FUZZ Think-Piece: What does it mean to be 'punk'?
Updated: Aug 22, 2021
This week's topic is on the idea of 'punk'. It's an idea that could use some re-branding, as surely the first image that pops into your brain is the one sitting to the left of these words. This is not to take away from the classic 'punk' scene that the image depicts, but it's worth exploring the ethos in broader terms to open up the doors for others who may be 'punk', but don't realize it. What are the fundamentals? How does, 'punk' happen? Is there a group of decision makers behind the scenes? Is there an unspoken language, that once you try to decode it, you instantly become un-punkified?
"How does, 'punk' happen?"
Going back to the early days of pop music, what was the feeling Elvis evoked in the masses? I'm riffing here, but my take would be is that he was doing something that stuck out from the doldrums of the G-rated 50s music that enveloped media at that time. It's odd to think it, but for his time, he was the Sex Pistols, the Run DMC, the Prince, the Nirvana, the Blink 182, the Eminem, the Daft Punk, the Doja Cat (trying to over all the decades here, which artists would you put?)
What do these artists all have in common? What personally sticks out is a sense of rebellion. A care-free attitude towards the normalities of the status quo. A knack for breaking new ground.
"A personified rebellion."
Surely these are all highly successful artists. Which is not to say that success is a meaningful component of being 'punk'. More importantly, it was the punk approach to their respective styles of music that played a large part in these artists' impact on culture.
So what does this mean to you? Are you punk? Do you want to be?
There will for sure be those out there who disagree, but for the sake of this being a think-piece, what if the most punk thing possible was you being 'you', in raw form? There is no one exactly like you, so anything you do for the sake of self-expression without the influence of validation from others is about as punk as it gets. It may not make you a million dollars, but if you start with a punk foundation, anything is foundation. And for every inch of energy you focus in doing something that is not natural to you, for the sake of imitating what you think others will deem punk, an angel loses its liberty spike.
Just food for thought, yum-yum. 🍔
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