This blog* is called “The Past is Unwritten” for a couple reasons. First, it’s my chance to completely ripoff the legendary Joe Strummer. He liked to say that “the future is unwritten” (and put it on the wall of high schools like in the film Grosse Point Blank). The second reason for this title is that Strummer’s saying can also be applied to the past. Anybody who has ever taken a history course (or opened a history book), knows that ideas and opinions on “what actually happened” in history is very much open to debate and interpretation. Contrary to popular belief, the “what” and the “when” are rather less important than the “how” and the “why.” New information, and people’s changing perspectives as time goes by, can lead to a more nuanced understanding of the past (or it can just lead to historical revisionism).
The intention of this blog is to help with the whole “nuanced understanding” thing, in particular with regards to the American punk/underground/alternative/independent music scene, and its social/cultural/political implications. I’m writing a thesis for my American history MA on the subject, and since it’s a topic everyone knows something about and probably has an opinion on, I figured it would be a good idea to get a blog going. Then I can steal people’s ideas and get a university degree out of it. I mean properly cite people and their ideas and give them the recognition they deserve.