SO YOU THINK YOU’RE PUNK…

…a response to the worst punk article to ever come out of Philly.

Philly isn’t punk.

That’s what an article recently published in the cities weekly paper would have you think anyway. In fact, I started calling friends just to make sure they were still punk after I read the article, because the way G.D. Hoffman sees it, it might as well be dead. If it’s not dead, it’s at least playing “tea party” with imaginary punk friends on repurposed china bought at a Punk Rock Flea Market (punk).

Let me explain.

The question of what is and isn’t punk is one of the most boring philosophy questions. It’s the shit that 10 year olds ask themselves when they see a 16 year old going through a street punk phase for the first time. If punk was a college course, this would be the introductory lesson that everyone one in class rolls their eyes about.

Except people like Hoffman, of course.

Hoffman doesn’t roll his eyes about it because he’s been too busy putting everyone in Philadelphia under a microscope and asking the black and white question, “punk or nah,” with the satisfactory answer always being, “no, but I am.” In the article, everything is sized up to some invisible punk bar that is unattainable; it’s not even desirable; from the continental congress (punk) to his bleached hair, tattoo-having, plant parent, and dog owner neighbor (not punk).

What would Fat Mike do?

G.D Hoffman, on how to deal with his new bleach haired not-punk neighbor

But you know what’s also not punk? Stalking and snooping around your neighbors belongings, finding out where they gets their groceries, what they read, and where they work. Most importantly of all, he even critized them for the TYPE of dogs they’ve taken into their home (not punk).

After ripping into this neighbor – who, no doubt, has all right to let their Pomeranian and chihuahua shit on this guys welcome mat – Hoffman moves on to list an array of things in relation to punkness: cars (not punk), iPhones (NOT PUNK, unless older than gen5 or cracked), flip phones (punk), smoking cigarettes (PUNK, with specifics to brands, this corporate shill), vaping (not punk), GPS (not punk), seltzer (not punk)… Oh, and having teeth? You guess it. Not punk.

decidedly not punk

G.D. Hoffman, philosophizing on iPhones

But you know what is punk? Philly’s organized sports scene. That’s right, Philly’s orange and green clad jocks are more punk than you. The horse-shit eating, grease-pole climbing meat heads are more punk than you will ever be. Tinder isn’t punk either, unless you’re only on it to make fun of people that match with you, so plan on dying thirsty and alone… if you’re a punk.

Throwing snowballs at Santa Claus is punk. Gritty is punk. The sports scene in Philly is ridiculously punk.

G.D. Hoffman, on being a jock

Hoffman must wake up every morning, look in the mirror, and say too himself, “I look too punk today.” He must have a hard time dressing himself with how punk he is. The focus of the article really shits on people for how they choose to present themselves to the world. Instead of seeing the vibrancy of fashion choices, Hoffman just sees people ‘outpunking’ him and takes it as a personal affront. Maybe when Hoffman was 10, he was bullied by some 16 year old going through their street punk phase. It must be a real chip on his shoulder.

His chip is so large, so heavy, that Hoffman watched the Wacko live at Denny’s video and decided that wasn’t punk either. Instead of seeing the crazy amount of kids at the gig in a FUCKING Denny’s (and all the kids turned away still slam dancing in the parking lot), he honed in and focused on the fact that people recorded the fucking phenomena. He says, “I don’t see punk as a spectator sport,” after claiming that Philly Fanatics are more punk than a group of kids that booked a show in a goddamn chain restaurant.

All these kids are posers

Punk is people. It does not rely on algorithms to tell you what to watch, what listen to, what to read, how to shop.

G.D. Hoffman, about to stick his foot in his mouth

Hoffman doesn’t like iPhones, GPS, algorithms, or YouTube, but he doesn’t shy from technology either. If he sees, “ask a punk,” on a flier he scoffs. Instead of finding the community aspect of the subculture, he writes, “that’s not me. Instead, I sniff around online.” To Hoffman, it’s not punk if you can’t google search the venue on your flip phone. So where do real punks go in Philly? Cousin Danny’s, of course.

 there are few places more punk in Philly or anywhere else than Cousin Danny’s.

G.D. Hoffman, being right for once in his life

At least Hoffman got something correct. Unfortunately, I doubt any punk shows there will be allowing him entry anytime soon.

If you honestly came to this article to hear what my hot take on what is “punk or not,” you came to the wrong person. Unlike G.D. Hoffman, I don’t have a strict set of rules in a punk guide book for you to navigate. I have an iPhone 7 with a cracked screen, wear combat boots, leather, and studs. I don’t smoke cigarettes, vape, or drink seltzer. I don’t go to Punk Rock Flea Markets, sometimes I buy food at Whole Foods, and have used Amazon. I post to Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. I don’t make the grade, to Hoffman, but then again, Hoffman doesn’t make the grade for me either.

…based on some of the people seen walking around our neighborhoods here, you might think there’s a portal at 48th and Baltimore connected to 1977 Manchester. Or maybe it’s at 4th and Bainbridge and connected to the East Village in 1983. Either way, looking at some of Philly’s punks is as if “The Decline of Western Civilization” skipped over the past 40 years. Were these people always punks? Most of them don’t look old enough to remember the high times.  

G.D. Hoffman, not fitting in

…because the one thing I do know that is decidedly not punk is telling other people they aren’t. That is some exclusionary bullshit and a shit way to see the world. Hoffman might feel like he’s the one being judged when he’s around 48th and Baltimore or 4th and Bainbridge, but maybe it’s because some out-of-touch old man is staring at them first. After wrapping up this shit-sandwich in some shit-wrapping paper, Hoffman tries to end this whole tirade on a positive note, quoting RuPaul, and saying, “pick the wardrobe that works for you. Everything is a costume. Just be yourself. That’s punk.”

Everything is a costume, Hoffman, and you’re dressed up like a goddamn clown.

Edit: Misgendering people isn’t punk, either. After releasing this article, local Philadelphians informed me that G.D. Hoffman was not only publicly rude to their neighbor, but he also chose to use incorect pronouns, as well. This article has been edited to use those appropriate for the individual.