Where Pop Punk Love Went Wrong


When one realizes that one’s head has been screwed on backwards, and when one proceeds to unscrew said backwards head and attempt to re-screw it properly, and when one finds that one cannot unscrew the head which was screwed on backwards because it has been permanently fixed in the perceived wrong position and that therefore it must remain screwed on backwards, one must realize that there is no hope for the change which was at once thought possible as well as necessary.

However, because the head is screwed on backwards, the backwards becomes the new forwards, and the changes which must be made are now different changes than those anticipated before—ones to accommodate the new direction of orientation which one has fallen into as a wild animal into a pit-snare amidst the jungles of things beyond one’s control.

Pop punk tells about how bad the singers hate their cheating girlfriends, or how bad their ex’s broke their heart’s, and where their ex’s can go after they die. Woe is me, you broke my heart, screw you bitch, yadda yadda.

But their love is not mature; they harden their hearts to righteous indignation at wrongs suffered. They arrive at the altar of sacrifice and mistake their offering of a few defaced pennies for stacks and stacks of million dollar bills that still shimmer their birth-marked multicolored rustles.

Real love, true love, is humble. It does not return a slap to the face. When the girl of their songs, or anyone, spits in your face and screams with all the weight of a full-swing sledge hammer “I fucking hate you,” love does not fade from your heart. Your heart does not grow hard as stone and return the assault. You are not filled with righteous anger. You keep loving, feel the pain associated with the attack against you—whether the attack resonates solely from your own fears, which may not at all be viable in terms of argument, or from a viable source, which might be “viable” from some perspectives. For, if you feel the pain and harden your heart, you will cease the pain, but you will not have humility and true love. You will have anger and a hard heart.

Here is the mistake made about love: true love is not a joy ride through the universe where all things taste of the wonder of candy land, where Willie Wonka’s sweets factory siphons sugar into the air and tints the whole atmosphere of the earth with rose red hues. True love is the path of painting the roads red by your own blood-letting, of the painful sacrifices and not-withdrawn heart of soft, sensitive flesh that, although perhaps screaming with internal agony, does not retaliate, and then, finally, of the victory which is won in the end.

Love endures all things—even those things unmentionably painful. Love is no casual stroll through an upper-class neighborhood with excellent landscaping and extravagant perennial gardens. Love believes and hopes all against whatever tsunamis seek its destruction. It does not seek to serve self, but to give, even if the well is dried up and must be excavated deeper to find that precious water lurking in the earth’s stubborn sediment. Love hurts because it does not come to take but to give. It comes with an offering of pennies and humility, not with boasting and righteous indignation for wrongs suffered, whether perceived or literal.

If you love those only who love you, what credit is that to you?

Love loves because it loves.

Now, go back and rewrite all of your songs. There is still much to sing about, and instead of searching through endless swarms of potential lovers and failing to find any that suits your soul’s longings, your heart may lay claim to one on which you can practice all your lovingkindness to the perfection of patience and giving—that true love which is worth far more than a temporary prognosis of stomach butterflies and is stronger than any other force which makes itself mankind’s enemy.

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