Ep. 63 Straight Edge (Shawn Kingrey & Tim Matthews)

Shawn Kingrey is well-known to Dissect listeners; extreme endurance athlete, punk rock warlord, and straight edge. Tim Matthews races bikes, listens to punk and hardcore, and also is and has been for years, straight edge, which is the topic of this episode. Straight Edge was born as a reaction to the excesses of punk culture: too many intoxicants, too much (pointless) violence, and too much promiscuity. The movement rapidly became political because its themes include vegetarianism or veganism, and animal rights, which can be highly politicized concepts. In the beginning, Straight Edge was seen as a means of rebellion by way of self-control: if you can control yourself you are more difficult to control. Later—speaking from personal experience—I saw the movement change and be used by its more self-righteous members as a means to control and influence others, especially non-participants, often resorting to violence to achieve that end. Happily, those members of the culture are few and mostly irrelevant to the sustainability of what is actually a very fine idea.

michael blevins