Written by Jake
My name is Jake and I’m one of the many aging former straight edge hardcore dudes on the internets. I got into hardcore in the mid ’80s and was quite active in the Southern California hardcore scene of the early ’90s. Aside from being a roadie of sorts for my brother’s punk band ICE from ’91 to ’94, fronting a TERRIBLE punk/hardcore outfit called Cereal for half of ’93 and releasing one 7″ EP by some kids in a local alternative band called Bobwolf on my Black Coffee Records label in ’94, I don’t have any real credibility so to speak other than the usual hardcore enthusiast pedigree (buying lots of records, going to lots of shows, reading lots of zines, etc.). However, at 38 years old, I do know a thing or two about being insulted (both in real life and via the Web), so the reason for this “letter” of sorts is to talk about the public bashing of former outspoken straight edge people and why I think it’s wrong to do that. I’m not going to name names or cite examples as many of you are no doubt aware of and have participated in this practice.
Whether you are a former or a current hardcore scenester, in my humble opinion, you are ALREADY leaps and bounds ahead of what I will heretofore refer to as “the mediocre masses”. You’ve obviously got EXCELLENT taste in music but even more importantly, you’ve got a fully functioning brain and are immune to societal expectations and the everyday bullshit of life. I submit that the vast majority of former outspoken straight edge people STILL have those things in common with you. While some of them might be married with kids and own homes and/or their own businesses, they STILL have those things I mentioned earlier in common with you. For that reason alone, I personally believe that they don’t deserve to be publicly insulted for not being straight edge anymore.
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Another reason why I don’t think they deserve to be insulted is because like you, they more than likely were outcasts when they were kids and as adults, they are more than likely EVEN MORE outcast (I know I am). When they were in school, they dealt withpr all the same shit that you’re dealing with or that you dealt with from the mediocre masses and as adults, they’re STILL dealing with the same shit from the mediocre masses both at work and at get-togethers with co-workers or family. I’m terribly sorry if I’m the first one to break it to you but the shit only increases and gets worse when you become an adult.
In closing, I’d just like to say this – for the reasons I’ve stated above, PLEASE JUST CONSIDER CUTTING THE FORMER STRAIGHT EDGERS A BREAK. They have more than enough bullshit to deal with every single day of their lives WITHOUT your public insults.
Respectfully Yours, Jake
Mother, wife, small business owner.