decline is a perfect example as well, but an 18 minute song is hard to pinpoint one exact moment that’s hits the nail on the head. It’s a plight against the popular. Punk is the fight for integrity, but it just falls short because people are people. It’s not about looking punk or acting a certain way. It’s about standing up for what you believe in. As long as you use your anger that this country, world, or deity had created within you. It’s about breathing. The human experience. Attitude is a shitty statement, because the most attitude I’ve seen was on My Sweet 16. Fuck that noise. It’s about being the underdog and not necessarily winning, but certainly giving them hell. I’m 30 years old and I dress like a human man does, but that fight still exists in me and I know Punk’s not dead. It’s just never existed past the grand few. A few few.

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