I wrote about the rise of PUNK STUDIES in the Globe

The story’s about why punk resists scholarly analysis more than other subjects. The basic answer is: the term has been associated with a dizzying range of values/ideas/styles over the years and no one can agree on what it even is.

One thing I didn’t get to say in the piece is that this isn’t just frustrating to academics, it’s frustrating to angry 13-year-olds too. I’m convinced that every rebellious kid who became a teenager after 1980 has been bewildered to realize that not even experienced punks seem to know definitively how a punk is supposed to live/act/dress/think. 

When I was 13, I wrote a hit song about this for my three-piece band, Section 69, called “Punk Mentality.” The first verse went: “What the hell does ‘DIY’ mean? / and how about a ‘zine’? / This fucking punk mentality! / All these words I’ve seen…” 

It’s the only honest punk song anyone ever wrote.

Since everyone loves this game, here are some academic papers I didn’t get to mention in the story:

"No Future No Longer: Pop-Punk and the Second-Wave Legacy "

"The Raw and the Rotten: Punk Cuisine"

"Haunted by the Spirit of ’77: Punk Studies and the Persistence of Politics"

"Is it Punk to Protest? Punk Rock’s Rhetorical Features"

"Never Mind the Scholar, Here’s the Old Punk: Identity, Community, and the Aging Music Fan"

“Living the Punk Life in Green Bay, Wisconsin: Exploring Contradiction in the Music of NOFX”

"More Than Music: Notes on ‘Staying Punk’ in the Church and in Theology"

"This canvas belongs to a group of pictures in which Degas painted women looking at art in museums. In reference to another work in the series, the perversely contradictory and impish Degas nonetheless remarked to British painter Walter Sickert that he wanted to ‘give the idea of that bored and respectfully crushed and impressed absence of sensation that women experience in front of paintings.’"

"This canvas belongs to a group of pictures in which Degas painted women looking at art in museums. In reference to another work in the series, the perversely contradictory and impish Degas nonetheless remarked to British painter Walter Sickert that he wanted to ‘give the idea of that bored and respectfully crushed and impressed absence of sensation that women experience in front of paintings.’"

How come in the choreographed dance sequences in the video for “Super Bass” Nicki Minaj is one of six girls, rather than seven?

Seven would have meant there were three back-up dancers on either side of her. Six means she’s one of three to one side, instead of in the middle.