New Criticals

I didn’t just wake up last week, find my first grey hair and realize this either.  I thought mosh pits were cool from exactly the ages of 8 to 12.  During those years, I would talk about how moshing was “awesome,” while my parents hemmed and hawed about how I shouldn’t do such things because it was “dangerous” and I would “injure myself.”  And they were right: first chance I got, I waded about 3 feet into a dusty, pulsating circle pit full of hundreds of offensive-lineman-sized Rancid fans, almost got my ribcage caved in, and never gave a second thought to doing something so barbaric and inane ever again.

People, incapable of grasping truths that should be immediately accessible to your average tween, seem to be lagging on this one.  Actual DIY punk scenes have phased out such dipshittedness over the last decade or so in favor of increasingly awkward but fun dancing (to the extent that Long Island punks the Insurgent once declared: “In 2003, the mosh is dead”).  However, audiences at shows by punk-affiliated Pitchfork-crossover bands positively teem with mosh, particularly among a sizeable subset of dudes who: i.) have no discernible politics and background in punk rock, and ii.) probably think that wearing condoms is emasculating.  Anecdotal YouTube research into Trash Talk shows should be enough to confirm this.  I myself witnessed it on at least two occasions: at the last Pygmy Shrews gig, where I was too terrified to stand anywhere but the back, and a recent Roomrunner show at Shea Stadium, where some jag flung himself into me and I shoved my finger in his face while screaming “DO NOT IMPLICATE ME IN YOUR STUPID BULLSHIT!!!!” As deterrents go, that one’s pretty good.