Punks, Don’t Believe What You Read: A Primer on Getting the Facts
Early punk lashed out at almost everything. The media especially newspapers were a favorite target.
As a refresher, check out Boomtown Rats “Don’t Believe What You Read”, The Jam’s “News of the World”, “Sunday Papers” by Joe Jackson, or Public Enemy ripping apart the New York Post. Elvis Costello skewered Radio, and the Dead Kennedys, Anti Flag, and Crass ripped the media constantly. Today the media gets less attention, but Zack Delaroca’s on stage raps still contain lots of slams to all media.
Today there are plenty of issues to fuel our activism. Daily we come across ideas and issues that should generate concern, if not rage, and propel us to action.
- North Carolina Proposes State Religion
The separation of church and state is a fundamental concept of our democracy. Presumably the official religion of North Carolina will be Christianity. So we immediately disenfranchise and marginalize Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, and Atheists. The bill would conceivably also serve to marginalize different branches of Christianity. Catholics, Primitive Baptists, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists and Pentecostals all share the basic tenants of Christianity but their approaches to worship are inherently different. This is a bad bill.
- Charities Rip Off Donors
Helping those less fortunate that ourselves is a noble endeavor. Putting our money or our time where our mouth is shows our commitment and sincerity. But seriously, helping UNICEF when the CEO gets over a million dollars a year in salary AND a Rolls Royce is criminal.
- High School has segregated Proms
We learn how get along with each other early on. We learn this is two main places, home and at school. The fact that any high school still condones segregated proms in 2013 is ludicrous. Find out how to let the school board know how you feel and how to support the students that want to end this policy.
- Bill Cosby Is Tired of America being Soft on Values.
Bill Cosby has been an entertainment icon for decades. He’s tired of how our culture collides drug addicts, fringe religions, wealthy athletes and entertainment divas (does Lindsay Lohan come to mind?) flaunt the law and social convention. If Bill Cosby feels like this now, how will you feel when you’re 83? Your activism now helps prevent your writing a letter like that when you are 83.
So in just a couple of minutes we found four things that could piss you off and make you take action.
Here’s the problem: They aren’t all true. The UNICEF CEO doesn’t make a million nor have a free Rolls. In fact most of the information in that article is incorrect and out of date. Bill Cosby may be pissed, but he never wrote the open letter.
The internet is full of facts. It is equally full of fiction. You’re not going to hear today’s punk music stand up and lambast the internet like it did traditional media. Frankly it doesn’t lend itself to great riffs and the internet is just too damned big to tackle in 3:42.
You have to be your own policeman.
Don’t waste your outrage on fiction.
When your friends mindlessly share “facts” call them out.
Do the same with those in authority.
One of the main criticisms of the punk movement was that the punks bitched about everything, but never did anything about it. The punks screamed “This Sucks!” and moved on.
Find the facts and then have the courage to act.