I knew I was different by the time I was eleven years old. I could feel it. Something about me was... at odds with everybody else. I knew I was essentially the same, anatomically, physiologically and all, same blood and synapses and what not, but something was notably different. I followed my heart and by the time I was fifteen I came out of the closet. I was and am a punk rocker. At the time it became the popular thing to do, and alot of people joined in, but I knew for me it was no trend. I was born this way. Sure, I could feign normalcy and get into Led Zeppelin like the rest of the guys at school, but I would have been denying a crucial part of myself. So I am a rebel, sure, but the thing is, I hate to rebel... It tears me up inside! But as time went on, I realized their is no rebellion in it, just doing what I had to do to be happy with myself. For the past thirteen years I have lived by punk rocker principles, not to adhere to them, but because they are inside of me, they are me. The erudite Ramones listener will tell you this comes down to personal freedom.
One important principle was put into mainstream action last week with the election of my man Barack Obama to be President of America. This was the greatest political moment of my life. Not only did we actually save the country that I love, but a little more than half of America either is post-racial or savvy enough to put their b.s. to the side for the good of their country. A vote for McCain, like votes for Bush in the previous elections, were votes against America. Let me explain... the U.S.A. was founded on freedom. Freedom form taxation without representation, and before that freedom from religious persecution. Never should legislation be passed to adhere solely to religious dogma, especially at the retraction of freedoms, re: civil rights. That is one reason why I love America, it is, or should be, inherently punk rock. It is the young nation, unfettered by prejudices. Of course this is not always the case. Tommy Jefferson's original Declaration of Independence outlawed slavery, but Benny Franklin knew that King Cotton would never ratify, so they ixnayed the crucial lines. For the past eight years, we watched King George strip us of personal freedoms (privacy, habeas corpas) and foam at the mouth to steal others (Right to Choice), while funneling money into his own pocket with the Iraq debacle. Idiot assholes elected him a second, only slightly less fraudulent time and allowed America to sit under a dictator, rather than have some balls. No matter what anybody says, the only reason to vote McCain was if you are racist, or very wealthy and don't give a damn about your fellow man (probably because you assumed they are black). When Obama won, it meant that America was in fact ready for a change. We didn't see new voters really, we saw people who voted for Bush wise up and switch allegiances. Those who did not? Racist. Or pussies. Or rich, racist, pussies.
We all know McCain sold his soul to Karl Rove. Poor guy, I recently went through an identity crisis myself that probably pales in comparison to a life's work negated by shitty politics. But, he's just a puppet, they didn't let him run his own campaign and the RNC picked a real winner in Sarah Palin. The third worst thing going today is people who still think she was in any way credible. "Oh, I really like how she's a mom. Don't underestimate her." Impossible. I can look into a moron's eyes and see the vapidity. Simply being a mom or a P.O.W. doesn't mean shit to me. She was an unqualified BAD PERSON. Wanna know why? Spouting anti-American, anti-Freedom speech, lying, and sarcasm in a situation not befitting it. Bitch should go on Barry Gibb Talk Show and get some real lessons! "I came up on the hard streets of Sydney! You will show me respect! I'm Barry Gibb!" You know, I love Larry King and watch him every day, but she is dissin' you King!
Anyway, the U.S. squeaked through, and all my favorite media is celebrating the page turned in America. I wish I could participate. Unfortunately, the 49% or so that still thinks blacks are inferior have used this election as a jump off for renewed vigor in hate speech.. Never have I heard so many northerners celebrate the tradition of lynching or presidential assassination. Never have I seen the dredging up of old chestnuts like fried chicken and watermelon jokes. Never have I heard the "n-word" so badly dying to pass through curled American lips. I am non-violent, but this makes me wanna swing. I know that this is a shrinking minority, but it kills me. I personally can't wait for these old heads to croak on, but there are people my age who hold these old views. It comes down to evolution (Sorry, Sarah). In a survival of the fittest world, racial biases are gonna get you extinct. Understand? Evolve or die, not a threat, a friendly warning.
Which brings us to the point. On the same day that Civil Rights got its biggest boost since MLK Jr., it also took it's biggest hit. In Wilmington, DE, known liberal hot bed, Proposition 27 was passed, rescinding the already constitutionally guaranteed right for punk rockers to legally marry. Some say this is not a problem. They still offer us "civil unions," giving all the rights of a non-punk married couple. At first this seems alright to me, because I am not a religious person and whatever title they give my union is b.s. to me anyway, but that is just it. Remember America? The whole no religious persecution thing? This brings me back to the seventies in the case of S.E. Hinton v. Texas in which punk Pony-Boy Curtis was awarded full marriage rights to soc Cherry Valence. That's right, it used to be illegal to have mixed-marriage in America. But we evolved. So, what we have here is the classic American "separate but equal" shit, which I thought we dealt with. Sure, alot of people didn't like that either, but they were wrong. Just like now. Should we have a proposition to vote on slavery again? How about segregation? Let the people speak and tell these liberal judges what we feel about their legislating from the bench! All they do is protect freedom and equality, but this is supposed to be a democracy right? RIGHT?? No, it's supposed to be the home of the free and the land of the brave, neither of which are we while our citizens are having their rights plundered due to... I don't rightly know. Is it religious brainwashing? It seems to make sense. In America, you are allowed to vote for whatever reason you want, even if it is unconstitutional. But, Christmas and Easter Christians or even lesser observers have no true right to feel this way, they are eating that self-entitlement shit. It doesn't affect you! It affects me! Your moral high ground is crumbling around you. The traditional family? People of any musical orientation who lave each other no matter what, older people to take care of the younger people.
This reminds me again of high school. While I was involved in important punk rock things, my non-traditionalist ways caught the eye of a few of my fellow students. In my all-boys Catholic school, they mistook my punkrockedness for homosexuality. I was called a "fag" every day for two years, and early on I decided what I would do. I would NEVER, NEVER deny it. Denying it would make it seem like it was something to be ashamed of. It would make it seem like they had a genuine bust, that if I denied, would be legitimized. I never denied, I flirted with my would be attackers, 15 year old boys, and if it got violent, I fought, fist to teeth. At fifteen, I was never scared, so why are you? From then on, I was a proponent of gay rights. I just thank Allah that my gay brothers and sisters are not dealing with the same discrimination and hate that we punks are. They deserve it even less.
Ari Wallach (TEAM HUMAN)
7 months ago