As children grow up, and start to perceive how things are in the world, they may go through a time of questioning everything. Why do I have to listen to Mom and Dad? Why do I have to go to school? Why can’t I smoke or drink when I am 10 even though my uncle does it? As we get older, we might realize that our parents or teachers were right on many of those things we argued with, that they were for our own good, yet we may also find even more things that are wrong in how the world operates.

Why is democracy equated with freedom when it is a majority rule, and the minority does not get what they want? What if the majority is wrong, and the minority is right? Why do we allow governments to start wars for their expansionism and profit, killing innocents, when there is no need to? Why do we allow the destruction of our environment, for the profit of the few? After the counterculture scene of the 60’s, these and many other questions are some of the things that the punk music scene, in the 70’s, loudly and aggressively questioned.

But like the hippies, the punks lived within the system itself, if even on the fringe. No matter how hard a group tries to be separate from the system, which they may feel corrupt, unless they are living in the caves, mountains, or desert, and growing their own food, it is very hard to not be a part of the machine in some regard, that runs that which is called civilization, and the industrial revolution.

In this issue we take a brief glimpse at some of the artists that held true to the punk aesthetic, that is, those who were a voice for freedom, liberty, and rebellion. Hollywood and the movie industry itself began as a rebellious art form. At its first inception, it was viewed by society as lowbrow art, less astute than high minded painting or literature, and by many, it was even viewed as trash and sleaze. To some perhaps laughably, much of it today is of course just that. Yet as a whole, it is so much more. At its greatest, film lifts the spirit up, to new heights of being. The artists explored in this issue, be they poets, musicians, filmmakers, or journalists, do the same for many. They put themselves out there, on the line, with bravado, challenging, provoking, and pushing the edges of the norm.

Whether you agree with their messages or not, they and artists like them, have strengthened the foundation of our freedoms, shaken the foundations of complacency, and awoken many to the tough reality that things are not as good as they can or should be. They remind us that we must rise up and fight for what we believe in. We must never accept the status quo, and we must make our own reality, not suffer some one else’s. Here’s to creating your own reality. Here’s to freedom!

- Bruce Edwin, Editor
© The Hollywood Sentinel

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