To Be Punk or Not To Be Punk?

You know, I was talking to my friend on the phone about punk the other day. We always get into heated conversations when it comes to it. But other people always seem to get touchy about it, too. Especially younger teenagers who enjoy rock/pop bands. I see nothing wrong with liking this type of music, it's very upbeat and at times I enjoy it myself. Now, let me put it forth, I'm not some pre teen girl who obsesses over and idolizes Benji from Good Charlotte and longs to have Pierre Bouvier's baby. I like all kinds of different music. Oldies. Punk Rock. Metal. Hard Rock. Old-School Country. Motown. I pretty much like a little bit of everything. But believe it or not, there are some brainwashed youth out there right now thinking, 'Poser alert! Poser alert! You're not devoted to Blink 182! Blasphemy!' I can like any kind of music I want. Welcome to America, asshole.

There's this little show on the Fuse network called Dedicate Live. It's an interactive music video show, where you can log onto Fuse's website and dedicate a video to someone. And to tell you the truth I can't even begin to recollect how many times I would be watching a Good Charlotte video and see a message pop up on the screen that read:

TO: preps

FROM: punks


Punk. A word that can start a riot and also make a teenage girl scream with delight at the same time. Another word for a social outcast, perhaps. But who can tell? Some people say it's someone who's anti-government or anti-war. Some say it's someone who's had a hard life or a ghetto. Others say it's someone devoted to punk rock, which in many ways I agree with. Sometimes I think that punk doesn't even have a real definition anymore, since so many people see it from different perspectives. But like I said in the beginning of this paper I said I was discussing with my best friend over the phone and we agreed on a definition of what we think punk is.

We think that it's someone who doesn't agree with society. They don't want to be what the media, fashion magazines, the government and popular TV shows tell them to be. But they don't complain about it verbally, like most people do now might I add. They expressed it through their appearance, their political beliefs, and their music preferences. Those people started the punk rock genre. (They wanted their music to sound different than the pop trash that was played constantly.) A group of people that said, 'Man, I don't want to be like them, I wanna be different.' So they started a sort of Anti-Society group. And invented their own subculture, in a way.

But just because they don't dress in this manner doesn't mean they aren't punk. It seems that in today's world, a person could love everything about punk. They could be in love with the music that keeps the scene alive. They could have total respect and understanding for the people who follow it. But apparently if they don't have colored hair, a nose ring, a tattoo of the Rancid logo then it seems that they're automatically posers.

Ugh, posers. Posers are people who dress up in the stereotypical "punk" costume and run about claiming to know everything about the music genre and culture, trying to gain an authority in the scene. Most people I know agree with me when I say that I think the only real posers in the world are the ones who try to push the name on others. Oh, I'm sure you've meet one of these buggers before. Those people that make a huge deal if you like the wrong band or the wrong album. Those people that jump in front of you at school in the hallway and yell at you because you're wearing an A.F.I tee shirt and scream in your face, 'I BET YOU HAVEN'T EVEN HEARD THEIR OLD STUFF!' Someone needs some Ritalin and a nap, methinks.

To elaborate on the poser discussion, I'll tell you a little story. Once upon a time in 7th grade I was sitting in Art class. I went over to get something of mine off of the drying rack and out of the corner of my eye I notice a guy named Nick going through my CD case. I didn't mind, people always did that. When I came back he was looking down at Rancid's Indestructible album. He gave me a disgusted look and said: 'Holy shit! How can you listen to this? They're sellouts now! They have a music video on Fuse!' I wanted to pop him over the head with my work stool. How the hell did they become sellouts? What? Because they made a music video? Oh-ho-ho, well aren't we being cheeky. God forbid, someone would like a band for their, oh dear contain yourselves, music.

- Fish