The very notion of doing something just to shock your peers and your elders is repugnant or utterly foreign to most millennials. Oh, they think they are daring, with their open-carry mattresses and other faggotry, but as a campus rabbi complained to me recently, there’s a demonstration at his school every day for every cause—except the abuse and slaughter of women, children, and gays by Muslims. Because, of course, that might invite disapproval and even violent retaliation, and our helmet-headed, minivan-chauffeured youth are conformist and risk-averse to a depressing degree.
I never wore a swastika when I was a punk and never would have. The brief, bratty fad was over anyhow, and widely denounced and atoned for, by the time another shy, weird girl lent me her copy of Never Mind the Bollocks and—quite against all my low and even hostile expectations right up until the needle touched the vinyl—it turned my brain inside out.
That same brain prompts me to cringe at the wave of “conformity for the revolution” we all witnessed online after the SCOTUS gay “marriage” verdict, as tens of millions of Twitter and Facebook avatars were switched to rainbows in celebration.
UPDATE: Speaking of “the admittedly gnostic, you-had-to-be-there semiotics of punk political T-shirt imagery”…
— SPIN (@SPINmagazine) July 7, 2015