Punk Rock and Violence
In the film Los Punks, the people were performing punk rock music. Their style is very distinct. They have these incredibly large mohawks that are dyed and they were a lot of dark clothing, typically black, and leather jackets and crazy hairstyles. In the documentary, almost everyone included said that they came from broken homes, and grew up very poor and in bad neighborhoods. They talked about how the education system was bad because there was no money for it and many of these people grew up in this area didn't have a lot of choices with their life. A lot of people ended up in gangs or prostitution. This area is also known for a lot of crime, and the genre of music itself is also seen as somewhat criminal because it can be very violent and aggressive. The band plays and that usually consists of a lot of crazy dancing or running around and singing while everyone watching either stand around or dances. And this is not your typical “dancing”. The style of moshing or slam dancing is meant to be energetic and full of body contact. Moshing is typically done towards the center near the stage. To me, it seemed somewhat dangerous because it looked like it was causing fights and people to start beating each other up. There was also a lot of drinking shown at these backyard punk shows. In the film, one of the people talked about how many of these people don't have great home lives, and are living in terrible areas where there are always stabbings and drive by shootings, and they are very poor and just live in a horrible area. For this reason, he said that these punk shows are their way of interacting with people that they feel that they can relate to because they have something in common, and drink a lot because it's a form of escaping their real lives. He said, “Can you really blame them?”. I was thinking about this and while I don't think it’s a good enough excuse, I do see where this belief can come from because they really do have to go through struggles in their lives and for them the way they see it, drinking is one of the ways that they can escape that. For me, this genre of punk is such a foreign subject and when I was watching it I was just in complete shock and mostly confused. To me that music seemed like yelling, not really music. Of course, I know for the fans of this genre they would disagree with me. While I do not believe that these people in the punk rock culture need to be violent or commit crimes in order to be apart of the community, there is a legitimate sense of danger that goes along with this genre of music. For me, it's when it's taken too far in the case that people attack one another and stab each other. But for these people in the punk scene of East LA, their realities of life that they are trying to escape from are far worse than that of mine. But I don’t think they are looking for sympathy or a way out, they enjoy the crowd, whether or not it can be dangerous. And this poses the question, "Is punk rock criminal"?