Tuesday, January 10, 2006

fake ass punk gangs

So apparently, there are exponentialy more official punk crews than there were when I left high school five years ago. At the turn of the century there were only two big crews (although I'm sure that a number of northwest side fringe groups will argue that distinction): the 77s and the CMS kids. CMS stands for Chicago Mafia Skins. Ben Stupid told me years ago that he was there when the idea for CMS was born. It was in a church basement in Evanston, where the Mushuganas or someone was playing, and in between bands some skinhead kid was asking, "Wouldn't it be cool if we had a gang? We could call it, like, the Chicago Mafia Skinheads or something."

Soon after, sharpied CMS tags started appearing on lamposts, windows and bathroom walls on Belmont. I don't know if this is really how it happened or not, but it seems about right. The CMS kids weren't Nazi skinheads (anyone remember being able to use the term Bonehead?), but a fair amount of them were racist. They weren't Trads either, though they uniformly dressed the part. Pretty much, they were thugs. They got drunk and fucked people up in groups.

The 77s were pretty much the same thing, only back in the day they dressed like English punk rockers did back in 77. Crass and Pistols. Stretch pants, spikes, blah blah blah.

In 2000, I only remember seeing pockets of 77 kids now and again, spunging on the street. The CMS kids (and Chicago skinhead numbers in general were dwindling)

Well, apparently, they're back, and they aren't primarily 16-year olds anymore, and they're calling themselves gangs. Somehow, whenever my friend Karlye has a party, the 77s take it over. Last week she had a couch thrown off her balcony, the time before she got punched in the face, and the time before that a whole bunch of little things got fucked up or stolen. Somehow, she has yet to figure out who keeps inviting them. Somehow, in 7 years of regularly throwing parties with over a hundred people in attendance in various parts of the city, I've never had a problem with them.

I think I figured it out: I have a lot of black and hispanic friends. This could be a specious argument (i.e. I've never seen a tiger by a BP station, therefore tigers must be afraid of Venezuelan crude oil) but I just don't see these fuckers when there are a fair amount of blacks or hispanics around. This brings up the first point, on why these guys can't be real gangs.

1) Gangs can't be afraid of people based on their skin color. Sure, a gang can be racist, but they can't be pussies.

Howsabout another?

2) Real gangbangers have either much better or much worse weapons than switchblades, especially polished, ivory-handled, engraved switchblades. Use more lead pipes and mack-10s.

The third point, came out of a session with one of my tuttees. We were arguing about the punk scene in the better Chicagoland area, and the 77 kids.

"They're like a real, punk rock gang," he tells me.
"No they aren't," I (masterfully) countered.
"Yes they are, they really fucked this one guy up I know badly."
"Okay, lets talk about real gangs. Shit that's organized. I don't know if there are still Vice Lords around but lets say that I'm a Vice Lord and you're a Vice Lord."
"I'm not gonna go and fuck you up...because I'm drunk or BORED, because that would cause ripples throughout the organization."
"Oh, yeah. I guess you're right."

So he agreed with me, or wanted me to shut up. Either way I won. So if these punk crews aren't gangs, then what are they?


That's right, run of the mill oafs. Trade white hats and Aeropostale for back patches and liberty spikes and whaddya got? A frat boy who couldn't make it through high school.

I'm gonna make my point in a way that's fun for me, but a bit of a reach for you. Are you ready?

There's this sketch comedy show that hasn't been on in years. Upright Citizens Brigade. It's awesome. It should be on all day. That and the State. Well, in its first season, there's an episode based around the Greek Fraternity System. Throughout the night, dudes trae high fives and yell, "Chumbawumba, man!" "You know it, Chumbawumba."

Okay, so the show was made in 1998; usually they avoid dated references but this one was apropos. If you don't remember, Tumbawumba were a group of anarchists who reached unexpected heights of one hit wonderdom, when they're song about drinking with the boys and "pissing the night away" became an omnipresent hit. The song was on every station. It was kinda rocky, kinda dancey, hell when one of the guys was talking it could've even passed for hip hop. It was the song that would have people yelling at parties, and it completely ruined Chumbawumba's carreer (which is fine since they kinda lost their integrity by signing to a major after bashing it for so long, and kind of a shame because no one's going to care to listen to the cool albums they did with The Ex or Negativland)

Anyway, I'm at Karlye's house, and I'm pretty sure that everybody there that I don't know (and some of the people I do) are all douchebags or teenagers. I step in off the back porch where a bunch of kids were having an outdoor singalong, into the kitchen where there's a flank of 77 kids by the window.

One of them slaps the other ones hand and goes, "GG Allin."
The other one responds in kind, "Fuckin GG-fuckin-Allin, man!"
And they do this for, I swear, five fucking minutes, and each time, GG Allin's name is funnier than the last. Weird. I saw this once before, again with 77s, different kids but again in Logan Square, and the word was "bukakke."

So there you have it. Problem solved. These wannabe punk rock gangbangers are all just frat boys. Now, how is it we take care of frat boys again? Outside of not going to their keggers, of course.


Elliot said...

You've hit the nail on the head. I was at a party 2 nights ago and I was randomly picked for a 77 beat down.

I was surrounded and they tried to get me on the ground, but I'm big and stayed up. My girlfriend, who was in another room at the party, said the words "FIGHT" spreaded, and more 77's from other rooms ran in to partake in the beating. I took many hits to the head but I covered my face well. I'm left 2 days later with a swollen cut on my forehead, a large bruise on my back where they tried to hit me to the ground, a bump on the back of my skull, and my right eye is pussy and red.

While they may not be "fraternity members", they certainly aren't gangbangers. The 77's is a fashion club meant to gentrify the pathetic punk scene in Chicago. Fuck them all.

James said...

Thats bullshit gangs don't have to have mack 10s. Gangs don't have to really have any weapons to be a gang. I think you watch to much movies. But what are punk gangs anyways?

stevie said...

ok so what the fuck ya know punk wasn't supposed to be about gangs or any boulshit like that. punk rock is a freedom of expression and about the music. If you ask me those kids are fuckin posers and have nothing better to do. fuck them real punks stick together it's called unity. fuck gangs and shit like that. i dont know what punk rock turned into but for the kids who undertsand me stick to your roots and dont be in a "punk rock faggot gang"

thornscrew said...

Elliot and writer of this blog, I am sorry you had an encounter with these nutted up douchebags. They are true pussys and I like to think they do not represent my scene in anyway shape or form. They are fucking fashionista idiots who think its ok to hit girls and pee on them and beat up random people and thats not what punk rock is about. If you'd like to solve your 77 problem, I can help you. Email me.

christof666 said...

FUCK ALL "PUNK ROCK" GANGS. I reside in the west suburbs of Chi-town. and I've gotten word of all types of similar kids that name themselves after their fucking area code and yeah just basicly get drunk and listen to shitty GG allin and like just fight people. a couple year back i said & i quote! "i don't really get the whole GG Allin thing, he's just kinda a drunk gross asshole with a tiny mothafuckin cock that hits women" next thing i know P-rock asshole and his friends wanna fuck my shit up! It's like if i start selling nickle bags to assholes on the block and start calling myself fuckin Scarface or some shit. All the fucks in the 77 do is pick which character from the movie Suburbia (1984) they are gona dress up as. Meathead loser fucks that inadvertently piss on an cool(ish)counter culture they strive for! They LOVE to alienate themselves (which i can realate to lol) but then act like every asshole that makes me want to buy a gun and just GO NUTS! (jk i'm not planning on buying a gun and "going nuts) basicly what i'm saying is everyone in the 77's should fucking off themselves. THAT would be totally Punk.

Zach Medearis said...

I've been seeing these turds at shows since the mid 90's. I think they should change their patches on their jackets to say "RoboCop punks."

Thats all they are is silly ass punks from an old 80's action movie. Lame.

JayWilliams said...

I could not have described this rag tag group of chad's any better than you already have. They need everybody's attention all the time, and they seem to want to achieve it through racist/bigot/homophobic violence at every chance they get. They need to represent this "so called" of their's around a real gang and see how tough they really are...

Oh wait... They would never dream of doing that because every one of their white, suburban kid heads would be smashed on curbs for even pretending to be a real gang. That is why this semi-parasite of society will gradually disappear from existence because they mean nothing to the world an never will.

Just remember that behind every hipster who claims 77's is some self conscience white boy from the suburbs who got made fun of in high school for being a nerd.

This group of children need to be simultaneously humiliated and destroyed in the same motion.