Punk Rock and Mindful Hope

Mark McConville reflects on the importance of punk rock in uncertain times, and its power to mentally uplift us.

Written by Mark McConville. Cover photo by Cold Front Photography.

Punk rock can save us from the mundanity of life. It can aid us in silencing the demons at large who thrust their voices in our heads.

They say punk is a lifestyle, one which only some can endure. That’s not true, as punk is a universal genre of music and culture, instilled in the framework of this breaking planet. To be truthful, punk is needed more than ever in these unprecedented times where animosity is overthrowing human affection. People are changing, they’re frightened, which is understandable, but love has been undermined by stupidity and panic.

Punk rock isn’t a cure, nor is it a foundation to lay problems upon. What it does is create collaborations amongst musicians and writers, even in virtual terms. It also has the charm to build friendships and conversations.  

My momentum throughout this unparalleled time has taken a severe hit, but punk rock is always there as a meaningful anchor to pull me up to the summit of my dreams. Writing about punk is therapeutic. Some may think it’s weird that a raucous genre can calm and healing. It can be and it has aided me through torrential thought processes and residual hopelessness. I am a depressive soul, carrying burdens and pulling down the curtains over my problems, but punk releases me from the shackles of internal hatred of myself.

Punk doesn’t care about freaks and newcomers. It has big enough hands to fit everyone. We as people are introverts or extroverts in this broken world, but that doesn’t blemish punk rock, as there’s room for outgoing people and people who are more enclosed. This is the beauty of unconventionality and oddness, as we are all different and see the world differently. You don’t need a passport to enter punk’s ever-growing family.

Mindfulness is talked about substantially more now than it has ever been. Music and mindfulness go hand in hand. Lyrics are key to helping people through torrid times and hardships. Reading lyrics help us interlock with musicians through their words and phrases, through their anecdotes and lines of encouragement. Even solemn poetry can help us feel better in ourselves. Some may find punk too hard and fast, too loud and full bloodied, but there are plenty of slower songs to help us rest our heavy heads.

I know music isn’t a cure for the ever expanding woes that we face, especially in these times of unrest. Ongoing news reports scare us, and it’s hard to dream. When all this lifts, when the world enters normality and our hearts fall back into a steady beat, we can dream again. Live music is an important part of the music industry and many musicians and bands have felt financial repercussions of the lockdown. It’s enormously sad that this has occurred. Gigs and concerts support us through adversities and mental difficulties. People go to gigs for comfort, for the social aspect, for support, for the loud unapologetic sounds. People need live music, so when it arrives back, we all need to rejoice.

Life is full of curveballs. Instances after instances take place. Sometimes we feel broken-hearted by it all. Dreams fade and hearts break, hopelessness enters the fray. Energy becomes dispossessed by needless worries, and dreaming big isn’t working. We need love more than ever, we need to abandon any animosity and deliver comfort to those who need it.

Punk has systematically paved the way for honour and devotion, so let’s place our fists up in the air, and holler for a movement that was created decades ago.

Written by Mark McConville.

Enjoy more of our COVID-19 lockdown musings over here.

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