May 22nd, 2015 by Grace Ambrose
The Media (capital M) is a roughly bi-weekly testament to the value of independent media (lowercase m). Forever ad-free, the online alt-weekly regularly touches on the politics of activism, music (punk, pop, and otherwise), and labor. Add it to your RSS feed, follow them on Twitter, do whatever it takes to get involved and stay informed. This week’s issue includes an interview with Gun Outfit, conducted by our own Viktor Vargyai. Originally intended for this magazine, we couldn’t make a compelling argument for printing it here. That perennial paradox: Carrie and Dylan are punks, but they don’t play punk music anymore. Their words are well worth reading, though, and MRR is thrilled to collaborate with another radical publication.
Every month here at Maximum, we review roughly a hundred records made by bands that still do play punk music. Every month since I arrived, someone has brought the presence of known abusers and assaulters on these records to my attention. Every month, without fail. I am certain that there are more who we are not aware of it. It makes me sick.
We are a music magazine. These records still get reviewed. They get their fair sonic shake. As coordinator, I do not send emails around to shitworkers that say, “The singer of this band groped my friend in the bathrooms of the club. The drummer is emotionally abusive to his girlfriend. The guitarist tried to choke a woman when she told him to leave her alone.” Punk is a global phenomenon but it is also a small place — word gets around on its own.
We are a music magazine, but we are also a political publication, and always have been. Most days it feels like it is impossible to keep track of the list of bad dudes. It is a frightening thought. In response, we choose to foreground bands, labels, and communities that inspire us, people who are actively working to dismantle structures of oppression with their music, art, and very existence — Downtown Boys, G.L.O.S.S., In School, the Black and Brown Collective, Imogen Binnie, and more, just to name a very recent few.
Your Options Are Limitless: A Polemic was written by two members of the Bay Area punk community, who are also contributors to Maximum Rocknroll. It was published in The Media today. It is a call to action, a condemnation of silence, and a stark reminder that, yes, there is something (many things) that you (all of us) can do about this violence. I believe in the transformative power of extrajudicial action, of the potential for members of communities to take matters into their own hands. I acknowledge that every situation is different, that individuals have limited and varied emotional capabilities, that all responses to the presence of a perpetrator in a punk community will not, and should not, look the same. A Polemic lays out some potential reactions. As a magazine that believes in the radical potential of subcultural communities and the possibility of social change through art, music, and their attendant social structures, we feel like it is our responsibility to share them with you.
Your options are limitless. You be the judge of which are appropriate for your situation.