7. PUNK ROCK ISN’T AS ANTI-CHRISTIAN AS YOU’D THINK
This one’s a toughie because songs such as “Jesus is Dead” were the norm, but I’d argue that punk was anti-Church back then because in 1960s Britain—when punk rockers were kids—the Church was dictatorial like the government. But after the first few waves of punk, a pro-life Christian punk movement emerged. In today’s climate, when Christians are being told they can’t pray in schools and they can’t say Merry Christmas, the punk ethos would be, “Leave them alone.” Check the volunteers at the soup kitchen. I bet you’ll find more punks and Christians than liberals.
8. THE P.C. POLICE HAVE NO POWER OVER YOU
The beauty of being a freak during your formative years is it makes you very comfortable with the idea of being an outcast. I consider myself just as liberal as I’ve always been. I’m still an anti-racist, pro-gay feminist who cares about the environment and hates big government. When the left gave a full naked body hug to political correctness, it allowed the thought police to move in and dismantle the whole operation. Now it’s considered racist to discuss the racist ways in which blacks and Hispanics act toward each other. It’s xenophobic to discuss Islam’s disgusting treatment of gays and women. Honestly talking about the ecological havoc that mass immigration wreaks is anti-Mexican, so that’s forbidden. So is criticizing a black president’s unprecedented spending. The punishment for breaking any of these semantic taboos is ostracism, but when you’ve sung for bands with names such as Anal Chinook and Leatherassbutfuk, you shrug and say, “So?”
9. YOU DON’T DISCRIMINATE
Growing up in a small town with esoteric tastes meant you couldn’t afford to cherry-pick your friends. If a fat Paki in a wheelchair had a Mohawk, he was in the band. If a forty-year-old tranny with a huge beard wanted to play bass, he’s in, too. Practicing what you preach ain’t easy and anarchy’s “anything goes” credo caused us some problems. While most kids our age were having keggers and wet T-shirt contests, we were holding anarchist gatherings where people would come from miles around to hold workshops and give lectures. Because we were anarchists, there could be no rules. Women wanted to hold rape workshops and prevent men from attending. This seemed like a rule, and it started huge arguments. We held seminars about racial equality, but everyone in the room was white. After hashing out the liberal utopia for about a decade, we began to realize we were acting like the sort of white-liberal “smiling fox” that Malcolm X warned was “more deceitful than the conservative.”
9. THE PUNK ANTIWAR ANTHEMS OF 1984 SOUND LIKE A PALEOCON MANIFESTO
If you want to hear some great antiwar arguments, skip over Daily Kos and go straight to Pat Buchanan. He isn’t merely against intervention in the Middle East; he says we shouldn’t even have participated in WWII! Neocons took the condescending “I know what’s good for you” liberal mentality and applied it to the whole world, whereas punks and paleocons want everyone to be left to their own devices.
10. YOU REALIZE THAT VIOLENCE HAS ITS PLACE
As people at New York’s Church Street boxing gym say, “Fighting solves everything.” On the streets back then, skinheads would fight you for your boots or even your Zippo lighter. Or they’d come directly to shows and attack you in the mosh pit. You couldn’t negotiate with them; the only thing that kept them at bay was a punch to the nose. We learned the hard way that you can’t reason with zealots, so when the PC left comes in demanding apologies or extremist Muslims insist you accept Sharia law, you don’t capitulate—you attack.
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