After I finally met some other people that were into hardcore punk and were also straight edge we talked about what it meant to us and then we started a band. Before doing this project I brought it up again at band practice about what it means to all of us to be straight edge. We came to the final conclusion that even though all our reasons are different the underlying message is that we like that we are being true to ourselves. Being true to ourselves means that we never have to worry about being in a altered state of mind that is not our own and that were always in control of who we are.
As I previously mentioned earlier Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, Inside Out, and Minor Threat are some bands I grew up listening to. I want to break down what each of these bands mean to me and how they each impacted my life.
Youth of Today is one of the most popular hardcore bands from the 80's. The lyrics this band put out were all about being positive and being equal to one another. They are also a straight edge band and the lead singers lyrics are about being positive, equal, and straight edge are very powerful and moving. The lyrics and the passion that went into them just make you want to make a change in your life. Youth of Today really gave me a sense of fitting in and also standing up for equality amongst the population. I never stood for racism and I never will and neither will any of my friends. Make a change!
Another band that played a HUGE impact on my childhood was Gorilla Biscuits. This band was and still is very energetic and seeing them live is quite the experience. The singer for this bands lyrics are all about going out and having as much fun as possible while at the same time not caring at all what people think about you. There are plenty of lyrics about how it must be boring to be lazy and how it is so much better to just go out and have fun. When I was young I was never one to sit around the house and do nothing unless I was reading a book but after discovering band I literally was always down to do anything as long as it meant I was not at home doing nothing. This still stands true to this day and probably will for many years to come. Go out and make friends and memories to carry you a life time.
Inside Out is a hardcore band that had front man Zack de la Rocha and he is very political and gives great speeches about the how the government controls our lives in a sense. Zach gave speeches before their sets started and also in between songs and let me tell you these speeches were powerful and so were his lyrics. Whenever my band covers one of their songs the crowd goes insane because this band truly means a lot to the people that listen to hardcore. What I learned from Inside Out is that I should never take no for an answer and that if you should speak out instead of being just another face in the crowd.
Finally, a band that made an everlasting impact on my life is Minor Threat. This is one of the first bands to really kick start the straight edge lifestyle. Ill never forgot the day I heard the song called "Straight Edge" and ever since then I also stayed true to myself and committed to being straight edge. Ultimately this band had a big influence not only on me but thousands of people around the world. Stay true to you.
The take home message from this project was to show how being part of a counter culture can really influence your daily life. Whether it is the quotes from SAMO or the controversial art made by Banksy or the punks and their music. All of this stuff was made to stick up for something and go against what is in the norm of common culture. Honestly I am the black sheep in my family due to the way I go about my life. This leads to a lot of them not respecting me or socializing with but honestly it does not phase me one bit because as long as I can stick up for what I believe in I will be one happy camper. I am proud to be straight. I am proud to be a punk. What these two things allows me to do is lead a life of true aspiration and culmination. All of these arts are associated with "underground arts" meaning that they are not in the popular realm of things. I intentionally wrote this paper in a way that I would speak it to someone during a conversation. What I mean by this is did not explain everything thoroughly because if I did so the art of the conversation would be lost. I was always one to speak in a poetic manner and this is shown in my lyrics, poems, and short stories I write. Although this is not written in a poetic manner I still tried to write it in a way that it is more of a conversation than a presentation. To me what this allows is for the reader to actually try and engage in what they are reading rather than having it all just spoon fed to them.
The most important thing that comes out of all this is we all get to have so much fun!
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Von Dirke, S. (1997). All Power to the Imagination!: The West German Counterculture from the Student Movement to the Greens. U of Nebraska Press.