Election results were fresh. They stung. They hurt. They made me super depressed. They sucked the life out. Why, you ask? Because I knew what was at stake. And looking at what’s happened since Trump has been elected, I was right.
Anyway, on November 16, 2016 one of the greatest punk bands of all time took the stage at Omaha’s famed Sokol Auditorium. A year and half later, I still think about that night. A night of release, of obnoxiousness, of fuck-it-all-the-morning-will-be-no-better punk rock. It propelled us.
Me and a close group of friends. Of progressives who had previously assumed we, America, would be progressing in the coming years. Now confronted with complete and utter devastation to the fact that we wouldn’t be, well the only thing really left to do was to go to a punk rock show. And NOFX delivered a blood-splattering gut punch that let everyone in the audience all know we were fucked, but we were fucked together.
Fat Mike knew the situation. He was just as pissed off as I was and he had his signature sharp, cutting wit and a microphone. Bitching and moaning and talking shit. A cathartic display of fuck-it-all-this-sucks that felt like the last refuge in the oncoming dark night. That’s the beauty, the magic, the thrill of punk. We’ve always been fucked but we were together so it didn’t matter.
Now, you could argue that I’m a respectable citizen now. Good job, good income, good home. Well-read and well-fed. A professional existence that’s concerned about property taxes and saving for retirement. So not punk. Not punk at all.
But here’s the thing. Those of us who went through the punk scene know we’re held to a higher standard. We are better than this. And because of that, we focus on building, not consuming. We put our professional existence to use for the good of the cause.
NOFX mid-November 2016 was the only thing that could’ve kept me from total collapse. Because of them, the age of Trump was kicked off with a loud, sonic reminder we had a boot to the throat. That boot is still there, but the push back is gaining strength. And the vengeance will be real and it will be sweaty. Count on it.