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July 20, 2015

Punk Rock is Now Just Empty Posturing, But Monk Rock Is the New Punk

This makes a surprising amount of sense.

There are obvious similarities between punk rock and religious monasticism.

Both are cultures that deviate from the mainstream. Both eschew high fashion in favor of simplicity. Both believe in a Do It Yourself (DIY) ethic. (Corporate label won't sell your record? Produce and distribute it yourself. The secular world is obsessed with fame and toys? Wear a robe and shave your head.)

Punks and monks are about a stripped-down opposition to a sinful world that can me sermonized into making sense.

Enter MONKROCK. The all-caps official name of the company is the brainchild of Kevin Clay, a musician and artist who lives in Tennessee. Clay, who is a "lay monastic," believes that the most authentic expression of punk in 2015 is traditional Catholic monasticism. From his website:

The anti-pop...spirit of punk finds its highest expression in the monastic vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and a rule of prayer, repentance, and work offered to "God alone." Through community and the dissemination of art, media, propaganda and merchandise, MONKROCK exists to make everyday life a religious experience by empowering people to see the world as their monastery.


What's left is what the punks once criticized mainstream rock for: bloat, meaningless posturing and sad nostalgia. There seem to be endless documentaries being made about the history of D.C. punk -- more films than have even been made about communism. In Prospect piece, contemporary punks, faced with the kind of leaders and cultural atmosphere they could only dream of in 1984, are left with vague slogans about "social change." There's also what I call "retroactive repression," wherein a liberal confronted with a string of culture war victories [resorts] to the past to complain. Thus a woman in the Prospect piece is angry because there weren't enough "women or people of color" in the 1980s punk scene.

Punks and liberals seem to have won the culture war, but leftist iconoclasm is so woven into their sense of self-worth that they ignore the real misfits and rebels of 2015. Completely co-opted by liberalism, punks have no interested in what is now a truly marginalized group: the orthodox religious.

Worth reading.

The website sells merch, but I do not see any actual music.

True enough, punk rock was an awful lot about the fashion, merch, and other tribal signalings, but they also did have some music to go along with it.

So we'll see what tunes come out of this "monkrock" thing, but I guess we'll see later.

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:48 PM

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