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On Counterculture

Aeneas Tacticus Minor

On Counterculture

You don’t want to be a counterculture. You want to be a culture. The whole point of a counterculture is to replace a culture. Otherwise it’s pointless. If you’re celebrating counterculture for its own sake you’re celebrating how weak you are. Either you’ve been defeated or you’ve failed. Or else you’re lying to yourself and claiming that somehow your ghetto or your shtetl or your wasteland Indian reservation with a trailer park beside the casino and empty broken refrigerators lying around in the grass for decoration is somehow just as good as the real culture.

You want to get the fuck out of a counterculture, unless you’re using it to infiltrate, subvert and dominate the dominant culture. Otherwise you might as well be like those kids you see on documentaries sometimes. You know the ones. They all have Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and sit around in Indian reservations on Friday nights with a plastic goldfish bag full of liquid diesel fuel so they can take turns inhaling the fumes through a cardboard tube.

Yep, sometimes huffing Lysol just isn’t satisfying when it comes to killing brain cells and transporting you to sweet oblivion so you feel like have to get high off something you siphoned out of a pick-up truck with a straw in the casino parking lot, and then inhale it through a leftover toilet roll to prove just how little you give a shit anymore about your life or anything else. That’s basically what it feels like to be proud of a counterculture. You might as well just say it openly: you’re too chicken for suicide.

A lot of people used to think ‘punk’ is ‘cool’. They still see something dangerous, manly and rebellious in punk rock because it sounds so aggressive. Old people don’t understand it and tell you to turn it down if you play it too loud. That doesn’t prove anything. Punk isn’t cool. It’s even less cool than jazz.

‘Cool’ as a description shouldn’t be used anymore anyway. It’s a debased currency, like every single other currency in this wreck of a world that was left behind after World War Two. At least we still know what it means.

‘Cool’ is an attitude. It shows strength, power and poise. Also manliness. It’s not just a manly attitude, it’s a high-testosterone, low-anxiety, low-neurosis manliness. Nothing can overpower you if you’re ‘cool’, and when you are you have so much power over women you don’t need to talk about it. They just come to you whether they like it or not. And if you reject them they’re fine. They understand, even if they’re bitter and resentful, and cry themselves to sleep. You were right to reject them and they know it.

If you’re cool, you’re fine with danger. You can take care of yourself.

Cigarettes are cool, smoking is cool, but addiction to smoking is not. Quitting smoking and gaining twenty pounds in three weeks is not cool. Getting pissed off because you haven’t had a cigarette all day isn’t cool either. Getting pissed off is never cool, as you know. Neither is heart disease, emphysema, lung cancer, throat cancer or being out of breath when you walk up two flights of stairs. Chain smoking is never cool, except chain smoking does sort of look cool in a movie.

Cocaine is also cool. You have to be cool to know where to find cocaine without begging people to give you some of theirs. Knowing multiple cocaine dealers is always cool, and buying cocaine properly is cool too. Especially when you pay cash for it and the dealer pretends to be your friend, and you have other people relying on you to get them high, and you spread out the powder yourself on a clean pocket mirror, cut it up with a credit card, chop it into snortable lines and then pull out a smooth, crisp banknote in a large denomination, roll it up like an expert, and offer it like a gentleman to the ladies first so they each snort a line, because secretly they’re all nervous and aren’t brave enough to have any without being invited.

Knowing how to find cocaine and use it is cool. Actually using it isn’t cool. It makes you angry, violent and boring, and you get cold sweats and grind your teeth, and you don’t know when to shut up, and either your dick gets so small you’re afraid it’s going to shrivel up and fall off like a wart, or else it might creep back inside your balls and go into reverse, like the dick equivalent of your belly button going from an ‘innie’ to an ‘outie’, except it’s going from ‘outie’ to ‘innie’.

If that doesn’t happen, your dick not only gets hard, it gets too hard, and it’s grown so much you’re afraid it’s going to break open the dickskin, which is stretched so tight it’s starting to hurt, and there’s a little blue vein running underneath and on the left side and it’s throbbing painfully and you’re afraid it’s turned black. The whole dickskin is bright-red and shiny and you could swear it actually glows. When cocaine does this to you you probably shouldn’t have sex because you already don’t even want to go piss in case you end up pissing blood. Ejaculating would just make everything complicated, and so would a condom if you had to use one. The dickskin feels like a too-tight condom before you’ve even put one on. So you have an erection that refuses to go away and in some ways it’s worse than no erection at all.

Impotence isn’t cool, pissing blood isn’t cool, not being able to have sex isn’t cool, and neither is having a heart flutter, or cocaine chest pains, or a stroke, or severe motor and neurological damage, or not feeling the left side of your body, or  fucking up your face so that it looks like you’re about to yawn, but you never actually yawn, so people think either you’re a retard or you had a stroke. Not everything is cool about cocaine.

Jazz used to be cool. It stopped being cool after 1920. That was when alcohol became illegal in the States. Then jazz became background music for middle-aged white people who thought they were edgy because they were going to ‘secret’ bars that everybody else knew about and could easily find and drank in every night. By the time alcohol was legal again in the 1930s jazz was so lame that everyone’s parents played jazz records at home. Your teachers at school were trying to show off how much they knew about jazz when you were eight years old. By World War Two it was already the way marijuana is today. It was a hobby for retired schoolteachers from Denmark.

Punk never had a chance to be cool. Originally a punk was a prostitute. Then it meant boy-whore. Then it meant not just a boy-whore, but a boy who got used as a sex toy by a hobo. Think about how degrading that is. It’s bad enough to be kept as a pet dick-pincushion by anybody. But if you get used by somebody powerful, like a famous Hollywood movie director or a United States Senator, at least you can almost sort of feel proud. Sure you’re getting man-raped till you bleed a couple of times a day, but it’s by a man who people look up to. You probably do yourself, even as their teenaged rape victim. Every night when you bite hard on that pillow you can think: one day I’m gonna rape pretty teenagers just like him. Some of his glory rubs off on you, or gets injected up your ass anyway. You hope it does, especially if you have to go to sleep with the taste of his dick in your mouth.

What’s worse, getting assraped every night when you’re a teenager or spending your twenties working ninety-hour weeks at an investment bank? You end up with the same benefits in the end. Also, investment banking and boy-whore pillow-biting involve pretty much the exact same people anyway so either way you end up with the same social and professional connections. In either case the rest of your life will be spent getting revenge on the world because not even homosexuals like getting fucked in the ass.

When you’re a hobo’s punk it’s a different story. A hobo is not just poor and homeless. He’s part of a counterculture too, of other pathetic single men who like to illegally hitch a ride on a freight train and sleep in a boxcar full of pig shit until they get thrown off the train, or put in jail, or just decide to leave because they see a farm where they think they can take jobs from illegal immigrants who snuck across the Rio Grande in search of the American Dream and are now stuck picking fruit for fifteen hours a day until they are rescued from their suffering by a miserable death, far away from home and everything and everyone they love. Hoboes wear gloves that have no fingers, and eat baked beans straight out of the can with a cheap stolen spoon.

We’re all young once, and getting drugged and raped can happen to the best of us. Sometimes it’s just unavoidable. But if you let it happen more than once, or let yourself become a kept boy, or worst of all let yourself be used as a bumsex plug by a homeless man who keeps his possessions in a polka-dot handkerchief tied to the end of a stick that he uses to beat you if you don’t suck his dick, then I’m sorry to say it but you are nowhere close to cool, and I can’t say I envy you for spending your moonlit nights in the middle of a haystack getting assraped.

No, there is nothing cool about punk and there never was. Not even in the 1970s when people invented ‘punk rock’ because they didn’t have the talent to play normal music. Mediocrity and failure was built into the punk culture from the beginning. It gave molested kids a way to work off steam. There were a lot of molested kids in the 1970s thanks to birth control pills, condoms and Women’s Liberation, which led to slut moms who got divorced and ended up married to stepdads who were mainly interested in teenaged stepdaughters but sometimes used their stepsons as punks when they were bored of playing air guitar in the basement rec room. It was the 1970s. People liked to experiment.

Once you understand this, all the screaming, swearing, anger, breaking shit and total lack of harmony makes sense. So does all the body piercing, tattooing, headshaving, leather with studs and general self-mutilation. Punk isn’t about music, it’s about yelling at the world because your mom was a slut and married some guy who put his hand in your pants. People who didn’t have that sort of thing happen generally didn’t become punks. Why would happy people do this shit?

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