Another year is coming to a close, and it's got me thinking again...
Friendship and its value has played a pretty important role in my understanfing of hardcore. It's something that I've thought about a lot, and still do. I've always been fascinated with the fact that hardcore is a universal code; a code of common values, integrity and brother(sister)hood. It's like you go to shows, you make friends, share common ideals and become part of a scene with people to count on. Not only for talking about cool music, but sharing the same values. Traditionally, these bonds of friendship are know to go even further and cross the boundaries of countries around this world. Over the years, these relationships we build get distilled and their meaning deepens. This is the real meaning of the Unity message in hardcore music. Us against the world.
People nowdays have slandered this message of Unity and have criticized it to the point that it doesn't really affect that many people any more. It isn't so cool to care anymore; a lot of people get active and do a lot of cool stuff in hardcore, but it's like everyone out for themselves. The early bands who preached about Unity are now are seen as cliched, naive and their message is viewed with a cynical eye. We criticize all these old values but at the same time we sorely miss something that the early bands truly had: the power of character to talk about something meaningful and constructive. Hardcore has gone through this identity crisis for sure, and of course it extends to the vegan and straight edge scenes. People are expert at what they do (their bands zines whatever) but they haven't got the ability to care about the person next to them.
I don't want to live in this world without friendship. I don't want to lose the real meaning of the hardcore (and vegan edge) lifestyle. I want to remember the things that brought me here and look back at this long way, my transformation, with respect towards me AND others and know that it was all worth it.
It's something I will not tire of repeating. Friendship is what it's all about. As a follower of the VSXE lifestyle, I have come to think that compassion and friendship are the values that I've taken from hardcore. Growing up as a city kid who was only out for himself, I learned about compassion through listening to hardcore bands (be it krishna-core, vegan sxe, just plain hc, whatever). I now see it as my duty to live with compassion and friendship but to also extend it towards the world. The hardcore scene is to limited and narrow to practice these values only within its context. Living vegan and straight edge is about being friendly and compassionate towards every one.
As far as new year's resolutions go, I'd only wish this for myself. To not lose sight of where I am, where I came from, where I want to go and always remember that friendship and compassion should always accompany me and guide me along the way.
Take care everyone and happy new year!
P.S. The pic I used is taken from xKindomx's blog, and pretty much sums up all I intend to pass on with this article... a girl and a guy sharing a real moment of friendship, on stage, through hardcore.