lurching back to life

Fall is apparently a season of tremendous personal upheaval for me. Sucks, because I like it otherwise. The weather’s nicely chilly but not too cold, the leaves turn all pretty, my birthday happens. And then I go through a breakup, or develop a drinking problem, or have some kind of “what am I doing with my life” freakout, and I am unable to properly enjoy any of those things. ANYWAY! So, that’s why the internets have not seen my presence in fucking forever. Without going into too much detail about my personal life, I will just say that I have been having a crappy time recently but I am better now, and may even be approaching “happy.” Maybe. We’ll see, I suppose.

So, one happy consequence of moving to Mpls is being inspired by punk rock again. I’d been calling myself an ex-punk for a while, just because I didn’t feel at home there anymore. The punk scene back home skewed pretty young, and when you feel like an old lady at 24 or 25 then something is awry. I was an earnest 19-year-old once, and bless their little hearts, but when you’ve got five or six years on those kids, being around them gets old pretty fast. I’m not going to claim I have all the answers or that I’ve completely figured out my ethics and political beliefs, but I really do not enjoy kids lecturing me about shit that they apparently don’t think I’m smart enough to figure out by myself. I was also much less than impressed with the popularity of crappy acoustic and indie bands that got labeled “punk” somehow. If I may severely oversimplify things: I became a punk because I was angry. That doesn’t mean I’m angry all the time but I do want a certain level of irascibility to be par for the course in social/cultural scenes I run in. That is: I do not want to listen to your songs about hugging. But now, it’s OK because older, grumpier punks are a dime a dozen around these parts! I can hang out in punk rock circles without someone trying to get me to read the same five Crimethinc pamphlets I’ve been seeing at shows for close to ten years! Yeah!

I am glad, however, that I don’t have the defensive reflex about punk rock that I had when I was younger. It bums me out when people make thoughtful criticisms of certain aspects of punk (or any subculture) and then get instantly shouted down by people accusing them of being mean or whateverthefuck. I understand that for a lot of people subcultural identification is an important thing – it certainly was for me. I can say, with no exaggeration, that punk rock saved my life. But my experience does not match up neatly with everyone else’s, and personally, I want people to talk about negative experiences they’ve had in/around punk rock without having to worry about hurting my tender little feelings.

Though damn, I still fucking love the Dead Kennedys. I am really sad I gave my old shirt away.

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~ by Smellen on October 6, 2010.

One Response to “lurching back to life”

  1. I’m having a similar time in SF, reconnecting with things that I had written off or felt aged out of around Ptlnd.
    That said, hang in there. A while ago I started considering Autumn and Halloween to be the proper New Year – forget the frozen, arbitrary January 1st. It’s 10/31 that marks the real turnover and the months leading up to it are always marked with tumult. Things die around this time, and its months before they blossom back out.
    In the meantime, then, enjoy the old and crusty. And isn’t punk ALL ABOUT not worrying about hurting someone’s tender little feelings?!

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