Play ethnicky jazz
To parade your snazz
On your five grand stereo
Braggin that you know
How the niggers feel cold
And the slums got so much soul

Well you'll work harder
With a gun in your back
For a bowl of rice a day
Slave for soldiers
Till you starve
Then your head is skewered on a stake

It's time to taste what you must fear . . .
It's a holiday in Cambodia

--Dead Kennedys, "Holiday in Cambodia,"
Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1979)

The punk and hardcore genres are inspired by a variety of non-literary aesthetic forms that became popular in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. These forms--punk rock, hardcore pornography and exploitation films, and graphically violent/sexual visual art (such as R. Crumb's work in Zap Comix)--inspired literary production that is thematically transgressive and often exists on the boundary between writing and other media.

Punk rock, with its intensely confrontational and deliberate "anti-music" sound, is also known for an affiliation with radical, neo-Marxist politics. The Dead Kennedys, along with lead singer Jello Biafra's label Alternative Tentacles, gave rise to a cultural fascination with "DiY" (Do-it-Yourself) art production. Shunning traditional corporate status, advertising, and market-oriented tours, bands like The Dead Kennedys preached anti-capitalism by trying to call attention to the ugliness of a commodified culture, and the beauty of authentically marginal taste preferences. The highly sophisticated freakishness of punk attire and standards of beauty are instanciations of this kind of taste preference: all notions of what is transgressive are turned on their heads and a seductive anti-standardization is achieved. Hardcore as an aesthetic (not the punk subgenre) takes punk taste a step further, leaving much of its politics behind and focusing largely on transgression a means of escape from the routinized, labor-intensive human life cycle in late capitalism.

Writing in/on punk and hardcore ranges from DiY 'zine literature to the hallucinatory s/m fantasies of Dennis Cooper and Kathy Acker, and from the politico-magical theory of Donna Harraway and Michael Taussig to the cultural analysis of punk historian Greil Marcus.





  • Queerpunk
    Also includes mailing list and back issues.

  • Pitslime
    A Punk zine which looks very "authentic."

  • Virus
    Another Punk zine.

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