S.F. Zine Fest: My Statement

This weekend, the San Francisco Zine Fest will host a panel on First-Wave Punk Zines of the Bay Area (http://goteblud.livejournal.com/). Since I am unable to attend in person, I was asked to submit a statement that will be read in my absence:

While I trust that the magazine speaks for itself, both for good and ill, I suppose I could say by way of explanation that, beyond all the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, that is, beyond the pure visceral FUN of punk and life in the underground, there were also deeply serious issues of politics, of social justice and, above all, of aesthetics that connected and inspired the many people involved in the Damage project. Because these concerns were particularly articulated in the scene as it existed in San Francisco three decades ago, Damage’s importance today, like that of the other zines, is as a kind of constant witness to an unique time, place and circumstance; one that spoke and one hopes still speaks to the immanent primacy of youthful idealism and to the notion that there is a deep and abiding value in a radical, even desperate rejection of the commonplace, the accepted, the normal. Conformity and regimentation then, as now, are the foresworn enemies of the creative energy that is the essence and the wellspring of youth. That stance of absolute defiance to which the punk aesthetic aspires and which, in fact, is it’s raison d’etre is no less a viable ideal today than it was 30 years ago. If anything, it is more necessary and more important. Damage sought, in its own small way, to encompass all the twisted, topsy-turvy and convulsive energies of a scene (or series of scenes) that defied easy definition, seeking to discover in the multiplicity of personalities and creative expressions a commonality of interest that could speak to the eternal youth in us all, the spiky-haired, black-garbed snarling punk boy or girl whose “blue eyes gleam with a necessary cruelty” (Aragon). That we both succeeded admirably and failed miserably is finally and equally a tribute to our own exquisite innocence and to the dark realities that all too often doom our youthful ideals to feckless compromise and even extinction.

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  1. Pingback by Damage: An Inventory, “the magazine that’s not for everybody.” | Recto|Verso on December 7, 2010 8:53 pm

    […] can read his entire statement here, on Mondo X, The Brad Lapin […]

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