i'm not trying to generalize here, but punk seems to be so heavily about the fashion, and not just the fashion of wearing your hair spiked and putting patches on all your shitt, but the fashion of being as left wing as possible, and of adhering to all the political constructs so heavily ranted about by the other punks. "oh, punks aren't supposed to like capitalism? okay then, i don't like capitalism. punks don't like major labels? then i hate them too."when i was a kid i got so into punk that i picked up and carried most of it's ideals alongside the limited set i'd already developed. i lived and died by the words of jello biafra, henry rollins, lee ving, milo aukerman, joey ramone, mike ness and joe strummer. i could never afford "the look" but then again my idea of rebellion wasn't about having my mom and dad buying me a leather jacket. so i had a bunch of shitty old t-shirts from thrift stores and a bad attitude. people like me were going to rule the world one day.
and so on.
people who bathe themselves so vigorously in other peoples' ideas eventually wake up to find themselves naked in a lukewarm tub of rhetoric and half baked theories. they rebel against the rebellion that they once found so chic. the cut their hair, they join the army, they buy an armani suit and a bmw and the trade stock on wall street and get married and have 2.5 children and a dog and a two story in suburbia and noone ever hears from them again.
but somewhere along the line i ended up growing up, getting a real job and some responsibilities. almost everything i belived in seemed either silly or odd for one of the tax paying masses to follow, but i still held on to some of it anyhow. i still went and saw jello biafra speak. i even cheered at 75% of what he had to say. i still go to shows on a fairly regular basis. hell, i'm wicked excited over the greg ginn helmed black flag reunion in september. i still sport my one inch buttons on my timbuk2's shoulder strap. and nine times out of ten when the gutter punks who try to bum cigarettes off me spot the black flag button they inevitably ask me what kind of music i'm into. i tell them, "i used to listen to punk and only punk. black flag, the descendents, social d... but now i listen to everything from ice-t to johnny cash to bad religion.". then we talk about shows or old south bay hardcore. most times they walk away and say "that dude is fucking punk rock" to their friends.
there's been a couple times that i'll run into them and they'll remark "dude, i didn't see you at the [fill in the blank] show." to which i relpy, "you're saying that to a guy in pants with zip off legs listening to [fill in band that punk people don't listen to] who's worrying about whether or not he got this month's credit card payment in the mail in time."
yeah, i guess i was punk once...