Sunday, January 25, 2009

What is Punk?

I used to aspire to be "hardcore" or "Punk Rock" in some way. But the more I tried or not tried the less Punk I became. I think it must be a personality trait that draws people to become punk. It's kinda trashy, stinky and crass (hey that's a punk band) Who would want to be like that?
Growing up in Tucson I would go to shows at the Downtown Performance Center (DPC). Mostly to see Ska Punk shows. This predates "Hardcore". Somehow I missed all of the really "good" shows like the Offspring. I tried to go and see DRI but my Step Mom wouldn't let me go see the "Decent Righteous Individuals." She was like, "I'm sure that's what they're really called." She didn't buy it so I couldn't watch guys do front flips off the stage into a black swirling cauldron of leather and chains. I remember thinking how cool I was in my store bought "Helmet" t-shirt. Judging all of the other kids for following trends. Judging might be the nucleus of Punk. Everyone judges until everyone around them looks exactly the same. But still, I can't help to feel like I want to belong to the Neo Punk crowd with there patchwork jackets and sewn black jeans. I just want to stare at all of their tattoos and perfectly messed up hair. Now they've taken up fixed gear bikes with no brakes. But I don't belong and I never will. I don't even listen to "Grindcore" or "D-beat" music. Mostly I listen to crappy 104.1 and like it when Nirvana comes on. I never even got the secret handshake down. I will always be a "Traditional" hand shaker. I guess it's kinda the "Missionary position" of handshakes. I think I found my niche. Judging the physique of the other guys I ride with I fit in like a dirty shirt. We're all "Hammerheads", and talking about gear inches is music to my ears. I guess if a crusty punk showed up to race the single speed class at rt 66 he would be a little out of place too. We all tweak our gearing or handlebars or psi the same way punks sew there jeans or ink there arms up. So really we are all punk in some way. And that can be bad too. Getting caught up in what gear to bling out our rides with instead of just riding. Eventually losing all perspective. Like in the Minor Threat song "I can't keep up, I can't keep up, out of step with the world."


  1. Yeah I've always found the fact that certain social (or anti-social) groups that in their quest to be different, become clones of themselves.

  2. My first day of art school orientation we had a little share-session. One girl, her eyes welling up with tears said "Snif, back in high school it was so easy to be,it's so hard (snif!)cuz everyone here is different".

    You know what's punk rock? Being different in a way that totally freaks people out and possibly pisses them off. Like wearing lycra at a frat boy bar or into a rural gas station convenience store.