The 90’s punk and grunge movement may have looked crass, uneducated, ignorant, and dirty to the outside, but I’ll argue that it was a more elevated society than we live in today. Going back to the music of the day vs. today is all one needs to do. I recently watched a documentary in the brewery where a supposed subculture/anti-establishment group was followed. In that documentary, they droned on about how “cool” they were. How “punk” they are. How others should aspire to be them only to be shut out… WHAT? I got pissed. Now I feel that I have to put a few ideas there only tangentially related to beer.
First, let’s put this on the table: Beer and music, in my humble opinion, are the catalysts to change thinking. Let’s be honest, a few beers and the new ideas flow a bit more free as do the words to express them. Many of these words and ideas gave birth to the punk movement and songs of the 90’s. At least in my experience, that’s where I came from. But I also think there are two greater catalysts to change thinking and actions…
Education: Education doesn’t all mean book learning. Education can be self-teaching (Thank you Howard Zinn). Looking for that nugget of knowledge. The truths according to you. Today, we are force fed so much information as knowledge but not given the time to question it and truly learn it. You wouldn’t want to fall behind would you? You’d be an outsider. Sometimes you have to use the work FUCK. Sometimes you have you slam your fist. I know it’s not appropriate in the boardroom… wait, what the fuck? My advice: Pick up a book/pamphlet/documentary that you are uncomfortable with. React to it. You’ll be better off.
Stop right here quick and watch this: Click Here
Political awareness. How many political activists really exist today? I don’t see a single idol or public figure truly inciting unrest with questions. No one is screaming “FUCK AUTHORITY” in a very real way (Thank you Pennywise). Why would they? They are benefiting from the control of the upper class aren’t they? Or, they have been force fed that the establishment is bigger than them. From my currently perspective, we have more figureheads singing/talking about how they got dumped or how much liquor they can drink and still fuck than who’s pulling their strings. Yep… I said it. Kanye, you ain’t hard or world changing. You’re simply a distraction for the machine to keep moving on. My advice: Turn it off… all of it. At least for a weekend here and there. Get away and develop your own thoughts or at least be with your originality… then come back and see if anyone will champion them for you… and if not, get campaigning killer.
I guess I just don’t feel like there are any real change agents on the ground anymore. There isn’t anyone running from a local pub to upset an FDIC institution (Thank you Sons of Liberty). Yeah, I hear the “look at me”s with enough money to get their message out. “I’m anti-establishment and an outsider” messaging while in a red, white, and blue suit on a mainstream media station paid for by commercials isn’t as anti as you want it to be. I feel like the kids have given up. But even more, I feel like we’ve narrow their paths through what some will have you believe are “progress.” Better grades, faster technology, more educations… and don’t get left behind or you’ll be homeless. How can a kid stop and think these days? And now I’m guilty.
But maybe this is all just point of view. In the 90’s I was within this punk movement. I grew up. I got old. I’m now a part of the mainstream society whether I like it or not. I’m viewing this issue from a full time job and home ownership. I see the mainstream and convince myself I don’t have time to look for the alternative… no I’ve convinced myself that they don’t exist.
Now let’s go back to beer. Cheers.