Punk Commons

The iSummit has attracted former filmmakers, television producers, lawyers, IT specialists, remix artists and amongst the many more vocations declared here, we even had a “I was once a punk rocker” in our midst. They showed us photos of themselves in dreadlocks just to prove it. A few hours later they declared, “as a punk rocker…”!


I wonder what it is that motivates some people to discard then adopt their heritage? The punk movement is one that I could not dive in and out of as required. Although we don’t have the raw urgency displayed in the 1970’s, the vigorous denial of that which imprints homogeneity the world over is as alive today as it was when Johnny Rotten busted out with “I am an Anti-Christ, I am an Anarchist”.

Punk grew into a movement that stood against… well, just about everything! The punk ethos, in my experience of it, was to debunk the motivations behind just about everything. It was by no means a strategic movement, it was more or less a catalyst for change… for many many many people… it still lives whether one subscribes to the Situationist punk discourse or that of Sid Vicious.

Whether one was a punk rocker, a punk singer, a punk author or a drunk punk with no kidneys, I don’t think one should pull out one’s involvement with it as needed… Honestly, some of the more vigorous users of Creative Commons are extremely punk in their attitude, as someone said to me yesterday, “the Creative Commons community is so much more radical than its founders”.

Some of the more extreme artists I know don’t give a toss for copyright and even less for Creative Commons. They take from the media that is thrust into their worlds and regurgitate it back into the public domain… not the Internet, not in galleries, but on the walls of houses, shops, factories and bridges. That’s totally punk and they don’t declare it on t-shirts, in their workshops, on the street and at conferences.

Don’t opt in nor opt out of your heritage and certainly don’t license it. Embrace and live it!

3 thoughts on “Punk Commons”

  1. depends…punk libertarianiam may be ok for them, but just imagine if we applied the same rules to the whole of society? the thing about equity is that it belongs to everyone, not just one group be they punks or millionaires. punk can also be right wing, and it is amazing how many punks now thrive on high salaries in ICT. Punks in suits, punks in BMWS, punks running Telcos.

    and any movement that claims to stand against everything can only ever fail simply because it can never know what everything looks like. punk was an historical moment. it belongs to the british working class of the 1970s. it was real, but it isn’t anymore. let it die.

  2. it’s dead already… but the movement went global. how could it not… and derivatives of it grew elsewhere and it was different there.

    we are the sum of many parts and not all of them reside in gondwanaland.

  3. gondwanaland is where it all started. and ‘the sum of all parts’ just means the same as what i said ‘we are all in it together’. tell a punk to ‘do unto others’.

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