My first college course was English 100. Fortunately, I had the best teacher ever, who admitted that she bored easily of reading the same texts over and over and that college freshmen just hack the meanings anyway... so why not make it relevant? Her choice was Common Culture, which I will argue is the best English 100 text. Ever.
Tonight in the bath, I re-read a few of my favorite essays, one of which is "Punks in LA : It's Kiss or Kill" by Jon Lewis. If you're at all interested in the LA punk scene of the late 70's, this essay is very interesting. Pair it up with Penelope Spheeris' "Decline of Western Civilization" documentary [for good measure, watch the whole trilogy] and you should feel up to speed. And smack dab into the center of my childhood.
Two of the quotes that I underlined in the book :
"Punk surfaced in Los Angeles in the late seventies as a curious blend of anarchy and anomie - as one last desperate attempt for white, urban, lower middle class youths to dramatically express their distaste for a society that had long since expressed its disinterest in them... No youth movement before or since has laid so bare the desperation residing at the heart of the now failed urban American dream."
"It is just unfortunate that punk, as with all other youth movements, has been annexed into mainstream popular culture, and, as is so often the case, it has resurfaces as far less threatening and far less politically important to those too young or too rick or too suburban to really understand what the movement meant less than a decade past."