Once punk dudes pass the age of 30, their options become limited. A new generation comes up behind you and you start to feel more out of touch and less invincible than you once did. No longer do you feel the urge to fight the man because you look in the mirror and realize: you have become the man. So to fill the growing void in your life and kick against the creeping sense of irrelevance, you start seeking out new hobbies and interests. Here are your life options if you’re a punk dude passing the big 3-0.
Craft Beer Brewer
You turned your passion for wasting your life away on drinking into a career at a brewery where your beer belly is not “a health concern,” as your doctor described it, but an impressive resume. You have a big brown beard that always has a bit of foam on the moustache and you wear flannel shirts with the sleeves rolled up to let the Lucero tattoos poke out. Every January, you request Halloween weekend off so you can go to Fest. You have recommendations for a seasonal IPA if anyone’s interested.
Enamel Pin Collector
The enamel pin craze has hit you HARD. You will buy them from any band that sells them, even if you don’t really like the band that much. Your denim jacket has just, like, too many pins on it, but they’re great ice breakers at Emo Nite, which you go to every month and is in no way sad. You even started making your own pins and selling them on Etsy. They all feature that brand of nihilistic millennial irony that’s popular right now. One of them is a tombstone that says “RIP emotions” and another is the Grim Reaper saying “don’t @ me” and like, come to think of it, wow, this is worrisome. Are you OK??
Everyone else has moved on to Instagram and Snapchat, but god bless you, you’re hanging in there on the only social network that still lets you send Candy Crush invites, Facebook. You’re using the site for the reason Mark Zuckerberg intended: 500-word screeds about things that grind your gears. Riddled with typos, grammatical errors, and misinformation you heard second-hand, these status updates largely get posted into the void since most of your 287 friends have muted you. Your idea of keeping up with the punk scene is sharing every single Hard Times article and tagging the fellow dudes they apply to. Every meme you post is either all grainy from being reposted a gazillion times or is a horizontal image that you screenshotted vertically. You think this article is “poorly written” but cannot elaborate further.
You bought $2,000 worth of Bitcoin in 2014 and now you’ve got an account worth $361,000! Sure, you might have made more if you had gotten a “real” job, but work is for squares. Huh, it’s actually $212,000 now, weird. Yeah, in a few months you’ll probably have enough to buy a house and then you can stop living with four roommates and just chill in your own place. Whoop, $186,000. The trick is, you didn’t use Coinbase like a normie and get hit with all their transaction fees, you know h—ah jeez $34,200… $1,500… You now have $36.54 and have wasted your time.
A breakup hit you pretty hard so you decided to get in shape to boost your confidence. It was either CrossFit or indoor rock climbing and you’re afraid of heights so you found a friendly community at the local CrossFit. Now you get to throw barbells around in your Jane Doe shirt and feel very disciplined and give people high-fives after a good set of snatches. Suddenly putting on muscle after decades of drinking beer and watching wrestling on the couch has turned your body a weird, lumpy potato shape, though, but that’s okay because you’re feeling good! You track your WODs in your notebook and post videos of your PRs on Instagram with the hashtag #SquatAndDestroy. Your protein farts smell terrible.
Men’s Rights Activist
Your band got called out for some pretty misogynist lyrics and instead of doing some personal reflecting, you listened to Milo Yiannopoulos talk about how feminism is a cancer on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Now you’ve been fully red-pilled. You have “the haircut”/tan blazer combo and rattle off statistics about how 50 percent of domestic violence is woman-on-man, yet “we never hear about that.” To protect your job, you post memes under an anonymous alt account. Most of them are jokes making fun of rape culture or body-shaming feminist writers you hate. Eventually someone will out you and you’ll be terminated, which you’ll blame on the “persecution of those who don’t adhere to the fascist liberal hivemind.” You are currently leading a campaign to get Baked Alaska unbanned from Twitter.
You don’t get out to shows much these days because it’s hard for you to stay out past 10, but you still collect records, which are carefully alphabetized on your IKEA Kallax shelves. You order every release from Deathwish in every color variant. You live on your Discogs account, which has your entire collection cataloged and you have an Instagram account devoted to photos of your rarest seven-inches. You’re always on the lookout for old Level-Plane test pressings and an original copy of Explosions in the Sky’s How Strange, Innocence.
You’re on a Wednesday night pinball/skeeball league. As is tradition, your team name has some sort of “balls” pun in it. That’s about the extent of this lifestyle.
Barbershop Culture Enthusiast
Nothing like getting a nice trim for the weekend at a barbershop that also looks like a tattoo parlor. The place is called something like Handsome Sal’s or Gentleman Pete’s and has one of those old-school barbershop poles out front. The interior design scheme is a tasteful black and gold and they offer you a free PBR when you walk in. An old rockabilly dude works at the front desk. The guy who used to design your shirts when you were in a hardcore band painted the logo on the window, so that’s cool. You go there every two weeks like clockwork so your barber knows your usual—a high fade with a hard side part. You have a YouTube channel where you review various pomades.
You never had an interest in politics until Bernie Sanders got railroaded by the Democratic party in the 2016 election and it turned you into an overnight expert. Now you can’t even talk about the weather without bringing up Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Your favorite pastime is tearing down the new column by centrist Dems like Jonathan Chait or Joy Reid. You have some opinions on Hillary Clinton that would seem sexist coming from some MAGA chud but it’s okay because you’re a socialist! You donate $100 a month to Chapo Trap House’s Patreon. Let’s get organized for those primaries!
You’re just, like, that guy who always comes up on Tinder. You’ve got a dog in most of your photos to show off that you’re a sensitive guy and will definitely not send a woman 31 unanswered messages and ultimately call her ugly if she starts ghosting you. Your photos also casually show off your finger tattoos and you have no fewer than three Philly bands in your Spotify profile.
What’s up, folks, you’re a podcaster! You figured out what the world was sorely lacking in: white dudes talking about their opinions. You have one podcast where you review various snacks and another where you interview “interesting” people. Spending so much time in GarageBand might seem tiring for some, but Casper makes it really easy to find the right mattress for you on their website. Everything is completely customizable and the delivery and setup are included. Use the promo code SNACKSCAST for a discount. Again, SNACKSCAST, all caps.
You and your partner moved out to the 'burbs after having a kid because the three of you couldn’t fit in your 600-square-foot apartment in the cool part of the city. You named your son something very punk like Milo and have a different Misfits onesie for every day of the week. You take Milo and the dog to the park and bond with the other dads with hand tattoos. You have a lot of time to yourself since you had to leave your hip marketing job to be a stay-at-home dad while your partner goes to work, but you still pick up some consulting gigs that require you to go into the city once a month. The best five minutes of your week are spent waiting to catch the Amtrak home from the city and eating a Cinnabon by yourself. You tell no one about it.
Suspiciously Woke Ally
Your online presence is a tribute to your performative wokeness. You enjoy rewriting publications’ problematic headlines and telling them to “do better.” You have many movement-related hashtags in your bio. Your favorite phrases to comment on a woman’s status are “I’m sorry this happened to you,” “you’re so brave <3,” and “would you mind if I shared this status?” Literally no one will be surprised when it comes out that you’ve been creeping in the DMs all along and you have to take a self-imposed, punitive social media hiatus.
You got into punk during its mainstream explosion in the late 90s and now that you’ve gotten all the Warped Tour circle-pitting out of your system you can just go back to being a regular ol’ jock. You invite your boys over for UFC Pay-Per-Views and wear Tapout shorts to bed. You are constantly trying to casually play-box with people and it makes them really uncomfortable.
The artist life you had imagined for yourself didn’t turn out the way you wanted so you took an office job. But hey, at least it’s a “cool” office job. You get to not shave and wear a DROPDEAD shirt under a cardigan to the office. And yeah, maybe you could achieve more in life and start your own media venture if you really applied yourself, plus you wouldn’t have to deal with everyone’s tired jokes about VICE being “edgy,” but hey, having health insurance sure is nice.
Dan Ozzi is a pure and good boy to whom none of these categories apply. Follow him on Twitter.