RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Wednesday, August 28

SONG OF THE DAY: Scuffle Town

Thankful people don’t actually read websites any more so that nobody actually sees this and either gets mad at me or has their feelings hurt. Punk music has always seemed like bourgeoisie bullshit to me, a performance of rebellion before slowly leaking back into the cul-de-sac futures your parents envisioned for you all along. Richmond in the ‘90s built that perception for me. The punk scene was insular, self-important, and progressively misogynistic, not to mention mostly afforded to folks to at a higher class status level. For as much posturing of slumming it up that punk does, there’s still a basic financial investment in wardrobe and constant shows that an actual poor can’t do.
The local scene was dominated by one group, and I dealt with all those dudes to one extent or another at some point in my time. Some were more chill than others. They had a set of reunion shows recently, and it was very weird to see the old class hierarchies back in effect, people clamoring for elusive tickets and making a high school reunion-like weekend of it. I’ve never been one to really understand the notion of being like “oh 20 years ago was the shit!” because shouldn’t your creative drive continue throughout life? But what struck me most was the level of economic comfort how many old punks had achieved. Having access to wealth, even through family, even if it’s tacitly, to get down payments on homes in cheaper neighborhoods you swear you’re not gentrifying, or to be able to support self-employment efforts that wouldn’t be sustainable without that adjacency to wealth from time to time… I don’t know, it’s weird, and it again confirmed all my suspicions about the class issues inherent to punk rock. Back then, a lot of the punks felt like assholes, and not in a fun “let’s be contrarian to the system” sorta way, but just in a regular old white guy asshole type way, juts with tattoos and patched hoodies instead of normal white guy asshole attire. Age has probably mellowed that outward expression of asshole, but that’s also because a certain level of comfort has afforded them that.
Clique-y scenes will always be bullshit, and just extensions of the existing status quo bullshit, but done through the act of being different. It is far easier to assimilate and appear counter to mainstream culture when you have access to the safety nets to make your daring countercultural jumps not a danger to your existence. There’s a lot of old punks, in Richmond as well as many other cities, that have been part of older gentrifying waves of urban spaces, and somehow consider themselves a voice of everyday people, or the poor and marginalized, or at least feeling sympathetic to those causes. I don’t know man, you’d think I’d not be shocked at people’s hypocrisy in this pyramid scam of wealth that is American existence, but I still am shocked by it.

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