Posts Tagged 'punk'

To Be Blunt

Me and my guitar play my way. It makes them frown.
But little pieces by the highway bring me down.
Mine is not a heart of stone, I am only skin and bone,
And those little pieces are little pieces of my own.
Why don’t you give me some love?
I’ve taken ship-load of drugs.
I’m so tired of never fixing the pain.
Valium said to me,
I’ll take you seriously,
And we’ll come back as someone else,
Who’s better than yourself.

-James Blunt, Give Me Some Love

Although he is best known for his high-pitched pop ballads I personally believe James Blunt is actually cooler than anyone gives him credit for; and possibly a bit more punk than most of the bubble gum punk bands that have emerged in the last decade or so sporting their little faux-hawks and studded black jackets. Of course it may have something to do with being born in 1974 England which was the best year for the punk rock era (I should also mention that is the same year I fought my way outta moms’ uterus bent on world domination via the World Wide Web). You have to admit simply being conceived while the clash is resonating through the atmosphere makes Mr. Blunt just that much cooler.

I guess I should mention that I feel being“punk” is not just angry music, leather, spiky hair, and a rebel without a clue behavior; At least not at my age. It’s more of an attitude. It is your perception and reaction to life. And I feel James Blunt defines that. You can see it in interviews and stories of his past, you can here it lingering behind his music, hell even his name has made it into the cockney rhyming dictionary as a replacement for cunt, and you just don’t get that cool without having something to back it up. Sure some people may take that a little differently, but I think it would be great for my name to be synonymous with a woman’s vagina.

I came upon this notion (the notion that James Blunt is cool not being a pussy is cool) while watching an interview with ol’ James on BBC Americas Top Gear. He was a recent guest in the shows Star in a Reasonably-priced Car segment. During the interview he talked about driving a tank in the British army with a guitar strapped to the side during war-time. He had commented that all of his songs were written about Jeremy Clarkson. He sold his sister on Ebay. He has the overall personality of a man who is somewhat reluctantly famous, but figures “What the fuck I’m here might as well do something with it.” He is laid back relatively clever and very simple. To me, that is punk.

Now since we are discussing James Blunt I probably should at least mention his music. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve always enjoyed it. Even during my DJ days it was fun to throw on what felt like an ultra slow jam during the night and wale “cause I was fucking high” right along with the song. But the rest of the albums kind of felt like background music, you know something that’s really good when you want music but want to be able to ignore it. Yes I realize that seems like an insult but really its not. The music didn’t make me run out of the room screaming or anything. I just simply enjoyed the subtle grooves and put it out of my mind. Then one day I decided to actually listen and realized the lyrics are brilliant. There is so much more behind each song on his two albums “Back to Bedlam” and “All the Lost Souls” then what I originally thought was just a clever leap into mainstream pop culture blahness. You find the wounded drug-ridden romantic in all of its glory scattered throughout the tracks like a wandering soldier; weak, lost, and dirty, but still demands a certain respect. And that is exactly what James Blunt is, that dirty little soldier carving his way into rock history demanding respect with every drop of that high-pitched British charm. Almost as if Elton John and Johnny Rotten had a mutant baby and gave it an acoustic guitar.

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The Rebirth

I lay here lifeless in this cocoon
Shedding my skin cuz I’m ready to
I wanna break out; I’ve found a way out
I don’t believe that it’s gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this world I’m suffocating

Skillet, Rebirthing

Greetings and welcome to the first installment of The Restricted. I’m starting this little project for several reasons, but the most important one is to give me (and hopefully soon a few others) a place to put my own (often long) bitter diatribes and commentaries on society in an organized manor.

I’m calling this the “rebirth” of The Restricted for one reason, I feel like it’s a continuation and expansion of project that few others and I started quite a while ago. The original idea was to have a weekly/monthly hacker based pod cast, but inevitably it soon grew to encompass so much more than that, and eventually became too large a task for us to handle; killing it before it even really got off the ground. By scaling back the production, and shifting from a weekly video based pod cast, to a simple weekly blog post or postings I hope to be able to concentrate more on the content and less on what would have been the production. Hopefully this will also have the added effect of making such a project much more manageable for one person to do and still leave room for expansion if others would like to get involved.

First and foremost: this is a project/labor of love, I’m not getting paid for this and for anybody interested in getting involved… I don’t have the means to pay you either. This may or may not change, depending on the success, but I wouldn’t count on it.

So without further a due, I give you the original “mission statement” that guided us though our original endeavor:

The Hacker Manifesto
The Mentor
Written January 8, 1986

Another one got caught today; it’s all over the papers. “Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested After Bank Tampering”…

Damn kids. They’re all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s techno brain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world…

Mine is a world that begins with school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in my head…”

Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. What a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me… or feels threatened by me… or thinks I’m a smart ass… or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here…

Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike.

And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetence’s is sought… a board is found. “This is it… this is where I belong…” I know everyone here… even if I’ve never met them, never talked to them, may never hear form them again… I know you all…

Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike…

You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak… the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.

Yes I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all… After all, we’re all alike.

The origin of this document may have been geared towards the hacker and computer communities of the time, but just as The Restricted has grown to encompass so much more than it was intended to, so has this. I’ve always felt that it was the perfect light to guide our ship by; I find it amazing that a document written more than twenty years ago can still have so much relevance in our lives today. This small statement, this bitter rant, this attempt by one single individual to explain what motivates him and the forces that molded him has, rather you like it or not, been able to capture the mentality of an entire sub-culture, so much so that it has become indoctrinated into our entire way of life.

While seemingly hacker/tech oriented, a friend of mine upon first read summed it up perfectly by saying “This is the most punk thin that I’ve ever read”, and that’s what I want to give you… the most punk thing that you’ve ever read!

Just like The Hacker’s Manifesto, punk has also evolved to encompass more that it was intended. By definition, punk is the anit-establishment mentality, and as members of the “technology generation” we are the embodiment of “anti-establishment”, taking away the old mold of how things work and rebuilding them to suite our own needs. The perfect example of this is Eric Alterman’s recent article in The New Yorker, Out of Print: The Death and Life of the American Newspaper, or even Trent Reznor’s recent experiment in music distribution with The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust… the old business models just don’t work!

As we cruse along in this “strange new world” where we are constantly killing the old business models that everyone has become so accustomed to, I invite you to come along and view it from one average American’s perspective, rather it be for good or bad we will find out together… Enjoy!

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