Unity. The punk rock delusion

Without fail, every month or so, the Scottish punk scene can't seem to help itself from gravitating towards being embroiled in what amounts to a pathetic participation in a kindergarten dramatization of a cross between Groundhog Day and the dog eat dog classic that is Lord of the Flies.
The 'he said she said' whispering campaigns, the false allegations, the kernels of truth manipulated to suit an agenda, the calls for boycotts, the boring and repetitious character assassinations, are all oft revisited with alarming regularity.
And while the political intrigue and back stabbing of the fictional Game of Thrones is entertaining - as are both Groundhog Day and Lord of the Flies - the reality is less so.

Instead it is boring.

So very very boring.

The machinations, the manipulations and the amateur impressions of Machiavelli simply don't impress anyone other than those embroiled in them, and in truth do nothing more than turn others off from either dipping a toe into the scene, or continuing to be involved in it.

In the main the adults, the punk loving adults who refuse to be drawn into it all start to become similar to the parents in the park who are watching toddlers fighting over a poundland plastic bucket in the sand pit.
It was maybe cute to watch them flex their muscles to control their environment the first time that they did so, but as little Johnny Rotten screams 'mine' at Joe Strummer for the tenth time in less than an hour, and it is the same everyday, every single fuckin' day, the novelty value soon wears off, and with that any urge to have to listen to it.
Instead the adults start to look for excuses to avoid having to waste their time having that repetitive shrill screech of pointless noise being the backdrop to their day.

And it is this, and similar childlike analogies that most feel hit the nail on the head when the subject arises.

With each argument, each dispute and online spat, each Hatfield and McCoy styled hillbilly vendetta that plays out, they draw little more than comments from the side lines about a lack of maturity being displayed, and an opinion is then formed that the behaviour shown by those who instigate issues, and the willing participants in the drama, are in the main not something that well rounded and mature adults would want to stoop to being involved in.

And then even on the odd occasions when someone attempts to provide a rational response to the issues, or considers trying to mediate, it quickly becomes an exercise in futility as they realize that they are working with people who often struggle to acknowledge the adult world around them.

It's not as if you can just banish them to the naughty step for some time out either.

Sadly the interactions some have with others highlight far more about their apparent emotional and intellectual state of growth than they are maybe aware of, and yet for some unknown reason it is this sort of behaviour that frames the punk scene as the negatives prove to be more attractive than the positive.
The bullshit draws more attention, and this means that the men and women who are tucking their heads down and creating modern day punk classics, those who are playing high quality live gigs week after week around the circuit of clubs and bars, are often being brutally downgraded to being nothing more than the backdrop to regurgitated, and reheated, playground battles that are being acted out.

Relegated to being bit part players in other peoples dramas.

How sad, and unfair, is that?

And that's the big picture problem.

It alienates those who could be the audience that a band is looking for, the fan base that they want to engage with, the investor that could push their careers forward, and in general those who could provide the foundations of a thriving scene that could benefit many.

And yet that angle can't be entertained, or realized, as the self awareness required to do so is apparently out of fashion.

Everything must be sacrificed monthly on the alter of immature ego with the result being that the scene itself is being sabotaged by a minority of fifth columnists that exist within it.

Bizarrely it would seem that it is often the very same people who desperately want their punky endeavours to be appreciated that are the ones strangling the life out of it all.

Now how nihilistic is that?

Light on the oxy and heavy on the moron really.

And now there will be the punk rock stars, the small fish in the puddle that is the Scottish punk scene who consider themselves big fish in a larger pond, that will have reached this point and are quickly assuming umbrage.

The dummy will exit the pram at such a velocity that a sonic boom will be heard seconds after it passes.

They will rant and rave because that is easier than contemplating that everything said could be true.

That sort of thing comes with the territory when an opinion is formed though.

The question 'is he talking about me' will of course be spat out over a pint, or hammered out in capitals in an angry facebook message or in emails, and in many cases - probably the majority - I will be clueless about who they are, the offended will be strangers to me, but if there is some sort of recognition that it could be them based on some slight awareness that they have indulged in the ever ongoing nonsense then they may as well assume that it is.

It is a terrible state of affairs, but if the bondage trousers fit eh?

Punk is not dead, but around these parts it is certainly doing its best to give the impression of a long drawn out suicide.


Alex Main - NHC Music