New punk knows nothing about punk


As I read a copy of the Jan. 26 Arizona Daily Wildcat, I began to wonder what kind of reasoning is employed to determine what letters to the editor will be printed. It would make sense that the letters that would take priority would be those that have a valuable point of some kind, with the point made clearly and effectively. When I came across the letter headlined "Get ready for the new punk on the block," however, it became clear to me that the aforementioned criteria was definitely not used by the Wildcat to decide about that letter.

In the letter, Mr. Jacobs first complains that there is no individuality at our fine institution, then describes how he has overcome this in his own life by getting a mohawk. Jacobs then goes off on a supercilious tangent about his self-sacrifice for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. With ever-present focus, Jacobs' diatribe finally ends with an attack directed at athletics and his signing of the letter as "The New Punk on the Block."

I would like to start out by stating that I resent the way in which Jacobs signed the letter and how the letter was similarly headlined. I do a punk/hardcore show on KAMP student radio and I'm pretty certain that Jacobs doesn't know a thing about punks. I do not know Mr. Jacobs personally, but the picture of himself that he has painted for the Wildcat readership is that of an arrogant, self-praising crusader who only does the things he does for recognition, not for anything as noble as social justice, as he would lead readers to believe. Furthermore, being "punk" in the sense that Jacobs seems to mean, is not about an image. Being punk is not just a hairstyle or wearing an anarchy "A" T-shirt. If you think it is, just take a look at some of the greatest punk bands to come out of the 1980s, when the punk scene hit its peak. Most members of bands like Black Flag, the Adolescents, Minor Threat, and Bad Religion looked pretty much mainstream middle-class young people, except for a few tattoos. The new generation of punk bands, like Pennywise, the White Kaps, the New Bomb Turks, Face to Face, and HFL, are the same way. It's what's on the inside, their thoughts, ideas and beliefs, that make them different.

In his letter, Jacobs also asked the question, "What good do these jocks bring to our society?" I am not an athlete, but I feel the need to answer Jacobs' question. If athletes or "jocks" aren't good for anything else, at least at the university level, the money their games generate helps to keep the cost of tuition down. I don't necessarily like the way society seems to exalt professional sports players, but I don't think that anyone can blame society's troubles on athletes either.

Lastly, I'd like to humbly offer a few suggestions to Mr. Jacobs. Take a look around. We're not lemmings; not everyone at the university is a clone. After you've looked around, and if you still find us all too low for your standards of iconoclasm, you should consider getting an infomercial to sell your own instructional video about coolness and non-conformity. Maybe you could have some other really cool guests who think they're punk too, like, Green Day.

"Out of Step with the World"

Ben Todd

Media Arts Freshman

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