Punk rock changed my life. I used to be a white, middle class, angst-ridden teenager living in the suburbs. And while I couldn’t articulate at the time why I was felt so much angst, looking back now, I see it was all the product of one circumstance: I felt stifled.
Being a fourteen-year-old male who wanted to be a writer and musician (i.e. artist) in a small city like the one I grew up in just wasn’t cool. Whatever cool meant at the time, I just wasn’t it. The athletes and partiers were the ones who received the rewards and attention, and while I played sports for a number of years, it was music, writing, and other creative activities that drew my attention and eventually compelled me to quit competitive sports altogether.
So despite having a supportive family and some amazing teachers and friends who encouraged my creativity, I still couldn’t escape a sense of limitation and pressure to keep a lid on whatever it was that was buried in my soul: the impulse to create. Yet with time, that impulse started to grow—especially when I found my father’s bass guitar hidden in a closet beneath the stairs and heard particular bands that unlocked my passion for creativity and gave me permission to start creating art and sharing it with people.
In short, I discovered punk rock, and it changed my life.
Looking at me now, you probably wouldn’t know that a lot of the creative work I do is rooted in the principles of punk rock, but it is. And I think I should start writing about those principles and see what happens next.