Repent, Sinner!

And your love of punk-pop may be forgiven

There is much bitterness within your soul, dear child. Give that pain to Jesus and allow your contrition to be your salvation. Besides, real punk bands have integrity.

Have you seen the Sex Pistols lately? They're playing Atlantic City casinos. Iggy Pop is doing duets with Sum 41. Black Flag's Henry Rollins has appeared in Charlie Sheen and Keanu Reeves movies. Rancid founder Tim Armstrong reportedly agreed to put the Transplants' "Diamonds and Guns" in an Herbal Essence commercial. There's your totally organic experience.

My sweet, conflicted lamb. The Pistols, the Clash and the Ramones aren't the only bands around. Have you ever heard of the Buzzcocks or the Circle Jerks? Punk rock catches the tail of the disenchanted and takes them for a ride on all of their own anger and energy and anxiety and uncertainty. Punk is subversive and dangerous. Punk-pop is suburban and harmless.

Okay, so punk-poppers aren't chewing glass and burning flags and tagging police cars. blink-182's "First Date" could still have as much impact as the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" while using more than five words and two chords. The Clash made biting political statements but also "Rock the Casbah."

Fair enough. You've confessed your guilt and aired your sins before God, and that's what matters. Consider the parable of the Prodigal Son. The Lord will welcome you home. Even if you have hopelessly shitty taste, Mr. Iscariot.

I appreciate your counsel, Padre. This has been very cathartic.

Indeed. Now may God give you pardon and peace. I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father (Iggy), the Son (Joey) and the Holy Spirit (Joe). As penance, say twelve Our Fathers and twelve Hail Marys -- and for chrissakes, listen to some Dead Kennedys.

Thank you, Father. I will.

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