Punk Rock Is Bullshit. Discuss.

This opinion peace in Seattle Weekly should generate some responses.  Just make sure you read the whole thing before you form any opinions, okay?

For those of us who grew up in the shadow of the baby boom, force-fed the misremembered vainglory of Woodstock long after most hippies had become coked-out, craven yuppies on their way to becoming paranoid neo-cons, punk rock provided a corrective dose of hard truth. Punk was ugly and ugly was true, no matter how many new choruses the boomers added to their song of self-praise. It was this perceived honesty that we, the nascent Generation X, feared and worshipped. But over time punk swelled into a Stalinistic doctrine of self-denial that stunted us. The yuppies kept sucking, but by clinging to punk we started to suck too.

I have friends in their mid-40s who don’t even have a savings account because “saving money” never seemed punk rock. I can’t count the number of small businesses I’ve seen fail because worrying about inventory or actually charging customers didn’t seem very punk rock. I was once chastised for playing at a private Microsoft function by a guy who worked there, so disappointed was he that I would sell out by playing a corporate gig.

Punk taught us to rebel against authority until “authority” included everything: piano lessons, fire insurance, leather shoes, and, ultimately, growing up. Punk taught us to have contempt for every institution, except Fugazi, until contempt and suspicion were the first and only reactions we had to everything. Good news was embarrassing, success was shameful, and a happy childhood an unthinkable transgression. These personality disorders were just punk in practice.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “Punk Rock Is Bullshit. Discuss.

  • March 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    If you want us to read the whole story then post the whole story rather than using other authors hook material to generate hits to your own site.

  • March 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Punk isn't music…it's an idea

  • March 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I'd like to read your opinion peace (sic)? LOL

  • March 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    The author's non-saving friends weren't likely ten years old when punk hit its peak. I suspect the author's beef is with the over-romanticism that young folk often project when enjoying music from the old days.


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