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alt.punk.straight-edge sXe FAQ

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Archive-name: cultures/straight-edge-faq
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Version: 1.11
Last-modified: 10 Feb 1999
URL: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/cultures/straight-edge-faq/
Copyright: (A) Anti-copyright see section i.
Maintainer: Lars Norved <xjusticex@geocities.com>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
    alt.punk.straight-edge sXe FAQ
    maintained by Lars Norved ><xjusticex@geocities.com><
    <http://www.geocities.com/Pipeline/Ramp/4130>


Subject: i. Introduction This article aims to provide information about being straight-edge. The information has been compiled from many sources and is believed to be close to the truth but there is no guarantee given. If you know better, contribute your wisdom! These frequently asked questions were initially gathered together on 22 May 1997 and was approved by the *.answers moderators on 05 Jun 1997. Since then I've discovered an earlier, unofficial alt.punk.straight-edge FAQ by Randy Thatcher [12] last updated 28 Feb 1995. This is actually also the source of much of the information from some of the early references for this document. If you'd like to use this article to provide information to others for free, then feel free but please present it whole or properly qouted and referenced. Please cite it as: Lars Norved <xjusticex@geocities.com>, alt.punk.straight-edge sXe FAQ, Usenet alt.punk.straight-edge, <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/cultures/straight-edge-faq>.
Subject: ii. Table of Contents i. Introduction ii. Table of Contents iii. References iv. Where to find this FAQ v. About the maintainer vi. A word about SPAM vii. Questions in progress 1. About straight-edge 1-1. What is alt.punk.straight-edge? 1-2. Where does the name straight-edge come from? 1-3. What's with the Xs? 1-4. What is sXe? 1-5. Where can I find hardcore sex? 1-6. Is straight-edge a religion? 1-7. Why do kids get into straight-edge? 1-8. How do I join the straight-edge? 1-9. Why do you need a label to be poison free? 2. About the music 2-1. What is hardcore? 2-2. What's the difference between old school and new school bands? 2-3. What is emo? 2-4. Who was the first straight-edge band? 2-5. What is this windmill dance? 2-6. What is floorpunching? 2-7. What other dances are there? 3. About the commitment 3-1. Why are there so many rules? 3-2. If I slip from the 'edge does that mean I can't be straight-edge anymore? 3-3. Can I be straight-edge and a Christian? 3-4. If I'm straight-edge can I take holy communion? 3-5. Can I be straight-edge and gay? 3-6. Is straight-edge about politics? 3-7. Do I have to be vegan/vegetarian to be straight-edge? 3-8. Can I take medications if I'm straight-edge? 3-9. Is taking caffeine straight-edge? 3-10. How much does pro-life feature in sXe? 3-11. Don't most stop being straight-edge when they reach drinking age? 3-12. All my friends drink, does this mean I have to find new friends? 3-13. Do straight-edge kids have sex at all? 3-14. I used to drink and do drugs, can I still be sXe? 4. About the scene 4-1. Aren't you all just mummy's boys? 4-2. Why do all you kids wear backpacks? 4-3. Why is straight-edge so narrow minded? 4-4. Why can't we have unity within hardcore/punk? 4-5. Isn't straight-edge just a fad? 4-6. What is hardline straight-edge? 4-7. What is a poseur? 4-8. Is sXe a crutch for the weak? 4-9. What is a sellout? 4-10. Why do a lot of you people use the name of your band or 'zine as a surname? 4-11. Why don't sXe kids have a sense of humour? 4-12. What is DIY? 4-13. What is the relationship of sXe to skating and BMX? 4-14. Why is there so much violence in sXe? 5. About the people 5-1. What do you guys wear? 5-2. What's with the tattoos and stuff? 5-3. Who's who of apse?
Subject: iii. References [1] Josh Krist <joshuak@vpico!com>, White Punks on Hope - What's punk rock without the beer and nihilism? Better, according to members of the Valley's "straight-edge" punk scene., Phoenix New Times, 1996, <http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1996/082296/music1.html>. [2] Daniel Zander <XzanderX@bigfoot!com>, Straight Edge - The Discipline, Cyber Edge, <http://xxcyberxx.xxedgexx.com/sXe.html>. [3] David Diekmann <david@crackedass!com>, Minor Threat: Lyrics, CrackedAss punk-ska-hardcore zine & records, 1997, <http://www.crackedass.com/minorthreat/lyrics.html>. [4] Juergen Heerdegen <juergen@straight-edge!com>, More than you'd care to know about straight-edge, straight-edge.com Website, <http://www.straight-edge.com/definition.html>. [5] Bruce Buckley, Earth Crisis - Desperate music for desperate times, Syracuse New Times, 1996, <http://www.rway.com/newtimes/111396/cover.htm>. [6] <xjeffx@creighton!edu>, More Straight Edge For Your Money!!, <http://www.creighton.edu/~xjeffx/>. [7] Ruth Horner <softie@rocketmail!com>, sXe Intro, Punks G Hybrid zine, <http://www.phreakco.com/punksg/columns/ruth/intro.htm>. [8] Greg Patterson, The Straight Edge, Seattle Times, 1995, <http://studwww.rug.ac.be/~jdschepp/sxe/texts/seattle.htm>. [9] Sean J. Mallison, The Straight Edge: Clean Living's New Look, NY Times, <http://studwww.rug.ac.be/~jdschepp/sxe/texts/nytimes.htm>. [10] Hardline Creed, <http:/www.pitt.edu/~mpkst6/HL.html>. [11] Laurie Mercer <laurie@musicwest!com>, What is Hardcore?, D.O.A.'s Hardcore homepage, <http://www.musicwest.com/DOA/doaishc.html>. [12] Randy Thatcher <rht3@po!cwru!edu>, alt.punk.straight-edge Frequently Asked Questions, 1995, <http://k2.scl.cwru.edu/~rht3/faq>. [13] Matt Williams, Outside Dremley Studios - an interview with Russ Rankin from Good Riddance, June '95, <http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/4379/gr-info.html>. [14] Michael Traub <traub@mistral!co!uk>, rec.food.veg FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS LIST (FAQ), Usenet rec.food.veg, <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/vegetarian/faq>. [15] Straight Edge Vegan Mailing List, Vegan Straight Edge Site, <http://www.vegan-straight-edge.org.uk/sxevegan.htm>. [16] Jacques <Jacques.DeSchepper@rug.ac.be> and Nicolas <950906nm@babbage.hogent.be>, x Straightedge Park x, <http://studwww.rug.ac.be/~jdschepp/sxe/main.htm>. [17] "Earth Crisis going mainstream", Destroy Babylon, Issue 4, 1996.
Subject: iv. Where to find this FAQ This FAQ is posted monthly to the Usenet newsgroups alt.punk.straight-edge, alt.music.hardcore, alt.lifestyle.substance-free, alt.skate-board, alt.answers, and news.answers where you should be able to find it. Most news server honours the expiration date for news.answers so this is probably the best place to look for it. The latest officially posted copy of this FAQ is archived at rtfm.mit.edu. You can retrieve it by anonymous FTP from: <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/cultures/straight-edge-faq> If you don't want to use FTP you can get it via email by sending an email request to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with the following line in the body of the message. Note there should not be any spaces before the word send. send usenet/news.answers/cultures/straight-edge-faq A hypertext version is also maintained automatically at <http://www.faqs.org/faqs/cultures/straight-edge-faq/>.
Subject: v. About the maintainer I was always meant to be straight-edge I've never liked the taste of alcohol I've never liked the smell of smoke I've kept myself for my special girl I've always dressed to be different I've always liked my music radical I've never really had any friends Now I've been labelled straight-edge
Subject: vi. A word about SPAM Since I started to post this FAQ I've been inundated with junk emails from mindless shits that can't respect anyone's privacy. As a result all email addresses are listed with exclaimation marks in place of the periods to save my friends from the curse of SPAM. On 02 Jul 1997 Rodger Whitlock <totototo@mail!pacificcoast!net> wrote: "What are Spammerz? They are parasitic, thieving, bottom-feeding, asocial would-be entreprenuers with Ayn-Randish hero complexes, who abuse UseNet by sending out massive numbers of newsgroup messages (and email) advertising porn sites, phone sex lines, psychic readings, make-money-fast schemes, multi-level marketing schemes, and other methods for separating you from your hard-earned money without providing anything of use in return. "Why Spam? There is a Monty Python skit featuring a song, the text of which is essentially "Spam" over and over - that's all you get - it's everywhere. "Welcome aboard."
Subject: vii. Questions in progress The following are some questions that people want answers to but haven't been finalised yet. Please mail me your ideas for questions and answers. Got any more questions?
Subject: 1. About straight-edge Straight Edge is a more philosophical offshoot of the punk movement, a reaction to the hedonism and self-destruction that characterised punk. The basic tenet of the philosophy centres around the issue of self-control. The goal is to regain as much personal control over your own life as possible. sXe is the only youth counter-culture to actively discourage drug use, alcohol use, and casual sex. [2] [12] Straight edge is a lifestyle centred around personal development and well being, while encouraging fun and togetherness. sXe is not just about being into contemporary punk music acts and being against drugs. It goes deeper than this. The movement wishes to attract people away from dependancy lifestyles centred around drug habits (legal or illegal) and unhealthy and exploitative eating and general living habits common in modern cultures. sXe is not dogmatic, there are no hard rules, these are for you to decide. Nobody should dictate like the police, or preach an ideology like the church or state. [15] The term itself is believed to have been coined by the band Minor Threat of the punk rock/hardcore scene in the early '80s. Their singer Ian MacKaye eschewed the nihilistic tendencies of punk rock, promoting instead the simple (almost simplistic) philosophy of "don't drink/ don't smoke/ don't fuck." [4] Out of Step (with the world) by Minor Threat, 1981 [3] (I) Don't smoke Don't drink Don't fuck At least I can fucking think I can't keep up Can't keep up Can't keep up Out of step with the world In the 12 years since the demise of Minor Threat, these simple beliefs have transformed the minds of scores of teens worldwide. Increasingly disenchanted with societal ills, young men and women adopt the straight-edge doctrine as a blueprint to better first themselves, and then the world in which they live. While the original definition of straight-edge only included the rejection of mind altering substances and promiscuous sex, modern interpretations include a vegetarian (or vegan) diet and an increasing involvement and awareness of environmental and political issues. [4] On 15 Sep 1997 Andy Dempz <adempz@umich!edu> wrote: "Well... [Ian] might be credited with starting it, but he's made it abundantly clear he doesn't care for what's it turned into. Read old Minor Threat interviews, i bet most Earth Crisis fans would be shocked to hear him say 'it doesn't mean never drink a beer...' Besides, after watching every "hero" since then fall, from SSD to Youth of Today to today's flavor of the month, i think worrying about some stranger's lifestyle in regards to your own is a little silly. I do this for me, no one else." On 17 Sep 1997 Andy Dempz <adempz@umich!edu> wrote: "I mean gees, just listen to what he mumbles in the middle of Out of Step, 'there's no set of rules, i'm just bringing up three things that are like so important to the whole world... whether they're fuckin, or whether they're playing golf.' So maybe golf isn't sxe!" From a Minor Threat interview in Touch & Go zine: "Ian: Like Straight Edge, people have taken it to an extreme...as far as i'm concerned all we did was put out an idea... if people wanna hear it as preaching if that's what they want. Straight edge to me is someone who is alert enough to benefit from what he or she is doing... "Lyle: the drug and alcohol is only one side of it anyway, it's alot more than that, there are other things that can sidetrack you... "Ian: That's what "don't Fuck" means... alot of people think that to be straight edge you can't drink, smoke, or have sex and that's silly... what the don't fuck thing is that the whole getting laid and getting head thing "Lyle: living for sex "Ian: following your penis around is fucking people up more than anything"
Subject: 1-1. What is alt.punk.straight-edge? alt.punk.straight-edge is a news group on Usenet that provides a forum for discussions about the straight-edge lifestyle. The sort of things that should be posted includes questions and news about straight-edge hardcore/punk bands, the straight-edge lifestyle, and the scene. The sort of posts that aren't welcome is SPAM, mindless insults (lets try to be creative :), and irrelevant cross-posted threads.
Subject: 1-2. Where does the name straight-edge come from? According to legend, the drummer for Minor Threat [Jeff Nelson], one of the first bands to preach the "stay punk, stay clean" ethos, ...was drawing a poster for a show using a wood ruler. He commented to his bandmates that the ruler's straight edge was a metaphor for their lifestyle. [1] Straight Edge by Minor Threat, 1981 [3] I'm a person just like you But I've got better things to do Than sit around and fuck my head Hang out with the living dead Snort white shit up my nose Pass out at the shows I don't even think about speed That's something I just don't need I've got the straight edge I'm a person just like you But I've got better things to do Than sit around and smoke dope 'Cause I know I can cope Laugh at the thought of eating ludes Laugh at the thought of sniffing glue Always gonna keep in touch Never want to use a crutch I've got the straight edge On 30 Aug 1997 erik mohr <emandrew@mindspring!com> wote: "my understanding of the origin was that ian mc.. wanted to call minor threat "straight edge" and the rest of the guys wouldn't go for it. so he wrote a song cause he liked the name." On 09 Aug 1998 Larry Phillips <bigphil@solutions!mb!ca> wrote: "Ian Macaye didn't want to call the band "Straight Edge", he wanted to call it "Straight". here is the exact quote from the interview with him in the sXe book on Revelation "I wanted just to name the band "Straight," because we were going to push this thing even more. We didn't end up using it for the name of the band, but I ended up writing a song about it, and it was basically a song which was, in my mind, championing the individual.""
Subject: 1-3. What's with the Xs? A common practice at all-ages punk shows was to mark minors with an "X" on their hands so they couldn't buy alcohol. As the straight-edge philosophy grew popular, punkers who were older than 18 but didn't drink for ideological reasons started to mark themselves with the X in a show of solidarity. [1]
Subject: 1-4. What is sXe? sXe is really just an acronym for straight-edge with the X thrown for good measure. If you have more stuff on the history and origin of the use of the term "sXe", share it.
Subject: 1-5. Where can I find hardcore sex? Man! You're seriously in the wrong place. And maybe you should see somebody about that dyslexia.
Subject: 1-6. Is straight-edge a religion? No. Although sXe embraces some of the moral values held by most major religions, sXe'ers don't necessarily believe in a God. There is no organised church or worship service. However, some sXe'ers are members of organised churches, temples or mosques where they feel that the sXe beliefs fit in. [2] Straight Edgers say their life choices stem from a desire to be true to themselves and not from any religious beliefs. [8]
Subject: 1-7. Why do kids get into straight-edge? Some common reasons people decide to become sXe include: 1. wanting to control their own lives 2. seeing what damage drugs can do to others 3. being raised in an alcoholic family 4. identifying with the sXe values and 5. being with people who have the same values. [2] Ruth Horner said "There's just such a TREMENDOUS social pressure to drink, do drugs, and so on. Society says 'just say no' but what does it matter, once you turn 21? Or at least become an adult. Then it's just an accepted form of 'recreation.' By then it has become an accepted 'addiction' as well. Look at how prevalent alcohol and tobacco and negative sexuality are in the media, not just commercials. it's a big part of our culture, particularly youth culture. Where does it end you up? "That's right. Nowhere fast. I just don't understand. From what I have heard, hangovers suck. Watching your life fall apart sucks. It's just not fair o yourself, or anyone else around you that loves you to take such a risk and purposely deny yourself the privilege of being healthy. Health isn't a privilege, it's a given. It doesn't FEEL good to have hangovers. It doesn't FEEL good to OD. It doesn't FEEL good to go through withdrawal and it most certainly doesn't FEEL good to have AIDS! So why don't today's youth learn from example? I did. A lot of others out there have too. But for some reason, the ignorant are still out there. "You just have to learn to stand strong against it all. Stay true to yourself. Find alternatives. Personally I find that I get a high from going to hows. Just the ROAR of the guitar, and the RUSH of the drums feeling he sweat drip from my face, being squashed by the others around me. I find THAT exciting!! "I don't think I'm any better than anyone else, I just think I'm being smart. And if you have a problem with that then tough." [7] On 07 Oct 1997 jeramie <frenzy@netropolis.net> wrote: "I speak for myself, but I think some of us find life to be more entertaining when you can walk and talk straight or look at a member of the opposite sex and not be obsessed with f@#$ing them. Being sXe is it's own reward. It isn't for everyone, but I know a lot of people who do more constructive things which their energy and time because they believe in sXe and are'nt tearing themselves apart with vices and addictions. You have to be brave enough to try it in order understand why it's a lifestyle choice and quest." On 09 Aug 1998 Larry Phillips <bigphil@solutions!mb!ca> wrote: "Another reason kids get into sxe is cause they think its the cool thing to do."
Subject: 1-8. How do I join the straight-edge? You don't join straight-edge, you take on the straight-edge. You just get involved in the scene and start thinking for yourself. The idea is to closely examine your own life, identify what factors influence your thoughts and behaviours, assess what impact they are having on your life and rid yourself of those factors which you deem to have a negative impact on your life. [2] [12]
Subject: 1-9. Why do you need a label to be poison free? On 28 Aug 1998 Stew <stew-e@usa!net> wrote: "Well, you really dont. There are many hardliners that do it for themselves, and themselves only. Afterall, sXe is a personal choice... no one can make it for you. And today there are many more followers than leaders, and we follow what other do and wont take a stand and fight the minority. this label help keep us together and stay strong." On 30 Dec 1998 <SikanderXe@aol!com> wrote: "the label shows you're actually serious about what you're saying and that you're not making any exceptions (although there is lots of hypocrisy, but this is ideally speaking). It's also a commitment thing, something to believe in."
Subject: 2. About the music Straight-edge grew out of the hardcore/punk scene and the music plays an important role. The music is fast, powerful, with angry and thoughtful lyrics. It forms a vital outlet for rage and sadness against abusive and/or dysfunctional political, societal and family structures.
Subject: 2-1 What is hardcore? On 15 Apr 1997 <lgumaer@ibm!net> wrote: "Hardcore is the style that began in the early 80s, often applied to bands such as Black Flag, Minor Threat, Sick of It All, Bad Brains, Rollins Band, Fugazi, etc.--sort of "2nd wave" punk bands. They were sloppy punk bands that played with more intensity and heaviness than earlier ones like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, etc. Today's hardcore bands are tighter and much heavier, and can be divided into two general types (usually called East Coast or West Coast, for where the band is, but it's not always consistent). The first type are smoother, with heavy grooves that flow, with a vocalist that sings (or at least tries to) or shouts. The second type is heavier, with tight, stop-and-go rhythms and harsh vocals that are a cross between shouts and low screams." On 10 Jun 1997 Chris97a <chris97a@aol!com> wrote: "Hardcore music by definition HAS to fit a mold, but hardcore lyrics by definition, are SUPPOSED TO BE THOUGHT PROVOKING!!!" On 26 Jun 1997 erik mohr <emandrew@mindspring!com> wrote: "... to me that's pretty much always been what hardcore was, highly politically charged punk. punk that screams an opinion." Nicolas 'Da Ringmaster' <950906nm@babbage.hogent.be> wrote: "Alright, this is what hardcore means to me: Energy, Positive attitude, Rebellion, Independance, Separating from trends, Not following the masses, Hard-core = hard music" [16] From the D.O.A. website: "D.O.A. popularized the term hardcore as applied to punk rock music with the release of Hardcore '81, a pivotal record from the early west coast hardcore punk scene. "Hardcore was (and is) uncompromising punk attitude combined with social activism. Sort of "punk with a message", but not to be confused with "straight edge" or "PC" movements, later variations of hardcore. West coast hardcore was completely different from the "fashionable" punk rock of art school students and posers - in the early days of punk there was a huge difference between the English-style punks with their fashionably torn and safety-pinned look, and the hardcore 'street' punk who just didn't give a fuck about their appearance. "It's an intelligent movement characterized by a deep anger at the status quo. It is not surprising that it began on the U.S.west coast, where radicalism and rebellion has deep roots... schools don't tell you much about the labour riots of the 20's or other examples of North American civil disobedience... Uncompromising hardcore shocked the complacent hippie mentality, needless to say. "Hardcore will never die where individualistic thought can survive - which of course means it has been constantly oppressed by the vacuous media of North America. The current popularization of 'punk' is more concerned with style than substance, rather a new fashionable trend for the pop machine. "Hardcore survives in bands like Fugazi, NoMeansNo, The Ex, and D.O.A. - hopefully with the current popularity of punk rock more kids will discover that the world ain't exactly a great place, and work for positive change despite the many evil forces in this world. And that is the best definition of hardcore I can imagine." [11] There is quite a bit of disagreement over exactly when hardcore started but here are some people's thoughts: On 10 May 1997 Fitaurari <fitaurari@aol!com> wrote: "And by the way Bad Brains DID invent 'hardcore'!" On 10 May 1997 paul.kaczmarek <paul.kaczmarek@ukonline!co!uk> wrote: "The Germs (April 77) , Black Flag (June 77), he Misfits (first show - April 77), Chain Gang, The Pagans (mid-77), Canada's The Diodes (first lp June 77) and The Viletones (recorded Jan 1978) were already under the 'hardcore' banner in 1977. "There's also a solid argument for giving the first hardcore prize to Chrome, who recorded undoubted hardcore lps in 1976, or Crime, who did the same." On 10 May 1997 Rastapoodle <herblady@zippo!com> wrote: "Your knowledge of the dates of the emergence of the punk hardcore scene is very good. I might add that by 1976, bands like Patti Smith, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and many that were playing at CBGB's were called punk, and I think that the (mostly) West Coast bands that you cite were the hardcore 'babies' of those groups. (Boy, I'm sure they'd love that designation!) ;-)" On 10 Jul 1997 TSOL12 <tsol12@aol!aol> wrote: "without a doubt BLack Flag was the first HC band...anyone who says otherswise is a fool. People forget that early HC has its roots in punk everyone thinks that the newschool sound is what hardcore is about.....plus theres more to being a HC band than just the sound."
Subject: 2-2. What's the difference between old school and new school hardcore bands? The basic musical difference is that old school is punk and new school is metal. On 12 Jun 1997 Peter <pma@xxedgexx!com> wrote: "it's actually really simple. new school is kinda like slayer, only the 'kids' pretend it has something to do with hardcore. i see it as cheap metal. old school (THE ONLY SCHOOL!) on the other hand is precisely the other way around: fast and positive." On 01 Jul 1997 BattleMonkey <battlemonkey@rocketmail!com> wrote: "Actually, "old school" depends on how old you are. If YOT is old school, then you need to reach back a little further into the Teen Idles/Minor Threat days. And that wasn't always positive. The big difference for me is that new school is a lot more exclusionary, a lot less fun, and has bigger pants."
Subject: 2-3. What is emo? On 1 May 1997 "DAVe B." <skapsr@ix!netcom!com> wrote: "emo is a type of music, which is derived from early 80's hardcore. I don t know the whole story, but emo combines hardcore with more melodic and experimental music. Fugazi is the easiest example of a band i can name that is considered to be "emo" also bands like promise ring and texas is the reason play this vein of music." On 1 May 1997 Kevin Hirsch <hirschk@anet!net> wrote: "Emo is generally said to have started with DC bands like Embrace (Ian MacKaye's band after Minor Threat and before Fugazi) and Rites of Spring (Guy Picciotto's band also before Fugazi), but is in no way limited to them, around '85. The sound was basically a slower more emotional (hence the name "emo") post- version of hardcore. The vocals are usually sung in "whiny" (for lack of a better word) sort of way. "Emotional in this context generally connotes "vulnerability" and/or "troubledness", which is different from the emotionality of the screaming and thrashing generally associated with hardcore. This open emphasis on "vulnerability" and/or "troubledness" represented a major break in the hardcore/punk scene at that time, for it prided itself on tough- and hardness, as it generally does today. Hence, the long running feud between hardcore (sXe) and emo kids. "As for emo today, as most other sub-genres, it has spawned many (sometimes extremely opposite and/or contradicting) hybrids that all stake claim to the label, rendering it somewhat useless. Here are some examples: there's political, scream-and-flail-on-the-floor, emo like Frail, Swing Kids, Impetus Inter, and a slew of San Diego based bands; there's the really slow, discordant, artsy emo like Cap'n Jazz, Joan d'Arc, Evergreen, etc.; then we have the more popular melody/pop-oriented bands like Texas is the Reason, Sensefield, Mineral, Promise Ring, Split Lip (now Chamberlain), etc.; and last but not least we have the slow, stop-and-go, melody-thrash alternating groups like Amber Inn, Still Life, and others I can't think of right now." On 31 Aug 1997 <PolarityHC@aol!com> write: "I believe that Al Flipside called Embrace "emo" and Ian was like "huh", but for some reason the name stuck." On 03 Oct 1997 <XXMARTINXx@aol.com> wrote: "i think the band verbal assult invented the word emo. and embrace, as good as they were, weren't the first "emo" band. dag nasty, 3, and 7 seconds all had an emo sound before them." On 18 Nov 1997 .xmikex. <info@jameson!com> wrote: "EMO (E-mo) slang 1)A wimp 2)Anyone not tough enough to listen to your friend's band. 3)Anyone/thing that refuses to floorpunch and hit bystanders in a mosh pit (see mosh). "OK, for real, THIS is my understanding and how my friends and I use this helpful term every day: 1) EMO is an abbreviation of EMOTIONAL. 2) As such, it can (& I think originally was used to) describe a style of music. 3) A lot of bands from the Washington DC area punk scene are considered "EMO" (Embrace being one of the 1st to have this label). 4) The EMO "SOUND" of minimalist drums & guitars, quiet singing building up to a loud screaming racket. There can be a major jazz influence. 5) Anyone can be emo now. Morrissey, the cure, fugazi, endpoint, you name it, they've been labeled "emo" (sinatra) "The people: Emo kids are considered wimps by most "tough guys". This may or may not be true. Classic "emo stories" are of kids crying at shows. (something I recently witnessed at a show...) I guess this public show of emotion is seen as weakness by most in the HC community. Whereas Emo music tends to wrestle the inner demons of personal defeat, loveloss, heartache etc. "Hardcore" tends to wrestle that big hairy smelly guy in the pit next to you. No, seriously, HC tends to deal with taking action to change things rather than ruminate on that might have been. I guess the main difference is that Emo tends to be backward looking, and HC tends to be forward looking. (Yesyesyes, I know there's MASSIVE crossover in musical styles and song subject matter- a lot of HC bands write "personal" lyrics and a lot of emo bands write songs with a social message).I dunno, I like some emo bands, but I prefer HC. "THE STYLE: Hair: often a bit crusty Glasses: Horn-rim ONLY (cat-eyes are also acceptable for the women) Facial Hair: Stubble Piercings: Optional Necklaces: Beads, etc. (mandatory) Shirt: Old t-shirts, dress shirts etc. Sweater: No!no!no! a sweaterVEST. (old) Jacket: Old, thrift shop gear as with all the above. Pants: Dress pants / corduroy. Floods are totally cool. Socks: White Shoes: Black dress shoes "The color palate? Browns, blacks, dark blues etc. "Think "Nick at Night". The look is retro with an edge. Drew Carey if he wore thrift store stuff. A brief list of "emo" bands I or my friends like: (i don't like all these bands. they will have an * by their name if I'm not a big fan) FUGAZI EMBRACE RITES OF SPRING JAWBOX BLUETIP FRODUS TEXAS IS THE REASON* PROMISE RING* (yeech) NONE LEFT STANDING MINERAL MAXIMILLIAN COLBY JAWBREAKER "Perhaps CRUCIAL YOUTH said it best in their glossary of terms when they described it: EMO-CORE: "Mature" music made by cigarette-puffing ex-straightedgers. Heavy on soul-searching, hard to mosh to."
Subject: 2-4. Who was the first straight-edge band? The Teen Idles, an early 80's Washington, DC hardcore band, and something of a precursor to Minor Threat, can arguably be called the first straight-edge band. [4]
Subject: 2-5. What is this windmill dance? On 13 Nov 1996 Daniel Wayne Zettwoch <dwzettwo@artsci!wustl!edu> wrote: "It's kinda like the Humpty-Hump, but a lot more violent. Got it?" On 27 Aug 1997 Karl <RecoilRex@aol!com> wrote: "Okay, remember when you were 8 and you'd get into a fight? (or see other kids fighting) and you'd just swing your arms in a circle toward the person? "Well the whole windmill dance thingy is done like that (only swinging the arms backwards) while skipping left to right/ right to left. "Kind of hard to describe"
Subject: 2-6. What is floorpunching? On 13 Nov 1996 Daniel Wayne Zettwoch <dwzettwo@artsci!wustl!edu> wrote: "It's done exactly like it sounds. Really punch that floor to make it realistic!! Punch it hard!!"
Subject: 2-7. What other dances are there? On 18 Oct 1997 XMARTINX <hexen@gmx!net> wrote" "a guide to violent dancing "stagediving, pile-ups, windmills, walls of death, slamdancing, its an excellent way to release pent-up frustrations or to shed thos extra pounds. This is the spirit of the youth, this is what hardcore is all about. The pit found its roots in punks slam and pogo (some say it was invented late 70īs on shows from the Germs, The weirdos, Black Flag ...) and progressed in trash- and death metal gigs. Since the walls between punk and metal have come down, the audience has changed lately, the size of the pit is growing. Early hc-gigs saw the craziness of a few violators but the latest shows were slamfest were over 50 kids really knocked their way through the audience. What makes me so proud about this scene is that it never comes to fights. In other places, when a pit starts, it often comes to fistfights and those who participate in the action want to dance the hardest. Lack of respect and comprehension is mostly the reason for this. Anyway, heres some names and explanation for pit-tricks, the editor is not responcible for any injuries at all ... ;-) "Some stagediving techniques: "arrow: hands behind the back, take a leap on stage and shoot yourself into the front rows. "Flip: flip your body headfirst and land on the crowd, you can flip over and over again while laying on the crowd too. "Feet-first: make sure you dont wear combat-boots for this. Run off the stage and jump as high as possible, then stretch both feet before you land with your gravity centered in your bottom. "Wuss-dive: get on stage and make gestures with your arms that people should move up front to catch you, then with lots of efforts, lay down safely, like you would drop dead. "Floor kiss (or pope -dive): take a huge leap and jump as high as you can, pointing your lips in a romantic way and land on your face. "Golden Rules: - Dont wear too many clothes. Just make sure your piercings, fresh tattoos, genitals and brest are well protected. Of course its great if you can rip some yuppies Nirvana T-Shirt to tiny pieces. - Only dance when theres a good mood. Dont make a complete idiot of yourself going off on emo or melodic gigs. Use the H-force for H-bands. - Dont take food/drinks with you. You dont wanna end up with fries in your ears smelling of Dr.Pepper after a good gig, do you ? - Dont fart in the pit !! - Dont kiss your partner up front (especially when you dont want the others tongue-piercing to be yours) "DANCING TRICKS "GORILLA (PICKING UP STYLE) Legs spread and hands grabbing the floor on the rythms of the beat (NY-Style is excellent to do this, Solid the perfect band) "BREADSLICER Crouch your arms and slam them open as wide and hard as possible, great on fast parts, even better in combination of shoving your feet in all directions. "WINDMILL (single or double) Rotate your arms 360 degrees forward or backward, make sure your fingers are locked safely in a fist, for the sake of yourself and buddie-slammers. "DOUBLE TROUBLE One dancer rides the others back or neck against onslaughts of attack by human battering rams. Invented by the skins but lately done by our BXL-friends. "SUCK-CORE SWEEPER Stand back to back with a fella and grab his arms from behind. Lift him up and whirl like a madman into the front rows. This move is complete if you release the human projectile to knock down some victims. "WALL OF DEATH Arms locked tight in an iron chain, a line of burly dudes mows down any unexspecting pedestrian standing in its path. When doing this, make sure you have the beefiest guys with you. "FRIGOBAZAR HIP-HOP Jump up and down like a moron to ridicolous hiphop-beats. When you see geeks doing this, go for a double windmill or a wall of death to clear them of the floor so they can hide safely in the back drinking Kriek-Beer" On 18 Oct 1997 XJeremyX wrote: "My favorites: "The Menace: If you saw the movie "Don't be a menace to south central while drinking your juice in the hood" (the grandma did it while she was break dancing in church) you should be familiar with this one. You stand on one foot, grab your other ankle and kick your leg forward while still holding it. Fun to do to the slow dance parts. "The helicopter: spread your arms out and swing them around like your a helicopter.Wheeeeeee! "The Sledgehammer: Clasp your hands and Swing them like you've got a sledgehammer. Fun to do to the intro of those fast old school songs just before you point and scream "GO!" "Kick'n'go: Hold your arm out, fully extended, with your hand held in a palm. Swing your arm and strike your palm with your fist. now when you bring your fist back to hit your palm again, kick. repeat. "Seisure: My favorite. Do what you want, but shake like a maniac and run around. Do this when the singer passes you the mike."
Subject: 3. About the commitment
Subject: 3-1. Why are there so many rules? Straight-edge isn't about rules. It's a philosophy about being in control of your own actions and making decisions for yourself. As a result you'll choose not to smoke, drink, sleep around, eat meat but these choices may be different to different people. The hallmarks of straight-edge remain hardcore/punk music and don't smoke, don't drink, don't fuck. On 22 Mar 1997 sibber <sibber@worldnet!att!net> wrote: "to call what i, you,and that everyone else lives by as ''rules'' is kind of i don't know the right word but when I hear rules its normally something i want to do but can't. i see it as commitments that i proudly live by."
Subject: 3-2. If I slip from the 'edge does that mean I can't be straight-edge anymore? Noone is perfect, so just get back on the 'edge. On 12 Jul 1997 <Shmee5@aol!com> wrote: "It's my belief that either you are or you never were. I'm not saying that I don't believe in second chances - but when it comes to slipping from the edge...well, just don't slip and there's no nead to worry. I just feel that if you aren't ready to commit then you shouldn't call yourself SxE." On 14 Sep 1997 ianX <ian-one@demon.co.uk> wrote: "it's easy to go off track when shit happens. No-one has to be perfect as no-one can be." On 01 Dec 1997 <SikanderXe@aol.com> wrote: "there is no slipping up in sXe. this can be heard in the lyrics of many bands...sXe is, by the modern definition a commitment for life. if you slip up you sell out, and if you sell out then you can't call yourself straightedge anymore. that's basically it. there's no turning back."
Subject: 3-3. Can I be straight-edge and a Christian? The typical punk view is that all organised religion is a crutch that keeps people down. However there are many who don't agree that is has to be, nor should be like that. xjeffx said "I don't believe in a god or in organised religion, Christianity especially. Believing in something which we don't know definitively exists, is absurd to me. Religion (Christianity) is oppression of the people. ...In the words of Karl Marx "Religion is the opium of the people." What is meant by this is that people rely on religion like a drug. When things get bad, they take a little, like when they get fired, they would pray and feel better. Then something else happens and they go take a little more. Eventually they are "addicted" or in other words "faithful" to religion and god, like a drug, which is their way of escape from reality." [6] Christians would respond that they agree that this sux and that it is some bad elements within Christianity that give the whole scene a bad name. True Christianity is about truth and not blind faith so your belief has to be backed up by historical fact and reason. Its sort of like the hardcore scene - there are all these kids who haven't got a clue but just smoke, drink and fuck themselves into oblivion. These kids give HC a bad name. Then there are the few kids who are straight-edge, who take life seriously and do something positive. Even within sXe there are the militant and hardline elements that distort the rest of the movement. On 18 Jun 1997 X calculus X <bwrenn@cslab!vt!edu> wrote: "The guy who only turns to God when he is down is not a true Christian. He thinks of God more or less as his imaginary friend. Being Christian involves understanding who Jesus is and how following his teachings will enable you to work towards bettering your own life. This is not a crutch at all. This has some degree of parallelism to sXe in that it involves follwing priciples and beleifs."
Subject: 3-4. If I'm straight-edge can I take holy communion? Firstly why doesn't you Church provide grape juice as an option to wine? How do they cater for ex-alcoholics? Ask! Secondly the amount of wine is so small that it really shouldn't be an issue. The point of the exercise is symbolic. You can think for yourself so make your own mind up on the issue.
Subject: 3-5. Can I be straight-edge and gay? Straight-edge has nothing to do with your sexuality. Its casual sex that's an issue.
Subject: 3-6. Is straight-edge about politics? Although sXe is not inherently political, politics are a logical extension of an sXe lifestyle. Once you have regained control over your life, the desire to help others and to make a positive contribution to your culture, society, community by addressing issues of social justice is a very natural thing to do. Many sXe'ers join organisations like Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and SADD (Students Against Drunk Drivers). They also encourage friends to give up drugs, alcohol, and smoking. [2] [12] On Mon, 24 Mar 1997 <katoh9tale@aol!com> wrote: "My impression of people who are talking about straight-edge these days is similar to the impression of current dead-heads sitting around talking about how much they wished that they had been around at woodstock shouting the "fish cheer" with Country Joe and the Fish. "It is an incredible misunderstanding of the music and surrounding culture that lead to it's creation. "The straight-edge in spawned in DC and Boston back in the days of Minor Threat and SSD was not some kind of ideological system. It was a knee-jerk reaction to an overwhelming number of fans who were minors and the incredible numbers of clubs who refused to allow them in the doors. Even the "X" in sXe is nothing more than a throwback to club alcohol policies." Asked where he stands politically, Russ Rankin from Good Riddance said: "I would say I'm very much to the left on everything. Everything except drug legalization. I don't think drugs should ever be legalized. "Why not? Because I'm straight edge and closed minded." [13]
Subject: 3-7. Do I have to be vegan/vegetarian to be straight-edge? On 23 Jul 1997 Andy Dempz <adempz@umich!edu> wrote: "vegetarianism is not part of sxe, only a natural progression." Veganism has little to do with sXe pure life ideals. People generally aren't addicted to animal products. But it seems logical to look at everything you put into your body once you start examining external factors, and so many sXe folk logically choose to adopt a vegan life. [2] The following definitions are from the rec.food.veg FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS LIST (FAQ): The term 'Vegetarian' was coined in 1847. It was first formally used on September 30th of that year by Joseph Brotherton and others, at Northwood Villa in Kent, England. The occasion being the innaugural meeting of the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom. The word was derived from the Latin 'vegetus', meaning whole, sound, fresh, lively; (it should not be confused with 'vegetable-arian' - a mythical human whom some imagine subsisting entirely on vegetables but no nuts, fruits, grains etc!) The original definition of 'vegetarian' was "with or without eggs or dairy products" and that definition is still used by the Vegetarian Society today. A vegan excludes animal flesh (meat, poultry, fish and seafood), animal products (eggs and dairy), and usually excludes honey and the wearing and use of animal products (leather, silk, wool, lanolin, gelatin...). The major vegan societies all disallow honey, but some "vegans" still use it. Some "vegans" also refuse to eat yeast products. The word was invented by the UK Vegan society in the 1940's. They pronounced it "vee-gn". [14]
Subject: 3-8. Can I take medications if I'm straight-edge? Some kids say you shouldn't take any drugs. "Straight Edger's exclude all forms of drugs from their lives, including alcohol, cigarettes, illegal drugs and often other drugs such as aspirin. Most sXe'ers don't even "use" caffeine." [2] However, it would be stupid not to take medications for serious illnesses. How can you take control of your life if you're delirious or dead! On 25 Jan 1997 refuge <ebmgieda@refuge!microserve!com> wrote: "fucking take them! are you nuts?" On 27 Sep 1997 SuperCarol <supercarol@hotmail!com> wrote: "You are who you are. Straight Edge has always been about the choices you make, right? Well you don't have a choice to choose to have [a condition] or not. Therefore take your medicine and have SxE pride because you are doing what's best for your body. And I think a lot of "SxE" is about taking care of yourself...as long as you're not abusing your prescription, than it's all good." On 10 Nov 1998 Xed mitchellX Edwin.Mitchell@Colorado!EDU> wrote: "The first thing you must understand is that sXe, in its most basic essence, is a defiance of the self-destructive behaviors that mainstream society, the media, and often times our parents and most often our friends deem acceptable. These behaviors are most often prerequisite for social acceptance in many circles ranging from the high-school beer party to the CEO's business party. It is an acceptance of responsibility for your own actions and your own life to become sXe, and many times the lines drawn for that accptance vary from person to person, so in the end the decision whether to include medical drugs in ones sXe commitment is up to the individual. However, it is my opinion that the idealism of that rejection of self-destructive behavior is what embodies sXe. So, in my opinioin, to not take a medication that is beneficial, or crucial to your health doesn't really do anything for you except advance your ailment. It is also important to remember that a healthy straight-edger is a much more effective revolutionary than one who is sick or dying."
Subject: 3-9. Is taking caffeine straight-edge? On 17 Jun 1997 ianX <ian-one@demon!co!uk> wrote: "really it's up to your own interpretation of straightedge, some drink coffee and tea others don't. It's all a matter of personal choice. I don't drink it as I just hate coffee's taste." On 15 Nov 1998 Neal M. Jones <nealj@rochester.infi.net> wrote: "I do believe it is right for a person who calls himself sXe to drink or eat caffene in moderate amounts. I call myself sXe but still drink coffee on occation. The point is that i think that if a straightXedger uses a legal drug that won't ruin his life, like alchohol and tobacco do, it isn't a violation of the sXe principles. Unlike other legal drugs, caffiene isn't very harmful and isn't as addictive. The same moral issue goes for perscription drugs. Drugs you get from the doctor are perscribed so that they won't hurt you. It would be wrong to take someone else's perscription but since the drug suggested by your doctor is ohkay for you to take it doesn't conflict with your sXe beliefs. I do believe that at the point when you do get addicted to caffiene you should stop but if someone just does it moderately it is allright. That is different with beer and tobacco because people can easily become addicted, stoned or otherwise screwed-up by taking in just a little of these drugs. I havn't heard of anyone getting there life messed up by coffee and if i ever do i will stop drinking it."
Subject: 3-10. How much does pro-life feature in sXe? This is quite a heated topic as you can imagine. I'll take the liberty to define some of the terms since there is a lot of different meanings being used - I'll take the obvious ones. Pro-life is the belief that life (especially human) is always valuable and should be supported and defended. It is not however anti-choice, just like pro-choice is not anti-life. Pro-choice is the belief that people should be able to make life choices by themselves, and in particular whether they choose to have an abortion performed on their unborn child. Given the definitions above most who've got the straight-edge are pro-life and pro-choice. That is, they will take responsibility for their actions (which is the reason for being straight) and will not take the easy option of aborting an unexpected child. However, they will not presume to force the same ethic on others. Those who are hardline will also be anti-choice. On 04 Aug 1997 Mike Kornitsky <korndog@vcn!bc!ca> wrote: "Anti-abortion figures into sxe about as much as veganism does. It is an extension of the making the personal life political. The most effective place to make a change is your own body and the actions you take every day."
Subject: 3-11. Don't most stop being straight-edge when they reach drinking age? On 04 Aug 1997 Mike Kornitsky <korndog@vcn!bc!ca> wrote: "It probably wasn't the right choice for them in the first place if they loose the edge once they become legal. They're not being honest to themselves of the motives behind calling themselves straight edge."
Subject: 3-12. All my friends drink, does this mean I have to find new friends? No! Be a good influence for them. You can be a better friend by being straight.
Subject: 3-13. Do straight-edge kids have sex at all? In short yes. However, most sxe kids will wait until they are ready to take on the responsibility of a relationship that is serious enough for the commitment of marraige. On 14 Sep 1997 zach <rnowell@sprynet.com> wrote: "no casual sex. or permiscous sex, fucking around, no one nite stands, diseases are spread, abortions happen, date rape, so no screwing around, emotional baggage you dont need, so basicly you dont have sex until you meet someone your comfortable with and that you'll take on all the responsibilities or sex." On 15 Sep 1997 mattie t <buffalostyle@hotmail.com> wrote: "Sxe is to abstain from poisons and mainly be true to your self. Being true to yourself will help you from abstaining from sex. It has worked for me I was a virgin until 19." On 19 Sep 1997 Simon XXX <bastardx@interlog.com> wrote: "if you're going to quote Ian, you should put it in some sort of context first. Ian always used to make a point of explaining that he used the word "fuck" very specifically, to refer to people using/abusing each other. He was far from celibate himself. Straight edge has nothing to do with celibacy."
Subject: 3-14. I used to drink and do drugs, can I still be sXe? No problems about the past! It's all about the now. Otherwise noone could ever be SXE. But one thing that you should do before taking the edge is consider that it's for life so don't just play with it. It's not just a phase... Other sxers will accept you if you're true from now on.
Subject: 4. About the scene On 19 Aug 1997 Terence David <SandraGail@webtv!net> wrote: "Just wanted to talk about the good old glory days when the HARDCORE scene was REAL and there was no kickboxing, baggy clothes or attitudes. Yeah Yeah, all you "new school" kids are probably sick of hearing about the past, but it is brought up so often because of how great it was (at least compared to now). Everybody had something to say and used their energy positively and did something productive with it. Whether they started a band, did a zine or promoted a show, they were benefiting Hardcore and making "our" subculture a better one. Nowadays it seems that H.C. is grasping onto the things that we tryed so hard to get away from. All of the negative aspects of mainstream life seem to be filtering into our scene. Shit talking, fashion, competition, money, greed and status (just to name a few of the more blatant ones). Our scene is becoming a small scale version of this shitty world around us. As Ray of Today once said, it's time to "MAKE A CHANGE"!! H.C.S.E. is somehting I hold very close to my heart. It's more than music, fashion or the latest karate dance. It's a way of life. The past is the past and now is now. But please, let's try to make our scene's future a better more positive one. That means become more productive, more positive and leave the brass knuckles and atttitudes at home. Better yet, throw em' away. We're all in this together and unity is what it's all about."
Subject: 4-1. Aren't you all just mummy's boys? While straight-edgers don't smoke, drink, or sleep around, we're not just mindlessly conforming to authority. "The difference between us and nerds is that we [abstain from drugs] as a way of rebelling against society, not because society tells us not to," said Sean O'Donnell, 18, a freshman at West Chester University. [9] Whatever the reason for their sobriety, many adults believe that the peer support Straight Edgers get is a good thing. A lot of them get ostracised and harassed because they're straight. [9]
Subject: 4-2. Why do all you kids wear backpacks? To protect us from the knives! [From a Raid interview. Anyone know where?]
Subject: 4-3. Why is straight-edge so narrow minded? In the mid to late 80's, straight-edge hardcore reached a zenith, especially in the greater Metropolitan area of New York City. This atmosphere led to the creation of Gorilla Biscuits, Bold, Wide Awake and arguably the most prolific band of the era, Youth of Today. While the bands of this period did much to popularise straight-edge, they also contributed to its closeminded and antagonistic aspects. The attitude between straight-edge and the rest of the world often took on adversarial tones during this time, largely becoming "The positive youth crew versus people who drink, smoke and/or do drugs." Many people dislike straight-edge and its adherents because of such intolerant views. [4] In a 1995 interview with the Thicker fanzine, Ian MacKaye denounced the stringent attitude prevalent in the culture he is widely credited with founding. "The whole straight-edge thing for me was never about this kind of puritan lifestyle, where I was supposed to be leading the masses towards a better tomorrow," he said. [1] On 03 Jul 1997 Koontz Christopher Noel <iy17@jove!acs!unt!edu> wrote: "One can be a non-smoker, a teatotaler, and a vegetarian, and yet still be Adolf Hitler. -- Karl Barth on Der Fuehrer"
Subject: 4-4. Why can't we have unity within hardcore/punk? On 24 Jul 1997 Ralf Sandner <spitbrother@swol!de> wrote: "i think straight edge only makes sense in the punk community. like my favourite t-shirt says: "if you are not punk you are not straight edge". so i hate what most of sXe is today: kids just being sXe with no bounds to or even hate towards the punk scene, kids listening to bad metal bands and acting like macho idiots instead of fellow punks having a sXe lifestyle" On 04 Jul 1997 INTEG <integ@hdk-berlin!de> wrote: "JUST ANOTHER WORD (by SFA, 1989) When will you realize you can't change anything with just an "X" on your hand. When will you realize that unity is just another word if you don't follow through. These walls you build between us are the ones you claim to be breaking down. I don't buy your superior attitude. When will you realize? You cast me off because I'm not like you. You think you're cool with your ways, you self-righteous child. This dilemma WE FACE we could face together if you would really open your minds. When will you realize? - You probably never will." On 07 Jul 1997 BattleMonkey <battlemonkey@rocketmail!com> wrote: "I grew up and hung out in Louisivlle, KY for years during the 1980s, and the shows there were incredibly diverse and non-specific. Beercore nuts would go see straight edge bands, and straight edge kids would 4-5. Isn't straight-edge just a fad? 4-6. What is hardline straight-edge? 4-7. What is a poseur? 4-8. Is sXe a crutch for the weak? 4-9. What is a sellout? 4-10. Why do a lot of you people use the name of your band or 'zine as a surname? 4-11. Why don't sXe kids have a sense of humour? 4-12. What is DIY? 4-13. What is the relationship of sXe to skating and BMX? 4-14. Why is there so much violence in sXe? 5. About the people 5-1. What do you guys wear? 5-2. What's with the tattoos and stuff? 5-3. Who's who of apse?
Subject: iii. References [1] Josh Krist <joshuak@vpico!com>, White Punks on Hope - What's punk rock without the beer and nihilism? Better, according to members of the Valley's "straight-edge" punk scene., Phoenix New Times, 1996, <http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1996/082296/music1.html>. [2] Daniel Zander <XzanderX@bigfoot!com>, Straight Edge - The Discipline, Cyber Edge, <http://xxcyberxx.xxedgexx.com/sXe.html>. [3] David Diekmann <david@crackedass!com>, Minor Threat: Lyrics, CrackedAss punk-ska-hardcore zine & records, 1997, <http://www.crackedass.com/minorthreat/lyrics.html>. [4] Juergen Heerdegen <juergen@straight-edge!com>, More than you'd care to know about straight-edge, straight-edge.com Website, <http://www.straight-edge.com/definition.html>. [5] Bruce Buckley, Earth Crisis - Desperate music for desperate times, Syracuse New Times, 1996, <http://www.rway.com/newtimes/111396/cover.htm>. [6] <xjeffx@creighton!edu>, More Straight Edge For Your Money!!, <http://www.creighton.edu/~xjeffx/>. [7] Ruth Horner <softie@rocketmail!com>, sXe Intro, Punks G Hybrid zine, <http://www.phreakco.com/punksg/columns/ruth/intro.htm>. [8] Greg Patterson, The Straight Edge, Seattle Times, 1995, <http://studwww.rug.ac.be/~jdschepp/sxe/texts/seattle.htm>. [9] Sean J. Mallison, The Straight Edge: Clean Living's New Look, NY Times, <http://studwww.rug.ac.be/~jdschepp/sxe/texts/nytimes.htm>. [10] Hardline Creed, <http:/www.pitt.edu/~mpkst6/HL.html>. [11] Laurie Mercer <laurie@musicwest!com>, What is Hardcore?, D.O.A.'s Hardcore homepage, <http://www.musicwest.com/DOA/doaishc.html>. [12] Randy Thatcher <rht3@po!cwru!edu>, alt.punk.straight-edge Frequently Asked Questions, 1995, <http://k2.scl.cwru.edu/~rht3/faq>. [13] Matt Williams, Outside Dremley Studios - an interview with Russ Rankin from Good Riddance, June '95, <http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/4379/gr-info.html>. [14] Michael Traub <traub@mistral!co!uk>, rec.food.veg FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS LIST (FAQ), Usenet rec.food.veg, <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/vegetarian/faq>. [15] Straight Edge Vegan Mailing List, Vegan Straight Edge Site, <http://www.vegan-straight-edge.org.uk/sxevegan.htm>. [16] Jacques <Jacques.DeSchepper@rug.ac.be> and Nicolas <950906nm@babbage.hogent.be>, x Straightedge Park x, <http://studwww.rug.ac.be/~jdschepp/sxe/main.htm>. [17] "Earth Crisis going mainstream", Destroy Babylon, Issue 4, 1996.
Subject: iv. Where to find this FAQ This FAQ is posted monthly to the Usenet newsgroups alt.punk.straight-edge, alt.music.hardcore, alt.lifestyle.substance-free, alt.skate-board, alt.answers, and news.answers where you should be able to find it. Most news server honours the expiration date for news.answers so this is probably the best place to look for it. The latest officially posted copy of this FAQ is archived at rtfm.mit.edu. You can retrieve it by anonymous FTP from: <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/cultures/straight-edge-faq> If you don't want to use FTP you can get it via email by sending an email request to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with the following line in the body of the message. Note there should not be any spaces before the word send. send usenet/news.answers/cultures/straight-edge-faq A hypertext version is also maintained automatically at <http://www.faqs.org/faqs/cultures/straight-edge-faq/>.
Subject: v. About the maintainer I was always meant to be straight-edge I've never liked the taste of alcohol I've never liked the smell of smoke I've kept myself for my special girl I've always dressed to be different I've always liked my music radical I've never really had any friends Now I've been labelled straight-edge
Subject: vi. A word about SPAM Since I started to post this FAQ I've been inundated with junk emails from mindless shits that can't respect anyone's privacy. As a result all email addresses are listed with exclaimation marks in place of the periods to save my friends from the curse of SPAM. On 02 Jul 1997 Rodger Whitlock <totototo@mail!pacificcoast!net> wrote: "What are Spammerz? They are parasitic, thieving, bottom-feeding, asocial would-be entreprenuers with Ayn-Randish hero complexes, who abuse UseNet by sending out massive numbers of newsgroup messages (and email) advertising porn sites, phone sex lines, psychic readings, make-money-fast schemes, multi-level marketing schemes, and other methods for separating you from your hard-earned money without providing anything of use in return. "Why Spam? There is a Monty Python skit featuring a song, the text of which is essentially "Spam" over and over - that's all you get - it's everywhere. "Welcome aboard."
Subject: vii. Questions in progress The following are some questions that people want answers to but haven't been finalised yet. Please mail me your ideas for questions and answers. Got any more questions?
Subject: 1. About straight-edge Straight Edge is a more philosophical offshoot of the punk movement, a reaction to the hedonism and self-destruction that characterised punk. The basic tenet of the philosophy centres around the issue of self-control. The goal is to regain as much personal control over your own life as possible. sXe is the only youth counter-culture to actively discourage drug use, alcohol use, and casual sex. [2] [12] Straight edge is a lifestyle centred around personal development and well being, while encouraging fun and togetherness. sXe is not just about being into contemporary punk music acts and being against drugs. It goes deeper than this. The movement wishes to attract people away from dependancy lifestyles centred around drug habits (legal or illegal) and unhealthy and exploitative eating and general living habits common in modern cultures. sXe is not dogmatic, there are no hard rules, these are for you to decide. Nobody should dictate like the police, or preach an ideology like the church or state. [15] The term itself is believed to have been coined by the band Minor Threat of the punk rock/hardcore scene in the early '80s. Their singer Ian MacKaye eschewed the nihilistic tendencies of punk rock, promoting instead the simple (almost simplistic) philosophy of "don't drink/ don't smoke/ don't fuck." [4] Out of Step (with the world) by Minor Threat, 1981 [3] (I) Don't smoke Don't drink Don't fuck At least I can fucking think I can't keep up Can't keep up Can't keep up Out of step with the world In the 12 years since the demise of Minor Threat, these simple beliefs have transformed the minds of scores of teens worldwide. Increasingly disenchanted with societal ills, young men and women adopt the straight-edge doctrine as a blueprint to better first themselves, and then the world in which they live. While the original definition of straight-edge only included the rejection of mind altering substances and promiscuous sex, modern interpretations include a vegetarian (or vegan) diet and an increasing involvement and awareness of environmental and political issues. [4] On 15 Sep 1997 Andy Dempz <adempz@umich!edu> wrote: "Well... [Ian] might be credited with starting it, but he's made it abundantly clear he doesn't care for what's it turned into. Read old Minor Threat interviews, i bet most Earth Crisis fans would be shocked to hear him say 'it doesn't mean never drink a beer...' Besides, after watching every "hero" since then fall, from SSD to Youth of Today to today's flavor of the month, i think worrying about some stranger's lifestyle in regards to your own is a little silly. I do this for me, no one else." On 17 Sep 1997 Andy Dempz <adempz@umich!edu> wrote: "I mean gees, just listen to what he mumbles in the middle of Out of Step, 'there's no set of rules, i'm just bringing up three things that are like so important to the whole world... whether they're fuckin, or whether they're playing golf.' So maybe golf isn't sxe!" From a Minor Threat interview in Touch & Go zine: "Ian: Like Straight Edge, people have taken it to an extreme...as far as i'm concerned all we did was put out an idea... if people wanna hear it as preaching if that's what they want. Straight edge to me is someone who is alert enough to benefit from what he or she is doing... "Lyle: the drug and alcohol is only one side of it anyway, it's alot more than that, there are other things that can sidetrack you... "Ian: That's what "don't Fuck" means... alot of people think that to be straight edge you can't drink, smoke, or have sex and that's silly... what the don't fuck thing is that the whole getting laid and getting head thing "Lyle: living for sex "Ian: following your penis around is fucking people up more than anything"
Subject: 1-1. What is alt.punk.straight-edge? alt.punk.straight-edge is a news group on Usenet that provides a forum for discussions about the straight-edge lifestyle. The sort of things that should be posted includes questions and news about straight-edge hardcore/punk bands, the straight-edge lifestyle, and the scene. The sort of posts that aren't welcome is SPAM, mindless insults (lets try to be creative :), and irrelevant cross-posted threads.
Subject: 1-2. Where does the name straight-edge come from? According to legend, the drummer for Minor Threat [Jeff Nelson], one of the first bands to preach the "stay punk, stay clean" ethos, ...was drawing a poster for a show using a wood ruler. He commented to his bandmates that the ruler's straight edge was a metaphor for their lifestyle. [1] Straight Edge by Minor Threat, 1981 [3] I'm a person just like you But I've got better things to do Than sit around and fuck my head Hang out with the living dead Snort white shit up my nose Pass out at the shows I don't even think about speed That's something I just don't need I've got the straight edge I'm a person just like you But I've got better things to do Than sit around and smoke dope 'Cause I know I can cope Laugh at the thought of eating ludes Laugh at the thought of sniffing glue Always gonna keep in touch Never want to use a crutch I've got the straight edge On 30 Aug 1997 erik mohr <emandrew@mindspring!com> wote: "my understanding of the origin was that ian mc.. wanted to call minor threat "straight edge" and the rest of the guys wouldn't go for it. so he wrote a song cause he liked the name." On 09 Aug 1998 Larry Phillips <bigphil@solutions!mb!ca> wrote: "Ian Macaye didn't want to call the band "Straight Edge", he wanted to call it "Straight". here is the exact quote from the interview with him in the sXe book on Revelation "I wanted just to name the band "Straight," because we were going to push this thing even more. We didn't end up using it for the name of the band, but I ended up writing a song about it, and it was basically a song which was, in my mind, championing the individual.""
Subject: 1-3. What's with the Xs? A common practice at all-ages punk shows was to mark minors with an "X" on their hands so they couldn't buy alcohol. As the straight-edge philosophy grew popular, punkers who were older than 18 but didn't drink for ideological reasons started to mark themselves with the X in a show of solidarity. [1]
Subject: 1-4. What is sXe? sXe is really just an acronym for straight-edge with the X thrown for good measure. If you have more stuff on the history and origin of the use of the term "sXe", share it.
Subject: 1-5. Where can I find hardcore sex? Man! You're seriously in the wrong place. And maybe you should see somebody about that dyslexia.
Subject: 1-6. Is straight-edge a religion? No. Although sXe embraces some of the moral values held by most major religions, sXe'ers don't necessarily believe in a God. There is no organised church or worship service. However, some sXe'ers are members of organised churches, temples or mosques where they feel that the sXe beliefs fit in. [2] Straight Edgers say their life choices stem from a desire to be true to themselves and not from any religious beliefs. [8]
Subject: 1-7. Why do kids get into straight-edge? Some common reasons people decide to become sXe include: 1. wanting to control their own lives 2. seeing what damage drugs can do to others 3. being raised in an alcoholic family 4. identifying with the sXe values and 5. being with people who have the same values. [2] Ruth Horner said "There's just such a TREMENDOUS social pressure to drink, do drugs, and so on. Society says 'just say no' but what does it matter, once you turn 21? Or at least become an adult. Then it's just an accepted form of 'recreation.' By then it has become an accepted 'addiction' as well. Look at how prevalent alcohol and tobacco and negative sexuality are in the media, not just commercials. it's a big part of our culture, particularly youth culture. Where does it end you up? "That's right. Nowhere fast. I just don't understand. From what I have heard, hangovers suck. Watching your life fall apart sucks. It's just not fair o yourself, or anyone else around you that loves you to take such a risk and purposely deny yourself the privilege of being healthy. Health isn't a privilege, it's a given. It doesn't FEEL good to have hangovers. It doesn't FEEL good to OD. It doesn't FEEL good to go through withdrawal and it most certainly doesn't FEEL good to have AIDS! So why don't today's youth learn from example? I did. A lot of others out there have too. But for some reason, the ignorant are still out there. "You just have to learn to stand strong against it all. Stay true to yourself. Find alternatives. Personally I find that I get a high from going to hows. Just the ROAR of the guitar, and the RUSH of the drums feeling he sweat drip from my face, being squashed by the others around me. I find THAT exciting!! "I don't think I'm any better than anyone else, I just think I'm being smart. And if you have a problem with that then tough." [7] On 07 Oct 1997 jeramie <frenzy@netropolis.net> wrote: "I speak for myself, but I think some of us find life to be more entertaining when you can walk and talk straight or look at a member of the opposite sex and not be obsessed with f@#$ing them. Being sXe is it's own reward. It isn't for everyone, but I know a lot of people who do more constructive things which their energy and time because they believe in sXe and are'nt tearing themselves apart with vices and addictions. You have to be brave enough to try it in order understand why it's a lifestyle choice and quest." On 09 Aug 1998 Larry Phillips <bigphil@solutions!mb!ca> wrote: "Another reason kids get into sxe is cause they think its the cool thing to do."
Subject: 1-8. How do I join the straight-edge? You don't join straight-edge, you take on the straight-edge. You just get involved in the scene and start thinking for yourself. The idea is to closely examine your own life, identify what factors influence your thoughts and behaviours, assess what impact they are having on your life and rid yourself of those factors which you deem to have a negative impact on your life. [2] [12]
Subject: 1-9. Why do you need a label to be poison free? On 30 Dec 1998 <SikanderXe@aol!com> wrote: "the label shows you're actually serious about what you're saying and that you're not making any exceptions (although there is lots of hypocrisy, but this is ideally speaking). It's also a commitment thing, something to believe in."
Subject: 2. About the music Straight-edge grew out of the hardcore/punk scene and the music plays an important role. The music is fast, powerful, with angry and thoughtful lyrics. It forms a vital outlet for rage and sadness against abusive and/or dysfunctional political, societal and family structures.
Subject: 2-1 What is hardcore? On 15 Apr 1997 <lgumaer@ibm!net> wrote: "Hardcore is the style that began in the early 80s, often applied to bands such as Black Flag, Minor Threat, Sick of It All, Bad Brains, Rollins Band, Fugazi, etc.--sort of "2nd wave" punk bands. They were sloppy punk bands that played with more intensity and heaviness than earlier ones like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, etc. Today's hardcore bands are tighter and much heavier, and can be divided into two general types (usually called East Coast or West Coast, for where the band is, but it's not always consistent). The first type are smoother, with heavy grooves that flow, with a vocalist that sings (or at least tries to) or shouts. The second type is heavier, with tight, stop-and-go rhythms and harsh vocals that are a cross between shouts and low screams." On 10 Jun 1997 Chris97a <chris97a@aol!com> wrote: "Hardcore music by definition HAS to fit a mold, but hardcore lyrics by definition, are SUPPOSED TO BE THOUGHT PROVOKING!!!" On 26 Jun 1997 erik mohr <emandrew@mindspring!com> wrote: "... to me that's pretty much always been what hardcore was, highly politically charged punk. punk that screams an opinion." Nicolas 'Da Ringmaster' <950906nm@babbage.hogent.be> wrote: "Alright, this is what hardcore means to me: Energy, Positive attitude, Rebellion, Independance, Separating from trends, Not following the masses, Hard-core = hard music" [16] From the D.O.A. website: "D.O.A. popularized the term hardcore as applied to punk rock music with the release of Hardcore '81, a pivotal record from the early west coast hardcore punk scene. "Hardcore was (and is) uncompromising punk attitude combined with social activism. Sort of "punk with a message", but not to be confused with "straight edge" or "PC" movements, later variations of hardcore. West coast hardcore was completely different from the "fashionable" punk rock of art school students and posers - in the early days of punk there was a huge difference between the English-style punks with their fashionably torn and safety-pinned look, and the hardcore 'street' punk who just didn't give a fuck about their appearance. "It's an intelligent movement characterized by a deep anger at the status quo. It is not surprising that it began on the U.S.west coast, where radicalism and rebellion has deep roots... schools don't tell you much about the labour riots of the 20's or other examples of North American civil disobedience... Uncompromising hardcore shocked the complacent hippie mentality, needless to say. "Hardcore will never die where individualistic thought can survive - which of course means it has been constantly oppressed by the vacuous media of North America. The current popularization of 'punk' is more concerned with style than substance, rather a new fashionable trend for the pop machine. "Hardcore survives in bands like Fugazi, NoMeansNo, The Ex, and D.O.A. - hopefully with the current popularity of punk rock more kids will discover that the world ain't exactly a great place, and work for positive change despite the many evil forces in this world. And that is the best definition of hardcore I can imagine." [11] There is quite a bit of disagreement over exactly when hardcore started but here are some people's thoughts: On 10 May 1997 Fitaurari <fitaurari@aol!com> wrote: "And by the way Bad Brains DID invent 'hardcore'!" On 10 May 1997 paul.kaczmarek <paul.kaczmarek@ukonline!co!uk> wrote: "The Germs (April 77) , Black Flag (June 77), he Misfits (first show - April 77), Chain Gang, The Pagans (mid-77), Canada's The Diodes (first lp June 77) and The Viletones (recorded Jan 1978) were already under the 'hardcore' banner in 1977. "There's also a solid argument for giving the first hardcore prize to Chrome, who recorded undoubted hardcore lps in 1976, or Crime, who did the same." On 10 May 1997 Rastapoodle <herblady@zippo!com> wrote: "Your knowledge of the dates of the emergence of the punk hardcore scene is very good. I might add that by 1976, bands like Patti Smith, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and many that were playing at CBGB's were called punk, and I think that the (mostly) West Coast bands that you cite were the hardcore 'babies' of those groups. (Boy, I'm sure they'd love that designation!) ;-)" On 10 Jul 1997 TSOL12 <tsol12@aol!aol> wrote: "without a doubt BLack Flag was the first HC band...anyone who says otherswise is a fool. People forget that early HC has its roots in punk everyone thinks that the newschool sound is what hardcore is about.....plus theres more to being a HC band than just the sound."
Subject: 2-2. What's the difference between old school and new school hardcore bands? The basic musical difference is that old school is punk and new school is metal. On 12 Jun 1997 Peter <pma@xxedgexx!com> wrote: "it's actually really simple. new school is kinda like slayer, only the 'kids' pretend it has something to do with hardcore. i see it as cheap metal. old school (THE ONLY SCHOOL!) on the other hand is precisely the other way around: fast and positive." On 01 Jul 1997 BattleMonkey <battlemonkey@rocketmail!com> wrote: "Actually, "old school" depends on how old you are. If YOT is old school, then you need to reach back a little further into the Teen Idles/Minor Threat days. And that wasn't always positive. The big difference for me is that new school is a lot more exclusionary, a lot less fun, and has bigger pants."
Subject: 2-3. What is emo? On 1 May 1997 "DAVe B." <skapsr@ix!netcom!com> wrote: "emo is a type of music, which is derived from early 80's hardcore. I don t know the whole story, but emo combines hardcore with more melodic and experimental music. Fugazi is the easiest example of a band i can name that is considered to be "emo" also bands like promise ring and texas is the reason play this vein of music." On 1 May 1997 Kevin Hirsch <hirschk@anet!net> wrote: "Emo is generally said to have started with DC bands like Embrace (Ian MacKaye's band after Minor Threat and before Fugazi) and Rites of Spring (Guy Picciotto's band also before Fugazi), but is in no way limited to them, around '85. The sound was basically a slower more emotional (hence the name "emo") post- version of hardcore. The vocals are usually sung in "whiny" (for lack of a better word) sort of way. "Emotional in this context generally connotes "vulnerability" and/or "troubledness", which is different from the emotionality of the screaming and thrashing generally associated with hardcore. This open emphasis on "vulnerability" and/or "troubledness" represented a major break in the hardcore/punk scene at that time, for it prided itself on tough- and hardness, as it generally does today. Hence, the long running feud between hardcore (sXe) and emo kids. "As for emo today, as most other sub-genres, it has spawned many (sometimes extremely opposite and/or contradicting) hybrids that all stake claim to the label, rendering it somewhat useless. Here are some examples: there's political, scream-and-flail-on-the-floor, emo like Frail, Swing Kids, Impetus Inter, and a slew of San Diego based bands; there's the really slow, discordant, artsy emo like Cap'n Jazz, Joan d'Arc, Evergreen, etc.; then we have the more popular melody/pop-oriented bands like Texas is the Reason, Sensefield, Mineral, Promise Ring, Split Lip (now Chamberlain), etc.; and last but not least we have the slow, stop-and-go, melody-thrash alternating groups like Amber Inn, Still Life, and others I can't think of right now." On 31 Aug 1997 <PolarityHC@aol!com> write: "I believe that Al Flipside called Embrace "emo" and Ian was like "huh", but for some reason the name stuck." On 03 Oct 1997 <XXMARTINXx@aol.com> wrote: "i think the band verbal assult invented the word emo. and embrace, as good as they were, weren't the first "emo" band. dag nasty, 3, and 7 seconds all had an emo sound before them." On 18 Nov 1997 .xmikex. <info@jameson!com> wrote: "EMO (E-mo) slang 1)A wimp 2)Anyone not tough enough to listen to your friend's band. 3)Anyone/thing that refuses to floorpunch and hit bystanders in a mosh pit (see mosh). "OK, for real, THIS is my understanding and how my friends and I use this helpful term every day: 1) EMO is an abbreviation of EMOTIONAL. 2) As such, it can (& I think originally was used to) describe a style of music. 3) A lot of bands from the Washington DC area punk scene are considered "EMO" (Embrace being one of the 1st to have this label). 4) The EMO "SOUND" of minimalist drums & guitars, quiet singing building up to a loud screaming racket. There can be a major jazz influence. 5) Anyone can be emo now. Morrissey, the cure, fugazi, endpoint, you name it, they've been labeled "emo" (sinatra) "The people: Emo kids are considered wimps by most "tough guys". This may or may not be true. Classic "emo stories" are of kids crying at shows. (something I recently witnessed at a show...) I guess this public show of emotion is seen as weakness by most in the HC community. Whereas Emo music tends to wrestle the inner demons of personal defeat, loveloss, heartache etc. "Hardcore" tends to wrestle that big hairy smelly guy in the pit next to you. No, seriously, HC tends to deal with taking action to change things rather than ruminate on that might have been. I guess the main difference is that Emo tends to be backward looking, and HC tends to be forward looking. (Yesyesyes, I know there's MASSIVE crossover in musical styles and song subject matter- a lot of HC bands write "personal" lyrics and a lot of emo bands write songs with a social message).I dunno, I like some emo bands, but I prefer HC. "THE STYLE: Hair: often a bit crusty Glasses: Horn-rim ONLY (cat-eyes are also acceptable for the women) Facial Hair: Stubble Piercings: Optional Necklaces: Beads, etc. (mandatory) Shirt: Old t-shirts, dress shirts etc. Sweater: No!no!no! a sweaterVEST. (old) Jacket: Old, thrift shop gear as with all the above. Pants: Dress pants / corduroy. Floods are totally cool. Socks: White Shoes: Black dress shoes "The color palate? Browns, blacks, dark blues etc. "Think "Nick at Night". The look is retro with an edge. Drew Carey if he wore thrift store stuff. A brief list of "emo" bands I or my friends like: (i don't like all these bands. they will have an * by their name if I'm not a big fan) FUGAZI EMBRACE RITES OF SPRING JAWBOX BLUETIP FRODUS TEXAS IS THE REASON* PROMISE RING* (yeech) NONE LEFT STANDING MINERAL MAXIMILLIAN COLBY JAWBREAKER "Perhaps CRUCIAL YOUTH said it best in their glossary of terms when they described it: EMO-CORE: "Mature" music made by cigarette-puffing ex-straightedgers. Heavy on soul-searching, hard to mosh to."
Subject: 2-4. Who was the first straight-edge band? The Teen Idles, an early 80's Washington, DC hardcore band, and something of a precursor to Minor Threat, can arguably be called the first straight-edge band. [4] On 20 May 1998 IBANEZ33 <IBANEZ33@aol!com> wrote: "The first sXe band was jud jud. "I dont know that much about them, but I do know they were the first straight edge band." On 09 Aug 1998 Larry Phillips <bigphil@solutions!mb!ca> wrote: "If that jud jud thing is a joke it's ok. But jud jud just made some joke in victory megazine 2 that they were the first sxe band."
Subject: 2-5. What is this windmill dance? On 13 Nov 1996 Daniel Wayne Zettwoch <dwzettwo@artsci!wustl!edu> wrote: "It's kinda like the Humpty-Hump, but a lot more violent. Got it?" On 27 Aug 1997 Karl <RecoilRex@aol!com> wrote: "Okay, remember when you were 8 and you'd get into a fight? (or see other kids fighting) and you'd just swing your arms in a circle toward the person? "Well the whole windmill dance thingy is done like that (only swinging the arms backwards) while skipping left to right/ right to left. "Kind of hard to describe"
Subject: 2-6. What is floorpunching? On 13 Nov 1996 Daniel Wayne Zettwoch <dwzettwo@artsci!wustl!edu> wrote: "It's done exactly like it sounds. Really punch that floor to make it realistic!! Punch it hard!!"
Subject: 2-7. What other dances are there? On 18 Oct 1997 XMARTINX <hexen@gmx!net> wrote" "a guide to violent dancing "stagediving, pile-ups, windmills, walls of death, slamdancing, its an excellent way to release pent-up frustrations or to shed thos extra pounds. This is the spirit of the youth, this is what hardcore is all about. The pit found its roots in punks slam and pogo (some say it was invented late 70īs on shows from the Germs, The weirdos, Black Flag ...) and progressed in trash- and death metal gigs. Since the walls between punk and metal have come down, the audience has changed lately, the size of the pit is growing. Early hc-gigs saw the craziness of a few violators but the latest shows were slamfest were over 50 kids really knocked their way through the audience. What makes me so proud about this scene is that it never comes to fights. In other places, when a pit starts, it often comes to fistfights and those who participate in the action want to dance the hardest. Lack of respect and comprehension is mostly the reason for this. Anyway, heres some names and explanation for pit-tricks, the editor is not responcible for any injuries at all ... ;-) "Some stagediving techniques: "arrow: hands behind the back, take a leap on stage and shoot yourself into the front rows. "Flip: flip your body headfirst and land on the crowd, you can flip over and over again while laying on the crowd too. "Feet-first: make sure you dont wear combat-boots for this. Run off the stage and jump as high as possible, then stretch both feet before you land with your gravity centered in your bottom. "Wuss-dive: get on stage and make gestures with your arms that people should move up front to catch you, then with lots of efforts, lay down safely, like you would drop dead. "Floor kiss (or pope -dive): take a huge leap and jump as high as you can, pointing your lips in a romantic way and land on your face. "Golden Rules: - Dont wear too many clothes. Just make sure your piercings, fresh tattoos, genitals and brest are well protected. Of course its great if you can rip some yuppies Nirvana T-Shirt to tiny pieces. - Only dance when theres a good mood. Dont make a complete idiot of yourself going off on emo or melodic gigs. Use the H-force for H-bands. - Dont take food/drinks with you. You dont wanna end up with fries in your ears smelling of Dr.Pepper after a good gig, do you ? - Dont fart in the pit !! - Dont kiss your partner up front (especially when you dont want the others tongue-piercing to be yours) "DANCING TRICKS "GORILLA (PICKING UP STYLE) Legs spread and hands grabbing the floor on the rythms of the beat (NY-Style is excellent to do this, Solid the perfect band) "BREADSLICER Crouch your arms and slam them open as wide and hard as possible, great on fast parts, even better in combination of shoving your feet in all directions. "WINDMILL (single or double) Rotate your arms 360 degrees forward or backward, make sure your fingers are locked safely in a fist, for the sake of yourself and buddie-slammers. "DOUBLE TROUBLE One dancer rides the others back or neck against onslaughts of attack by human battering rams. Invented by the skins but lately done by our BXL-friends. "SUCK-CORE SWEEPER Stand back to back with a fella and grab his arms from behind. Lift him up and whirl like a madman into the front rows. This move is complete if you release the human projectile to knock down some victims. "WALL OF DEATH Arms locked tight in an iron chain, a line of burly dudes mows down any unexspecting pedestrian standing in its path. When doing this, make sure you have the beefiest guys with you. "FRIGOBAZAR HIP-HOP Jump up and down like a moron to ridicolous hiphop-beats. When you see geeks doing this, go for a double windmill or a wall of death to clear them of the floor so they can hide safely in the back drinking Kriek-Beer" On 18 Oct 1997 XJeremyX wrote: "My favorites: "The Menace: If you saw the movie "Don't be a menace to south central while drinking your juice in the hood" (the grandma did it while she was break dancing in church) you should be familiar with this one. You stand on one foot, grab your other ankle and kick your leg forward while still holding it. Fun to do to the slow dance parts. "The helicopter: spread your arms out and swing them around like your a helicopter.Wheeeeeee! "The Sledgehammer: Clasp your hands and Swing them like you've got a sledgehammer. Fun to do to the intro of those fast old school songs just before you point and scream "GO!" "Kick'n'go: Hold your arm out, fully extended, with your hand held in a palm. Swing your arm and strike your palm with your fist. now when you bring your fist back to hit your palm again, kick. repeat. "Seisure: My favorite. Do what you want, but shake like a maniac and run around. Do this when the singer passes you the mike."
Subject: 3. About the commitment
Subject: 3-1. Why are there so many rules? Straight-edge isn't about rules. It's a philosophy about being in control of your own actions and making decisions for yourself. As a result you'll choose not to smoke, drink, sleep around, eat meat but these choices may be different to different people. The hallmarks of straight-edge remain hardcore/punk music and don't smoke, don't drink, don't fuck. On 22 Mar 1997 sibber <sibber@worldnet!att!net> wrote: "to call what i, you,and that everyone else lives by as ''rules'' is kind of i don't know the right word but when I hear rules its normally something i want to do but can't. i see it as commitments that i proudly live by."
Subject: 3-2. If I slip from the 'edge does that mean I can't be straight-edge anymore? Noone is perfect, so just get back on the 'edge. On 12 Jul 1997 <Shmee5@aol!com> wrote: "It's my belief that either you are or you never were. I'm not saying that I don't believe in second chances - but when it comes to slipping from the edge...well, just don't slip and there's no nead to worry. I just feel that if you aren't ready to commit then you shouldn't call yourself SxE." On 14 Sep 1997 ianX <ian-one@demon.co.uk> wrote: "it's easy to go off track when shit happens. No-one has to be perfect as no-one can be." On 01 Dec 1997 <SikanderXe@aol.com> wrote: "there is no slipping up in sXe. this can be heard in the lyrics of many bands...sXe is, by the modern definition a commitment for life. if you slip up you sell out, and if you sell out then you can't call yourself straightedge anymore. that's basically it. there's no turning back."
Subject: 3-3. Can I be straight-edge and a Christian? The typical punk view is that all organised religion is a crutch that keeps people down. However there are many who don't agree that is has to be, nor should be like that. xjeffx said "I don't believe in a god or in organised religion, Christianity especially. Believing in something which we don't know definitively exists, is absurd to me. Religion (Christianity) is oppression of the people. ...In the words of Karl Marx "Religion is the opium of the people." What is meant by this is that people rely on religion like a drug. When things get bad, they take a little, like when they get fired, they would pray and feel better. Then something else happens and they go take a little more. Eventually they are "addicted" or in other words "faithful" to religion and god, like a drug, which is their way of escape from reality." [6] Christians would respond that they agree that this sux and that it is some bad elements within Christianity that give the whole scene a bad name. True Christianity is about truth and not blind faith so your belief has to be backed up by historical fact and reason. Its sort of like the hardcore scene - there are all these kids who haven't got a clue but just smoke, drink and fuck themselves into oblivion. These kids give HC a bad name. Then there are the few kids who are straight-edge, who take life seriously and do something positive. Even within sXe there are the militant and hardline elements that distort the rest of the movement. On 18 Jun 1997 X calculus X <bwrenn@cslab!vt!edu> wrote: "The guy who only turns to God when he is down is not a true Christian. He thinks of God more or less as his imaginary friend. Being Christian involves understanding who Jesus is and how following his teachings will enable you to work towards bettering your own life. This is not a crutch at all. This has some degree of parallelism to sXe in that it involves follwing priciples and beleifs."
Subject: 3-4. If I'm straight-edge can I take holy communion? Firstly why doesn't you Church provide grape juice as an option to wine? How do they cater for ex-alcoholics? Ask! Secondly the amount of wine is so small that it really shouldn't be an issue. The point of the exercise is symbolic. You can think for yourself so make your own mind up on the issue.
Subject: 3-5. Can I be straight-edge and gay? Straight-edge has nothing to do with your sexuality. Its casual sex that's an issue.
Subject: 3-6. Is straight-edge about politics? Although sXe is not inherently political, politics are a logical extension of an sXe lifestyle. Once you have regained control over your life, the desire to help others and to make a positive contribution to your culture, society, community by addressing issues of social justice is a very natural thing to do. Many sXe'ers join organisations like Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and SADD (Students Against Drunk Drivers). They also encourage friends to give up drugs, alcohol, and smoking. [2] [12] On Mon, 24 Mar 1997 <katoh9tale@aol!com> wrote: "My impression of people who are talking about straight-edge these days is similar to the impression of current dead-heads sitting around talking about how much they wished that they had been around at woodstock shouting the "fish cheer" with Country Joe and the Fish. "It is an incredible misunderstanding of the music and surrounding culture that lead to it's creation. "The straight-edge in spawned in DC and Boston back in the days of Minor Threat and SSD was not some kind of ideological system. It was a knee-jerk reaction to an overwhelming number of fans who were minors and the incredible numbers of clubs who refused to allow them in the doors. Even the "X" in sXe is nothing more than a throwback to club alcohol policies." Asked where he stands politically, Russ Rankin from Good Riddance said: "I would say I'm very much to the left on everything. Everything except drug legalization. I don't think drugs should ever be legalized. "Why not? Because I'm straight edge and closed minded." [13]
Subject: 3-7. Do I have to be vegan/vegetarian to be straight-edge? On 23 Jul 1997 Andy Dempz <adempz@umich!edu> wrote: "vegetarianism is not part of sxe, only a natural progression." Veganism has little to do with sXe pure life ideals. People generally aren't addicted to animal products. But it seems logical to look at everything you put into your body once you start examining external factors, and so many sXe folk logically choose to adopt a vegan life. [2] The following definitions are from the rec.food.veg FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS LIST (FAQ): The term 'Vegetarian' was coined in 1847. It was first formally used on September 30th of that year by Joseph Brotherton and others, at Northwood Villa in Kent, England. The occasion being the innaugural meeting of the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom. The word was derived from the Latin 'vegetus', meaning whole, sound, fresh, lively; (it should not be confused with 'vegetable-arian' - a mythical human whom some imagine subsisting entirely on vegetables but no nuts, fruits, grains etc!) The original definition of 'vegetarian' was "with or without eggs or dairy products" and that definition is still used by the Vegetarian Society today. A vegan excludes animal flesh (meat, poultry, fish and seafood), animal products (eggs and dairy), and usually excludes honey and the wearing and use of animal products (leather, silk, wool, lanolin, gelatin...). The major vegan societies all disallow honey, but some "vegans" still use it. Some "vegans" also refuse to eat yeast products. The word was invented by the UK Vegan society in the 1940's. They pronounced it "vee-gn". [14]
Subject: 3-8. Can I take medications if I'm straight-edge? Some kids say you shouldn't take any drugs. "Straight Edger's exclude all forms of drugs from their lives, including alcohol, cigarettes, illegal drugs and often other drugs such as aspirin. Most sXe'ers don't even "use" caffeine." [2] However, it would be stupid not to take medications for serious illnesses. How can you take control of your life if you're delirious or dead! On 25 Jan 1997 refuge <ebmgieda@refuge!microserve!com> wrote: "fucking take them! are you nuts?" On 27 Sep 1997 SuperCarol <supercarol@hotmail!com> wrote: "You are who you are. Straight Edge has always been about the choices you make, right? Well you don't have a choice to choose to have [a condition] or not. Therefore take your medicine and have SxE pride because you are doing what's best for your body. And I think a lot of "SxE" is about taking care of yourself...as long as you're not abusing your prescription, than it's all good."
Subject: 3-9. Is taking caffeine straight-edge? On 17 Jun 1997 ianX <ian-one@demon!co!uk> wrote: "really it's up to your own interpretation of straightedge, some drink coffee and tea others don't. It's all a matter of personal choice. I don't drink it as I just hate coffee's taste."
Subject: 3-10. How much does pro-life feature in sXe? This is quite a heated topic as you can imagine. I'll take the liberty to define some of the terms since there is a lot of different meanings being used - I'll take the obvious ones. Pro-life is the belief that life (especially human) is always valuable and should be supported and defended. It is not however anti-choice, just like pro-choice is not anti-life. Pro-choice is the belief that people should be able to make life choices by themselves, and in particular whether they choose to have an abortion performed on their unborn child. Given the definitions above most who've got the straight-edge are pro-life and pro-choice. That is, they will take responsibility for their actions (which is the reason for being straight) and will not take the easy option of aborting an unexpected child. However, they will not presume to force the same ethic on others. Those who are hardline will also be anti-choice. On 04 Aug 1997 Mike Kornitsky <korndog@vcn!bc!ca> wrote: "Anti-abortion figures into sxe about as much as veganism does. It is an extension of the making the personal life political. The most effective place to make a change is your own body and the actions you take every day."
Subject: 3-11. Don't most stop being straight-edge when they reach drinking age? On 04 Aug 1997 Mike Kornitsky <korndog@vcn!bc!ca> wrote: "It probably wasn't the right choice for them in the first place if they loose the edge once they become legal. They're not being honest to themselves of the motives behind calling themselves straight edge."
Subject: 3-12. All my friends drink, does this mean I have to find new friends? No! Be a good influence for them. You can be a better friend by being straight.
Subject: 3-13. Do straight-edge kids have sex at all? In short yes. However, most sxe kids will wait until they are ready to take on the responsibility of a relationship that is serious enough for the commitment of marraige. On 14 Sep 1997 zach <rnowell@sprynet.com> wrote: "no casual sex. or permiscous sex, fucking around, no one nite stands, diseases are spread, abortions happen, date rape, so no screwing around, emotional baggage you dont need, so basicly you dont have sex until you meet someone your comfortable with and that you'll take on all the responsibilities or sex." On 15 Sep 1997 mattie t <buffalostyle@hotmail.com> wrote: "Sxe is to abstain from poisons and mainly be true to your self. Being true to yourself will help you from abstaining from sex. It has worked for me I was a virgin until 19." On 19 Sep 1997 Simon XXX <bastardx@interlog.com> wrote: "if you're going to quote Ian, you should put it in some sort of context first. Ian always used to make a point of explaining that he used the word "fuck" very specifically, to refer to people using/abusing each other. He was far from celibate himself. Straight edge has nothing to do with celibacy."
Subject: 4. About the scene On 19 Aug 1997 Terence David <SandraGail@webtv!net> wrote: "Just wanted to talk about the good old glory days when the HARDCORE scene was REAL and there was no kickboxing, baggy clothes or attitudes. Yeah Yeah, all you "new school" kids are probably sick of hearing about the past, but it is brought up so often because of how great it was (at least compared to now). Everybody had something to say and used their energy positively and did something productive with it. Whether they started a band, did a zine or promoted a show, they were benefiting Hardcore and making "our" subculture a better one. Nowadays it seems that H.C. is grasping onto the things that we tryed so hard to get away from. All of the negative aspects of mainstream life seem to be filtering into our scene. Shit talking, fashion, competition, money, greed and status (just to name a few of the more blatant ones). Our scene is becoming a small scale version of this shitty world around us. As Ray of Today once said, it's time to "MAKE A CHANGE"!! H.C.S.E. is somehting I hold very close to my heart. It's more than music, fashion or the latest karate dance. It's a way of life. The past is the past and now is now. But please, let's try to make our scene's future a better more positive one. That means become more productive, more positive and leave the brass knuckles and atttitudes at home. Better yet, throw em' away. We're all in this together and unity is what it's all about." On 23 Nov 1998 ToddX <ToddX@unbounded!com> wrote: "First off I am going to make one thing clear: the X in my name was there before I became sXe. I have read a number of the responses and have seen and heard things for the last ten years now on what's wrong with being sXe. For anyone that honestly has a problem with someone that chooses to live their life free of addicition, exploitation, bigotry and hatred, in addition to promiscuous sexual relations there is nothing that any one can say to you that will make you like the movement (if I may allowed to be so bold as to call such a moddled gathering of varying definitions of what sXe is) or for that matter anyone in it. Too often people associate sXe with sports wear, hardcore, short hair, and violence. These are not what sXe is about just the same as spikes, piercing, colored hair, and drunkedness is not punk. They are things that people do. Assigning uninforms to the various scenes is relatively easy and many that belong to these scenes are as easily identifiable as the culture the are seeking to subvert. If you look at the individual that is sXe ask them what their beliefs are and why. Challenge them on real issues that affect society not fashion sense and personal conduct (unless that conduct is beating people up). I will leave you with this from my observations of sXe (it should be noted that facisim is not sXe) and punk is that their sense of justice is the same. animal friendly, gay positive, pro-feminist, anti-racist, anti-facist, anti-commodification, and pro-life."
Subject: 4-1. Aren't you all just mummy's boys? While straight-edgers don't smoke, drink, or sleep around, we're not just mindlessly conforming to authority. "The difference between us and nerds is that we [abstain from drugs] as a way of rebelling against society, not because society tells us not to," said Sean O'Donnell, 18, a freshman at West Chester University. [9] Whatever the reason for their sobriety, many adults believe that the peer support Straight Edgers get is a good thing. A lot of them get ostracised and harassed because they're straight. [9]
Subject: 4-2. Why do all you kids wear backpacks? To protect us from the knives! [From a Raid interview. Anyone know where?]
Subject: 4-3. Why is straight-edge so narrow minded? In the mid to late 80's, straight-edge hardcore reached a zenith, especially in the greater Metropolitan area of New York City. This atmosphere led to the creation of Gorilla Biscuits, Bold, Wide Awake and arguably the most prolific band of the era, Youth of Today. While the bands of this period did much to popularise straight-edge, they also contributed to its closeminded and antagonistic aspects. The attitude between straight-edge and the rest of the world often took on adversarial tones during this time, largely becoming "The positive youth crew versus people who drink, smoke and/or do drugs." Many people dislike straight-edge and its adherents because of such intolerant views. [4] In a 1995 interview with the Thicker fanzine, Ian MacKaye denounced the stringent attitude prevalent in the culture he is widely credited with founding. "The whole straight-edge thing for me was never about this kind of puritan lifestyle, where I was supposed to be leading the masses towards a better tomorrow," he said. [1] On 03 Jul 1997 Koontz Christopher Noel <iy17@jove!acs!unt!edu> wrote: "One can be a non-smoker, a teatotaler, and a vegetarian, and yet still go see devil metal bands. Usually, everyone got along and had fun because at the time, it was all there was. Maybe it's different now that things are so much bigger and glitzier, or maybe Louisville has just always been a lucky city." On 30 Oct 1997 Mikesolation wrote: "I've been going to shows since '83, and hardcore has changed its face a hundred times since then. I like "new school" just as much as I like "old school" and I dont think that there is much difference in its attitude. Sure it was faster angrier punk back in the early 80's, and then there came a metal influence, and hardcore became too metal to be punk, but too punk to be metal. But its attitude has always remained. It's easy to live in the past, and say it was so much better then, and in some ways it was. But I wouldnt have traded the last few years for anytime back in the 80's. I have great friends, and talk to kids all over the country. I just lost one of my closest friends, and I cherish the time I had with him, because he, to me, personified what hardcore is about. He had also been going to shows for a long time, and loved it all; punk, hardcore, metal, whatever. You don't have to take sides, old or new, you just have to appreciate what you got. "Milwaukee Mike SEB LIVES"
Subject: 4-5. Isn't straight-edge just a fad? Asked if he thought many kids stay straight-edge as they grow up or stray away from it, Karl Buechner of Earth Crisis said "There's definitely a high turnover rate, but there's a true core of people who always stay, and that's what matters. "Things are so technical and strict now for us, that a person who's going through a phase will not be drawn to straight-edge. If anything, they're repelled by it. Straight-edge is a lifetime commitment, and people realize that." [5]
Subject: 4-6. What is hardline straight-edge? On 9 Jun 1997 Andy Dempz <adempz@umich!edu> wrote: "Hardline is a very specific political eco-defense movement that believes they have the one truth of natural living, including abstinence from drugs, veganism, and pro-life beliefs. They also claim to believe in direct action, but it remains to be seen if they'll do anything." From the Hardline Creed: "The time has come for an ideology and for a movement, that is both physically and morally strong enough, to do battle against the forces of evil that are destroying the earth (and all life upon it). ... "That ideology, that movement, is Hardline. A belief system, and a way of life that lives by one ethos - that all innocent life is sacred, and must have the right to live out it's natural state of existance in peace, without interference. ... Any action that does interfere with such rights shall not be considered a "right" in itself, and therefore shall not be tolerated. Those who hurt or destroy life around them, or create a situation in which that life or the quality of it is threatened shall from then on no longer be considered innocent life, and in turn will no longer have rights. "Adherents to the hardline will abide by these proncilpes in daily life. They shall live at one with the laws of nature, and shall not forsake them for the desire of pleasure - from deviant sexual acts and/or abortion, to drug use of any kind (and all other cases where one harms all life around them under the pretext that they are just harming themselves). And, in following with the belief that one shall not infringe on an innocent's life - no animal product shall be consumed (be it flesh, milk or egg). Along with this purity of everyday life, the true hardliner must strive to liberate the rest of the world from it's chains - saving lives in some cases, and in others, dealing out justice to those guilty of destoying it." [10] On 25 May 1997 Xcabal423X <xcabal423x@aol!com> wrote: "sXe has nothing to do with hardline."
Subject: 4-7. What is a poseur? According to my dictionary a poseur is "a person who poses for effect or behaves affectedly". It is someone who superficially wants to be part of a scene. So an example is someone who wears their Xs but still drinks beer.
Subject: 4-8. Is sXe a crutch for the weak? On 04 Aug 1997 Mike Kornitsky <korndog@vcn!bc!ca> wrote: "You have to question what the weakness is. Do straight edgers not drink caffeine because they've got weak bladders? Don't touch alcohol because they have poor metabolisms? Don't smoke because they have poor lung capacity? What are the advantages to using drugs that one's level of consciousness? More often that not, drugs are used to facilitate social interactions by altering normal behavior and mood. If somebody needs an outside agent to interact, that sounds like more of a crutch."
Subject: 4-9. What is a sellout? "Well, to clear things up a little, selling out means compromising one's beliefs or principles for money or self agin. If Earth Crisis went mainstream (with the same message) to help others not themselves, then what about that would be selling out? ... Don't compromise style, originality or the message. Just get those things out to the people who are in need of it the most, those who have yet to hear it." [17] On 16 Feb 1998 Jimmy VA wrote: "Following "the edge" isn't for everybody, and sometimes it takes an attempt to live by the edge to figure that out. Don't pass judgement on someone just because they want to smoke or drink or whatever. In the words of Stretch Armstrong, "If you turned your back on someone just because they 'broke the edge', then tell me, who sold out who?"."
Subject: 4-10. Why do a lot of you people use the name of your band or 'zine as a surname? On 27 Dec 1997 spitbrother <spitbrother@swol!de> wrote: "Well this is kinda punk tradition, which has its roots back in the days when most punks met on the streets and were called after the places they came from, funny events that happened to them or activities they were involved... also "back in the days" (haha excuse me but i am turning 33 soon) punk was not accepted as it is today und you always had to watch your back (and front...), be aware of cops, nazis and jocks, so most punks chose a "warname" under which they were known in the scene..."
Subject: 4-11. Why don't sXe kids have a sense of humour? On 28 Aug 1998 Stew <stew-e@usa!net> wrote: "Well, that is very stero-typical, because I got a good humor and I am a hardliner sXe. Anyway, I am guessing it is because we have to take our life seriously. after all, becoming sXe is a serious choice. And you really cant be serious and have a good humor at the same time (or can you?)" On 30 Dec 1998 <SikanderXe@aol!com> wrote: "you must not know a lot of sXe kids if u think that." On 09 Feb 1999 jonathan haggerty <3692@hermitage!durham!sch!uk> wrote: "All straight edge'ers do not drink any alcohol, or drugs. They think that the negatives weigh more strongly than the positives. And ... you can see an straightedge person which is obviously not drinking, together with his friends, who are. Because this person isn't drinking he reacts differently to jokes made by drunk people." "the myth that sxe kids have no sense of humour is rubbish. humour is not generated by alcohol and sxe kids can have just as much fun as non sxe-ers. I am sxe and all of my favourite films are comedies... who comes up with these weird rumours?"
Subject: 4-12. What is DIY? On 28 Aug 1998 Stew <stew-e@usa!net> wrote: "do-it-yourself. I guess Sxe kids depend on themselves to get things done because they have to take action themeselves in order for something to happen. After all, scenes dont happen unless we all help out. we cant rely on others, because if we did, then maybe we would not be straightede."
Subject: 4-13. What is the relationship of sXe to skating and BMX? On 28 Aug 1998 Stew <stew-e@usa!net> wrote: "We skate because we need a thrill in our life to stay sXe (if sXe isnt enough by itslef). Skating gets your mind off of things and lets you have a thrill in your life. It can get your mind off violence, drugs, and all that shit." On 30 Dec 1998 <SikanderXe@aol!com> wrote: "Skating has always been related to punk rock; hardcore is a part of punk rock, sXe came from hardcore, so there's lots of skater kids who listen to hardcore and got into sXe."
Subject: 4-14. Why is there so much violence in sXe? On 28 Aug 1998 Stew <stew-e@usa!net> wrote: "I am a passive sXe. I believe that fighting is more sissy than talking it out, because when you compromise, you have to give something up. Figthing is just plain selfish because you dont want to be proven wrong. I never want to fight anyone. That is why I always carry a gravity knife with me, so If someone fucks with me, than I can wipe them out quickly (although i hope I will never have to!) The hardcore dancing can be violent sometimes, and that may have something to do with it. Also, since we take things so seriously, then we dont want to fuck around, and we get to business." On 30 Dec 1998 <SikanderXe@aol!com> wrote: "because kids are dumb....actually, that's mostly the kids who are sXe so they can hate more people. Don't use the actions of some foolish examples to judge the whole group. I could say "why is there so much violence in christianity (or islam, or the USA, or any other group for that matter)"
Subject: 5. About the people This section tries to present a human face to the straight-edge. Here you'll meet some of the kids who are part of the straight-edge community on the Internet.
Subject: 5-1. What do you guys wear? On 12 Jul 1998 Jeff Cristiani <jef82@stlnet!com> wrote: "Don't listen to what anyone here is telling you. Dress for yourself, and don't judge others by what they are wearing, unless they are wearing the clothing of exploitation (and even then, don't judge them, just know that they are ignorant to other people's suffering)" On 14 Aug 1998 Chad McMann <askwhy@x-net.com> wrote: "Why all the corporate crap? Sure, some of it's unavoidable, but Nike Windbreakers and shoes? Champion sweat shirts? Yeah, support the corporate sweat shops and union busters! that's really helping the world...I'm not going to mention what I wear, because the only important thing is the x's on my hands...To any newcomers reading this, please don't take these answers as rules. It doesn't matter what you wear, and there's no reason in the world to go out of your way to find certain corporate shit." I'm currently wearing a stussy sweat shirt under a birdhouse skateboards t-shirt with "I love cigarette smoke in my face", a pair of XL Fuct jeans, a pair of black Etnies, and my trusty Billabong snowboarding backpack. Under my NY baseball cap I sport a marine haircut. On 28 Jul 1997 Beverly <ihames@unlinfo!unl!edu> wrote: "Well, I don't exactly wear the typical sXe dress. I mean I got my little neckalce with the XXX on it, got the beads god knows where. It really doesn't matter that much. I guess I am kind of into the mod/glamour/riot/rude grrl style. I don't know, that is what people tell me i guess. It just depends, like when I skate I got the etnies or whatever. The shorts, but hen of course, I guess we might be different, cause well, I am a girl. But umm, if you wanna know I just go fer the pants, like nice ones, polyester, whatever, just rolled up, or the right length kind of 50's style, the whole little Gidgit beach scene. Got my shirts, they fit. I don't know, just like to have a lot of style. Got short hair, bleached blonde. I don't know, like this is helping anything. I hate shorts, they suck. OH yeah, and about that leisure suit, try the Salvation Army or Goodwill, they have tons of them lying around, of if you want a bit nicer one, I'd try a vintage shop, just don't let them rip you off." On 28 July 1997 X GLEN CONFRONT X <gconfront@aol!com> wrote: "I usually just wear some baggy shorts, t-shirt, and low top vans. Whatever suits you is cool." On 27 July 1997 xDeltaT.A.C.x <deltatac@juno!com> wrote: "It doesn't matter how you dress in the HC scene. As long as your loyal to HC then I respect you. If you must know, I myself wear baggy ass pants with HC band shirts or sXe shirts. Basketball jerseys are the best for me. I skate, so I wear DC skate shoes (torn up) and skateboarding shirts. That's me. Oh, and I have a shaved head because I got sick of my long ass skater hair. I've seen alot of HC kids wear just about anything. So choose what you like but be loyal." On 27 July 1997 Porcell <SchismHQ@aol!com> wrote: "Shirt: any old HC band shirt in good condition. It isn't cool to wear new shirts, you know. Look for these bands Project X (my old band), Youth Of Today tour 88' shirt, Judge Schism logo, Bold shirt with Crippled Youth logo on back, Chain Of Strength "true till death" design, NFAA "NO" design, Wide Awake 7" design, and anything from 80-83. Thrasher shirts are rad, too. "Shorts (for the summer): This is crucial! They have to have cargo pockets, and usually tan is the best. But nothing beats a good pair of camo shorts. But don't be a dirtbag and cut pants, buy them as shorts. Make sure you wear a belt, too. "Pants (for the winter): Another crucial item! I hardly ever wear pants, but when it comes time, it has to be either tight-ish (not too tight, though) blue jeans, a little rolled at the bottom, camo pants, or cargo pants(tan, of course). As always, you want a belt with them. Don't cut the bottoms either! "Shoes: Alright, you have some choices here. Air Jordan's are probably the best because you can do the highest kicks and dives with them. Yo, check out Matt Pinkus on the Judge lp, you think that's possible with any shoe? Other hightops work good too, but make sure it's Nike! I like Chuck Taylor's too. For those of you who prefer lowtops, it's either youth crew Nikes (check out Al SSD on "get it away"), or Vans low tops (black, blue, checkered, or two-tone). I have seen some with the New Balances, and they are pretty comfortable. "Jacket: Man, this is important! Either Stussy or Nike windbreaker, or a Varsity Jacket. "..Don't forget the hair! Crew cut, Alex Pain, or shaved, it has to be neat! Gel is optional. If you have an X Swatch lying around, put it on!" On 28 July Schism Ray <youthcrewjams@schism!com> wrote: "the MOST CRUCIAL item of them all - the motherfucking CHAMPION HOODED SWEATSHIRT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just make sure it's the pull over one, not the zip-up one! and remember, only Champion is acceptable!!! also, for that extra special youth crew look, you can wear white long johns under your camo shorts when the cold weather sets in. if you are in a band (especially the guitarist/bassist) you also have to wear wristbands - you know, the athletic ones. that should solve all of your dress problems!!!" On 03 Dec 1997 Sikander <SikanderXe@aol!com> wrote: "I guess I wear skateboarder clothes, just t-shirts and jeans or cargo pants. when it's cold either a sweatshirt or a windbreaker. nothing special. as long as it's vegan." On 17 Nov 1998 xrichx <XDicMilesX@aol!com> wrote: "I wear overalls sometimes, gap wide-leg jeans often, camo pants sometimes,running shoes or synthetic-leather work shoes and I love wearing my xturning pointx t-shirt and some days I wear a sweater-vest over my shit and I like my izod windbreaker and alot of times I just wear checkered bell-bottoms w/ zip-up beatle boots and a shirt that zips up the front"
Subject: 5-2. What's with the tattoos and stuff? Many straight-edgers tattoo slogans of their beliefs on their bodies. This signifies the commitment they have made to those ideals, which like the tattoos are a lifetime commitment. Tattoos and piercing are part of the punk/hardcore subculture so its going to be found in straight-edge also. However, when you're planning to get a tattoo you need to think not only about what its going to say but also how its going to look. Remember its going to be with you for a long time so its worth the effort to make sure you'll like it in ten years time. For more information see the rec.arts.bodyarts Usenet news group, the Tattoo FAQ, and the Piercing FAQ. Both are available via anonymous FTP at <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu:/pub/news-answers/bodyart/>. On 15 Apr 1997 Justin <I.Horus@ix!netcom!com> wrote: "A body modification will not change your mindset, make you act any different, or effect you in any negative way, so I don't see any contridiction with a sXe life style. I think there would be a lot less straight edges in this world if a tattoo or body piercing disqualified you from said lifestyle." On 9 Jan 1997 refuge <ebmgieda@refuge!microserve!com> wrote: "i think the best one i've ever seen was in a show in upstate new york...this guy took off his shirt for his friend, and instantly a crowd gathered...he had a full-back piece that looks like it took weeks to do. it said "straightedge" in old english letters about 3-4" per character on his upper back, then the rest of his back was covered with the most intricate, detailed tree i've ever seen. it was beautiful. tattoos fucking rule!" On 9 Jan 1997 <xvincex@westcomputer!be> wrote: "got one... the youth of today fist on my left leg." On 9 Jan 1997 Ryan <ryanph@mindspring!com> wrote: "Personally, I don't think injecting ink into your skin is very sXe." On 9 Jan 1997 refuge <ebmgieda@refuge!microserve!com> wrote: "i have three collegate/strife/youthcrew X's on my leg. i dig them. my brother, brian got the phattest fucking straightedge tattoo... my mom took him out to get it (he's only 16)...man, it's these three story-book font looking black (about 2 inches big) x's with all these green vines wrapping around them, connecting them together. the tattoo is the best... he only payed 90 bucks for it and the work is esquisite, much unlike my own...i need touch up work, but i love them...i'm planning on another one soon. totally addictive." On 9 Jan 1997 Bhaskar Sinha <bsinha@ucdavis!edu> wrote: "the last line is quite ironic..." On 9 Jan 1997 X Natalia X <xscoutx@erols!com> wrote: "I like Teresa Brat's tattoo-it's a dragon with "poison free xxx" in oriental-type letters. It's bootiful. I don't have any though- I'm just gonna stick with my EF! fist and monkeywrenches..." On 10 Jan 1997 XConradx <xconradx@aol!com> wrote: "my brother took me to get my sXe tattoo in the summer. it's 3 x's with "straight-edge" written below it. on my upper thigh(so my parents don't see it, i'm only 16) it's nothing special artwise but it means a lot to me. oh boy do i plan to get more!" On 10 Jan 1997 eirix <eiriksv@notam!uio!no> wrote: "My friend has two carrots in a cross with an x in the middle (vegan edge..) it rocks" On 10 Jan 1997 elvis <sarah.and.gerry@bc!sympatico!ca> wrote: "I have a band of creepy trees arond my leg which form letters... V.E.G.A.N. I'm a REAL rock and roller." On 10 Jan 1997 XstraightedgeboyX <ian-one@demon!net> wrote: "I like tattoo's as well, I have a Crass logo on my arm not sXe I know but cool all the same. Tattoo do fucking rule!! I want another but don't know what to get any ideas??" On 03 Jul 1997 Leaf <nospambern@cyberg8t!com> wrote: "Gods... don't you love a good Mystery? This second tat of mine... this snake.. has affected me in really profound ways. I keep wanting to share it, explain it, put words to it... but of course, the essence of Mystery is not being able to put words to the experience. "This tattoo has changed me. Not changed, exactly. Clarified me, made me *more* me. It changes my appearance in such a way that my outside is more in harmony with what's inside of me. "The experience is so profound, that I've been joyfully telling my friends and family "tattoos are cheaper, faster, and prettier, than therapy" <grin>." XjeffX has "X straight edge X" tattooed across his back and comments: "What does my tatoo mean to me. Well, in short, my tatoo symbolizes my life long commitment to being Straight Edge. The symbols we mark our bodies with are not adolescents just "having fun" but rather marking ourselves as pure individuals. We don't go out and get dumb butterfly tatoo's just because they look cool. Our symbols stand for what we feel and what we will feel for the rest of our lives. No other commitment comes close to the dedication involved with Straight Edge. I'm proud to be Straight Edge. Not many have the dedication it takes to be clean their whole lives. And this is not just some fad that kids go through. Maybe for the kids who just want to stay clean until they are 21, this is just a fad, but for the TRUE Straight Edgers, this commitment is lifelong. Just like tattoos." [6] On 18 Dec 1997 AWAP <awap@aol.com> wrote: "A friend of mine, a tattoo artist who will remain nameless, got one of the COOLEST sXe tattoos I've ever seen. After he got out of the sXe crowd and started smoking pot, he had SELLOUT tattooed inside his lip." On 17 Nov 1998 Dominic Henning <henningd@ucs.orst.edu> wrote: "Ive got one straight sdge tattoo on the small of my back. Its about a year old. Its three bold X's going form black to red to yellow all shaded. Then theres a schrol that reads "true til death" I love it. It is in a place not that many people can see cos it's for me and me only. Just like straight edge. If other people see it, it;s ok, and i'm proud, but its mainly for me. I resently got two japanese kanji symbols right above it. They could be interpreted as sXe tattoos cos they stand for "true, really sinsere, and proud" I love tattoos and i think sXe is like a tattoo in your mindset, so why not get it inscribed on you for life."
Subject: 5-3. Who's who of apse? elliott On 09 Jul 1997 elliott <elliot13@postoffice!ptd!net> wrote: "My full name is jason elliott, I was born on Nov 24 1974, and live in Dallas (The Wilkes Berre/Scranton) area of PA. I publish zines (right now it's called Hellcat) but I have a hard time sticking to one name. I've been involved in hardcore/punk rock since 1989, but I'm not one of those people who sit and talk about how cool it was "back in the day" or whatever. I think punk rock needs more activism and a better sense of humor...on Irc my nick is Lucky_13." Elvis On 10 Jul 1997 "Elvis..." <dench@coastnet!com> wrote: "Um...Self proclaimed vegan warrior." On 11 Jul 1997 "Elvis..." <dench@coastnet!com> wrote: "xgerryedgex lives in a secluded heritage house in Victoria BC where he spends his time playing dumbass computer games (mostly real-time strategy) when he's not working. He is the friendliest vegan on the west coast, and he is full to the brim with integrity. He does sing in a band as of July 1st and he is hoping that it will be called MonkyBoy. He hopes... He does a zine and distro under the name of xburn it cleanx and hopes to start a label in the near future. He is married to a beautiful woman that he calls dench, and together they have three cats...which are all the family they need. He loves to talk about religion and spirituality and their place in a modern HC society, as well as all things pertaining to sexuality. Try him out...he loves it. His all time favourite band is Trial, who are second only to Bane and sometimes Earthmover...depending on the day. He will do shows for touring bands solely because he likes bands and most of the sounds they can make. Do not be fooled into believing he is a HC kid only, because xgerryedgex has vast musical tastes ranging from Elvis to the Replacements... "All in all xgerryedgex is a damn good guy. Visit his web page at <http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/2879/index.html> or email him at <xgerryedgex@geocities!com>." spitbrother On 24 Jul 1997 Ralf Sandner <RalfSandner@swol!de> wrote: "uuh. emm, real name is Ralf, age is 32, got involved with Punk at 14 in 1979, putting up gigs in Stuttgart/Germany since 1989, writing for PLOT fanzine, constantly playing in bands since 1980... like punk of course ;-) hate the bad apects of punk today: major label sellouts, sXe jocks, gang bullshit in hardcore, the heroin revival in the crust scene... racism, fascism, sexism, homophobia becoming tolerated in parts of the scene(s). the scene here is pretty much divided... i, among some other older guys, am the only one who visits mostly all kind of shows (as long as they are not by major label acts) which can qualify as "punk"... so on every show i see faces who will never come to shows of the other clique... you have 77 style gigs, hardline sXe, moderate sXe, emo, "new york" hardcore, crust and hardly never the crowds mix... on the other hand you have the kids who watch mtv and they just go to every "punk" band on a major, without finding out that there is another scene... check http://www.diy-punk.org/spitbrother/ for some more info about me" Sikander On 03 Dec 1997 Sikander <SikanderXe@aol!com> wrote: "ok. my name is sikander, I'm vegan sXe. I listen to all kinds of hardcore, but I like old school the best. my favorite bands right now are ten yard fight, ensign, and youth of today. I'm from michigan where the hardcore scene is kinda crappy, but in the summer lots of good bands stop by here. I also skateboard, which I've been doing for 4 years. I've got a homepage but it sucks right now, all there is right now is hardcore reviews, I will be working on it during winter break though., so here's the URL: http://www.msu.edu/~khansika." Lars Hi. I'm the kid who looks after this FAQ for ya. I live Sydney, Australia with my lovely wife, our very cute son and two kittens. I'm an eclectic mix of old school and new school. I like my Xs big. ------------------------------ Lars Norved Technology Research & Development '\ /\ /` Australian Broadcasting Corporation | \ \ | GPO Box 9994, SYDNEY NSW 2001, Australia ./ \/ \, Tel +612 9333-5230 Fax +612 9333-5443 Net lars@trd.abc.net.au

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