Monday, September 27, 2010

Soapy Punk

Once upon a time, there was a girl who, at a young age, discovered that being herself really mattered.  It mattered to her.  And if it didn't matter to anyone else, then fuck them.  There are no rules that say because I am into punk rock that I can't watch a soap opera.  There are no rules that say because I'm 44 years old I can't have purple hair.  I do my thing.  My thing is just that, MY thing.  I don't give a rat's ass who doesn't like it. 

So what came first, the soap or the punk?   It was the soap, but not by much.  I started watching All My Children in 1979.  My roots in punk go back to 1980.  The funny thing is, the way I started each of them is so very different.  I started watching AMC because "all my friends were doing it."  I got into punk all on my own.  I discovered it myself, I learned about it myself, I made new friends because of it.  Those friends who were all watching AMC and turned me on to it, gone.

AMC took a back burner many many times in my life.  This goes back to the days before every household had DVR's or even VCR's.  So when I was in school, I missed it.  I never missed a new album I wanted though.  Yes album, vinyl.  I'm old, deal with it.  I do.  Badly sometimes, but I do.  So AMC became a show I watched on vacation or on a holiday.  Nothing more.  And when I was 21 and moved out of my parents house, it was years before I saw more than one show here or there if I was home sick from work or something.  But I always went back.  I can't really explain it other than it's probably part of my addictive personality. 

Punk rock never went away.  It was never put on the back burner.  It was never disregarded or forgotten.  It was always within reach.  It was there for me in my darkest hours.  It was there for me in my happiest of times.  It was there always.  And it still is.  It will always be a huge part of me.

Back in 1991, when I first got on the Internet, I looked up All My Children to see if I could catch up on what was happening in Pine Valley, like I would look up a old friend.  It was then that I struck up a conversation with the owner of an AMC site and before long he had asked me to be a contributor.  He encouraged me to write what I thought about the show when I watched it, no matter if it was good or bad.  It became a weekly review/column from a very snarky (who me?) perspective and I'm kind of proud to say, it was really quite popular.  But then the man tried to change who I was and that did not then nor does it now, fly with me.  I left and went on to start my own AMC site.  By now I had a following.  I have achieved some creepy and bizarre level of fame.  And I kind of get off on it.  I went to some AMC events through the years, and people always knew who I was.  I was the punk soap chick.  I had blue hair.  I had pink hair.   I had red hair.  I had purple hair.  I had a different color hair for every event.  Was it calculated?  Not really.  It was just me being me and doing my thing. 

Because of the AMC site, I've been stalked.  I've been hounded.  I've been hated.  I've been loved.  I've been proposed to several times.  I've had people ask for my autograph.  I've been recognized in places I never thought I'd ever be recognized.  I've been cruelly and miserably hurt by people.  I've met many many of the stars of the show.  I've been sent incredible gifts by grateful fans.  I've had some insanely good and insanely bad experiences.   And I've made some amazingly good friends who, in any other circumstance I never would have met. 

I've already written about how punk rock saved me.  And it did.  Because of punk rock I've been loved and hated.  I've been harassed.  I've had my car vandalized.  I've gone to 100's of concerts.  I've heard the best music in the world, up close.  I've heard some really bad music up close too.  I've made the most incredible friends that remain my friends 30 years later.  Because of punk rock, I've lived.

If I had to chose between these two crazy lives I lead, which would I chose?  It's no contest.  Music is infinitely more important to me. And if I gave up the AMC site today, the friends I made through it would still be my friends.  No matter who you are, your friends are the people who are there for you and care about you through thick and through thin.  They wouldn't care if I can no longer give them a scoop about who Erica Kane's next husband was going to be. 

In the end though, I'm always me.  I can't be anyone else.  If someone doesn't like it, that's their problem, not mine.  I'm just a woman who loves her punk rock and makes an escape to Pine Valley for about 42 minutes a day. 

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