Sitting here listening to Against Me!, enjoying them as I always have. Got me thinking… when Tom Gabel (who btw, came up in the exact same southwest FL punk scene as I did– referenced in the song “Lehigh Acres” and several others— before she moved to Gainesville in 1997) came out as transgender and became “Laura Jane Grace” (2012), I think 100% of punks/indie people (literally, 100%) were all about it. Going “yo! Awesome! Against Me!!! Good for you, Laura!”

On the flipside, when Bruce Jenner became “Caitlyn Jenner” (2015), most of the public was like “Screw that wackadoo! What a weirdo! Only the Kardashian daughters/step-daughters and mom are worth a damn, but he’s the runt of that litter! You’re only worthy when you were running in the late 70s and early 80s and had your photo on a box of Wheaties!”

I mean, I know I’m stating the obvious… but, double standard much?

I hate this stuff and wish it would end. Just shut the fuck up, live your life, and stop complaining about other people, because literally, they have no effect on your life .

Be HAPPY FOR OTHERS and just focus on you and making the world a better, happier place.

You know?

 

Here’s a comment I left on the “I Was A Teenage Anarchist” music video:

First… This is an anthem in every sense of the word. We all want to set the world on fire, but what that means is POSITIVE CHANGE…. not literally “burning the world down.” It means POSITIVE CHANGE. This video and song still rules.

I remember way, way back in the day when Laura Jane was coming up in the southwest FL music scene (the area referenced in “Lehigh Acres”)… she was exactly like this. Active. Conscious. Educated. Passionate. Feeding the homeless through Food Not Bombs, etc. Fort Myers, Florida at the time (1994-1997) had a pretty great punk/indie scene, especially with Offbeat Music relocating from Naples to downtown Fort Myers. Blink 182 even played that store, in late 1995, I think… (before ANYONE cared about Blink 182).

Laura (Tom at the time) was doing her thing… like ALL of us. We made ‘zines, we used the internet as best as could (since it was new), spreading good messages. We hoped for change (and still do). There’s nothing phony about this song, as many commenters have said. It’s not so much about “anarchy” as it is trying to make the world a better place, through education, generosity, and a sense of community and in general, just “doing good things” for humanity and society.

The song’s title is in reference to the passion teenagers and any college-age (18-22) feel, about trying to change things for the better, whatever it takes. I live these lyrics every day, still. Years and years later.

Today (June 30th 2018)…. seeing all this horrible shit, which is much worse than 20 years ago, without a doubt… this song could not be more important. Do good. Vote in the mid-terms. Don’t forget the general message. Again, it’s not about “anarchy” as it is about POSITIVE CHANGE.

-Chris Caulder

 

I love this photo… taken by Sharon McKellar (I think) at today’s child separation protest.

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