Friday, October 27, 2006

I think so much about age, particularly as it relates to being involved in a punk community, particularly as it relates to your life when you want to be part of a community, when you desire change, when you want to live with a spirit of resistance but you also want to build security and stability for yourself. I think about it in terms of gender, in terms of the expectations of what it means to be a woman in this society, what defines femininity, what I want to extract from that, whether I want children, what I want out of life, work, art, love, community - how to love fully, and include yourself in that process, what partnerships look like that make me feel comfortable, what kinds of adventures I want to have, who I want to hold close and why, what choices I want to make for myself.

I feel lucky to live in DC, in a place where there are a number of truly inspiring people in the punk community a generation ahead of me who are active, engaged, and who have lives that make sense to me. So much doesn't resonate to me about the way some people approach punk - when it becomes a ghetto of self congratulation, when people fall into a party line, when you get evil looks if you aren't stoked on lettuce from a dumpster that is brown. There are some things that strike me as laziness. I don't know - I feel, for example, like I was afforded a great privilege to go to school and get a degree. I don't think that means I shouldn't question our incredibly fucked up system of higher education, and of class and privilege, and how it plays out in the world. I do think though that there is something to be said for hard work and completing what you start. It doesn't have to be school, but I get saddened to think that there are punk kids content to sit and talk amongst ourselves, to pontificate to abstraction when there is a world out there that is fucked beyond belief, that needs us active, engaged, and alive.

It needs to be flexible. Punk was my catalyst, and will always be. It is a part of my life, a joyous, celebratory part. But it isn't my whole life. And growing older means for me looking at what positive role it can play in my life, what music means to me, what community and cultural production means. It means writing history, listening to the incredible voices of my friends, understanding that bullshit that is corporate media and media production, resisting. It means I need to share that with younger people, need to learn from older people, and vice versa. It means we have to reach out and connect to each other, and for me, it has also meant understanding when I am using substances as a crutch to connect because of pain. So, it means examining the role of substances in an underground music culture, in my own life, in the lives of my friends.

I want to resist a lot of the bullshit that I hate about how we are taught to be as adults, but I also want to embrace wisdom, hard work, learning, stability, community, commitment, and cooperation. I think there are lots of punks out there that think about this sort of stuff. I want to hear more from people. This is only the beginning of this discussion for me.


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