General Question

Berserker's avatar

How would you define ''Punk''?

Asked by Berserker (33403points) August 17th, 2010

Is it music? Fashion? Is it a culture, a mentality? What? What does it mean to you?

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52 Answers


old decaying wood, like sawdust but just mush.

wgallios's avatar

I would say mentality

WestRiverrat's avatar

A punk is a slow burning smoldering stick used to light fireworks and fuses. It is safer than a match or lighter because the heat souce is more compact, and it can be used from a distance.

They can also be used to repel flying insects.

gypsywench's avatar

It’s a complete lifestyle. Unless you’re a poser.

Berserker's avatar

@gypsywench Indeed. If a ’‘punk’’ tells you that their dad got him his 200 dollar combat boots, he ain’t no real punk.

f4a's avatar

Punk for me is like Funk but with an attitude. Its more on Fashion, music and attitude.

DominicX's avatar

Every person I’ve ever met who got called a punk was a poser and seemed like they were just trying too hard. Maybe that’s how all “punks” are but I really don’t know what a “real” punk is. I usually only think of the music.

Austinlad's avatar

I think of it as a no-account kid, somebody always in petty trouble. Somebody with no skills or ambition except to be what he is. Not a hardened criminal, but headed that way.

Enforcer's avatar

It’s overly skinny whinny little bitch rich suburban white kids who think life sucks yet have more privileges than 90% of America which alone has more privileges than 95% of the world….

(That is a single sentence I assume)

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Steve_A's avatar

@Symbeline It is doing things the way you wanna ya know…..But in a simple, crude raw way, that seems awesome and works for well for a “punk” but that is more of a musical sense to me.

bhec10's avatar

People with colored spiked hair and clothing decorated with safety pins or zippers.

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DominicX's avatar


I associate that more with “emo” than “punk”...either way, it’s totally not my scene…

Berserker's avatar

@gypsywench That’s about the only safe thing you can publicly show about that guy. XD

@Steve_A Hey now, I work for my own shit. :D

mrentropy's avatar

If we’re talking about the original definition of “punk” I would have to say it was a lifestyle and a mentality. The unwillingness to follow “the herd,” the need to do things that ran counter to what the majority of people were doing. Anti-establishment, which generally meant anti-wealth—not surprising since most were punks were relatively poor or had given up their own wealth.

But, like all things, once it gained some kind of notoriety, everyone and their brother jumped on the bandwagon and watered down the entire thing. If you listen to some 80s era punk music you’ll hear complaints about it.

mrentropy's avatar

@gypsywench GG Allin was the Jesus of punk. :D

Berserker's avatar

@mrentropy That’s right. It really reminds me of the rap scene; this first originated with young black kids in ghettos who found artistic ways to vent about racism and poverty. But a lot of it today is this load of shit lol.

gypsywench's avatar

@mrentropy Yeah, GG Allin is as punk as they get.

boxer3's avatar

anybody ever read any crimthINC books..

Berserker's avatar

@boxer3 Nope. What are they?

boxer3's avatar

crimethINC itself is essentially an anarchist collective—
The books have a really broad scope of topics that they cover,
I was given a couple at a punk show one time, and a friend of mine
loaned me another, they’re pretty neat.

just one thing that popped in my head first hearing “punk”

Also seperately from crimethINC: our band could be your life.

Berserker's avatar

I often see the punk culture being associated with nihilism. Do the books say anything about that?

boxer3's avatar

to a certain extent I’d say the book “Days of War nights of Love”
at times alludes to the idea of nihilism.
They’re very interesting.

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Those rotten kids who live in the cul-de-sac down the street from us——who seem to do nothing but make noise in the early morning hours with their clamoring skateboards and in the evening with their loud revving cars. Lol.

Aster's avatar

A boy with a swagger who can’t stand up straight, may have pimples, thinks laughter is “square” , skips school, probably smokes and has a low IQ. sounds like old boyfriends

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Take @Aster s characterization and add: knows three chords and thinks he’s a rock star.

Aster's avatar

and knows 3 words. Yeah; nah; whatEVer.

Seek's avatar

“Punk” is in its purest form a mentality that encourages individual expression to a fault, and discourages conformity. It believes in anarchy and rebellion against societal norms. It doesn’t give two flying fucks whether it looks good, smells good, or is otherwise acceptable to you.

Aster's avatar

well, yeah, but back IN THE DAY they sure cared about that
hunk of hair hanging down the center of their forehead.

boxer3's avatar

I feel like there’s been a shift to a sort of negative connotation to “punks”
I don’t know, I’m not a punk – but am friends with some punks,
and know a few punks who live in collective the next town over, and they’re all
really nice well rounded individuals: different from th general norm with strong opinions
and a different “fashion” than most…
obviously but I don’t think they’re what many are making them out to be, personally.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Punk is: Do you know three chords? If yes, then you start a band!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Whenever I hear the term “Punk”, the think of the Sex Pistols. I suppose that’s where my negative attitude comes from. I just can’t think of much nice to say about Johnny Rotten, other than agreeing with his characterization of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a “piss stain” (until they induct Moody Blues, that is). Sid Vicious couldn’t even play three chords.

The only positive thing arising from Punk was that the Goth movement spun off from it; as I understand it largely in protest over violent Punk behavior. Goths are great folks.

vamtire's avatar

I think punk is not like gangsters or anything but it is anyone daring enough to accessorize and dress very specially and go to the streets with the fashion.I mean like characters in the manga/anime movie “tekkon Kinkreet”

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Paraphrasing Tony Wilson from the Joy Division documentary… Punk was a big statement of “fuck you” that was necessary to get rock music back down to earth in the 1970s. But eventually someone was going to come along who needed to say more than “fuck you”. They needed to say ‘I’m fucked’, using the simplicity and energy of punk to express more complex emotions.

(And if there hadn’t been Joy Division, we’d be remembering these guys.)

Cruiser's avatar

A punk is a youngin who has yet to fully appreciate the nuances of being able to rightfully decide if they “Feel Lucky” and the full and total consequences of saying yes they do.

pathfinder's avatar

It is the
system fuck.

SundayKittens's avatar

Anyone who would never use the term “punk”. And what @hiphiphopflipflapflop said!

anartist's avatar

Punk is an attitude that generates a look, a music, a lifestyle.
The very young wearing stuff that offends their parents [until they get used to it], listening to often angry music a lot of other people hate, having brittle sometimes hostile and provocative attitudes not often backed up by guts. This last is what makes it seem superficial. Like if a punker’s parents said “Get that orange dye out of your hair and that stud out of your nose or find another place to live” the hair and the stud would go. At least for a time.

All that said I enjoy the look. The texture it adds to the spectrum of looks people present in general.

MeinTeil's avatar

Originally, Punk meant anything that serves no purpose or function.

mammal's avatar

Well this is the dilemma isn’t it? Punk and Adolescence, go together like Sid ‘n Nancy. but what if suburban kids, for all their Bratishness, have truly got a revolutionary, but badly articulated, point. The point being, although they probably don’t really understand it, is that their parent’s Bourgeois existence and the Bourgeois world awaiting them, fucking sucks! and they really don’t want to be initiated into it, because deep down kids kind of smell a rat even if they have never seen a rat, don’t they? However grown ups need to be able to smell a genuine Brat when they see one.

forestGeek's avatar

This is really all anyone needs to know.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

There are many superficial points of congruence between punk and goth (c’est moi), but attitude separates. The punks scream and rebel at a fucked up world; goths realize the world is fucked up, can’t do much about it, so go our own way without trying to burn anything down. Various fun hobbies arise from this, I recently found that there’s actually a name for my niche: Steamgoth, mixing the dark side with antiquated technology. Antique aviator goggles on my velvet top hat.

Only138's avatar

PUNK is a lifestyle. Most of the time, going against the grain. Originally, punk music was music for poor people, by poor people. I love Punk music!

Berserker's avatar

@Only138 Sounds similar to the origin of Rap music, despite what that is today. But yeah Punk is awesome, do you like Headless Chickens?

Only138's avatar

@Symbeline I’ve never heard them, are they good?
I listen to: The Misfits, Bad Religion, Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, Cro Mags, D.R.I., Stockyard Stoics, Resilience, and the Ramones Etc.

Berserker's avatar

Bad Religion and The Ramones, sweet. I’ll ad Rancid in there, and GG Allin, but a lot more so for how batshit crazy this fucker was than for his songs. XD

Headless Chickens is awesome, and even though their Wiki entry says industrial (Which I also love.) and rock, this is totally punk lol.

Only138's avatar

@Symbeline Good enough for me, I’ll check them out. :)

mrentropy's avatar

Toss in some Germs, Youth Brigade, early Social Distortion, Nomeansno, and Christ on a Crutch.

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