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Friday, April 15, 2005

Defining Punk With A Color Pie Chart

What is Punk?

It's a reason to live, to die, a breath mint, a shoe polish, why one hates and why one loves. It's everything and nothing at the same time, threatening to collapse all matter into itself. It's a vague term people define for pretentious, political and commercial reasons. Punk is just so...PUNK!

Follow this link for a USA Today article from 2003 that's a textbook example of lazy pop-journalism. It's well written and tackles many points in a limited amount of space, but it knowingly promulgates the myth that punk is a movement with a visionary history and a defined purpose. The very act of diving punk's "true meaning, history and purpose" should disqualify someone from being taken seriously.

Nitpicking one point of many, someone is quoted as saying “When it was being created in the mid-’70s, it didn’t sound like anything out there before." It's a harmless statement and true as long as you don't scratch the surface of what was going on, but this just isn't accurate. In the mid-70s scene this applied pretty much to the Ramones and maybe the Talking Heads. But, who cares, the journalist had a deadline and the usual suspects lined up to give soundbites.

I'll tell you wnat Punk is. It's this and this. And my toaster. It's angry yet sincere. This kid here isn't punk, but someone really should call Social Services.


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