You know, a few times Ive mentioned feeling isolated at certain gigs. That I dont feel part of the clique. That I dont like people shoving their beliefs down your throat. Now, you may think thats what I do with this zine. It could be construed that way. I hope not though. I hope that what it does is to encourage people to listen to more stuff, with an open mind, and not just close yourself off to one style. Because in doing so, you create your own little establishment, which is just as bad as the ones that youre supposedly against. But yeah, I sometimes feel that to achieve that I need to rant to gain attention. But at the end of the day, you make any choice, and if you disagree with me, then fine.
Anyway, Rock City has a website. On it, like many sites, is a bulletinboard. People can write messages, reply. That kind of stuff. Problem with the net, is that it attracts no end of people that will say things they dont believe in, just to wind others up. Its the perfect medium for that, because in cyberspace, no-one knows youre a dog. So the following message that was posted, could just be someone trying to stir things up. It could be a drunk trying to get people to attack straightedge, or just someone wishing to see a general fight. (Ive left the spelling mistakes in.)
Posted by Andyedge on February 15, 1999 at 13:31:59:
Hey I may not wear an X on my hand but I've been nailed to the X for nigh on 6 years (since I was 16). I find that subtly knocking into a drinker thus spilling their pint of evil-brew on the floor is a great tactic for making sure poison filled fools don't get their mitts on there drink. If said drinker poses any trouble I normally just walk away or point out someone from the crowd to blame for my little misdemeanour. Works an absolute treat.
One thing that pisses me off is coming home from the City stinking of cigarettes. What say we make the downstairs a no smoking area? Better still lets make the whole club no smoking, if any of you cared of your health you'd back me on this one. I hate secondary smoke.
Also hows about some decent Vegan food in the cafeteria. It isn't thart hard to whip up a vegan Chile or even a houmous kebab, if thery want I'll step in and let all those meat eaters sample what real food tastes like.
In terms of music policy pah! I've heard better at Essence or somewhere equally banal. How about some sXe vegan death core bands like Absence and Slavearc spread a message we all need to listen to. Forget Earth Crisis the phoneys, I heard that Karl once wore a pair of suede sneakers someone gave him after he lost his at a gig in Ohio. Plus I'm sure one of them wears a woolly hat.
Like I said, I cannot prove that the person who posted that is sXe or not. It could be a wind up, it could be genuine. It may even be unfair of me to mention it or print it. But theres a reason which kind of lies deeper than the notion of sXe or anything. Its to do with personal choice.
Personally, if thats all legit, I think the guy has a problem. Maybe to my mind, a bigger problem even than anyone who drinks, smokes or eats meat. Or does anything that they chose to do. Trying to forcibly impose your will on others like that is not going to work in my opinion. Wheres the difference between preaching and this stance? Or maybe Im just preaching now by giving an opinion. Anyway, personally, I dont smoke. But that doesnt mean I think it should be banned everywhere, because everyone has the right to evaluate the situation for themselves and make their own choice what they do. Surely spilling peoples drinks deliberately is a sure fire way towards a fight? And thats not the way forward. In a club, you have to expect people to be smoking and drinking. If you want society to take you seriously, falling into trivial fights with people that they (rightly or wrongly) will see as your peer groups, is not going to help your cause. Just going to give more credence to their claims. And besides, blaming others is cowardice. At least have the guts to stand up for what youre doing. And surely if you eat meat or not is your choice. Or has mankind been wrong since the dawning of time. Personal freedom and choice is what its about.
The rights and wrongs, the morals of the argument regarding alcohol, cigarettes and meat is irrelevant. Its the sheer closedmindedness of the attitude that scares me. The unwillingness to accept others. The establishment of the clique. I listen to some straightedge and respect them for the choices theyve made. But theyve made the choice for themselves. Not for others.
The best way to make progress is to discuss, to think, to reason about things. I can respect much of what sXe stands for, but I dont need to be it to be a reasonable person. People should be aware of the issues being raised, but they should then be allowed to come to their own conclusion, and not coerced into something.
This whole music scene, whatever youre own particular brand, is for everyone. Its not for cliques. Its not to show how much more punk you are than someone. Or how many more drugs you can take than someone. Or how more real you are. Or that you are more sXe than someone. Its about sharing, and also accepting individuals for who they are. Isolation into groups will ultimately have a detrimental effect on the whole scene in general. Dont let it happen.
Hopefully, in the very near future Ill do an interview with Earth Crisis. That message will rear its head, as will many of the points raised in it, because its something that I would like to discuss and bring in to the open. Itll be interesting to see what happens.
Thats my preaching done then!