Lately I have been really getting back into punk rock. I kind of drifted from it for a while, but I never left it. I have found that my temperament has changed in the last few years, and a lot of the aggression I had has faded. In short, I'm a much happier individual now than just a few years back.
I don't have the same 'fuck all' attitude I used to have. I haven't needed it. It seems so much easier to be nice to people until they aren't nice back. I'd rather give folks I meet the benefit of the doubt than just assume they aren't worth my time. It makes me happy to help people at work, it isn't a chore like it once was. There are still annoying customers, and I still bitch about them, but they aren't all annoying. I am much more likely now to enjoy an interesting story from a stranger than I ever have been. I've noticed I'm a much more gentle person now than I was 3 years ago. Anyway, back to my point.
I used to love going to punk shows. All summer long I would take days off to go see shows. I would make a day of it. Get together whoever was going with, go get dinner, get to the venue, buy a t-shirt (this is tradition. buy a shirt, wear it the whole concert. It doesn't matter how hot it is, you wear that shirt! Then you wear it the next day, let everyone enjoy the stench of an awesome show.), rock out, go get drinks (soda's) and head home around midnight. So epic. There were so many good shows! But then I stopped enjoying it. It just didn't seem like a fun use of my time. It was hot, expensive, noisy, crowded, and just unpleasant. So I quit going. I also quit listening to as much punk. It just wasn't really what I wanted to hear anymore.
Well I went through this funk for a while, but now I am really getting back into it. the music sounds so good again! I think it's because I have been writing a political blog with some friends. Or that it is getting warm outside. Or any number of awesome things that have been happening lately. I feel great! I never quit being a punk at heart, I just took a vacation from it, and now I'm back!
Punk isn't about the music, it's about the attitude. Punk is doing what you want because you want to do it. Punk is questioning authority. Punk is doing what makes you happy. Punk is never selling out, never caring what others think, doing shit your own way, and standing up for what's right. It's raw, harsh and abrasive. It's freedom. Punk may be loud and angry, but it's that way to get your attention. To raise your awareness of the iniquities of this country, of this social structure. We may be great, but we still have problems, as individuals and as a society.
I may not be the angry kid I once was, but I am still a Punk. I can still bring forth that focused anger when it's needed to fight against injustices, whether personal or national. I still don't give a shit what others think, I still do things my way, I still question authority. I may be a calmer individual, but I am still a Punk. And I'm damn happy to be one.