On Offending a Punk

snake and cross

Have you ever seen something that struck you as funny even though good people would shake their heads and scowl in disgust if they found out you were amused? Like when you see that half-monkey brat kid at Mal-Wart (thanks Adam) fall off the soda display and crack his head? Or when you can barely stifle laughter for two hours during The Passion of the Christ? That happened to me this weekend (after I fell off the soda.)

I play bass in a punk band called 10 Cent Mistake, and Friday night we played a show with Part of the Problem, Out for War, and other Reno punk bands. Though I’ve been thoroughly desensitized to punk music’s shock value, many folks find punk offensive. Not to say that punks embody calm acceptance of the world around them, but they should, at least in my opinion, be inoculated to shocking or offensive phenomena, be they words or images.

So how do you offend a punk rocker? From what I saw Friday it’s not too hard. I won’t go into details and thus betray my insensitivity to the world, but one of the bands said something that directly contrasted what an earlier band had said and next thing you know a couple punks walked out like Jesus freaks at the first screening of The Exorcist. I’ve seen people react many ways to different situations, but I never thought I’d see punks offended by crass language at a punk show. And I have to admit: I thought it was funny as Hell.

Of course, like most people, I’m a bit of a hypocrite. I react poorly to minutiae every day (like people blocking traffic while lining up in the street for a Starbucks fix.) I’m constantly offended by the general lack of consideration people seem to exhibit for one another. And who knows? Maybe if there were a band there soapboxing for prayer in schools I would’ve walked out too.

About Jeff Opfer

Jeff is a carpenter and freelance writer born and raised in the Reno area. View all posts by Jeff Opfer

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