Editor, Daily Nexus,
It’s a lot like the phrase “pick on someone your own size” – instead of making an interesting comment on makeoutclub.com and wannabe hipsters shakin’ their hips, Drew Mackie, in a verbose and exaggerated “Media Gadfly,” takes aim at teenybopper punks, who apparently represents the greatest threat to punk rock to date.
I agree that some punk rock is “manufactured mainstream music,” but punk’s presence in pop doesn’t mean that it’s nowhere else or over. Yet it’s funny that you make such an issue about punk in the mainstream as though it happened for the first time, since any avid music fan should anticipate the mainstream to mostly be a censored, watered-down version of cold reality anyway. I ask, why are you looking for punk rock in the mall to begin with? Isn’t that the place you expect to find the best of the banal, in the guise of SUVs, McDonald’s and mid-life crises?
There’s the sound of a new world being born every day – and you’re not tuned in. Even as your office sits adjacent to KCSB’s or as locals strive for Biko and Living Room shows, you persist in calling the movement “an entire group of poseurs.” But your complaint is as old as punk’s own conception, a reverberation of what any flipsided punk says about a band that turns the scene over, whether it’s the Clash or Green Day. Your idea of “yesterpunk” might be “freaky bands” and “thrashing chords,” but mine was about holding my case up against resistant bitter old punks like you. Punk is as good as it’s always been, but it’s often in the last place you look, many times intentionally evasive of MTV, corporate interest and meddlesome, know-it-all college students.
Most disturbing is how you criticize those buying a Sex Pistols shirt. I think the people who were around in the late ’70s are the only ones in position to talk, and you probably aren’t one of them. Sure, you were there for the reunion, but that doesn’t give you a claim over a whole era. You’re no better than the people you mock because, like the kid representing a band on a shirt that doesn’t represent him back, you’re defending something that you weren’t a part of.
A whining, dethroned punk will only make the new school slam back, but harder. Punk rock isn’t fashion and often isn’t even a sound, but a mindset that challenges the shameless and desensitizing mainstream, crossing limits beyond the mildness and stifling ease of safety and comfort. That’s as true now as ever, and if you had made an effort to see it on that score, you’d see that punk rock is everywhere the mainstream isn’t, and that’s nothing to guard against.