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Why I tried to be a punk

Dear Cary,

First, I'd like to thank you for your column. I am continually surprised and delighted by your generosity. I have no doubt that your words help many of your readers, and I hope that you know this.

OK, here goes. I am writing this letter to you as a way to try to respond to your request to punk musicians who are "trying to make a life on the outskirts of mainstream society." Although I am not a punk musician (I am an artist), I believe many artists, intellectuals, queers and anti-establishment types of all stripes share a desire to create a different world for themselves, and, possibly, for everyone.

Some of us have had no choice BUT to do this. Inhabiting the margins is not always a place that one moves to intentionally or consciously. Many find themselves pushed there. Some names that the margin goes by are well known: the reservation, the ghetto, the prison cell, the other side of the tracks. These are some of the names that everyone knows about, but there are many others that are un-named or remain invisible. I know there are many out there whose very lifestyles bear witness to a struggle against the injustices of our society. But how does one battle weariness? How do I, in my exhaustion over my own daily struggle, continue to reach out to other groups and other individuals so as to join in the same cause?

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