Punk Rock and the New Urbanism: Getting back to basics

By the early to mid 1970s, something was wrong with rock and roll.

It no longer fought the system. Worse than that, it had become the system. Bloated. Detached. Pretentious.

Performer and audience, once fused in a mutual quest to stick it to the man, now existed on separate planes –  an increasingly complacent generation sucked into the service of pomp and circumstance. And the shared experience of joyful rebellion? Replaced by pompous, weed-soaked, middle-earth mysticism.

Rock and roll needed to get back to basics. What country pioneer Harlan Howard characterized as “three chords and the truth.” Enter punk rock.

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Get Real or Get Rich: Lessons for an era of limited trust

It’s a great time to be really rich or really smart.

It’s never hurt, of course, to be able to tap into big bucks or big brains. It’s just that penalties for having access to neither are rising dramatically.

What got me to thinking in this direction was an exhaustive investigative report in last Sunday’s Washington Post. The headline: “Million-Dollar Wasteland: An ongoing investigation of how HUD has failed affordable housing.” In the Front Page days of journalism, this would fall under the category of “exposé.”

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