What the hell is with teen tribes? It seems like all of a sudden, the past few years, kids have been more and more keen to label themselves as “punk” or “emo” or “goth”
It’s not the little ones that annoy me. It’s the 17 year old+ people who think all there is to life is how well you fit a stereotype. College is full of these kids who identify as “emo” or “goth” or “punk”, with corresponding styles of dress and attitudes; why the fuck do so many people want to be just like everyone else? And when did punk become all about fashion?
I remember wondering this same thing, bemoaning the whole "new generation" of college kids who were so into identifying as punk in order to be cool -- when punk started becoming a semi-popular fashion trend. I remember shaking my head at the new commodification of the punk lifestyle.
But the thing is -- it was the kids who were getting into it via the "trendy" bands like Green Day and Nirvana, Sublime and Rancid who were causing us the problems. It was the popularity of the very bands that introduced Volsunga to punk that distressed us "old school" punks.
Of course, there were those who felt the same way when my cohort joined the ranks of punk rock. My first introduction to punk rock came via Quincy. I was only 11 when I saw this now infamous episode, but instead of being scared away from punk, I was utterly intrigued. I loved the music, and wanted to hear more. But, being only 11, that would have to wait a few more years yet -- IOW, by the time I entered the "scene," even the former "Quincy punks" were "old school." But, by 14 I was thoroughly enthralled with The Violent Femmes, The Smiths, The Cure, and other such bands. I died my hair and started hanging out on "The Ave."
Eventually, I earned my "cred" and became part of the core group of punks who could now whine and kvetch about the new "weekend punks" with the "safety dos" (the hairstyles that looked "normal" during the week and "punked out" during the shows).
Of course, there were those "punks" who came in with me who did it just as a "fad," their dedication to punk petering out eventually, just as there were in Volsunga's cohort, and just as there will be in this next generation.
But, there will also be those who, in 10 years, will be bemoaning the new trend of rebel, the new commodification of punk, and looking back fondly on the old days when punk was "real."