Thursday, March 29, 2007

Punk

I like when the term “punk” is used in the normative sense and when that sense is something to be aspired to.

As in, “that is SO punk,” where the thing being described has the attributes I admire in punk, among those being: it questions authority, comes from a place of raw honesty; eschews bullshit, emerges out of authentic DIY culture, and is enthusiastic, intense, and sticks it to the man.

I’m sure much has been written (and even more shouted in late-night drunken arguments) about what’s punk and what isn’t, who gets to wear the title of “punk,” and whether this person or band or scene is really punk or not and while I’m sure those debates shed a great deal of light on the subject (and generate even more heat), I’m sort of side-stepping them here. Moreover, the last thing I could even pretend would to be some sort authority on whether or not so-and-so or such-and-such lives up to a given dogmatic conception of what’s punk as embodied by lives and images from the 1970s (even though I think I was there for part of it.)

I was thinking more about how it’s punk when someone dumpster dives for bike parts or fashions fenders out of salvaged political signs, how it’s punk to not care so much how it looks as long as it works.

It’s also punk to speak truth to power, even in small ways, even when that power is your dad, as my punk daughter did the other day.

She had left her scooter in the alley and it was “borrowed” by a neighbor kid, causing us to think that it had been stolen. When we eventually found it in his yard, I said, paternalistically, “Let this be a lesson to you,” meaning a lesson about the dangers of leaving your stuff out where people can get to it.

Mimi interpreted the lesson differently: “What? That I hate him?”

That’s punk.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Daykay said...

Mimi is punk. Patti Smith will love Mimi when they meet.

David K.

1:05 PM  

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