Nathan Burchfield The proper and true definition of a “punk” is: A prostitute/strumpet/harlot. When I think about my life, I definitely do not consider myself any of those. Yet for some reason, people are stereotypical. When the 70’s broke out, a type of music was given the name Punk-Rock. It was an anti-establishment rock movement, that included youthful aggression, ideologies, and a “do it yourself” attitude. This subculture of youth did not believe in our government, and instead, believe in more drugs and alcohol. To be completely honest, I think they are complete idiots. They believe in nothing, and I definitely believe in something. Although this word is not half as horrible as the other words people are called, it is still a word. Words are nothing if people do not give them meaning. Racial slurs may have nothing to do with the race you are, until they are slammed out in a derogatory sentence. We create these words, and without us they wouldn’t exist, they would have no meaning at all. So when someone calls a homosexual a fag, (That which causes weariness; hard work, toil, drudgery, fatigue) or even more humorous, a faggot, (A bundle of sticks, twigs, or small branches of trees bound together) technically it means nothing. It is just a word and the meaning of it has nothing to do with homosexuality, but these words are used very commonly throughout modern English as a derogatory term for the homosexual. But the issue here is not the homosexual, but the idea that people stereotype and judge without any knowledge. I do what I want to myself because I do not want to be in the norm. The idea that every person is born to learn to work to marry to reproduce and then to die, does not appeal to me. Of course I know that to succeed I have to do this, I just want to do this in my own way. I want to be control of my life and I want to make the best out of it. By me showing this, people look at me and think, “Man that kid is a punk.” If this were the definition of a punk I would be a punk. I want nothing to do with a punk. Drugs and anarchy are two major beliefs of those following the punk music and gangs that idolize the bands; and I believe in neither. To believe in these two things, I probably wouldn’t be typing on a computer and I probably would not be in college. By me writing this paper, I am participating in the system. I do not care what people think of me. I do stretch my ears because I can. We are given a body, and for some reason piercing, along with tattoos, are thought of as ruining it. I think that these are just more opportunities to become a little more unique and different, and express what you truly want to express. Tattoos and piercing, though, are associated with the a different stereotype, and are not considered to be found on the normal hard working male individual, who is fulfilling what society expects. I don’t think that the big problem with society today is that use of the words, but the judgment made on individuals without question. African Americans races are profiled by the police, along with many other races. Everyone is denied freedoms just by characteristics; whether the person is male or female, black or white, homosexual or handicapped. People turn down other people in a heart beat without reason. I understand that I may be turned down a job because I have wholes in my ears, but to me, being who I want to be is more important. I would rather not work for a business that does not let me do that. I would rather keep my image and try somewhere else. If that was the definition of a punk, then I would be one. I do not judge people by first glace. I learn before I do that. If you do judge people without any knowledge, then sooner or later it will come back to bite you. Realizing that there are people out there different from you is very important. Realizing that you need to grow out of the minority and become what you want is very important. Many people though, think that they have to lead a working life. You can find the most brilliant artist that is forced to work construction, because you can barely live off the income you art produces. You are forced to do something hate as a living, instead of something you love. You walk down the streets and see a person forced to unemployment. Maybe this person is unemployed because the local grocery store that his/her father opened is shut down because of a Walmart triangle. It is sad to think that people can’t do what they truly want because everyone seeks what they think they should want, power and money. But when it’s all over, what do they have left? If thinking that life is too precious to waste doing what is now considered the norm, then I am a punk. The proper definition for a punk, though, is not close to this. Another definition of a punk is a punch. The adjective meaning of punk is rotten wood, or fungus, growing on wood, used in a dry state for tinder. As a verb, punk means to back out, to withdraw one’s support, or to quit. I am not a punk. Punk was adopted by bands that believed in the destruction of the type of living in present times, and try to promote and preach this through music. Punk-rockers are people that listen to this music and believe it. I am not a punk, and if you call me that I won’t take offense. Instead I will feel sorry for you and hope that you come to the realization being stereotypical is just a fad, and you are just trying to fit in like everyone else.