Hey, everyone, it’s your favorite punk editor, Rowan. I’ve been writing about punk music for the entirety of the semester, but my time here has wound down.
I chose to write about punk because, like pop or rap, it’s not taken seriously. Folk and classical are serious, but punk? That’s for angry teenagers, mad at their parents for grounding them. I wanted to write about punk because I hated that stigma, which devalued an entire genre of art.
But once I had my theme, I started to get a little daunted. Despite listening to primarily punk music on a daily basis, I was struck with how little I actually knew about it. I understood the basics of its history, but so did everyone else and I didn’t want to talk about something that most people were already familiar with. So I decided to do some research.
Like many other people, my understanding of punk was limited to the music of straight white men and there wasn’t anything wrong with the music they were creating, but they were also only a small portion of what punk is. What I learned about gender and race and class and sexual orientation just by reading about the punk scene was eye-opening to say the least, but would people actually want to read what I had to say about it?
And then I remembered how I felt, how tired I was from hearing about cultural scenes that focused on people I couldn’t relate to. I remembered that I, more than anything, wanted to experience art made someone other than a straight white dude. That was enough for me to keep at it, knowing that if I felt that way about punk or any other kind of art then I probably wasn’t alone.
I appreciate everyone who reached out to me along the way to show their support and shared interest in this blog series.
your River co-editor, Rowan Bagley