When I was young, I bought my first cd, "London Calling," and haven't looked back since. Here are some lessons and observations from an unreformed teenage punk. Requested by @lfried
  1. It's an ethos
    Much more than fashion or music style, punk is a way of approaching the world that can influence everything you do. It's a lens, a methodology, a way forward and out.
  2. Punk is "immediacy, intensity, honesty, expression, exploring things that interest[ you] and exploring them really hard."
    The best definition I've run into. From We Jam Econo, a rad documentary about the Minutemen. It's on YouTube.
  3. You don't have to accept what is given to you
    If you can't find something relatable, that's okay. If you feel out of step, that's okay. If you don't like what you hear, see, or are sold, that's okay.
  4. DIY
    No whining, punk. Make something new. Don't wait around. Trust you have something to say.
  5. Kill all your darlings
    Punk is renewal and resurgence, the youthful energy and imperative that upends every idol and questions every answer.
  6. Do the best with what you have
    Punk is not an excuse to be sloppy or bad. To quote punk toy maker Weird Luke from an MRR interview: "If a person is actually interested in and enthusiastic about punk, they don’t need to make excuses like, “Oh, it’s shitty because it’s punk.” Punk shouldn’t be an excuse for poor quality, or a justification for exerting less effort, it should be the celebration of making something rad from the bare minimum of materials available." Hell yeah.
  7. Straight Edge
    Came out of the DC hardcore scene and was very important to me. Less about judgement of others, straight edge is about self control and respecting your body.
  8. It's a tribe
    Like anything that matters deeply to people, punk is meaningful because it represents a membership in a group of like-minded people. It's a way of finding friends and compatriots all over the world.
  9. Don't wait around!
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    Hey ho, let's go. "Here kid get up there, you can do it." (Vinnie Stigma), etc, etc, etc, etc.