I am Punk. I will always be Punk. At the moment I am employed in State Government, wear business professional attire to the office every day, work an 8AM to 5PM schedule, and you would never expect me to shout out ‘Oi! Oi! Oi!’, or remove my shirt to reveal a whole lot of black ink.
Some would argue that makes me a sellout. Some would argue that makes me a poser. And, of course, I couldn’t disagree more. What does it mean to be Punk?
a style or movement characterized by the adoption of aggressively unconventional and often bizarre or shocking clothing, hairstyles, makeup, etc., and the defiance of social norms of behavior, usually associated with punk rock musicians and fans.
The problem with defining Punk as something unconventional, shocking, or that defies social normalities is that social normalities are not static. The problem with being Anti-Establishment as a rule is that not all establishments are bad.
I can’t think of a better definition for Punk than the song ‘My Way’. Being Punk is about doing what you want to do – doing things your way. Can you be Punk and still function in society? Absolutely, if that’s what you want to do. Can you be Punk and work for ‘the man’? Absolutely, if that’s what you want to do.
As for myself, I want to have nice things. I want to ride Harleys. I want to take girls out to nice restaurants. I want to own a nice house. How do I make those things happen? My way – which happens to be sitting in an office from 8 to 5 every day, working for “the man”. Sure, I can’t sport a mohawk or ripped jeans while I’m at work, which I would enjoy. If I was a skilled musician, tattoo artist, drug dealer, etc… I could do those things. As it turns out, my skills are a little more white collar than those. Does being realistic and having the ability to compromise make me any less punk? I don’t think so.
The things I want and the way I go about them are going to change often over time. But one thing is going to remain the same – I will always do things My Way. I will never accept someone telling me that I can’t think/feel/act the way I want to. I am, Forever Punk.