When we hear the words “punk rock” , it often conjures images of anarchy, Warped Tour (before it became lame), Dickies shorts, Vans, Chucks, skateboarders, loud music, dirty jokes, and in general - mayhem. Although these are all parts of the subculture, many have missed the point or have misunderstood those renegade kids. In some cases even the kids themselves have missed the point.
To quote one of the icons of the punk scene, Tom DeLonge, who said in Ernie Ball’s Pursuit of Tone, “The whole punk rock thing has nothing to do with music at all… I think kids missed that point entirely.” If you really look at the subculture and the icons of the movement, you soon learn that being “punk” has nothing to do with the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, your friends, or the number of piercings you do or do not have - it’s about an attitude.
A punk rocker is really at his or her essence, a rebel with a cause. You may be wondering…what the hell kind of cause could a punk anarchy-filled kid have? Here’s a hint: it doesn’t have anything to do with the cherry bomb in your mail box last summer, the house they tee-peed freshman year, or the insanely loud music the band played in college. Being punk is a rebellion against the status quo, it’s about challenging yourself to be more, to believe in yourself, and above all else, finding your own way.
In our youth, we’re often told, sometimes by parents, or by friends, the media, or culture in general that we should be a certain way. The punk rocker shouts at the world that I - not you - will decide who I will be; it’s my life and I am my own person. It’s a rebellion against the status quo, being told what to do, and truly deciding that I am powerful beyond measure, can do anything, can dream impossible dreams and make them happen, and probably have a hell of a lot of fun along the way.
The most punk rock thing I’ve ever heard, didn’t come from a stage it came from a man from Cupertino California who said:
When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world.
Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life.
Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
- Steve Jobs
So next time you hear the load music, see the skate shoes, the tight pants, or a general sense of rebellion; remember that the ones who are crazy, foolish, and bold enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do…and that anyone who changes the world has a little punk rock in them.