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Donald Trump, hipster narcissism and punk rock

Dude making punk rock great again? Please.

Jim Nintzel

Dude making punk rock great again? Please.

Well, it's been a week and the news keeps coming in. President-Elect Donald Trump hired a white nationalist as his chief strategist. Hate crimes and harassment committed in President-elect Donald Trump's name are being perpetrated all over the country. Trump plans to deport two to three million people. Of course, the president-elect is also praising President Obama and Hillary Clinton now because he's an empty shell who likely has zero beliefs, zero convictions and zero position on any issue that doesn't serve his ego and his bottom line. And this president-elect has made it clear that he will say and do anything in the pursuit of inflating both of those things. It's fucking gross, like the majority of the history of this country.

I'm male, straight, cisgendered and pale-skinned, which means I have the luxury of calling this turn of events fucking gross. The fact I'm merely agitated and nervous over the future means I'm extremely lucky compared to women and minorities.

My social media feed is filled with stories of people I dearly care about being harassed; being called "spic" and "faggot" by absolute strangers over the last few days, emboldened by the complete and utter bullshit the President-elect has reflected back at them over the last 18 months or however long it's been since he first got on stage and described Mexicans as rapists, and, of course, that he'd be running for president of the U.S.

My social media feed is also filled with articles and sentiments about how a Trump presidency will just be fantastic for art, specifically punk rock.

Punk rock—that most mythical of musical genres which directly set the stage for today's vomit-inducing farm-to-table gentrifying culture of self-impressed hipster narcissism, whose own gauche self-importance arguably helped pave the way for Trump by fostering a culture of entitlement and niche concerns—the entire "indie" aesthetic that has now devolved from music-making to microbreweries stewarded by bearded PUA acolytes who share with plenty of their punk and indie musician forebears, as well as their President-elect, a total disregard for anyone's reality but their own.

This column is named after a punk rock song. I could rattle off countless punk rock songs that I have loved and been inspired by during my 39 years, which is incidentally a shorter period of time than punk rock has been singing the same song for.

But the silver lining is that punk rock is gonna be "great again"? That's almost like saying the good part about unarmed black men being gunned down by cops in the streets is rap music will creatively flourish. Except punk rock is almost exclusively made by white dudes, who are the only demographic that can be sure that they still have rights. And that's the kind of insane unreality and selfish worldview that is at the heart of the Trump movement, and the United States itself.

More by Joshua Levine

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