Press "Enter" to skip to content

Progressive Punk Asks if He Could “Homeless Person” a Cigarette

NEW YORK — Progressive punk Otto Williams replaced the phrase “bum a cigarette” earlier today with “homeless person a cigarette” in an attempt to be more socially conscious, confused witnesses confirmed.

“My voice is a weapon,” said the 20-year-old Williams, known for his humanitarian work and Facebook activism. “What good is raising money, spreading awareness, providing resources, or even interacting with the less fortunate, if people are still throwing around the b-word when trying to get a free cigarette?”

Williams, a habitual smoker, admitted he’d used problematic language in the past to try to feed his addiction.

“I once was the exact person I hate. Not only did I use language I’m embarrassed by, I fed into a capitalist system by buying cigarettes daily,” said Williams. “But now I only smoke outside shows and when I can steal them from my girlfriend. Those corner stores upcharge like crazy! They totally gyp… sorry. They ‘wandering Romani-person’ their customers.”

Fellow activist Marcus Gerhard claimed Williams has opened up many to the importance of language, going so far as to describe bands he dislikes as “differently abled” instead of “lame.”

“We were going to canvass the community for donations for the local shelter, but Otto noted that the words ‘can’ and ‘ass’ are both present in ‘canvass,’ and that’s very objectifying of the female figure,” said Gerhard. “Instead, we stole some markers and edited the dictionaries at the bookstore to be less problematic.”

Many, however, are confused by Williams’ strategy for combating hatred and bigotry.


“I was talking to him about how short True Love’s songs were… and he looked horrified and told me I need to ‘…cut the shit and educate myself,’” said scene veteran Jeb Johansen. “He insisted the songs are ‘vertically unique.’ It’s a 30-second song — ‘vertical’ has nothing to with time. It doesn’t make any sense.”

For his part, Williams knows his quest for more inclusive language may never end.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done. Did you know that in England they call cigarettes ‘fags?’” asked Williams, pulling a cigarette out of his fanny pack. “It’s 2018. The correct terminology is ‘homosexual.’”

Head to our online store and pick up a shirt from The Hard Times: 

Article by Danny Taverner @DannyTaverner. Photo by Anya Volz @AnyaVolz.