What the hell happened to Straight-Edge?

Shit, here I come stepping into hot water, completely of my own doing. First things first: I don’t do drugs and I don’t get hammered, but don’t go away just yet thinking this is a another rant from one of those guys that is basically a camouflaged Straight-Edge. It’s not; I do sip my occasional glass of something. That leads to, most of the time, getting shit from straight edge guys because supposedly I’m a drunk and the rest of the time I’m getting shit from guys who are heavy drinkers or drug users because I normally don’t drink when I go out to a show or something. So I’m a square, or whatever.

But nothing like it used to be during the good old days of Straight-Edge, when I was also one. At least, from where I stand, the best time for Straight-Edge was around the mid 90s – before the internet. Information was scarce, but somehow Straight-Edge spread across the whole world, and maybe because of that, it seemed like something mystical. I remember knowing hundreds of Straight-Edge people from around the world and it seemed everyone was into the lifestyle. Suddenly, it all kind of crashed and a lot of people stopped verbalizing it or just plain disappeared. Now it’s even hard to know which bands are XXX and which aren’t, and I feel that it would be important to let new kids know what’s up with that, because it’s an idea with a lot of potential and a lot to teach.

 

Maybe all this discreteness is because things used to be so hardcore, and Straight-Edge took itself way too seriously and kind of cornered itself into something of a ghetto, almost like a religion. And religion tends to breed followers, not free people. Maybe that was one of the reasons I quit. Yes, I’m not afraid of the word: quit.

Even though Straight-Edge played a big role in my life for the whole decade or so I was into it, I was never the kind of guy that surrounded myself with similar-thinking people only. I had and still have friends that are metalheads, crusties, goths, rock n’ rollers, skaters and whatever other labels you can think of. Even though some of them got high on something of their own choosing, I never stopped hanging out with them. True, at times it got kinda boring to be surrounded by drunks and stoners and I might have gotten fed up with that, but sometimes it was equally boring to hang out with the Straight-Edge crowd and listen to the same jokes, lines and ideas all the time, day in and day out. I guess it all boils down to people more than ideas, and I don’t give a shit what you eat, drink or smoke or if you do none of those things, as long as I have fun hanging out with you. Unless we are on seriously opposite pages, but that’s a different subject all together.

Now that I’m in my 40s and it’s been a few years since I stopped being Straight-Edge, I sort of miss all the inspiration that Straight-Edge used to give and surely miss the fact that Straight-Edge was always around and it presented itself as a serious alternative lifestyle. I’m not talking about stuff like Strife’s “There’s only one truth” because there isn’t and I’m sure they know that better than anyone by now. I mean stuff like Nations On Fire or even Minor Threat. Because confrontation is part of punk, it makes sense that Straight-Edge also does it.

 

 

Because of its current discrete presence, I probably am better able to appreciate the importance it had in my life and on those of a lot of people I know, because some things don’t change and for most people it seems that going out is only fun with drinks, drugs or both. Even for people that were Straight-Edge for quite some time.

I’m not sure if straight-edge is about discipline or not, since I’m not one any longer so it’s not my place to say, but I remember all those nights surrounded by people with drinks and joints on their hands, and I never had the urge to be part of that. Probably because I had done it all years before when I was younger and got fed up with it, and frankly most of the times that I got high, it stopped being fun after a couple of hours and I wished I could stop it.

But this isn’t about that, it’s about the fact that I feel Straight-Edge has a lot to teach and should verbalize its philosophy more, but in a way that’s more open than it used to be.

But then there’s that whole movement issue. As it happened before with punk, when movements get bigger they tend to obey a school of thought and to adopt a uniform. That was kind of one of the main issues that lead me to stop being Straight-Edge, even though for the first couple of years I lived exactly the same way. Another thing that got to me was all the evangelization around the idea of Straight-Edge. And what’s worse, the fact that a lot of Straight-Edgers made a point of drinking Coke just because of some stupid fucking 80s Minor Threat picture. Minor Threat are over and Ian Mackaye doesn’t give a fuck about what Straight-Edgers do. Or non-Straight-Edgers for that matter.

 

 

Even though I take a few drinks on occasion, I’m a big fan of sobriety so I don’t get drunk. Or high. Mainly because my priorities are different than those. Also because I want to be in control, but that’s just my own choice. When I do go out, I might drink a couple of beers if I’m in the mood. If I’m not, I don’t. I don’t care what anyone says, I still love everything that Straight-Edge taught me. And it’s great that such a thing exists, because for all those bands that glorify drinking, smoking and doing drugs, there should be others that offer a different point of view. Before that period of my life, it never even occurred to me that you could hang out with a group of friends and just stay sober and have fun. Everything revolved around smoking or drinking.

Straight-Edge might be an excellent starting point to question whatever you need to question in life. But for that to happen, people into it have to leave room for thought, otherwise things might just implode, and maybe that was what happened. But where the hell is everyone these days?

 

Facebook Comments
Previous post

CVLT NATION CAPTURES ROADBURN 2018 DAY THREE

Next post

666% UNRELENTING FERAL BLACK DEATH GRIND:
Premiering TRIPPER "Ancestral Wounds"

The Author

Hugo Filipe Lopes

Hugo Filipe Lopes

Ever since I can remember I've been into the punk and metal universe. And writing. So why the well wouldn't I put the two of them together?

64
Leave a Reply

avatar
43 Comment threads
21 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
54 Comment authors
Thomas ProchnowGoran ArgiroskiSvenPascal BroughtonJesse Holland Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Thomas Prochnow
Guest

Na dann…

Goran Argiroski
Guest

Vegan Reich happened.

Sven
Guest
Sven

I’m so glad I grew up in Europe. From your comments it seems Straight Edgers were all cunts States side…

Pascal Broughton
Guest

Am I the only one (no pun intended) who actualy read the strife lyrics of “through and through” and understands the only one truth They talk about is love? Always thought people who thought “one truth” was about straight edge were kinda…. Lets say limited!

Jesse Holland
Guest

Well, looks like fascist is the word of the day again.

Iron Aden Pauls
Guest

Can you be “straight edge” and still worship Satan?

Goran Argiroski
Guest

Оf course. That was me, ten years ago.

Lance Peterson Eaglebauer
Guest

I don’t know how people do it. Life is a nightmare sober, especially in 2018. A complete nightmare.

Kevin Keating
Guest

straightedge means i’m better than you!

Casey Long
Guest

Nah

Marc Cormier
Guest

I get veganism, but why would anyone give a fuck if you are alcohol or drug free. Good job you are miserable and need a ‘No Fun’ club to sink your time into.

***HITS BLUNT***

Rhys Owen
Guest

All depends on the reasons why you chose to be sxe. From experience or influence?

Wolfgang Elenchus Poad
Guest

More importantly, who gives a shit

Christopher Cortez
Guest

I was at a hardcore fest around maybe 2011, and during the set of a straight edge band the singer said something truely inspirational. “Ive hung out with people who smoke and drink and theyre the nicest people ive ever met, i also know some straight edge people who are pieces of shit”. I was never straight edge, didnt do anything thought but not because of straight edge, just didnt really come to mind. I believed for the most part that smoking and drinking was kinda a waste of time and that most people who drank or smoke were no… Read more »

Adrian Swick
Guest

They all turned 21. Now they are doing drugs, smoking, and drinking. Hahah

Christopher Cortez
Guest

Adrian Swick i was such a goodie two shoes! Now i do hoodrat stuff with friends! Thanks Slayer!!

Adrian Swick
Guest

Christopher Cortez thanks panic at the disco!

Christopher Cortez
Guest

Adrian Swick LMAO!!!!! So theres this house across the street from my house and these 3 dudes always get together just to cover Fall Out Boy songs, its so frustrating! Ima report them for playing satanic music in my christian neighborhood!!!

Howard Aitchison
Guest

‘Straight edge’ became ‘judgmental dicks’

Harry Pie
Guest

Wasn’t Straightedge the Flock of seagulls hairstyle of the 2000’s? Whoever is straightedge these days is like wearing parachute pants today. It’s so retro!

Jon O'Dubhagain
Guest

Fuckin’ douchbags. I remember news stories of these assholes starting fights in shopping plazas.

Kevin Niemiec
Guest

They were the Jordan Peterson fans of their time

Jenna Giselle
Guest
Jenna Giselle

Interesting topic to explore, for sure. As someone who’s identified as both straightedge and a heavy drinker over the course of her life, my overarching issue is that certain straightedge evangelists lack nuance. The “just say no” approach and the superiority behind it fails to have much compassion for people who get drunk and high to deal with underlying mental health issues, unresolved trauma, etc. Yeah, some people get fucked up for the lawlz, but others don’t. Personally, I’ve taken to identifying as “sober” because I think having struggled with substance abuse in the past is a whole other can… Read more »

Daniel Wilson
Guest

Preachy cunts from memory

Dave Reidy
Guest

Lol Dan. Straight edge is for dumb babies.

Daniel Wilson
Guest

Fuck oath, have a drink ya sook

Jon McLaughlin
Guest

I know a few good ones, but the majority of straight edge kids in my area basically formed little gangs and I hate them all. Jumping someone for smoking a cigarette at a show is the lowest form of filth.

Sven Cyclenørd
Guest

Thomas Prochnow

Jake Carson
Guest

I just remember a bunch of straight edge kids at my school who were into all the old school hardcore bands, what’s funny was the second they all turned 21, they all had several DUIs each shortly after.

Lena Sapunova
Guest

Vasely Sapunov Leo NardoBen C. ReadMitch Cramer we all cooked it 🍻

Evgeny Kudinoff
Guest

Douchebag edge😆

Basti Schaurer
Guest

check out Trail Of Lies

Etlyr Kahn
Guest

They all overdosed on douchery

Lars Aksel Swenson
Guest

Everything everyone said here. I recall a straight edge kid on the all ages punk scene when I was a kid trying to tell me how they were against sex. Sobriety is great, but that scene deserves to die.

Joshua Caleb Runyon
Guest

A lot like religion. Fuck that elitist shite

Sabrina Ellis Delaby
Guest

Show me a straight-edges search history, then we’ll talk about how much better they are.

Raul Perez
Guest

Claiming edge is just another way to feel superior to others , just like religion

Jonas Calacsan
Guest

That generation of SE kids that saw SSD or Minor Threat found out they liked beer and drugs when they hit their 20s, by the time the 90s hit it wasn’t called Hardcore Punk any more it was Hard Core or Punk and SE kids only listened to SE bands

Otis Chamberlain
Guest

they all became flat-earthers

Lena Sapunova
Guest

We all sold out 🖤🍻🌱

Franc De Alvia
Guest

Flat Earth Crisis

Ashley Young
Guest

Shade El

James Phillip Schmitt
Guest

Straight edge kids were always dicks to manic people like me, pointing out we could never hang with them because we were incapable of their conception of “sobriety”

Mike Frontera
Guest

My cousin was and is straight edge. And continues to look down at anyone who “uses” alcohol.

Rhys Owen
Guest

You guys hung out with the wrong type of straight edgers by the sounds. The ones like that might as well be jehovah witnesses.

Graeme Howard
Guest

Exactly Rhys Owen I’ve had and still have so many sXe friends that were awesome and not judgemental at all. It just meant I always had sober drivers to scab a ride home with after shows. I met a sXe person that would later become my flatmate when I almost puked on him at a Promise of Bloodshed show :p the same guy would also chill with me on the deck of our flat while I got stoned and would just let me rant at him for hours while I went looking for food. Sounds like you met some people… Read more »

Gavin Henry
Guest

Drugs

Gene Trosper
Guest

I prefer an occasional craft beer to crypto-fascist movements.

Charlie Bones
Guest

Bent edge b//e is better.

Amanda Gemmill
Guest

They turned 21. Pretty common really…

Santiago Montoya Ordóñez
Guest

In my experience just a bunch of fascist hypocrites

Niklas Sandberg
Guest

The XXX youth at my hometown went to attack on old ladies with mink fur on the street. Big men with leather jacket…. naee. #cowardstothebone

Demonskull Eust
Guest

Straight edge is the fucking best and if you don’t believe so you’re a gimp

Maciek Pawlak
Guest

You don’t need healthy organs when you die of old age.

Léo Chacel
Guest

Sounds exactly like an evangelical cunt

Carlo Vargas
Guest

I think we have our explanation ^^

Sabrina Ellis Delaby
Guest

I smell a troll

Cory Hatfield
Guest

People realized how shitty it is.

Sarah Sachs
Guest

Steve Hart

Björn Jacobs
Guest

This scene is elitist and has partly fascistoid tendencies … but there are also some good people in it. In the end it’s my life, my choice and my intoxication #edgebreak2014

Foivos Theofilopoulos
Guest

Δημήτρης Δημητρίου

Δημήτρης Δημητρίου
Guest

ΨΩΦΟΣ

Foivos Theofilopoulos
Guest

Oχι ρε είναι πολυ ενδιαφερον αρθρο

Δημήτρης Δημητρίου
Guest

ναι ναι κακό ψόφο οι str8edge να πεθάνουν υγιέστατοι