By Noah Lopez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The dust rippled over our shoes as we cut through the thick desert air. It had been a long voyage, filled with empty mirages upon which he had hung our empty dreams. When the last whisper of hope crossed Jon Burstein's lips, he collapsed, his face buried in the infertile dirt of Tucson, and began to weep. I dropped to my knees to comfort my journalistic colleague, and when we slowly raised our heads, we saw it.
Like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, there stood Greasy Tony's, the legendary UA culinary haunt, at the edge of the dirt parking lot. As we slowly crossed the threshold into the land of the 99-cent cheesesteak, we immediately knew our spiritual questions would be answered.
There in the darkened corner booth of the restaurant, sat the man . the New Punk on the Block, Michael Jacobs. Or, as he is commonly known around the Wildcat newsroom, Punk Boy.
I had read his letter to the editor over and over. And from the record number of replies to it in the newspaper, I knew I was not alone. What was behind the man with the mohawk? What made this new breed of punk tick? And, more importantly, was he alone? Or was he just one of the many buzzed ones marching in unison to cleanse the planet of its jock and yuppie epidemic? With these questions in mind, I telephoned Michael Jacobs and made arrangements to meet him in Greasy Tony's.
Fueled by the heated and frequent responses that the Wildcat had run about his letter, Michael was eager to present his side of the story. As he spoke, he made more sense than his angry letter implied. All he wanted was to be loved. He was tired of the lack of respect that people on the UA display to each other, and was threatened by the apparent disregard for morals that today's youth are exhibiting. He was disappointed with the obvious zeal that UA youths exhibited towards materialistic goods, something that he had not encountered in his home state Florida or in his travels in France. He noted the disrespect that American youth have for their parents. He wasn't a punk, he explained, he just didn't want to fit in with any group or labelling.
Punk Boy's image began to develop further. There was more to the man than just a outlandish hairstyle. It was obvious there was some pain behind the bitter facade. He told of girls lying to their boyfriends in order to have their boyfriends threaten to hurt him. He spoke of his disdain for people who smile.
"People will smile at you, when they're serving you or something. But they'll be the same people that when they see you being mugged or something, they'll just walk on by."
The lights in the restaurant dimmed further, and a red glow emanated from behind the young punk. His voice lowered. "What needs to happen, is for God to have another natural disaster . A comet needs to hit the Earth. People need to wake up."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Jon burst out, unable to control his laughter.
Punk Boy grinned, sheepishly, appearing not to understand Jon's ignorance. "You know . like the Flood."
With these final words of new punk wisdom, Jon and I thanked our guide, and left the restaurant. Yet another chapter in our unfolding chapter of spiritual questioning closed.
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"You May Survive" is a regular feature of Thursday's alterNation arts section, in which Wildcat reporters take a little risk and brave unusual situations or commit acts that Wildcat readers may or may not want to take part in themselves.
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