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That Time I Gave Ronald Reagan’s Secretary Of State, George Shultz, The Finger

The true evil empire of the 1980’s.

I have always been left winged and I openly hated Reagan all through high school in the late 80’s. Conformity was a total way of life back then, so I of course got a lot of crap in high school for disliking him. The cult of Reagan was a real thing. With all of that being said I jumped at the chance of visiting DC in late 1987 with a group called Close Up. It was an organization which taught teens about politics, and I met other teens from all over the country there. Most, if not all, of the teens were Reagan supporters so thinking I was unpopular is correct. I actually won an award on the last night for being the most politically engaged out of the entire group and I got booed. I also got booed at my high school graduation so this was the start of a trend. You know you are doing something right when all of the conformist Reagan cultists hate you.

With all of that being said, the week I was in DC was also coincidently the week that the US and the USSR signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces(INF) Treaty. One of the days we were allowed to walk wherever we wanted to before a big lunch. Two friends and I were walking near the Capital Building when we noticed a motorcade of black limos coming towards us. First the Soviets came by and they actually slowed down, rolled down their windows, and happily waved to us as they drove past. There were little USSR flags on the front of the limo, so yes it was them. Then came the Americans, who didn’t open their windows or wave to people at all. Being the savvy teen that I was I knew that Shultz had to be in one of them and sure enough as his limo slowly went past I could see his very recognizable profile. Immediately I gave him the finger while shouting repeatedly for him to go fuck himself. My friends told me to stop because they were scared of being arrested but I kept going until he was out of sight. I told my friends that they could not arrest a sixteen year old for using her constitutional right to criticize the US government. I was correct.

Looking back on my teen years this is the event I am the most proud of. As a sixteen year old I had a bigger set of balls than a lot of the adults did during that time. I talked the talk and walked the walk, the same as I do today. During that time I was into The Dead Kennedys, U2 and other politically minded bands. All of that music taught me that it was more important to stand up against horrible situations and people, rather than just sitting back and doing nothing. I hope this inspires you to do the same.

Questioned For Wearing A Band Shirt Just Because You’re A Chick? It Sucks.

I am a middle aged woman wearing a Samhain shirt. Fear me!

Recently the wannabe version of the Dead Kennedys questioned a woman who was wearing one of their shirts as somebody who probably didn’t listen to their music. The woman did in fact listen to the band and they lost a fan. Jello Biafra even stepped forward and said that what they posted was crap and that he would never assume something like that. This whole thing really pissed me off because for years women who enjoy listening to punk or metal bands have had to deal with this sort of thing. Now even bands are saying this crap?

There has been a trend that started within the last decade of regular chain stores selling punk and metal band shirts. This in turn means that regular people buy them to wear without knowing that they are actual bands. A good example of this is the Misfits fiend skull. It’s seen as just a symbol by some people. Is that a little sad? Sure, but do you have the right to go up to that person and grill them about what their favourite Misfits songs are? No. If they want to look like a fashion victim that is their choice and none of your damn business. If you want to be mad at anybody be mad at the bands for selling out. I’m looking at you Jerry Only!

When I started heavily getting into punk and wearing shirts from bands such as Samhain, Misfits, 7 Seconds,etc… I would occasionally get guys coming up to me and grilling me on albums and songs. Sometimes they would even ask me if I just wanted to fuck the band. No joke! As a woman I had to prove time and time again that I was really into the music. Once I listed off the songs and albums I liked that would usually shut them up and they would slink back to the sewer from which they came.

The funny thing about all of this is that I have known more about punk bands than anybody I have ever dated. Seriously. That older woman who is wearing a Samhain shirt while walking down the street may know more about the band than you do and she might be such a fan that she has been listening to them for over thirty years; longer that you have been alive.

I feel that the guys who perpetuate this are insecure when it comes to their knowledge about the bands that they like. They are scared that somebody might actually know more about their favorite bands than they do, and it would especially be harrowing for them if that same middle aged woman wearing that Samhain shirt knew facts that they didn’t know. Middle aged women aren’t supposed to be listening to punk! Instead we are supposed to be wearing mom jeans and ferrying a bunch of kids around in a minivan all day.

The best thing to do when you see a chick wearing a punk or metal band shirt is just to smile when you see them and keep walking. If they initiate a conversation because they sense that you could also like the same band then that is awesome! You’re not being an asshole in that type of situation and you could possibly make a friend. Isn’t that better than making baseless assumptions about somebody just because they are a woman wearing a punk or metal band shirt? If you think otherwise then you are indeed being an asshole.