This is a follow up to an old flyer from The Apostles. You would think that after all these decades that the conditions of the so called punk movements have improved. And yet, as I looked around me here in Los Angeles, it proved more to destroy those who took part in it rather than them destroying what they were against. This is primarily because the movement was co-opted. Punk became a business as Hot Topic and others took it over and turned it into consumerist, materialistic garbage. Mohawks of different colors and outfits in all black were shocking and new back then. Now, they have lost their value. Something new needs to emerge; something different. How could so many people miss the point and adopt the clothing style as a uniform? It was more about looking cool and being the biggest deadbeat instead of resisting. And so many youths were tricked to be this way by design.
I'm still alive, and still don't know where I am going. But the madness continues, and even now when I look at the bands I wrote about, I wonder what has come out of it. The failure of Overgrounds' Anti-War, Anti-Society, Anti-State, and Anti-Capitalism compilation albums is that they came with no lyrics. It introduced the music that makes this blog to a wide audience, and yet was made mute and stripped of it's message. Now, people celebrate these bands. The issue is that they have no idea what they were saying. That's part of the reason why I posted so many lyrics on here and called the blog Listen And Understand. That name itself was lifted from a song title from the band Kulturkampf.
As much as people don't want to admit it, Andy Martin was right. It's not so much that he is against the movement. Rather, it's important to be critical and to point out the contradictions. This is a means to improve on mistakes. You'll never get better without constructive criticism. I could never go along with pacifists who allow neo-Nazis to beat people. I could never go along with turning the other cheek to an enemy who does not know what non-violence is. It's useless against a sadist individual or government. By not fighting back you have become a lamb ready for slaughter. even the fiercest non-violent revolutionary leaders were killed violently by the power structure. It's time to move on to better methods. The system that creates my way of life in this country has become a disgustingly infected blob of puss. And it requires surgery.
Growing up in Los Angeles, there was a small but thriving punk community around the early to mid 2000s. I was in the middle as spectator to all the madness. The bands that are popular here are not the bands that I've talked about on this blog. Instead, it's trash like The Casualties or The Exploited. Punk bands that did nothing but create reactionary music with reactionary lyrics that did no more than inspire generations of drunks and drug addicts that destroyed themselves. The system knows fully well what the bands that really had something to say could create and inspire. Thus, they needed these puppet and clown bands that have no interest rather than to party, play music, and prey on women. These kids were against the system, but had no idea how to properly attack it. Many died of alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses. As I went backyard show to backyard show over the years, I saw young punks with horrifying looks on their faces of the hopelessness and addiction. These bands that I have talked about seem non-existent here. And what irritates me greatly is that many of the few who knew about them prided themselves in knowing underground bands that made them feel better than everyone else. These types became armchair revolutionaries, and I despise them. There was no will to fight back for all these years. Just escapists looking to live fast and die young. This was never what punk was trying to do. I was mortified.
I tried to start a band and to talk sense into people. And yet, the damage to our youth is so bad that it became irreversible in many. If you try to act sane in an insane society, that society will look at you as if you are insane. Eventually, I managed to pull something together and played at a white Christian church some covers. They didn't know what we were going to play, but at least the kids enjoyed it as it was something they had never heard before. I'll never forget the horrified reactions of the so called good Christian law-abiding citizens as we played Dirt, Sanction, Anti-System, and D & V songs. We played once at a backyard and another time at a garage. However, not everyone could commit to it and everything fell apart. Some recordings exist on YouTube, but we never graduated from covers.
It is one issue to help people find the bands that had a meaningful message, and another for them to understand and know how to get into politics and to get involved with a movement. Chumbawamba taught us that charities are corrupt and merely a bandage over the problems of exploitation by capitalist interests. Verbal Warning and the Apostles pointed out the contradictions within the punk movements that far back just to get attacked and discarded. I still wonder what Crass was really trying to accomplish. Why help bands make music but try to make them all sounds like them? Why push reactionary pacifist values? Where they too ignorantly middle class for their own good?
Where are we now? We're in a dark place. The damage to public consciousness is getting worse. The fascist elements have made such an effort to destroy and misguide all revolutionary thought, and it shows. Punk lost its fangs long ago and continues to do the opposite to the youth of what it originally did. It's a hopeless situation. But only when it gets dark enough can you see the stars. The most violent era of human history has yet to come.