Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – Know The Enemy

December 22, 2010

ChristmasChristmas time always makes me think of Communists. No this has nothing to do with Santa Claus wearing a red suit and the oppressed working class elves stuck in the gulag that his Saint Nick’s North Pole work shop. I actually kind of enjoy going Christmas shopping and watching "Its a Wonderful Life" 27 times -I'm not gonna rail about the commercialization of the day especially not after consuming a certain coffee chains egg nog latte. I was born in 1975 which means I grew up in the 80’s which means I remember the cold war and being afraid of the Russians and Communism being a four letter word -well for a lot of people it still is, but that's beside the point. Besides growing up in constant fear of Soviet domination I also grew up being a bit of a history geek, ok a lot of a history geek. So every year for Christmas in addition to asking for the usual skateboards, Transformers and Nintendos, I also asked for books. Books about military history and fighter planes of the world. I knew the top speed of F-15s, what kind of missiles were on a Mig 23 and how the call signs for Russian missile submarines. Oh yeah I was ready to take on the Russkies and knew how to beat them. To me Rocky IV and Red Dawn were instructional films on how to to stop the evil empire. At age 11 my political ideology was fully realized and my destiny was cast. I was going to join the Air Force and keep the world safe for democracy, no doubt about it. The followers of Stalin and Lenin weren’t going to parachute onto my high school football field.

Well a couple of funny things happened on the way to me becoming Captain America, crusher of Communist. First of all the Soviet Union collapsed by the time I got to high school so my services would no longer be required by the mighty American war machine to help stop the Reds. This would turn out to work in my favor as my fear of heights and poor math skills would have probably kept me from being a fighter pilot anyway. Also I later realized that people in the military have to follow lots of orders, wake up super early and run a lot -so even if  communism hadn’t collapsed the Air Force would have to do without my services. Then there was the time my brother and me were going into the Depeche Mode concert at dodger stadium, the security guard looked at our t-shirts and told us not to start any trouble at the show...

As we all have learned the cold war was nothing more than hot air and overblown propaganda by both sides so what the hell is the point of my half baked holiday history lesson and when the hell am I going to quote Strummer, Rollins or Ness like I usually do. Over time a couple of things have become abundantly clear to me. As we grow older we learn more about ourselves and we start to realize some of the things we thought to be iron clad truths are nothing more than the products of posturing, distortion and fear mongering. The views of the world we have as fifth grade Commie hating history geeks are not the ones we have as 16 year old Punks or 35 year old dads but they do have a lot to do with how we get to where we are at. Suffice it to say those who knew the camo wearing military history book toting kid wouldn’t recognize The Clash loving, Woody Guthrie quoting left leaning adult, but they’re both equal parts of who I am. Oh yeah about those t-shirts mine was the KROQ revolutionize your ears with the Mao like picture and my brother’s had A hammer and sickle and Russian writing -he’d bought it in Berlin a couple of years earlier. IF YOU CANT BEAT EM JOIN EM. MERRY XMAS.


-Daniel N-

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