Originally posted by soufex in 2009.
I was stacking shelves with my manager the other night, and Flobots’ Rise came up on my shuffled playlist. He said to me, “what are those kind of bands going to do now?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, what are they going to write about now they have a new President?” And that kind of made me smile because it’s funny how the world thinks everything is fixed just because we’re in the Age of Hope and Change. Now, I am in no way slighting Team Obama’s battle to overthrow a global spirit of fear, because I think, and I always thought, that was awesome. But that we can just give up fighting our own personal, social, moral, civil battles because there isn’t a big bad man in power? That’s not what should be happening. It’s too easy to suddenly assume everything is fine now.
Things are not fine.
I still can’t marry my same-sex partner in Australia, people are still afraid to walk through their own cities at night, still being refused government housing because they ‘leave of their own accord’ when kids are putting bricks through their living room windows, Americans are still fucked over by health bills unless they can afford insurance.
As individuals and subcultures and generations of people we need to band together and drive through the message of change, we need to rally our best friends and bandmates and stand tall, and as the aforementioned Flobots say, fight with tools. We need to make our housing complexes and streets and neighbourhoods safer, fight for civil liberties it’s all too easy to take for granted. Clean up after yourself in town. Build an allotment. Organise self-defence classes, write to your representatives, vote when you are given the chance, the privilege. Play a charity show. Give blood because any biological male who has ever had sex with another biological male can’t. Sign yourself up to organ donation. Form support groups for mental illnesses (remember that sharing experiences and humanising invisible monsters brings light into the darkest of minds). Hold a vigil. Wheatpaste happy thoughts. Find a common interest. Make cupcakes. Help in the smallest ways to bring change.
Regardless of what the vox populi thinks, there is always something to sing about, there is always something to fight for. That’s what punk rock is and there is always a place in the world for punk rock, in our bedrooms and back yards, suburbs and cities. The smallest voice is still a voice. If you can use it, use it. We can’t make the world we live in a better, safer place with diffusion of responsibility- the world won’t change without you, without all of us, together.