Lately, I've been listening to 1970's punk. Velvet Underground(okay more 60's), New York Dolls. Violent Femmes (okay, 80's). Ramones. Clash. Sex Pistols. Anarchy! In the UK!!!! Part of me thinks this unseemly. After all, punk was for the disaffected youth. I'm probably disaffected. but I'm a grown-up. Well. Not just a grown-up, but a middle-aged grown-up (ugh, how I hate word? phrase?) So a fraction of me doesn't think punk is appropriate. But where is the rule that says rebellion is only for youth? The youth of today don't seem to want to rebel anyway; they have soma-like conditions with their Ipods, video games, cell phones that realign the satellites, etc. etc. They are comfortable with complacence. Rebellion is really for the middle-aged, when one thinks about it. I look around at my colleagues and see the smoldering embers within them. I think we all want to paper the halls, and use red spray paint, and give the finger to the security cameras, and chant at faculty meetings, and maybe blast a little Clash through the hallways. WAKE UP! The youth of today seem embalmed already, entombed in their sea of technological toys. God knows we all want to rebel against what time does to our body and souls, but gravity is inevitable. Everything begins that slow slide down to the ground. Are there no punk songs about sagging breasts and chins, stomachs that mysteriously acquire a layer of fat that will NOT go away? What about the daily grind that chips away at the soul? "Leave my soul ALONE!" We could all drone in deadpan voices a la Lou Reed.
Well, punk is about anger and passion and expression and being loud and ballsy and not caring who knows it.
On another note, I can't get enough of The Runaways' "Cherry Bomb." Not punk, but sneery snotty girls. "Hello World, I'm your wild giiirrrl, I'm your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!"
And why is it I love the snottiness of The Runaways, but I want to smack the little snotty fourteen-year-old girls in my classes?
On yet another note, I saw a girl wearing a Ramones T-shirt and short plaid pleated skirt and black stockings and boots in the hall. Punk of the millenium? I had hope. I said, "Hey-ho! Let's go!" She gave me a blank look. Nope.
And....it's definitely a sign of middle-age when one starts using the phrase "youth of today." Siiiiiiiigggggghhhh.