“It is not so much a matter of technique as of spirit.”
—John Holt, How Children Learn
This index card the cartoonist Gary Panter posted to his Instagram reminded me of something the bassist Mike Watt said:
Maybe you gotta understand what punk meant to us. With the Minutemen, punk was not a style of music. It was the state of your mind. We thought the style of music was up to each band. For us punk meant if you find yourself not fitting in a certain kind of world, you try to create your own.
Many think of punk as a style or a category or a thing, but it’s much more interesting if you think of it as a process, a way of doing things, a disposition, a spirit. (This is probably true of all movements.)
If you think of punk as a spirit, not a style, you can learn a lot more from it, you’re more open to other influences, and you’re more free, which is what it’s about.
Further reading: Our Band Could Be Your Life.