Eric & I met Craig at one of these events last year , after I picked up the flyer for that one at Heaven Street Records. Little did I know I’d be designing the flyer for THIS one!
Having been heavily involved with the punk scene in Boston, Craig is able to approach the subject of mental health from the angle of being made to feel like an outsider in a movement full of purported “outsiders”, something to which I and other attendees could certainly relate. Bandmates who encourage you to be “on” while you’re on stage and docile and controllable when you’re off. People who saw the whole punk thing as little more than a costume and a record collection, becoming disparaging when faced with an outcast who wasn’t likely to “clean up nicely” for more than brief spurts. On the other end of it, predatory types who used the notion of “punk RAWK we’re all non-conformists anything goes or you’re not REAL” to attempt to wreak havoc on one’s personal boundaries. (This is not meant to be a blanket condemnation of punk, by the way, just the behaviors I’ve described of individuals. Face it, there are assholes anywhere you look.)
Punks In Recovery also, while fighting for de-stigmatization of mental illness, is a welcome alternative to the “we can live lives just like you” (Whoever that designated Self may be) narrative you sometimes see in PSAs and such. Because I know for some of us, mental health status aside, we’re just not interested in consuming the same mass media, following the same life script etc. that our cultural designated consciousness serves up.
For more info on the Brooklyn event, here’s a Facebook page: