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Oct. 28th, 2005 @ 11:41 pm DiB, My Reply To Yours Was Too Long, Here It Is
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Dave Matthews, Gravedigger
Says you, in comments to last entry, "[...]basically the only thing Punk was successful at changing is allowing musicians with absolutely no talent to get record labels."

You would be referring, I assume, to the modern bands that call themselves 'Punk'? Good Charlotte, Starting Line, Yellowcard, Blink-182, New Found Glory? These bands are not Punk, by any stretch. To be Punk is to be (in my interpretation; I claim to be no authority nor Goddess) very politically- based and assertive. These bands are neither; 1) the only politics that exist are very pop versions of country-music sorrows, ie losing a girl, losing a dog, losing another girl, deciding that melodrama and Emo-style despair sells long enough to write an album detailing - nothing. Words lacking intelligence and density descend from words into the thoughtful equivalent of sticking one's tongue out very near a pole in cold weather. 2) Their assertiveness toward letting people know about what is going on in the world around them is seriously lacking. Seriously, fellas. Lacking. It doesn't even exist! When was the last time you heard one of the bands above (or a similar one) say something like,
"The road is narrow, the horizon wide
And to say what’s waiting on the other side
Is so rewarding and the ultimate prize
But what good is something if you can’t have it until you die?" ---Bad Religion

If you were referring to the earlier Punk rockers, like the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Social Distortion, etc., I am at a loss. Honestly, there are plenty of people who think the Beatles had no talent, Elvis Presley had no talent, Beethoven and da Vinci and Raphael had no talent. Whether or not they did is for the individual to decide.

In your comments, "[...]countercultural conceit[...]". Here are the main definitions of 'conceit':
Merriam-Webster Online
Main Entry: 1con·ceit
Pronunciation: k&n-'sEt
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from conceiven
1 a (1) : a result of mental activity : THOUGHT (2) : individual opinion b : favorable opinion; especially : excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue
2 : a fancy article
3 a : a fanciful idea b : an elaborate or strained metaphor c : use or presence of such conceits in poetry d : an organizing theme or concept

Conceit, at least the definition known by the vast majority, is not a Punk attribute. To say that one is conceited conjures up images of the too-good person, whose time, contributions, and company are just too good for everyone else. Punks are about experimentation of the individual to find ways to bring about change in the world. Punks are self-involved, yes, but this doesn't make them snooty. It means that they are repairing and improving the home soil before spending all of their resources on other countries, so to speak. There is no point in running around like a headless chicken expending valuable energy on others when one doesn't even know oneself, unless the point is to get nowhere.

To be honest with you, I have been a Punk my whole life. I have dressed differently, acted differently, seen things and done things opposite to others despite the poop that I have had to put up with. I made up my own cusswords, wore mismatched socks on purpose until it caught on, did my hair in odd ways and ate pickled plum paste with my fingers (Japanese umeboshi plums; if you haven't had them you should, but they're very salty).

You say, "Punk is a capitalized word for a reason, along with Hippy and Goth and all that stuff. It is a nomenclature, express usage: to define a group of people. Even if the group's intentions are individualistic in nature (such as all countercultures expressed in this essay), providing a label for it makes it a product." This is true, it IS a product - a product of individuals who share the same discontent. Note that 'sharing' is an act of giving and receiving, because I know some people would say that sharing is conformity. Sharing is a step toward perfecting oneself by exploring differences, whereas conformity is a step toward someone else's perfection. In conformity, the person doing the migrating is giving themselves up to the masses; in sharing, the person is maintaining themselves and their position, but lending their minds to experience.

I don't hang out or associate myself with the so-called Punks, beyond acceptance of their existence. These are people who have (theory) sold out to the media's definition of Punk and signed up because their own apathy is secretly satisfied by this seeming lack of authority, which quickly translates into lack of care for others, ie disrespect, ie atrophy, completely opposite to Punk mentality.

My friends are nothing like me on the outside. They're Nerds, Goths, Homeschoolers, Jocks, Cheerleaders, Preps, Geeks, Skaters, Mods, and those Foreign Kids. But they're all kindred to and respected by me because they are capable of seeing what others miss and being what most others will never be: aware. They care about the world around them and cry when the world cries, not because everyone else is crying but because they can feel that pain when a bomb falls or prejudice occurs or someone is murdered or unjustly condemned.

I call myself Punk (and proudly) because I had possessed nearly all of the ideals before I even knew that the Punk movement HAD ideals. I have researched it and given it much thought, modifying my own interpretation based on what I read and then reflect on within myself. What you said about how some people say "Punk is dead" made me think about a Dave Matthews song, Gravedigger (that's right, I listen to whatever I want, not just Punk/Punk Rock; insight is not contained within just one genre of music), where some kids have a grandfather that lives to be 103, and how "103 is forever when you're just a kid, so [he] lived forever." As long as there are people in the world with even some Punk ideals, Punk will never be dead, similarly to Hippie beliefs and Mod beliefs, etc. There are still people who think Nazis were admirable, even though technically there can no longer be any Nazis. People still talk about Dodo birds.

One final insight:

Wolves may run in packs for support, but they always hunt alone.
About this Entry
Oct. 28th, 2005 @ 09:58 am Punk Ideals
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Dropkick Murphys, The Gauntlet
These punk mentalities are from Wikipedia.com

The political ideology most often associated with punk is that of anarchism. A lot of punk activism has been done in support of anarchist goals. Whether a punk subscribes to anarchism or not, he or she almost certainly is discontent with his or her government. Punks are often very active in trying to change their governing political systems to some extent. When punks engage in activism their demands can usually be described as progressive. Despite the similarities punk may have with the left wing, many punks perceive the efforts of the left as ineffectual and sometimes just as objectionable as the right wing.

Not all punks are connected to anarchism, or have anarchist views.

In punk thought, authority corrupts humans to intolerable extremes. Police, religion, governments, and any other institution that has the ability to coerce is seen as dangerous and despicable. Authority leads always to corruption and abuse. Punk ideas concerning authority derive in part from the political ideology of anarchism. Police brutality and institutionalized discrimination against punks also account for this stance on authoritarianism.

Conformity is viewed as dangerous social coercion, which prevents people from seeing the true nature of society and forces people to be obedient to the desires of those who hold power be it of mainstream pop culture or the government.

Punk ideology uncompromisingly rejects the use of military force. To punks, the military is the most extreme form of authoritarianism.

The issues surrounding the act of compromising one's ethical parameters in exchange for personal gain are of particular relevance to punk ideology and culture. Generally, selling out refers to any abandonment of personal and/or community values in exchange for some reciprocal gain, usually in the form of wealth, status, or power. However, due to the direct association between punk rock music and punk ideology, this issue has taken on a specific meaning unique to the punk rock community.

Because anti-establishment attitudes are such an important part of this version of punk ideology, a network of independent music labels, venues, and distributors has slowly come into existence (see Do It Yourself*), allowing parties interested in the creation, distribution, and purchase of independently-produced punk music to opt out of the major label system. These networks bypass the traditional systems of content distribution, which are controlled by a small number of large corporations who many feel stifle creative initiative and marginalize the concepts presented in punk ideology.

Most left-wing punks are contemptuous of their governments and do not express a great deal of patriotism. Furthermore, patriotism as devotion to the state conflicts with the anti-statism of anarchism. Punks often object to patriotism as being used as an excuse for governments to act in immoral ways. Other punks view patriotism and supporting a government as two different acts, or as writer and humorist Mark Twain put it, "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

Punks often portray the mass media as a dangerous instrument of social control. Television is, for the most part seen as a waste of time and a distraction from reality and healthier habits. Punk music often laments the commercialism, and the power interests that control the media. The Do It Yourself punk ethic is a reaction to this perceived imbalance of power in the media.

In the USA, a new form of highly political punks, who call themselves Individualistic Punks, believe that the media is used as a tool of government control. They argue that by only reporting the two leading parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, the media guarantees itself a win/win situation. They believe that Democrats and Republicans only share subtle differences in contrast to the rest of the political parties.

Many punks are practicing environmentalists. "While there will always be different opinions coming from under the punk banner, the most evident environmental philosophy closely resembles something called 'Deep Ecology'"*. This is a non-anthropocentric form of environmentalism meaning it is a philosophy that sees humans as merely one of many species with no special importance.

As the section on conformity pointed out, punks see this social phenomenon as deceitful and coercive. Attempting to aquire a state of non-conformity is one of the most obvious of all punk attributes, though often the most difficult. The ideas punk holds so dear are always under attack by the youth of today who PURELY SEE PUNK AS COOL AND NOT THE MEANINGFUL WAY OF CHANGING SOCIETY FOR THE BETTER REAL PUNKS LIVE BY.

Punks often participate in direct action to accomplish desired goals. In addition to protests, boycotts and so forth, punks are also known for the use of violence. More active and radical members of the community have been known to bomb gas stations, destroy animal research laboratories, and alter billboards to include political messages. Recently the phenomenon of hactivism has been used as an additional method of sabotage. These acts are committed in an effort to create social change when it is thought that the normal channels for change have been proven ineffective. Destruction of private property is often deemed acceptable by trendy skater kids as it conveys a cool message of disapproval without hurting people (see conformity). Because Punks tend to disdain materialism, the destruction of someone else's private possesions does not receive much sympathy. Private property itself, however, is much different from possessions.

*Do It Yourself - In the late 1970s, the punk movement was operating in an environment controlled to an unacceptable degree by outside influences. Because this impinged on the freedom of the movement, people in the punk scene began creating their own record companies, organizing their own concerts, and creating their own print media. This became known as the DIY movement. "Don't hate the media, become the media" is a famous motto for this movement.

Punk, a la Greg Graffin of Bad Religion

PUNKS ARE NOT BEASTS Punk is a reflection of what it means to be human. What separates us from other animals? Our ability to recognize ourselves and express our own genetic uniqueness. Ironically, the commonly held view, among the marketeers and publicity engines, stresses the "animalistic", "primitive" nature of punks and their music.
PUNK IS: the personal expression of uniqueness that comes from the experiences of growing up in touch with our human ability to reason and ask questions.

Those who lose touch with their nature become society's robots, whereas those who denounce their social development become vagrant animals. Punk stands for a desire to walk the line in between these two extremes with masterful precision. Punks want to express their own unique nature, while at the same time want to embrace the communal aspects of their cookie-cutter upbringing. The social connection they have is based on a desire to understand each other's unique view of the world. Punk "scenes" are social places where those views are accepted, sometimes adopted, sometimes discarded, but always tolerated and respected.
PUNK IS: a movement that serves to refute social attitudes that have been perpetuated through willful ignorance of human nature.

The compulsion to conform is a powerful side-effect of civilized life. We are all taught to respect the views of our elders, and later when we realize that they are just dogmatic opinions, we are taught not to make a commotion by asking difficult questions. Many just go along with the prevailing notions and never express their own views, which is analogous to a premature death of the individual. Our species is unique in the ability to recognize and express the self, and not exercising this biological function goes against the natural selection gradient that created it in the first place. This complacency combats a fear of failure. It is easy to assume that if everyone else is doing something, then there is no way to fail if you just go along with it. Cattle and flocks of geese can probably recognize this advantage. But the entire human race could fail because of this mentality. Thinking and acting in a direction against the current of popular opinion is critical to human advancement, and a potent manifestation of Punk. If an issue or phenomenon is found to be true only because other people say it is so, then it is a Punk's job to look for a better solution, or at least find an independent variable that confirms the held view (sometimes the popular view is just a reflection of human nature, Punks don't live in denial of this).
PUNK IS: a process of questioning and commitment to understanding that results in self-progress, and by extrapolation, could lead to social progress.

Philosophers distinguish between capital "T" truth and truth with a small "t". Punks deny the former.
Truth with a capital "T" assumes that there is an order prescribed by some transcendental being. That is to say that truth comes ultimately from God, who had a plan for everything when he created the universe.
Little "t" truth is that which we figure out for ourselves, and which we all can agree upon due to similar experience and observations of the world. It is also known as objective truth, from within ourselves, revealed here on this earth; as opposed to big T truth, which comes from outside and is projected down to us, specifically for us to follow. Morality need not be thought of as a product only of big "T" truth. Objective truth lends itself just as readily to a moralistic, spiritual culture.
PUNK IS: a belief that this world is what we make of it, truth comes from our understanding of the way things are, not from the blind adherence to prescriptions about the way things should be.

The limbic system [used for movement etc.] is like any other organ in the sense that it can operate unchecked to produce detrimental results. Being in touch with our bodies leads to overall general health, and the limbic system needs constant attention in order to master it. To overcome fear, one needs to be in touch with their limbic system, and recognize when it is suppressing the obvious.
Etiquette and "being nice" are forms of limbic-system repression, necessary at times, but ultimately demeaning of human originality. Lying is the ultimate form of limbic-system repression. It is a denial of the obvious. Truth-tellers, those who are authentic and trustworthy, have learned to master their limbic system. They recognize the desire to lie, but rationalize the futility of advocating something that is not true. Liars, on the other hand, are slaves to their limbic system, out of touch with their most basic mental capacities. Their behavior is guarded and shifty because they let their flawed reasoning, to cover up the obvious, control their entire makeup. They eventually have to give in to the truth and concede defeat, but only after every possible avenue of deception and twisted logic has been advocated in the interest of hiding their fear.
Politicians, Clergymen, Business leaders, and Judges are masters of twisted logic and promotion of fear. They make good intellectual targets for Punkers because they don't respect people who have learned to master their limbic systems. And Punkers are not afraid to point out that which is obvious, even if it means their social status might be jeopardized.
PUNK IS: the constant struggle against fear of social repercussions.

I have tried to enumerate some of the factors that make Punk a movement, in the cultural sense. The typical stereotype of a feeble-minded ruffian vandalizing, destroying, stealing, fighting, or arguing in the name of some empty, short-lived cause is no more punk than the pretty-face-empty-head image of today's pop stars.
Because it is so easy for record companies to sell images of violence, sex, and self-importance, many bands have taken the bait and portrayed themselves as Punks, without realizing that they were actually perpetuating a stereotype of conformity that is wholly un-punk.
The "come join us" attitude that seeks to attract followers, usually results in a rabble of weak people who think that their power lies in the large numbers of like-minded clones they have compiled. There is no strength in numbers however, if the people are glued together by a short-sighted, self-serving, fear-induced mantra that promotes factions and exclusionary principles.
Strong ideologies don't require a mob, they persist through time, and never go away, because they are intimately connected to our biology. They are part of what it means to exist as Homo sapiens. Punk typifies that tradition. It is a movement of epic proportions, that transcends the immediacy of the here-and- now, because it is, was, and always will be there-and-forever, as long as humans walk the earth.

On the other hand, the human spirit is hard to kill. Punk is a microcosm of the human spirit. Punks succeed with their minds, not their brute force. They advance society by their diversity, not their conformity. They motivate others by inclusion, not domination.
[Punks]are at the front lines of self-betterment and by extrapolation can improve the complexion of the human race. They adhere to unwritten universal principles of human emotion, obvious to anyone, and shun elitist codes of behavior, or secret agendas. They embody the hope of the future, and reveal the flaws of the past. Don't tell them what to do, they are already leading you.

(Above portions taken from Wikipedia.com and from Greg Graffin's 'Punk Manifesto').
About this Entry
Oct. 27th, 2005 @ 02:16 pm (no subject)
As a child, a woman, a Punk, a fighter, a human, I am asking for all of your help.

This world is changing, and not into something anything like the majestic American dream of our Founding Fathers. It is a world full of hate, corruption, selfishness, greed, and anger. People are starving, killing themselves and others, going to pharmacies so they can be drugged up and smiling every day. More and more people have cancer, politically correct speech is becoming truth and rudeness is now a mainstream youth ideal.

I am tired of pretending that I can't change anything because of my age. In the long run, is it better to be suspended from school or in trouble with someone because you have expressed your right to free speech, or live your life pretending that you are a separate entity from your ideals?

To live because life is precious and to let no effort go wasted. These are the things I want to do. I was born to be a messenger, to stand out, to stand up, to volunteer and to sacrifice social acceptance to be heard.

Are you with me?
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Oct. 17th, 2005 @ 09:35 am (no subject)
I'm on the search for enlightenment.

Dyed my bangs and the front of my hair black. Have spent most all of my time alone, trying to figure things out and enjoying the break from humanity.
Got written up at work.
Thought about Austin and the people there.
Thought about how the only people who will read this are all from Austin, which was funny because I hadn't thought of that when I typed the above sentence.
Wondered if anyone thinks about me.
Wondered about John.
Decided that the school day is too long.
Drank some vodka on an empty stomach and had fun spinning.
Felt disappointed about my grades.
Started working out again because I want a nice bum.
Missed Kristine and Bruce. These are one of my managers and a coworker, the closest things to parents that I have in my life.
Bought an iPod Color 20GB, which I LOVE!!!
Found some more good music.
Fell in love with Dave. Matthews, that is.
Made a new friend.
Missed Zack and Spud.
Laughed at Alexa and was glad that I don't consume my time and life with things like, "Guess what so-and-so said that you said about me behind my back."
Wore a box on my head at work and felt like a bitch.
Started buying cool Halloween T-shirts in the little girls' section because they're so much cheaper and they fit me too.
Thought about how angry I am that I missed the Coheed show even though I was on the guest list because of my friends, because they couldn't buy tickets. I kicked myself. I should have gone anyway.
Saw a pair of men's briefs on a car antenna in the parking lot Friday and laughed for the rest of the day.
Had a little kid tell me he didn't like me.

Decided that I have to stop doing things for everyone else because it's not working for me and I'm miserable. I gravitate towards people who need me, who need to suck the life out of me because some people in this world are givers and some are takers. I give them everything I have, I spend my time trying to solve Mindy's and Tia's and AJ's problems and then I get nothing because they're still miserable the next day. And they don't care to ask how I'm holding up.

I'm going insane, that's how I'm holding up. I'm disgusted and frustrated and angry and bitter and faithless and rootless and tired, so tired. I am tired of acting like myself and getting reprimanded, of acting like someone else and watching someone else have the fun that I could be having if I were only me. I am tired of being the background post that everyone ignores until they need something. I am tired of people. All I want to do is wake up late nice and rested, go up to the mountains and spend the day hiking around and listening to music and playing guitar, and then going to work and working until close, then going out and partying with my non-school friends.

Just for kicks, let's make a list of my friends here as of now.

Candace (17)
Chantelle (17)
Tia (16)

Matt (21)
John (21)
Gwen (20)
Chris (28)
Jillian (23)
Jesse (23)
Mindy - pissed off at me right now (19)

About this Entry
Jul. 14th, 2005 @ 12:20 am (no subject)
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: The Killers, Mr. Brightside
I'm about to sigh and sneeze and scream at once because this room, this night, everything is so full of the world. I love the moments like this, when life is less than a blink away from giving you a hug or slapping you across the face, either way wrestling you out of your ridiculous daily dramas and revealing the utter uncertainty of it all. There is something delicious and frightening about hanging still while smiles and cuts go rushing by.

Coming out of my cage and I'll be doing just fine.

I went down to my brother's room when I got home tonight, when the house's sleep was punctured periodically by the lilting breaths of the tired. I went down to his room and gave him a kiss on the cheek, so perfect and pure, so human and real. I'd missed him so bad. He calls me Spooner, so I wrote him a message on the driveway last night in chalk, that read EVEN SPOONS GET LONELY, and underneath, WEE'VE MISD UR BEAF, TEKSIS, like those big Chik-Fil-A billboards that always remind me somehow of my brother.

Open up my eager eyes.

Coffee, my favorite drug, and Tia and I talked while we made ourselves sick silly with Lactaid pills and ice cream. She looked at me and I could tell that she suddenly loved me at last, and was almost overwhelmed. Jake watched and I think he was jealous. Maybe he'll find out someday, or maybe I'll never tell him what we talked about.

But tomorrow isn't a dream, it's a promise. It will carry the pleasant aftertaste of what is happening right now, because it is something that's never happened before. And I'm going to look around and take it all in a breath, because it might never happen again.

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Jul. 3rd, 2005 @ 11:14 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: System Of A Down, Mr. Jack

He's sleeping next to me and breathing
The one I've been wanting and not knowing
For what feels like years in the Forever Vaccuum
But I'm guilt-stricken, sobbing, with my head on the floor
I'm more alone now than I've ever been before

He's seen me without all my paint
Seen the look on my face when I'm looking blank
He's giving me eyes from the top of the world
But I'm holding my heart in my head in my hand
And my legs and my arms are too weak to stand

Long live the roses and long live the sighs
Goodbye to the dreams that we never could die
If I was a sailor I'd drift off the night
If only to cure my fear of heights

Promise me this, promise me that
Just don't forget to wear your hat
The rules were all broken the day that we met
We remember this as we lie on my bed

He's tired and laughing and so am I
I talk of potatoes and start to cry
Coconut Lime smells good on his soul
But three hours pass and we rise and fall
To the time that was no time at all

He's covering my bleeding thumbs
I promise to lie about what I've become
But the ending is starting and I'm waiting in line
I'm more alone than I've been before, and then
I'm more alone than I've ever been
About this Entry
May. 4th, 2005 @ 09:07 pm Thank You, Skye
Current Mood: blankHmmmm
Current Music: Echo and the Bunnymen, The Killing Moon

Your Birthdate: March 3

Being born on the 3rd day of the month is likely to add a good bit of vitality to your life.

The energy of 3 allows you bounce back rapidly from setbacks, physical or mental.

There is a restlessness in your nature, but you seem to be able to portray an easygoing, "couldn't care less" attitude.

You have a natural ability to express yourself in public, and you always make a very good impression.

Good with words, you excel in writing, speaking, and possibly singing.

You are energetic and always a good conversationalist.

You have a keen imagination, but you tend to scatter your energies and become involved with too may superficial matters.

You are affectionate and loving, but sometimes too sensitive.

You are subject to rapid ups and downs.

About this Entry
May. 1st, 2005 @ 09:17 pm ULTOMATO!
Current Mood: groggyNasal
Current Music: Aimee Mann, It's Not Going To Stop
TESTING. 1-2-5.

NEW IDEA: Rotate days of the week (at random) on which to wear a sign to school bearing the name of a "label" (ie 'hipster', 'jock', 'new-ager', 'punk', etc) and modify behaviors so as to make self the "Ultomato" of all people-genres. Only do this once a week, so duh masses won't catch on.

And now, I cordially envite you to lllllOOOKKEDITT!!! *flips up apron* (I love you, Robrobrob)
About this Entry
Apr. 29th, 2005 @ 03:57 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Aimee Mann - It's Not Going To Stop
Sleeplessness stems from an inability to separate oneself from waking. As humans, we have difficulties separating ourselves from what doesn't matter in this world. People commit suicide because they can't separate themselves from the helpless factors that are tearing them down. We keep our family members who are old and dying on life support that only prolongs their pain because it temporarily numbs our own, because we can't cope with the idea that soon the part of them that exists as a part of us will be gone.
About this Entry
Apr. 26th, 2005 @ 05:36 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: contemplativeDarko
Current Music: Gary Jules, Mad World
All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places
Worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going no where
Going no where
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression
No expression
Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow
No tomorrow
No tomorrow
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
And I feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me
No one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
Look right through me
Look right through me
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Enlarging your world
Mad world
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