Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dear Kid Who Sprayed An Anarchy Symbol On A Tree In My Suburban Playground

Here's the thing: You're not part of the revolution. In about seven years you're going to be selling commercial real estate, and the world is going to keep spinning. Let me walk you through it.

You'll do the whole young, angry deal for awhile. You'll either go the gutter-punk-amateur-homeless route and stumble around living off beer and Tastykakes, or you'll find some nonprofit protest group - a small cluster of people who always have the same five arguments at their endless meetings. Either way, you wind up in the exact same place: Sitting in a drum circle in Tompkins Square Park and suddenly noticing that you smell terrible.

So then you'll scramble back to some godawful suburban place, get a cluster of job skills, and assume the position. A couple promotions, some furniture made of real wood, a spouse, kids, mortgage, mortgage, and you become the guy who makes fun of the guy you used to be.

Hi there.

There's one teensy, tiny fact that ought to keep you from shooting yourself as you realize all this. It will get you out of bed in the morning and keep you warm at night deep into your middle age. It's the most exciting thing I know, and it still thrills me to my pinky toes now that I'm 41 (and I actually drive around in a goddamn minivan). Know this, and know it forever:

They really are lying to you.

Seriously. That moment you had when you were 14, and you discovered the entire culture and political system was some kind of monstrous, violent scam, and the inevitability of death made your whole life a joke. That was true, what you discovered back then. It's still true. You weren't being overly dramatic. Actually, it's worse. Your government and your church and the large corporations that have bought this country really are hiding terrible secrets from you. People in power are risking your life and safety and spending your money on stupid, unethical projects, and most of your neighbors are too brainwashed to accept it. It's not that they don't know, on some level. But most people reach a certain age, and they just sort of ignore the facts. They construct a world of meetings and ESPN and club luncheons and lawn care, and they pretend the big, dark cloud isn't out there, just past the manicured trees. And death, the darkest thing of all, gets closer and closer and they pretend they can't even see it. They're the ones pretending they live in the real world. Not you. You're just young and stupid.

But you don't have to pretend. No matter what happens to you, or how old you get, or what you have to do to survive in this world... you don't ever have to ignore what you know, right now. Scratch that A on the surface of your heart, and never forget how full of shit everyone is. The rage will keep you young.

Also, get some computer skills and keep away from face tats. We're done here.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you for that! You made my day.

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  2. It warms my soul. Thank you Paul. May you have all the treadmills you desire.

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  3. Quit your bitching asshole, you make a great point but if you knew a punk they would tell you straight out that we do this bullshit not because we are young and angry, the only thing worse than a punk is a smart punk. We do this because... well shit! Because we want too! This kind of internet bullshit courage's us to do more and more, but your to busy complaining about how you think this post is stupid and dumb. I am 18 years old and barley 2 years being a punk, I am going to college and have two jobs and yet still find time to masturbate and break windows. The whole point for me is to do as much damage as i can while im still able to be a punk, it is true that i will probably settle down and stop this but PUNK WILL STILL BE THERE!!!! You probably only go off of what you saw in the 1980s, well this is the new fucking millennium Fuck head. who are you to say that there only 2 ways going when being a punk. become a punk and tell me how it goes for you, youll probably be seeing more anarchy signs around that play ground. Its not even a full anarchy sign man and your bitchen....... now you get your facts straight. lesson done asshole.

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    Replies
    1. I think you're on the wrong website. It's www.youtube.com.

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  4. I'm glad you are able to trivialize the vast number of homeless youths as disaffected rich punk kids who only need to work out their rage and will eventually settle down. A good number of homeless youth in the Thompson square drum circles are those who are gay/lesbian/transgender and have suffered from sexual abuse and live off the street. Many of them will commit suicide. Many of them will die from drugs. Some of them may find help or continue to work two or three jobs to break the cycle they have found themselves in.

    I don't approve of vandalizing parks and I am sorry that such a symbol made your kid pee in their fruitloops but I suggest you try and look at the underlying issues of income inequality before attempt some sort of witty satire.

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    Replies
    1. You need to work on your sarcasm.

      Pay attention: "Yes. Trivializing the problems of LGBT people is EXACTLY what I was doing."

      See?

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  5. No but it was a consequence. I enjoyed your work on Kos much more.

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    Replies
    1. It's hard to see how an article can trivialize the problems of LGBT people without mentioning them. I think the burden of proof is on you. And the proof should be something more than, "Well, I didn't like it." I'm certainly glad you enjoy some of my work.

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  6. Either the junkies in the park won't read this article, as they have no access to the Internet, or they have MacBook Airs, and truly are the whinging phonies I believe them to be. Couldn't give a crap either way. Amusing article however. "Tool" , what an apropos handle. Bravo!

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  7. 41 years old. still a punk. been a punk since i was 12. played in my first band when i was 14. cd's didnt exist when i started releasing punk rock music. toured the world. still work with punk rock, hardcore, and extreme metal bands...all over the world. ill be a punk until i die.

    mr. 18 and "already" 2 years punk, you will grow up one day, hopefully before a rubber bullet (or a real one) or a stupid conviction renders you a useless burden (or a corpse) on society.
    you want to make change? smashing all the goddamn windows wont chang shit. smarten up. the blog is excellent, and i, at 41, and "only" 30 yeras punk.

    ReplyDelete

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