Listen, Don’t Follow: Doctor Strange’s Third Column

Hey friends, Dr. Strange here. I know, I know you’re saying, “Dr. Strange who? I thought that was a cheesy comic book character.” Well, it is, but I am not. Since this is the third I’ve written a column, I think I should give you a quick history on who and what I am. I’m forty years old (that actually hurts to type that!).

Wait a minute, I need to take a Geritol and a nap before I can go on.

Okay, that’s better. Like I said, I’m forty years old and have been into punk rock since I was fifteen. The first band I ever saw was The Dickies at The Whisky. It was a life-altering experience, believe me. We’ll save that story for another time, but let me just say it involves a midget. No, I’m not kidding!

Anyway, back to me. I own a label, mailorder, and record store specializing in rare and out-of-print punk records as well as CDs, bondage pants, and creepers. I’m married (eight years now) to the best wife (and college professor) in the world, Crystal. We have one kid named Abbey. She has four legs and looks a lot like a yellow lab. Oh, and I love pizza and watching Stargate SG-1. That’s me in a nutshell.

And now I find myself staring at this keyboard to fulfill a promise I made to write a column. To tell you the truth, I have no idea what to say. I’m not even sure why I was asked. I mean, I’m flattered, of course, but what makes my opinion anymore valid than yours? Why is it that I’m writing this and not you? And more importantly, why are you even reading this? (Or are you?) I can honestly say I’ve never read more than one or two sentences of any column in any fanzine in my entire life. I really don’t care what other people have to say. Don’t get me wrong; I respect people’s opinions and think it’s great they have a forum to express it. It’s just that I can see the adverse affects it can and does have on some.

Don’t forget guys, I own a record store. That means I see and talk to a lot of people on a daily basis, many of whom do read other people’s columns and articles and take to heart the words and writings of these so called punk rock “icons.” And, unfortunately, they (the reader) are just repeating others words without thought, conviction, or a clue just because “so and so” said it and if he said it, then god damn it, I’m going to think it! By the way, yes, I know it’s hypocritical for me to expect you to read my words and take them to heart. Shut up and listen! You can make an exception this one time…

My point is this: yes, listen to others but don’t follow. Make up your own mind, or don’t, as long as it’s your choice. Being “punk rock” has very little to do with a “look” or even the music, for that matter. Those things are totally secondary. It has to do with your beliefs, integrity, thinking for yourself, and having the guts to stand alone when others turn their heads. Actually, that not only has something to do with being a punk, it has a lot to do with being a good human being.

Well, that’s enough of my rambling this time. Maybe next time I’ll write about the time I crapped myself. (It just happened five minutes ago… seriously). Or the time I was at the record store and got nothing done because the fucking phone rang all day long. Oh wait, that was just today and tomorrow and the next day.

But for now I’m going to eat some pizza and watch Stargate SG-1!

Any comments? E-mail me, I promise to write back [email protected]