Saturday, October 18, 2014

Straight Edge Day 2014

Straight Edge Day 2014
Is it a silly "holiday?" Yeah, duh. Though after 15 years, there is a sense of pride knowing I've maintained my path of resistance against our drug culture and stayed completely sober. Some people play in bands, some get into extreme sports- straight edge can be a fast track into all kinds of successes. People certainly aren't saying, "Went straight edge and it was all downhill from there!" But not everyone is "straight edging" their way into a livelihood. Myself for instance, it was just my healthy habit/outlook. It wasn't the reason I got into my career or ever something that could pay the bills. Not drinking or using drugs or smoking has kept life manageable and enjoyable amid a world of angry and depressed people looking for a way to zone out, yes. Let's celebrate that. But no bands ever wanted me to be their frontman (I don't blame them) nor did any clothing company ever ask me for a straight edge quote for their new run of Drug Free t-shirts.

Lifelong sobriety and abstinence (from drugs) is the only life I have ever known. This is a good life, for the record. A great life. All my mornings wide awake and exercising have gotten me a great physique that I've used to my advantage with the fitness contests.
Hangovers aren't exactly conducive to a winning attitude and the spirit needed to participate in insane workouts and achieve amazing results. Do you need to be straight edge to be fit? Obviously not. It certainly hasn't been a hindrance though. For me, it has also allowed me into the most exclusive events of my life. Wait, exclusive like VIP yacht cruises n' shit? Nah bro. Exclusive like hardcore shows at the Westcott Community Center or Lost Horizon, where: No, you don't have to have a ton of money to get in the door. No, you don't need a reserved seat in the VIP booth. But Yes, you do need to have listened to the band Path of Resistance and heard their lyrics.

"I refuse to bow to icons of addiction, I refuse to serve that lie. 
A lifetime spent in opposition, And that's the way I'll die."

You need to know that that flier you picked up and saw that Path of Resistance was reuniting for a show meant that you would see your straight edge brothers and sisters there. All of these comrades who really understood what this opposition meant, and wanted to be there next to you while you sang these lyrics with the band on stage. You need to know that Path of Resistance always closes their sets with Who Dares Wins and that these are some of final lyrics to the 1996 album that made it OK to be straight edge. The album that made Syracuse, New York the cornerstone of the straight edge movement. 

Exclusive is the definition of knowing you had to be at that show. Of knowing the other people who would be at that show. Of listening and believing in lyrics that probably 0.0001% of the entire human race can honestly get behind. Then once there in your black straight edge hoodie and X'd up hands, knowing you are home. Knowing the girl next to you is someone who also gets it...and is worth pursuing for the next decade, because you're both straight edge, and won't crumble under pressure. Straight edge found me that someone.
Who Dares Wins. 

Someone I wouldn't have found if I wasn't Straight Edge

You can catch me in my black hat, jumping on shoulders to sing along at 2:45. Path of Resistance "Who Dares Wins"

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