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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Am I getting old or is this bull$#!+ ?

    Maybe I'm gettin' old, maybe I don't understand the 20somethings generation, or maybe, just maybe I'm dead to rights. You decide...

    First a little back story...I'm founding generation, old school Punker. Not a punk...Punker. I was the only kid in school back in the late 70's that wore stove pipe jeans tucked into navy deck shoes (steel toed non-slip soled combat boots), a jean jacket with a Ramones panel on the back and no one in Gladstone MO had any idea who they were, and was constantly changing my hair color with food coloring cause it was the only way I could get it pink, or purple, or blue. This doesn't sound odd today, but in 1976 when you were surrounded by bell bottoms and tiedye, I kinda stuck out like a sore thumb.

    I had a couple things that were my sanity savers, midnights on saturdays one of the local rock stations aired Dr. Demento. Another was on friday nights around 2am a local affiliate aired Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. The other thing that proved to me I wasn't the only one that felt the way I did, was a very cool Uncle that was in grad school in NY that sent me care packages of albums (yeah those big vinyl frisbee looking things) from back east of stuff he think or knew I'd like, and occasionaly some great memorabilia such as the Ramones back jacket panel.

    Later when I went to college, first in Miami, then Winston-Salem, then Boston, and finally NY; I discovered a whole lot of people that felt and thought the same way I did. We were the founders of The Punkers Era. We were the New Bohemians. We are about Truth above all else, especially when it isn't pretty and flowery and is brutal and ugly. We are about Freedom for everything and not just expression. And Justice, if the government and authorities wouldn't take care of it, we would, in our own way, and violence was ONLY a last resort. We didn't have to agree with you, you didn't have to agree with us, but you would listen and we weren't going to go away. We dress the way we do, talk the way we do, think and feel the way we do to purposefully be in-your-face. To wake up the sleeping sheep, space monkeys, and muggles out of their complacency, apathy, and lethargy. In such a way as to let them know in a split second, "Your paradigm sucks the big wazoo! Pull your head out of your &$$ and smell the lies!" It's not a fad or a phase, it's a way of life, for your whole life.

    I live in Denver now, we got a pretty big Punker/Goth/Industrial/Emo subculture here. Alot of the younger folks call me Punker Boss Lay-D. (They wanted to call me Queen of the Punkers but I wouldn't let them. I'm sure someone else is more entitled to that moniker than me.) I've been recovering from cancer surgery back in February and have some kemo (pills not radiation thank the Powers) since then so I've been missing from the club scene since I was diagnosed back last November.

    Since I've been feeling better these last couple weeks, some of my best buddies gave me no choice in the matter, got me dressed, did my hair and makeup (which wasn't hard since I've only got about two inches of growth at the moment) and took me out to see...well...everybody. I was introduced that night a very special young man. If this was the Middle Ages or The Renaissance, this young man would be The Court Fool or an apprentice Jester at the very least, in somebody's Royal Court. Naturally he plays the classical Fool/Coyote Medicine/Trickster like no one I've ever seen do before. It's effortless for him. He can take your quirks of personality, and spin them back out in such a way that not only do you see the bare bone truth of it, but wet your pants laughing out loud while fathoming how he nailed you so perfectly. When he found out who I was (he'd only knew about me through myspace,) he immediately went down on bended knee and serenaded me with "Punk Rock Girl". I actually! (I hardly ever blush and I'm not an easy touch that way.) When he turned 21 and could start going to the Goth/Punker clubs, his way of updating and maturing his interpretation of how to blend classical jester with Punker/Goth fashion of today is to wear an immaculate white suit, Pat Boone shoes, and a Gilligan style white cap. In a club full of black garbed people, he in his white suit and I in my 80's neon vintage Punker garb really stand out obnoxiously as it should.

    Ok now that you know where I'm coming from, here's what really cheezed me off today. I got a call from some mutual friends of ours today, that this young man is in the hospital with multiple brokens bones, fractures and is in a coma from a severe concussion because some other Punkers from his neck of the woods thinks he's going Goth with his whites and that this is how they punish Punker traitors. They jumped him on his way home the night I met him. I'm kicking myself in the &$$ I didn't take him home with me that night, could have prevented this from happening to him, or at least delayed it enough to done something about those a$$#0!3$.

    Now I ask you, what kind of bull$#!+ is that? Last I checked there is no such thing as a Punker uniform. No list of standardized apparell, or behaviors, or philosophies that we have to conform to to be a Punker, or a Goth or whatever for that matter. In fact isn't that the opposite of the whole point? Anti-establishment, anti-status quo, anti-normal, nonconformist, in-your-face oi oi oi? From my generation to now, there's always been a basic framework, but it was always understood that you take that framework and interpret it your own way, with your own style, make it individualistic. For more than 30 years I've watched it evolve, interpreted, reinterpreted, reinvented, revamped, thrown out, revived, over and over again. If there is any one thing we do conform to, its that if we don't constantly change it up and evolve, we are in danger of becoming the very thing that is the antithesis of us...a norm. It's like a living thing that grows, and the moment it stops, we either establish a status quo for ourselves or worse...we become extinct.

    I'm not normally a violent person, but this is just the sort of thing that makes me want to take a page out of "The Warriors" movie, don some Boppers garb and makeup, take up a Louisville Slugger and bash these wannabe punx across the brain pans. But that would be lowering myself to their mental midgets level. And not very good parenting either, to use the very thing that they're being punished for. Don't they call that negative reinforcement? What's a Mommy Punker to do? Thank you for letting me vent/rant/rage.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I can't lay claim to being a Punker myself, but I do know some old-school punkers, and they would never have done something like that. The only people they beat up were the Nazi skinheads, as they were giving the Punker skins a bad name. Maybe that particular crowd of punkers are just a-holes. As the great Timothy Leary once said, "Our group, like any other, has it's share of fools and rascals."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    UK, Yorkshire (mostly)
    I know I'm a comparative youngling here (and have never encountered the term punker, but this could be because I'm from the UK), I'm a known regular of my favorite haunt, colloquially refereed to as 'That scary bitch' or 'That windmilling chick'.
    From what I have seen around the Alt scenes recently is a thinning of the herd, there are less and less decent club nites in my area resulting in social groups united by said club nites fragmenting. There are allot less of what my 'era' considered 'proper' Goths, rockers & metal heads out and appear to be surrounded by fad-rockers, you know the ones; a trendy by any other name would be just as dickish. Among the old school-ers there is a real feeling of going extinct, making them defensive and stand offish, a position that effectively chases away any 'newblood' that could have become part of their social group.

    What I'm saying is although I in no way condone their actions it may have been motivated by a fear of loosing the one group with whom they have found acceptance (if one leaves what is to stop others). Pack mentality; you punish the transgressive to ensure the future of the whole.

    Over the pond here in the UK there is a charity attempting to educate the young about acceptance and tolerance of difference -
    It was set up by the mother of a girl who was attacked in similar circumstances to your friend, she never came out of her coma, the foundation was set up in her memory.

    My thoughts are with him, I hope he heals and returns to bring mirth to people once more.
    Rising from the ashes

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