Punk is a music genre but also an ethos. The core tenant of a punk life is never selling out. A close second is never learning music theory.
When someone compromises their art for money, comfort, and success, they have sold out and are excommunicated from the Church of Punk. Remember Green Day? They were banished after selling out with the mainstream-ass Hot Topic cash-grab Kerplunk in 1991. And we say good for them!
We at The Hard Times try to look at both sides of every issue (mainly to pad the length of our articles) so we decided to evaluate the pros and cons of selling out. Unfortunately, between a few hundred of us, we could only think of pros. Here’s our list:
PRO: More Money – Punk cred points and artistic integrity are great until you need literally anything. Friend needs bail? Don’t think scene cred will get them out. Accidentally get pregnant? Hope that kid likes 18 years of ramen noodles. I’m sure they’ll understand that you needed to devote your 20’s to making experimental films.
PRO: Artistic Integrity Is Lost – At first some of us thought this was a con until we realized artistic integrity is a myth and everyone’s art sucks. Why bother striving for purity when you can just sketch Avengers characters and get way more likes on Instagram?
PRO: Fans Hate You – Your fans suck. Be honest. You hate them. How many more times can you nod and mumble a “thanks” when someone starts telling you how a book you wrote changed their life? Who gives a shit? But when people you’ve never met start sending you death threats for getting an iota of success, that’s when you know they truly care.
PRO: Friends And Family Less Embarrassed By You – This was the most hotly-debated point, because friends and family are just fans who know you. And based on how much fans who barely know you suck, we can only imagine how awful these people are. But the nice thing about friends and family is that they don’t give two shits about whatever art you make.