Thursday, July 21, 2016

Do Non-Left Politics Have a Place in Punk Rock? pt 1

I was reading some pretty demagogic posts on Reddit yesterday about how punk rock is firmly and irretrievably Left, fundamentally, and this follows a post on Facebook from an acquaintance who made a similar dogmatic claim to the effect of "if you don't agree with x, then you aren't punk."

First of all, I'm always open for discussion, and I always change my mind on things.  It depends on what I've read, what kind of thoughts are influencing me at the time, my general mood, and a host of other things.  I feel that if you don't recognize the fluidity of "identity", then you are too firmly attached to the completely unscientific and simply untrue idea that there is an "I" floating around in your head.  I mean, I wish it was there, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence that it's true.

When I first got into punk, it didn't have a political ideology attached to it; I listened to punk out of pure teenage rebelliousness.  I always perceived myself to be different from most everyone else.  I didn't have a lot of close friends, and sometimes none at all.  I was really into reading books, playing music, and got into trouble A LOT.  Alternative school, ISS, kicked out of high school band twice, arrested a good handful of times...  It all lead to an increasing feeling of alienation that punk rock remedied.

I listened to a wide variety of things: the Descendents, Down by Law, Dag Nasty, Shelter. the Ramones, Hagfish, the Queers, the Riverdales...  I remember listening to Dropkick Murphys and the Business in the parking lot at high school and thinking that I was doing something really special, when kids had been doing the same thing all over the world for decades.  It was a way to reject the small-town, very conservative values that I was surrounded by, as well as funnel all that just general angsty teenage bullshit somewhere sort of constructive.  I started a ska band when I was 15 or 16, and then a punk band that played at the skatepark in town, as well as a morning pep rally.  But what started as a generic sense of adolescent identity soon turned into a tool for provocation.  

No comments:

Post a Comment