I knew that I didn’t have it all together, andeverywhere I looked people acted as if they did. My thoughts and ideas would change day to day asI talked to one person and then the next. I needed a concrete feeling. I tried going to church andfinding a release through God, but I was unable to believe. I tried looking at all my friends, but theywere all naive, so I turned to music.
Music has become my religion, it clearly defines the questions Ihave no answers to. I found that everything that irritated me also irritated the people in the bands Istarted listening to. People label this type of music as “punk. ” “Punk” is defined in Webster’s NewWorld Dictionary as “a loud, fast, and deliberately offensive style of rock music,” and it defines “apunk” as “a) a young hoodlum b) a young person regarded as inexperienced, insignificant, etc. 1slang poor; inferior. ” That is the worst misinterpretation I have ever come across.
The membersof many punk bands have gone to college and are quite intellectual. Intellect is the basis of a punkattitude. Punk is about change, and as defined by the band, Propagandhi, “The basis of change:educate!/Derived from discussion, not hate, not myth, not muscle, not etiquette. / Intellect, not’re-elect!’ Status symbols yield to respect between sex, species, environment. .
. yup!” (Propagandhi,”Hate, Myth, Muscle, Etiquette”). Punk songs aren’t about going out and doing drugs, breakingthings, and harassing people, they are about life, life as a kid. And since I’m “not really understandingwhat it takes to be a man, I think I’ll stay a kid while I can” (Assorted Jelly Beans, “Plain Life”).
Itgives people permission to act 18 when they are 50. Punk lifestyles are full of a positive energy thatmany people lose when they “grow up. ” Existing as a punk takes the concepts of being an adult andcombines them with being a kid. The result is a much simpler and entertaining life. The first issue thatpunk music covered for me was religion.
I felt like everyone had some higher power to look to whenthings didn’t work out, everyone but me. I couldn’t conform myself to the ideas of a higher powerbecause the interpretations of reality that brings seem so dillusional to me. There appears to be somany unheard truths in lyrics like, “They say I shouldn’t commit no crime/cos Jesus Christ is watchingall the time,/ so what, so what. / So what if he’s always over my shoulder. / I realize the truth as I getolder/. I get to see what a con it is, because it’s my life,/ mine, not his” (Crass, “So What”).
I alwaysfelt that if there was an almighty and pure God that He/She would not make rules like “obey no Godother than me. ” Where does that leave everyone raised under any other religion? A child in India willmost likely be raised as a Buddhist or some religion other than Christianity. It is not their fault thatthey don’t follow the Christian God, especially if they haven’t heard of the Christian God. I don’t seethe sense in a all powerful God who shows less sensitivity to people who don’t ultimately have thechoice of who they follow. Furthermore, any God that is supposedly for the good of mankind shouldbe more concerned with the moral actions of mankind than their preferences of faith . And howcould a Savior expect to be worshipped by everyone under the circumstances of today’s world.
Lifeisn’t fair, so how does that play into an equal religion for all? Hearing the song “No” by theSubhumans brings this thought to an all new reality. The lead singer claims, “No, I don’t believe inJesus Christ. / My mother died of cancer when I was five. / No, I don’t believe in religion. / I wasforced to go to church and I wasn’t told why.
” At one time I felt alone with these ideas, all my familyand friends followed the God in which I was detached. I felt like I was doing something terriblywrong, like I had to conform. But when I started hearing these same thoughts in punk music for thefirst time I felt secure in my own disbeliefs. “Beliefs