Every so often, punk fashion becomes incredibly "cool" again — which can be sort of annoying for those of us who never thought it was uncool. Most recently, punk vets are pissed off about Kim Kardashian wearing a punk jacket with a couple of patches supporting bands that the general punk public are pretty sure she's never heard of. But we might be focusing our anger on the wrong thing.
Is Kim K really such a die-hard punk fan that bands like Kill Your Idols (the group featured on the most prominent patch) are in her musical repertoire? Frankly, who gives a f*ck?
Perhaps the only thing that I find annoying about Kardashian's punkish jacket is that it costs $11,000. I don't really care if she knows the difference between Gang Green and Gang of Four. But the hefty price — especially while many of us are budgeting to fix a cavity that we can't afford, giving over half our salaries to slumlords, or are too broke to afford justice — feels about as punk as a Donald Trump rally.
The thing is, it doesn't matter if celebs decide to make punk cool for the next year or two, no matter how much it irks your underground heart. Fashion trends are fleeting, and you better believe that as soon as that expensive denim jacket with a Rancid patch on it isn't cool anymore, it will be thrown in the trash faster than you can say "Ruby-So-Ho."
Moreover, the message of punk rock is the exact opposite of what the mainstream embraces. As Noisey's Kim Kelly puts it eloquently in defense of this particular celeb's punk jacket: "You want to be pissed off at people you don’t know? Be pissed off at the politicians who poisoned Flint, or the police officers murdering unarmed black people in cold blood, or the capitalist billionaire class strangling the people and working us to death while they jet off to Fiji. Direct your energy somewhere useful — that’s what punk is really about, isn’t it?"
Well put. Instead of getting angry at Kim or fearing the tainting of punk culture, remember it's unlikely a society created for the bourgeoisie to keep their absurd salaries while we fight to pay the premiums on a public(ish) healthcare system would ever fully embrace a punk state of mind. The chances that the mainstream will ever adopt an aspect of punk beyond the cool clothes are slim to none. Kim K, who as much as it pains me to say it, is probably not that big of a fascist to begin with.
Of course, if being mad at the system isn't as fulfilling as it used to be, you can be mad at the designer who made Kim K's jacket, because he seems to be a real piece of work. After Kelly first brought light to Kim K's new punk jacket, the designer, had a public meltdown on social media where he vowed to "rape and exploit and pillage" whatever he wants while we sit here and give him more attention. This strange rant was directed at Black Anvil, which is compiled of members of Kill Your Idols, and honestly, it just goes to prove the point: Kim K is merely a victim of a quirky designer (which I will not say his name as the attention seems to give him a dangerous high).
Are hard times coming our way? Probably not. It's doubtful that punk fashion will make its way to Wall Street and even more unlikely that the music and integrity will find its way there either.