For some reason I find this funny as hell: dueling websites from lefty and righty punks, fighting for the souls of the punky masses:
- Pierced and tattooed rockers are in for a mosh-pit civics lesson this year. Nearly 200 bands are lining up to lambaste President Bush and try to register a half-million voters through the Punk Voter coalition.
These bands say they can harness votes from the average liberal-leaning but disenfranchised punk-rock fan with a combination of politically charged lyrics and constant reminders about civic duty in a time of war.
"If you don't find yourself in the voting booth you may find yourself in combat boots in the desert," said Justin Sane, guitarist and singer for Anti-Flag, one of Punk Voter's most vocal members.
The bands are drumming their message home by inviting liberal groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America to their concerts. A Web site offers election news and commentaries from former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, Jay Bentley from Bad Religion and Jim Lindberg from Pennywise.
Punk Voter's roots stretch to the 2000 elections, when NOFX bass player Fat Mike suffered from insomnia after the Florida recount, where Bush defeated Al Gore by just 537 votes to win the presidency. He began calling colleagues in the music industry and soon launched a group with the dual purpose of motivating punk fans and unseating Bush in 2004.
....But Fat Mike's approach rankles some fans. Nick Rizzuto, a 22-year-old publicist for a New York radio station, has been a punk fan for a decade and a conservative since the 2000 elections. His Web site offers an alternative on the right, featuring commentaries from punk stars, like former Misfits singer Michale Graves, and its own take on the upcoming elections.
"I always thought that conservatives were underrepresented," Rizzuto said, "not only in punk circles, but in music in general."
Rizzuto said he has received dozens of supportive e-mails from other punk fans who have felt out of place at concerts and in conversations with friends.