Over the past year I’ve watched my Facebook feed become a battle between left and right. There are people de-friending or insulting each other and there is an atmosphere that ranges from depressingly awful to just plain ugly. But as many of you probably sense, this is just the beginning. What to do in times of political uncertainty and rage? Easy – turn to skateboarding and add a dash of music – mostly punk rock! Then again, you can stop reading right now…and just watch an oddly satisfying video. The choice is yours. Ironically, it was my son who reignited my thoughts about music (specifically punk) and skateboarding and led to this post. Back in 1976/77, The Sex Pistols captured many skaters imaginations. I was 12 and going through what every pre-adolescent goes through. Punk intrigued me because four years earlier, I had left England for Canada. The music sounded unlike anything else that I heard before. I got into it and vividly recall most of my school friends wondering what the hell had gotten into me. A few years later, they all wound up with mohawks. For some, punk fit into skateboarding while there were many who hated what it stood for. Anarchy, chaos and three chord destruction just wasn’t something they wanted in skate culture. There was a battle and some would argue it continues to this day. I’ll save more thoughts on merging of skateboarding and punk rock for another post.No matter what side of the fence you’re on policically, it was an incredible experience to be the first generation to hear The Ramones, The Clash and literally dozens of other punk bands. Their music truly was dynamite in an era of “disco inferno” The genesis of this piece started with The Dead Kennedy’s song “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.” Say what you will about the DK’s, at least you knew where they stood. This song just turned 35 years old last month and given today’s climate of Alt Right (aka Neo Nazi), it is just the kind of fly to we need out there to mess with the ointment. There, I’ve done it. I’ve taken a stand: Nazi Punks, Fuck Off. You can’t make it any clearer. Is it right that skateboard mags into politics? There are some who will stay, “stick to skateboarding.” My answer is always why? Why shouldn’t a skate mag inspire people to think differently and explore new ideas. It’s not so much the act of skateboarding but where does the act of skateboarding take you? And if we have the freedom to choose (at least for now) doesn’t it make sense to take a stand against pure evil? If it wasn’t for skateboarding, it’s doubtful I would have gotten into punk. And if it wasn’t for punk, I am not sure where I’d be when it comes to questioning things. Sure, I see flaws in BOTH sides – like most of you do. What I have begun to discover is that some people’s brains are hardwired specifically to be more conservative and others are lean more liberal. This means things like policy and actual facts are over-ridden by unseen factors. Politics, it seems is no match for years of evolutionary biology If skateboarding has led you to this post and punk rock has kept you here, I urge you take a look at this video that will give you some insights into the moral roots of politics. Then again, if you’d rather watch Devo’s Freedom of Choice, featuring a bucketful of great skaters from the 70’s, go here. It’s your choice.