80s to now, cont.

I just could not let this subject go for some reason. I am still fascinated at the difference 20 some odd years makes with regard to a music genre as well as a fashion style and lifestyle AND the things that will never change that are present in both. I woke up still thinking about it with blurbs running through my head so that’s what this one is. An “add on” to yesterdays blog about 80s punkers compared to today’s scene kids. I don’t like the word “scenesters” even though that’s what urban dictionary called them. I’m going do call them scene kids/guys/gals. It’s easier to say. I’m defying the diction.. does that make me a rebel? No……

Ok, I perused through www.punkstory.com and was absolutely flashed back to the 80’s. It made me remember what it felt like to be hanging out at shows, being downtown and walking around late at night. We weren’t afraid of SHIT! We did what we wanted, when we wanted. Even though I wasn’t a “real” punker, I still enjoyed the freedom and the lacking shackles that life even now has and I’m learning to shed those too, at nearly 40. On that I do want to say that even though I wasn’t a “real” punker, I was “real” to myself. I was 14 or 15 at that time and I went through a lot of phases as I’m sure many others did, including some of today’s scene kids do as well. Today’s scene kids are in no way representative of what hardcore people were like in the 80s. Not by a long shot. I was a rocker chick as well as even a cheerleader once in my younger years. Believe me, I sampled all the various lifestyles a teen girl has to choose from and ultimately chose what worked best for me. I’m not sure how I’d be defined by the people I’m now talking about. Maybe they’d say I was just a “fake ass bitch who doesn’t understand shit” or maybe they’d look back through my eyes and laugh at how it was all perceived by a non-real, hardcore young girl who is now approaching 40.  Who really knows. Maybe they’d say the same thing I do now. Kids are entitled to sample lifestyles. It’s part of growing up and figuring out where they fit in, in life. It’s just another experience for them, but in the end, a person will ultimately do what feels best, whatever style they happen to be.

Side by side, smaller details

Music. I haven’t sampled all there is to be sampled of course but it would appear that today’s scene music is wide and varied as it was in the 80s. Some scene kids appear to listen to what has been dubbed “screamo”. Some scene bands are not like that all and are more mainstream, stuff that gets played on the radio. In the 80s bands like the punk/hardcore standard, Black Flag never ended up on a top 40 radio station being listened to by teens and tweens finishing their homework and housewives making dinner for the family.

Home life. In the 80’s, it was tough. Those kids I was hanging out with, most didn’t live in middle and upper class homes with a nice bed and down comforter to cozy into at night, with teddy bears and laptops. Many scene kids seem spoiled and poser-ish in contrast. They have myspace pages, iPhones and laptops. Many spend more time focusing on documenting their fashion accomplishments, than actually living the life. Most times, there was no Mom and Dad buying expensive make up damnit, we stole our cheap shit from the k-mart or the mall! 😉

Make up. Lots of things different there but also a lot the same. Both guys and gals often wore make up. For gals the make up really hasn’t changed much. Just the quality of the lipstick and liner. For guys, scene guys are pretty and seem to border on metrosexual (I hate that word). They’re soft and pretty unlike in the 80’s where the guys were tough, bad ass and didn’t care what anyone thought. In the 80s, guy make up was more akin to sunscreen on a football player – a thick black line under the eye as opposed to nowadays where scene guys’ eyes look like women’s. They wear foundation and lipstick. They even often wear similar cloths to the scene gals.

Clothing. Scene kids incorporate a lot of cutesy in both guys and gals. Pink skulls and crossbones, anime, lots of black and some bright colors as well. It would still be considered by today’s standards to be different. Likewise in the 80s. That’s one thing that is the same. However, in the 80s, as I said yesterday, there was nothing cutesy about their fashion sense. Make up was sloppy, often intentionally to show we didn’t give a shit, clothing were torn and ripped and there was often a lot of metal. Spikes and things attached to leather items. Where scene kids use cutesy and bright colors an 80s punker would use something that could do you serious bodily harm which included the often rigid to almost super glue strength spikes of their mohawks. Even their hair could put an eye out in the mosh pit!

Hair. There are just so many different hair styles to think about. What’s the same is that it’s different and attention getting both then and now. Then and now many of each generation spent a LOT of time on their hair. Although in the 80s it was done when needed for shows and whatnot and not always every day. Scene kids, well it’s an every day thing since there are cameras everywhere and they would not be caught dead without it. Plus with their obsession over documenting themselves… everywhere is a photo op. They bring new meaning to the word “Poser”. Today’s scene gals would probably not even dare to enter a mosh pit for fear of mussing the hair they just spent 3 hours doing. The 80s punker gals, the hair wasn’t as important and they would go, be one to be reckoned with in the pit, hair and all.

Slamming, moshing, etc. It really has not changed at all. It’s pretty much exactly the same as near as I can tell. The only difference is that girls in the 80s did it and scene girls rarely if ever do. Also the name and really I think the term moshing pretty much took over in the 90s. I could be wrong on that. I suppose it depends on your crowd and what seems popular. I have not heard the term “slam dancing” probably since the 80s. My son who is not a scene kid laughed when I said “slam dance”. He laughed loud and hard. He does know what “moshing” is. Both today and in the 80’s mosh pits can get out of control and result in occasional fighting and injury. If a scene gal happened to be there when I fight broke out, she’s probably run where an 80s hardcore girl would stick it out to the end and get in as many hits as she could, take a beatin’ and walk away without regret.

Fighting and violence. For the gals, an 80s punker would no doubt, break your nose, draw blood and kick your ass for an offense deemed worthy. They’re pretty thick skinned as well. Same thing with the 80s guys. A scene kid of today, well, she might throw a rock, kick you in the shin or pull your hair but only “if u like totally stole her sexxy, xhardXcorex boyXfriend” or something. The guys, I’m going side with the 80s guys here. Todays scene guys….. I just dont see them being tough or any derivative of although I’m sure exceptions exist somewhere. Both guys and gals, they aren’t fighters, they might smear their lipstick or muss up their hair. Plus many of them are to skinny to be strong enough to even pick up that rock to throw in the first place. Sorry for the ‘dis scene kids. I’ve seen you and trust me, many of you need to eat a sandwich. Which brings me to:

Diet. Of course I can’t state this as fact without anyone’s medical records but… In the 80’s we had punkers of all shapes and sizes but today’s scene kids, well most are super skinny and many are said to have eating disorders in both the guys and gals. Of course this is “Said to be true mostly on the internet” with no real proof of that. However I can see with my own eyes many of them are underweight whether they have an eating disorder or not. In the 80s if a punker was skinny it was likely due to simply not having enough food to eat rather than self imposed starvation. Scene kids of today just choose to not eat. I read somewhere and I can’t quote this as fact so it goes in here merely as rumor, but that about 75% of males with eating disorders are emo or scene guys although my personal opinion is that 75% is a pretty high number. That is NOT saying 75% of scene guys/emo’s have eating disorders. It’s saying that, by rumor, 75% of ALL, including non scene guys with eating disorders are scene or emo. Given the number of males with eating disorders is purported to be very low, it’s really not all that much of a dis on you scene guys that are actually out there.

Language skills and education. On this I have to side with the scene kids for now although as the 80’s people went, it all came with age and maturity. The majority of scene kids appear to come from middle and upper class families and those types of households typically have reasonably decent parents. In the 80’s the kids I hung out with, this wasn’t the case more often than not. Many of the 80s kids that I spent time with were high school drop outs, run aways from bad home life situations, didn’t have jobs, some had drug problems, etc. Today’s scene kids, many of them go home at night, eat dinner, get up and go to school. They are getting an education beyond what many 80s punks got. Of course there are exceptions to everything which is why I say “many” and “most” and not all.

Emotionally. Well in the 80s the overall emotional feel, at least when I was around it all, I’d say would be angry. Angry youth, angry teens both male and female. For today’s scene gals, they just seem to have, as reported by the internet and my own observations of the comments they make, uppety attitudes and that they think they’re somehow better. I have no idea what they really think but they’re brats in appearance. Maybe I’ll try to find one to interview. The scene guys seem to be closely associated with “emo” and are generally thought of as sad rather than angry. Again, softer…

The later years. I can’t speak for scene kids as they’ve yet to grow up and become of 40 somethings. As for the 80s kids I spent some time with, well I found some of them through online social networking. We didn’t have it in the 80s but it’s here now and we’re using it although not nearly to the level of scene kids. As 80s punks grew up, some outgrew it and some morphed into their own unique styles but yet still original and true to the way they were in the 80s. They are not aging scenesters nor are they throwbacks from the 80s, much to the contrary. They are still who they were, although evolved through time, maturity and experience.

Id like to feature a few people. Angela and Rebecca Maynard and Tommy Niemeyer. The real deal, then AND now. I knew the ladies from school and briefly was involved with Tommy in my early teens. They still live life according to their own terms and live lives that many people either envy or think is different. As for those who envy, they often also become haters. I think, Good for them! Live your lives and enjoy the hell out of it. You only live once. You can either live it happy on your own terms or unhappy on everyone else’s. I’m happy to see they chose to live life happy! That’s something that should be appreciated because many people are just to afraid to do so.

(Note for featured) The idea is to show that people who have, what people like me, often consider alternative lifestyles, are not living lives according to the stereotypical impressions most of us have. Many people my age and who live my lifestyle would think derogatory things about drugs, alcohol, stuff like that. Clearly that isn’t true. That is the light I would like to shed on it all.

Here they are:

Angela now at age 40: Angela Maynard  Angela Now Angela I do not know if she’s married or not but appears to have stayed with her high school-ish sweetheart. Is involved in Roller Derby and is one resilient individual who does her part in life just as much as you or I. She works, pays her taxes, loves her family, so on. She also stayed true to who she was/is at heart and that is to be admired.

Rebecca now at age 40:  Rebecca  Rebecca Maynard From her myspace page she appears to have gotten married, participates in Roller Derby and not unlike her twin sister above, loves her family, works and also like the rest of us does her part, pays her taxes and is a contributing member of society who also stayed true to herself.

Tommy now at age 40-ish: Tommy Tommy2 What to say about Tommy. I read an interview he did and really have to admire his dedication. He too works a day job, pays his taxes, is a contributing member of society while also maintaining his integrity as a hardcore individual and musician and stayed true to himself as well.

To all of them above, Good for you! From Ms. Middle class, suburban mom, I applaud you! It wasn’t for me but was a lot of fun and an experience I’ll never forget.

On to the “scenesters”. Maybe they’re just newer and yet different versions of the unique and different individuals of the future. I’m sure like in the 80’s there are some for whom it was just a passing phase or fad and yet others who may be so deeply into it that it’s truly a reflection of who they are at heart. Who the hell am I to judge?

This scene girl at age, maybe 13: SceneGirl  Well, time will tell. Maybe we’ll be able to check back in 20+ years and see what she’s up to. Although I have to give proper credit where it’s due, it takes a lot of dedication to maintain hair like that. I wonder how much money her parents spent on that hair-do, how many hours she spends doing it and how many myspace photos she has posted of it? It is interesting to look at none-the-less. 🙂 I’m sure she hasn’t got any addictions or a criminal record of any kind although that’s purely supposition.

To give the scene guys due time, there’s this guy here probably age 16 or so: scene guy God only knows what he’ll be doing in 20 years. There is nothing even remotely tough or hardcore, at least the way I remember it, with a furry collar, checkered head band and robots on the to tight t-shirt. Interesting look though. I just dont see this as any subculture of the future.

And last but not least, here is the oddball. I’d guess 18 or 19 years old. black scene guy I stumbled upon this completely by accident. See, from the research I’ve done, people of african-american descent do NOT participate in “scene” stuff but yet here he is, defying them all with his scene hair, myspace pose in a photo op from who knows where. I bet he has hundreds on his myspace page. Well, good for him for doing what he’s told he ought not to and defying the norms of the “scene” peeps as well as others of his own.

At the end of the day, regardless of my personal views, what’s most important is that you live your life according to YOUR rules. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, including yourself, I say the hell with it. Go for it and be happy! Whatever that may be!  Even though I think after a good long look at the 80s hardcore people compared to today’s scene/emo people and my resulting opinions, everyone, regardless of what year they’re doing it in and what genre they listen to and whatever their lifestyle choices, as long as nobody is harmed, to each his own and those who dare to be different and express themselves, should be admired. Those who just follow along in order to be accepted (sort of like I did) then they need a good long and perhaps hard learned lesson in what it means to be true to yourself. I’ve only in recent times discovered that. 🙂

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~ by Deena Kay on 02/03/2010.

10 Responses to “80s to now, cont.”

  1. Nice work! Absolutely wonderful words for weary eyes and ears. Thr truth can be no more plainly spoken, nor the past so nicely reflected upon as was done here. MORE ! MORE!

    • I’m glad you liked it!! If this is Tommy….. thank you too for giving me permission to use the pics and references and stuff. LOL that was a good time back then!! 🙂

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