Reasons Why I’m Not Punk Rock Anymore

The title of this here post actually does a lot of the heavy lifting for me. So rather than try and gently segue into the point I’d ultimately like to make, I’ll put it right out there with a simple declarative statement and work from there:

I have come to the (harsh) realization that I can longer be considered punk rock in any way shape or form. 

Oh sure, there are semblances remaining.  I’ve fallen into the habit of wearing a mohawk every summer.  I’m still littered with tattoos.  And should you pass me in the street, whatever is pouring out of me headphones into the immediate space around my head will, more often than not, be loud and unmistakenable – the snarl of Hank Rollins (cool kids can call him “Hank”, don’t worry), Johnny Ramone’s driving guitar, Iggy and/or the Stooges, FUCKING FUGAZI.

You try writing it without the expletive or the caps lock after seeing this photo.

But at the end of the day, when I look at myself in the mirror… gotta face facts.  One must strive to be as honest with oneself as one is capable of being honest at all (I just made that up – go ahead, you can have that one for free).  And honestly… I ain’t punk anymore.

Here’s why.

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It’s Always Sunny in Hell

Real talk – I used to be a pretty massive prick.

I spend a lot of time wondering if I’m an inherently angry bastard who has managed to get through a lot of nonsense to become a decent dude or if I’m a naturally kind individual who went through a really rough time (albeit one that I know is not extraordinary – the same cycle of drugs and violence and pointless rage that a lot of people find themselves in).  It’s difficult to decide.  And I guess it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day.  But still – I can’t just drop it.  I slip into long spasms of analysis, trying to track the convoluted ass path I took from Point A to Point B.  Though I might just be really self-obsessed, I’d also like to think I’m pursuing the question so as to better understand how I got to where I am now. 

(Although yeah, either way, I am really self-obsessed.)

Now, without subjecting you, dear reader, to that fucking insane monologue in full, I’ll skip to the end and make my point: I’ve come to believe that if I hadn’t found the music of El P, Aesop Rock, Cage, and Camu Tao when I did – that cycle of self- and general-destruction would have gone on for much, much, much longer.  Those records, in a few very specific ways, not only made me a better person but also probably saved my life. 

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN HELL /
HOW EL-P, AESOP ROCK, CAGE & CAMU TAO SAVED MY LIFE


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What Cee-Lo Is Probably Doing Right Now – III

And now… Time to ponder for a moment as to what professional Purveyor of Phunk Cee-Lo Green is Probably Doing Right Now.

If I had to guess… (and I do, or otherwise there’s nothing to write here)… I’d say that right now, Cee-Lo is probably in Japan, hunched over a metal work desk looking into the lone eye of a tiny robot. 

“Hello, little one,” he who is called Lo says softly.

The digital iris flickers in recognition and the machine immediately responds: “Hell0, Mr. Gr33n, very nice to m33t y0u.”  Then he says it in French.  Then Arabic.  Then a tongue neither man in the room recognizes but is actually a dead language from a lost Himalayan civilization.

“My God, Dr. Tamachi, you’ve done it!”

“It is all because of you, Cee-Lo-San.  Without your generous contribution to the facility, I never would have perfected this… this admittedly magnificent accomplishment.  You sir, are a true patron of both the arts and the sciences and we, myself and my team, are indebted to you for -”

“-I’ll take forty of them shits.”

Dr. Tamachi is silent for a moment.  Having lived in London for ten years during his youth, his English is practically perfect.  But still, he struggles to find the word he is looking for, one to accurately convey the confusion he feels in his chest.  “You… you would like for us to… manufacture forty highly sophisticated… sentient androids.  For you to own.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll pay for them.”  Cee Lo reaches into the pocket of his Adidas track paints, the twinkly Christmas lights down the piping fluttering in response.  Lo pulls out a wad of what can only be described as an unhealthy amount of cash for any one person to have at all, let alone on his person.  The wad of $100’s is illuminated by alternatingly green and red LED lights from his entire body. 

“Cee-Lo-San, it’s not the… what are you going to do with forty sentient robots?”

“Imma set them up in the foyer of my house so that they can greet people.  Then they’ll start to sing and I’ll come down the stairs like a baller.”

Dr. Tamachi strokes his temples gently and closes his eyes. 

After a long pause, Cee-Lo continues: “Probably wearing, like, a futuristic suit of armor or some shit.”

What Cee-Lo Is Probably Doing Right Now – II

It’s that time of the week, boys & girls – time to hypothesize as to What Cee-Lo Is Probably Doing Right Now.

Right now… I bet Cee-Lo, having been inspired by James Cameron’s recent solo expedition to the depths of the Marianas Trench, is wrapping up his own expedition.  He’s walking along the bottom of the ocean floor with his hands in his pockets (yeah, he didn’t take a submersible of any kind, he just swam out from L.A. and then held us breath and dove 35,000 feet).  He looks up and sees only darkness but finds the undulating planes of the deep around him to be filled with bio-luminescent creatures of a kind never before seen by science.  From within the bodies of translucent creatures pop colors of such extraordinary vividity that one must truly consider the existence of God or at the very least some sort of – “Motherfucker,” Cee-Lo says, the space around his head filling with bubbles.  “Came all the way down this bitch ass Marianas Trench and ain’t no fucking sea monsters.  Just some bullshit sea monkeys with lights in they asses.  The fuck is the giant squid at?  I wanted to fucking see a giant squid.  Then eat it.  Just stupid fucking clear shrimp YEAH I SEE YOU, I GET IT, I GET WHAT YOU’RE DOING, GO AWAY NOW.”  Cee-Lo kicks off towards the surface, annoyed that he made the trip and didn’t even get to see no damn sea monsters.