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Are You a Real Black Flag Fan, or Do You Just Like the T-shirt, the Music, and the Meaning Behind the Songs?

Hey everybody, look at this poser in the Black Flag t-shirt! Real original, asswipe. Did you get it at Target, in the Goodfellow and Company section? Probably did, because Goodfellow and Co. is the Target brand for men’s clothes so yeah, I bet. Check the tag for GF&C, you fake-ass corporate faker.

Oh, it doesn’t have a tag, because you made it yourself in 1984? Whoa, okay. That explains the classic, worn-in look.

Well, big fucking deal, man. Do you think that makes you a real fan? Hardly. Being a Black Flag fan is about more than a fan-made piece of merch. Being a real fan isn’t about whatever iconography leaks out into the world to get co-opted by you normies; it’s about the hard-driving hardcore songs that defined a genre. Quick, name three Black Flag songs.

Wow, you did that REALLY quickly.

I mean, quick for a fake fan. “TV Party,” “Rise Above,” and “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie”? You couldn’t be more obvious, probably just naming the three top songs on the Apple Music app. Not even the top three from the Spotify app, which wouldn’t be much better, but would for some reason be a little better. What about pre-Rollins? I bet you couldn’t — what’s that, “Nervous Breakdown”? Is that not Circle Jerks? No, no, you’re right.


Whatever. Now that I think about it, anyone can musically appreciate Black Flag. That’s not what being a true fan is about. Being a true fan is loving the meaning behind the songs, and Black Flag songs are about rebellion, about fighting authority. So if you don’t wear your anarchism like a badge of honor, then you’re just a mindless foot-tapper who likes the tunes more than — damn, is that an ACAB tattoo inside of an anarchy tattoo? You gotta be fucking kidding me.

Those don’t look temporary either. Is that stick and poke?

Not like it matters. You think you’re a real fan just because you love the t-shirt, the music, and the meaning behind the songs, but it’s much more than that.

So what makes a real fan?

Seeing 100 live performances? Playing in a Black Flag cover band? Hating their most popular music? Being a moderator on r/hardcore? Making an unauthorized documentary? The answer is simple, and I’ll tell you. You just have to tell me first which of those don’t apply to you, please.