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Punk Spirit

Punk is an aesthetic, a form of music, a style of dress, but it’s also a spirit, a spirit in two parts. It isn’t concerned with how things are supposed to be done. It doesn’t ask for anything. It doesn’t owe anyone. It does things its own way. That’s the first thing. Consequences aren’t important. There’s nothing worth compromising yourself for. That’s the beginning of the punk spirit.

Well the park bench, door, and sleeping in the rain / Little kids sitting in the shooting gallery / Set yourself up from innocence to misery / Well this is what you want, not the way of what they fucking say.
—Tim Armstrong of Rancid in the song “1998”, from the album “Life Won’t Wait”

There are consequences. You’ll never be on anyone’s short list, or long list. You’ll never get a record contract. You’ll never have a big budget, or any budget. After you’re dead, no one will do a retrospective of your work, no one will make a documentary about your life, your name won’t be used as an adjective. You’ll always need a day job. You’ll die in obscurity, and you’ll stay there.

These things might not turn out to be true, but you have to believe they will. You can be happy about it, or unhappy about it, but you have to believe it, and you have to persist.

I had nothing, I had nothing to lose, and all that I was doing I was doing straight, always driven by the motto “Either this way or no way.”
—Blixa Bargeld in the 2008 TV show “Mein Leben”, viewable on youtube, translated by Google and corrected by me

Pig-headedness is only half of it. The other half is solidarity with the other punks, the other people taking their own way and taking it to the end.

Further, ever since ancient times, the skeptical Indra, Lord of Heaven, has come to test the intentions of practitioners, as has Mara the Tempter come to disturb and obstruct the practitioner’s training in the Way. All instances of this have occurred when someone has not let go of hopes for fame and gain. When great compassion is deep within you, and your wish to spiritually aid sentient beings everywhere is well seasoned, there are no such obstructions.
—Eihei Dōgen in “Keisei Sanshoku” of his “Shōbōgenzō” as translated by Hubert Nearman
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