Why I’m Still Punk.

I am writing this in reaction to Ben Lelievre’s comment that I was the only punk he knew. I was moved by his words and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. He mentionned I was one of (or the) only person he knew that managed to grow into a father without changing his ideals and then called me a (loud mouthed) monk.

It’s not the first time I’ve been called a monk. I guess I see it in a way.

As for being punk, I’m still straight edge so that should be credentials enough.

I still listen to punk because I still feel the same power when certain songs start. I know very well that the overwhelming majority of punk is absolute crap, but same can be said for hip-hop or rock or any other type of music.

Go right ahead, put on the songs we used to listen to again. They’re all on Spotify

Listen to Ready to Fall (Rise Against) and realize that song was written fifteen years ago and yet we failed to change our ways of life, how we travel, how we get to work. We have added a grand total of three metro stations in fifteen years and for every new electric car we put on the street, a dozen airplaines take off.

Put on 21st Century Digital Boy (Bad Religion). That was 96. I used to quote those lyrics back in Cegep in PoliSci papers. How many of us are working mind crushing tech jobs today? How many of us are miserable because of it ? How many of us get out of work and back on a skateboard rather than just get a drink to forget about our day.

Put on I wanna be your dog (Iggy pop) and tell me you don’t immediately get that urge to simply scream I EXIST ! and take over the world, let the man know you were here at a time and place. Can’t you heard the despair in the back of it. Aren’t we living in desperate times enough to scream I WANT TO BE MORE!

I became a vegetarian maybe 18 years ago after listening to a song called « Waste » by Good Riddance. Find it on spotify. Find that fucking song and listen to it. Can you feel the anger? I remember why I made that choice 18 years ago and that kind of song re-validates my ideals every time.

Maybe we need to be pissed a little more. Especially these days.

I know I can’t do it anymore. I was too angry for too long and it became a poison to me. I’ll say it. But all the hatred online, all the alt-right, macho militaristic shit we see online and in the world…

Maybe it’s time the left got the fuck off their yoga mat and remember what it felt like to be in a mosh pit again, the power of it, the genius of it, the connection I felt to every fucking punk in the room just for being there and screaming we exist. The energy we got from that and then translated into the world.

Trump and the rest of them got elected because we all lost our guts at a moment when we needed it the most.

I’m not gonna lie,

I’ve been hunkering down in my corner for a few years now. I needed to own my home and raise my kids. Those who’ve never heard of me will toss this as some hypocritial piece of feel good literature to get my ego in check. Those who’ve know me for years know I’m daring to speak of these things with great reluctance because these kinds of articles usually come with a lot of blacklash and I’ve had enough of it in my days.

Maybe the time is now. I don’t know. I’m not saying I’m tossing myself back into the fray, I gave a lot (probably too much).

I’m here to tell you, if you’re feeling like we’re not doing enough.

It’s because we’re not.

If you feel we’re not doing it right.

It’s because we’re not.

I was a vegetarian 15 years ago, refused to do drugs at a time when people did a lot of drugs. I live in the city because I’m not a fan of cars, yet I know cars are useful and necessary to the working class. I am typing this on a recycled computer but I feel lucky enough to know people who could hook me up with that shit. I work at a Coop but that comes with certain priviledges and sacrifces that do not necessarely apply to every industry.

I am part of a union as well and that won’t fix everything but it sure as hell stabilises a lot of things.

The biggest load of shit I usually get from people when I talk about these things is that I am too heavy, I am too radical. « live a little » as if I didn’t have an amazing life to start with.

And the truth is that I have run my carbon footprint, and even something as (suposedly) radical as the way I have decided to live, is not enough to curb ou remissions below where they need to be to keep the earth from scorching us.

I am really far from perfect but the truth is I am trying my damn best with every decision I make.

What’s the link to punk ? Proletarian Urban Nihilistic Kids.

I’m still working class as fuck, I’m still Urbam, Everything I create is still based on The Birth of Tragedy and I’m still very much a Kid, even more so with children of my own.

Being a dad made me feel the urgency of it all even more. The necessity of all the small daily sacrifices I make even more.

I am no fool to think that everything I do is righteous, far from it. I am well aware that my skate shoes are sweatshop made, but all things being sweatshop made, I decided to keep wearing skate shoes because they remind me of a sort of freedom of spirit and resilience of the soul I knew as a teen

And I see no reason to give up on that emotion.

Maybe we did forget how to be free and I am not talking about the kind of false freedom that is tossed about by paper-thin republicans on shitty daily tabloids.

Maybe we forgot how to be free, for ourselves, by ourselves and for each other.

We live in an era when we let anyone and everyone toss us around online, telling us how to be, how to live, what to think. Most of all, I perpetually question my actions because I’d rather make sure I followed my ethics than to « know » I was right all the time.

These days, seems to me like everyone would rather be right than be free.

Well I would rather be free.

So there,

I’m still punk.

There are very good reasons to still be punk.

Go ahead, put on the world’s very first punk song.

Iggy pop, 1969…

It’s on spotify. Put it on, really loud.

And tell me you don’t feel it.

I dare you.

I fucking dare you.

Ian.

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