Straight Edge [ stɻeɪt ɛdʒ ] ( English about 'sober advantage', literally 'straight edge'; also straightedge , more rarely str8 edge , abbreviated SE , SxE or sXe ) denotes a counter - or youth culture from the area of hardcore punk . Their followers are known as "Straight Edger", sometimes just "Edger". The movement owes its name to the song Straight Edge by the band Minor Threat , in which singer Ian MacKaye sings about his drug-free life. Here sits straight edge from the word straight to, straight 'and the US phrase to have to edge (an advantage have') together.
In essence, the understanding of Straight Edge was shaped by musicians on the hardcore punk scene in the United States in the early 1980s , when a young generation of punks began to reject drug use , which was an integral part of their scene at the time. Refraining from alcohol , tobacco and other drugs as well as frequently changing sexual partners is central to the straight edge idea . Some straight edgers also forego the consumption of caffeine and / or add vegetarianism or veganism to the straight edge . The symbol of the movement is an "X" painted on the back of the hand of minors in bars in Los Angeles . This label was designed to ensure that they were not served alcohol. It was adapted from the straight edge scene to express their voluntary renunciation of intoxicants.
The straight edge scene was shaped in the beginning by the musician Ian MacKaye in particular . He formed the teen punk band The Teen Idles in 1979 , which quickly gained popularity on the Washington scene . Ian MacKaye, bassist and main songwriter for the band, was a fan of 1970s macho rocker and gun collector Ted Nugent , with whom he shared a drug-free lifestyle. MacKaye's songs had titles such as I Drink Milk and Deadhead and propagated a life that was straight , i.e. 'sober', 'pure' - as opposed to fucked up , a way of life that was ruined by glue, cocaine and heroin like that of the past older punks on the Washington scene.
After the breakup of the Teen Idles, the two members MacKaye and Jeff Nelson founded Minor Threat , where MacKaye was active as a singer. With this band he wanted to propagate his idea of a drug-free life, which led to the creation of the song Straight Edge , which was included on the Minor Threat EP released in 1981 . In this text MacKaye describes his rejection of drugs and the self-destruction that goes with it. The chorus is I've got the straight edge (something like, 'I'm straight edge' or 'I have an advantage because I'm sober').
This text made a huge impact on the hardcore punk scene in no time. Many fans and punks adapted the idea. As a symbol, they painted an “X” on their hands. In some restaurants, the "X" marked minors who were not allowed to serve alcohol. The drug-free punks adopted this symbol as a symbol of their lifestyle. In Washington, the modification "XXX" was also created as an allusion to the three stars of the flag of the District of Columbia . The modification served, among other things, as a cover motif for the compilation Flex Your Head , which appeared in 1982 on MacKayes and Nelson's label Dischord Records .
The three-step formula ('three-step program'), an elementary part of the straight-edge movement, goes back to the song Out of Step , which Minor Threat released on the single In My Eyes in 1981 . The slogan was taken from the first lines of the song.
"(I) Don't smoke
"(I) don't smoke, don't
Under the influence of Minor Threat, other straight edge bands such as 7 Seconds from Reno , SSD and DYS from Boston and Uniform Choice from California were founded , which were among the early representatives of the movement and made Straight Edge popular in other states. MacKaye never saw himself as a leading figure in the straight-edge movement, but was proud that his attitude served as a model for many young people. He understood his lyrics as individual statements and less as a code of conduct . In the further argument within the straight edge movement, however, these statements were ignored by most of the supporters. In those early years of the straight edge movement, there were no hard and fast rules defining what ultimately constituted straight edge. Even the rejection of drugs was more diffuse than dogmatic - despite the militancy with which it was sometimes represented. For example, Minor Threat and SSD were two of the most important early straight-edge bands, although not all band members lived completely drug-free.
Expansion and stagnation (1981–1990)
A lively straight-edge scene developed in Boston with the Boston crew around bands such as SSD, DYS and Negative FX , which however had a reputation for being very violent. The documentary Boston Beatdown featured straight-edge followers patrolling the streets of Boston, beating up drug dealers. Bands like Slapshot , where former Negative FX member Jack Kelly later sang, were blamed for the violence. This was due to lines of text such as " Kill anyone with a beer in their hand " (Eng. 'Kill everyone with a beer in their hand'). Kelly later said that these statements were more of a self-irony or a joke. The image of the Boston scene had some influence on the straight edge scene. Many youngsters who were previously unaware of Straight Edge came into the scene because of the violent aspect. The Boston scene also had a great influence on the militancy of other scenes, especially that in New York City.
In the mid-1980s, the development of the hardcore and thus also the straight edge scene stagnated. Many bands broke up, like Negative Approach , or changed their music style, for example SSD towards metal . Violence at concerts in Washington made Minor Threat increasingly uncomfortable at concerts. Other bands from the immediate area followed MacKaye and his friends from the straight edge scene, such as The Faith . They broke with the scene they co-founded to create a less aggressive alternative with bands like Rites of Spring , Embrace , Gray Matter . This ushered in the beginning of the emocore .
The resulting gap in the scene was filled by new bands who, in particular, put their native New York on the straight-edge map and were classified as part of the New York Hardcore genre . The band Youth of Today , which was founded in 1985 and released one of the most influential albums of the movement with the album Break Down the Walls in 1987 , had a great influence . With bands like Warzone , Agnostic Front , Cro-Mags and Murphy's Law , the band had allies who helped them to gain a foothold in New York. These bands were not or only partially straight edge; Murphy's Law, for example, was known for using marijuana . It was through the influence of these bands that the Sunday Matinees in the CBGBs were made possible. This series of concerts, which always took place on Sunday afternoons, had developed over the years into a meeting place for the hardcore punk scene. It was only with the support of the original hardcore scene that spaces were created for straight-edge bands to perform. Youth of Today ensured that Straight Edge was spread in the New York City area and that the local scene was dominated by the straight edge idea within a year. Other straight edge bands from New York included Gorilla Biscuits , Bold and Judge . These soon became known as the “Youth Crew”, named after a song from the first Youth of Today EP.
Straight Edge had a more solid definition in this new generation of bands and fans. The core of this definition consisted of the rejection of all drugs, in some cases it was expanded to include a waiver of promiscuity or premarital intercourse with reference to the text of Out of Step . The vegetarianism also received a larger distribution, including by Youth of Today, which campaigned in lyrics and interviews for a meatless diet.
The "New School" (1989–2000)
In the 1990s, the straight edge movement spread around the world, with the biggest scenes emerging in Europe (particularly the Netherlands and Germany) and Oceania . Major left-wing extremist and anarchist scenes emerged in Israel and Latin America , while in South Africa there were isolated Christian straight-edge bands.
In the United States, on the other hand, the situation at the beginning of the 1990s was again marked by signs of disintegration: After the “Youth Crew” dominated the straight-edge scene until around 1989, many bands were once again frustrated by the increasing violence at concerts and felt themselves in uncomfortable with the straight edge scene. According to many representatives such as John Porcelly of Youth of Today and Judge, a new, up-and-coming generation showed little interest in the original ideals of the punk and hardcore scene. In their opinion, an increasing standardization had occurred. The originally aspired individuality has given way to a homogeneity that no longer differs from the original culture against which it once rebelled. That is why some representatives left the scene, including Mike Ferraro from Judge and Walter Schreifels . After the development of the straight edge largely stagnated between 1989 and 1991 and numerous other bands broke up, the scene differentiated in the 1990s. Around 1994 a new generation of bands developed, which was called "New School Hardcore". Important labels here were Victory Records and Revelation Records . The bands included Snapcase , Earth Crisis and Unbroken , among others . In addition, various splits from the original movement emerged:
The hardline movement was one of the dominant forms of the straight edge in the 1990s. With the Hardline Manifesto , published on the Vegan-Reich single Hardline in 1990, the movement found both its name and its definition. Hardline defined himself as the radical arm of the straight edge, who actively fights against everything that he considers to be unnatural. In addition to the things rejected on the basis of the principles of the straight edge, these include abortions , homosexuality and all violence against animals. Hardline saw itself as a movement that was ready to use violence at any time to achieve its goals.
Sean Muttaqi from Vegan Reich was her mouthpiece. He spread his views on the fanzine Vanguard and his record label Hardline Records. Other representatives of the Hardline movement were Raid and Earth Crisis (in the early years). The band One Life Crew from Cleveland should also be mentioned , whose lyrics were militant and sometimes xenophobic .
Hardline found a large number of followers, particularly in the USA and Great Britain . The Hardline's viewpoints were not shared by all straight-edge supporters, but at least initially tolerated. Over time, the number of real hardliners decreased, mainly because many straight edgers did not want to be associated with the negative and violent image of straight edge known from the media. The impact of hardline today can therefore be assessed as minor.
Krishnacore was created in the early 1990s, among other things by the bands Shelter and 108 and the label Equal Vision Records . The style of music tried to combine the ideals of straight edge with the religious foundations of the Krishna movement . He found many followers in the hardcore scene in the early 1990s. Krishna consciousness shares three central points with the straight-edge scene: renouncing meat, abstaining from sexuality and renouncing drugs. The Krishnacore thus expanded the straight-edge scene with a religious, spiritual component. A pure life and the renunciation of material goods also became important here. The movement was not restricted to the straight-edge scene, as bands such as Cro-Mags and Integrity also adopted elements of the Krishna belief. However, the Krishnacore never really caught on and the number of its followers remained small.
Vegan straight edge
The vegan and vegetarian part of the scene was founded in the late 1980s. However, the term Vegan Straight Edge originated in the 1990s and is mostly used as a music category. In the 1990s it was the "most important movement" within the straight edge. This direction includes bands whose lyrics relate to this aspect of straight-edge culture. Like Hardline, the Vegan Straight Edge is often considered militant. Ideologically it includes the “protection of innocent life”, which is not limited to animal rights and animal protection , but also rejects abortions. The sexual aspect also plays a role here, so a “strict monogamy ” is expected from parts of the scene . One of the most famous examples is the band Earth Crisis , which is considered one of the founding bands . Other fads were used in the vegan straight edge scene, such as piercings , longer hair and wide pants, which were less common in the rest of the straight edge scene. Musically, the Vegan Straight Edge opened up to Metal and is therefore often seen as the forerunner of Metalcore .
In addition, there were a number of bands that could not be assigned to any of these groups and redefined the musical style. In addition to hardcore punk, influences from the metal, grindcore and crust punk scenes appeared. Another trend towards the end of the 1990s were the straight-edge bands, often referred to as “posi-core”, who took a more satirical approach, for example the DC band Good Clean Fun .
In the 2000s, a number of bands saw commercial success for the first time in the history of the straight edge movement. For example, Strife , Throwdown and Earth Crisis played at Ozzfest , one of the biggest touring festivals. The independent label Victory Records also had success with the non-straight-edge bands Hatebreed and H₂O . This opened up Victory Records and Revelation Records for other styles of music. Both now stopped being pure straight edge labels. Other bands like Eighteen Visions , Poison the Well and Killswitch Engage signed with major labels . With increasing success, many bands loosened their relationship with the straight edge scene or left it entirely. This was accompanied by a commercialization of the movement, which some followers viewed critically.
The so-called queer edge scene, which combined homosexual forms of life with the straight edge, and that of the Grrrl Edge, which comes from the Riot Grrrl movement, set new accents in the underground . In recent years there has also been a youth crew revival, in which leading bands of the late 1980s, such as Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits and Bold, got together again and went on tour.
The lines of text “Don't smoke / Don't drink / Don't fuck” from Out of Step by Minor Threat are still considered the cornerstone of the straight edge ideology, but have been reinterpreted and expanded several times over the years. As basic constants, three rules can be laid down that apply to most straight-edge followers: Refraining from alcohol, refraining from other drugs and refraining from a promiscuous lifestyle. These points clearly differentiated Straight Edge from the punk and hardcore punk scenes of that time, but also from the other youth cultures. The use of drugs, especially alcohol, was one of the most common ways of rebellion at the time, especially for high school teenagers . The deliberate renunciation of these (due to the age restriction) forbidden but frequently used forms was seen as an affront by many contemporaries. This was also evident in the punk scene, where older punks in particular saw themselves being attacked and their authenticity injured.
A major controversy takes place in the straight-edge scene over the interpretation of the term drug. While initially only alcohol , nicotine and all other types of intoxicants were meant, the term was extended to caffeine by various followers . These strict definitions assume that there are many substances that affect human consciousness. They would harm people or make them dependent. The rejection of alcohol, nicotine and illegal drugs usually remains the common denominator and is the most common form of straight edge.
The line Don't fuck in Out of Step caused some discussion and misunderstanding within the movement. In several interviews MacKaye repeated his justification that he has nothing against sex, sex is a great thing, he just wanted to speak out against a mentality in which fast sex is more important than respect for the other person. The line provided for years of discussion, which gave rise to a number of interpretations, including monogamy , also in connection with (mostly Christian) marriage, and the complete renunciation of sex. However, many straight-edgers reject this point entirely and assume that sexuality has nothing to do with the original straight-edge idea.
Vegetarianism / veganism
“Meat eating, flesh eating, think about it
so callous to this crime we commit
always stuffing our face with no sympathy
what a selfish, hardened society so
just looking out for myself
when the price paid is the life of something else,
i won't participate ”
“Eat meat, eat meat, think about it
countless this crime is committed by us
everything we put in our mouths, without compassion
what a selfish, hardened society we are, so
do I just think of myself
when the price but another life is
I'll take part in it "
This extension of the straight edge idea was not shared by all parts of the scene. In the 1990s in particular, however, a vegetarian or vegan diet was understood as a fundamental principle of the straight edge. In Europe in particular, this form of nutrition is widespread in the straight edge scene and is an integral part of the straight edge for a majority of their relatives. The supporters of the straight-edge movement gave rise to a whole series of initiatives that took animal protection issues into account. Some supporters were also involved in the new animal welfare organization PETA or in the animal liberation movement Animal Liberation Front .
Followers of the scene
According to the majority opinion of the investigating researchers and authors, straight edge is not a distinct style of music. The basis for Straight Edge is the musical style of hardcore punk. This forms both the musical and the ideological basis for straight edge. Whether you have to listen to hardcore punk to be straight edge is a controversial issue in the scene. The vast majority of them assume that hardcore punk should be seen as a consecutive element of the movement. A smaller part “rejects such a limitation”. The musical direction of the straight edge movement changed over time. Today both melodycore and metalcore play a decisive role as a basis.
The music serves as an “introduction to the straight edge” and takes on an amplifier function. The bands “occupy a special position overall [...]. They address the fundamental values and attitudes, reflect major trends in content and provide the ideal framework. ”With the establishment of the Krishnacore, for example, part of the scene began to think in this direction. The same goes for vegetarianism. For example, after the song No More was released, "practically the entire scene became vegetarian," according to Ray Cappo.
When an individual counts as a straight edge is controversial in the scene. The timing differs both according to the interpretation of the basic principles and according to regional and national origin. Even local communities make differences in their interpretation of the straight edge. The American sociologist Ross Haenfler therefore divided straight edge into three aspects: essential, secondary and peripheral. He described the basic or minimum conditions that must be met as "essential". Here the rejection of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is predominant. “Secondary” aspects are “belonging to a local community, listening to hardcore music and attending appropriate concerts, rejecting promiscuity and including vegetarianism [or] veganism”. The acceptance of violence, religious beliefs in connection with straight edge and an expanded definition of drugs (for example, abstaining from caffeine) are named as “peripheral”.
In the self-image of the straight-edge scene, the English adjective positive has a decisive meaning. With a few exceptions, the Straight Edger perceive themselves positively as both individuals and subcultures. However, the English adjective in this context has a different dimension than the German equivalent. In addition to a positive attitude towards life, this also means the “questioning of and resistance to social norms”. It also includes “treating others with respect and dignity, acting individually and working to make the world a better place.” The expression of the positive attitude is a negotiation process and an individual act. Positive is also used in the Self-designation as positive youth (dt. 'Positive youth'), which was coined by Youth of Today.
Straight Edge is characterized as a lifelong identity. In English, the term lifetime commitment has become established. Most of the followers leave the scene after a few years; the conviction of being straight edge for a lifetime is part of the scene. This also has the purpose of forming a collective identity. Since the scene is actually a loose association of individuals, the lifelong basic attitude is a prerequisite for constituting a scene. There are a number of song lyrics and slogans that have leaving the straight edge scene as their content. This act is equated with treason. Analogies to the "knife in the back", in English to backstab , are often drawn. Anyone who loses the edge once will not get it back. In the opinion of a majority of the supporters, one violation is sufficient to no longer belong to the scene. Few followers are more moderate in their interpretation.
There is hardly any statistical information on the extent, spread and size of the straight edge movement. On the one hand, membership is difficult to collect, and on the other hand, membership in the scene often changes very quickly. It can be assumed that the vast majority of the followers of the scene are also part of the hardcore punk or punk scene. The number of followers in Germany is estimated at 11,600 to 17,400 people.
The sociocultural image has been studied primarily in the United States, where the straight-edge scene is predominantly “white”, male, and middle-class . In terms of ethnicity, it must be stated here that the criterion “white” comes from US studies and is not used in Germany in this sense. What is meant here and in the following is what is defined as “white people” in the US census system - according to Gabriel Kuhn , “in North America, Europe, Oceania and South Africa are almost exclusively “ white ” in the straight edge scene. defined people "active. This also applies to Latin America, where “white” is defined differently there. Most of the followers are between 13 and 25 years old; Most straight edgers leave the scene in their mid-twenties, although they usually do not give up the ideals of the straight edge, but rather the scene affiliation. So they continue to live the lifestyle and sometimes continue to listen to the music, but forego the display of the "X" and no longer visit the meeting places of the movement.
The Straight Edgers usually meet at concerts. This is the linchpin of the scene. As in hardcore punk, flat rooms without separation of audience and performance area are preferred, as there is often a close connection to the audience during such performances. There are no barriers in order to offer opportunities for stage diving and interaction between musicians and the audience. The stage can be raised slightly, but it should be accessible. Singalongs and dance forms of extreme musical styles such as pogo , slam dance and the circle pit are common. This should also be seen against the background of the community and should explicitly remove the hierarchy in the scene. Since this is hardly possible at many concert venues for safety reasons, youth centers are often preferred. Concerts also serve as advertising for other concerts and new record releases, as a marketplace for the specific goods of the subculture, i.e. sound carriers, clothing, fanzines and, in some cases, vegan food. Of course, concerts also serve as a mutual exchange of information about the scene.
With the Internet , the scene now also has other forms of communication. The exchange now also takes place via Internet Relay Chat , various Internet forums and homepages . The most famous sites here include Poisonfree.com and Straight-edge.net .
Media and participation opportunities
Not only the bands shaped the differentiation and definition of the scene. Fanzine culture is fundamental to the punk scene. Since there were hardly any reports on underground scenes in the established media , the punk scene created its own magazines, publishers were individual active members, and the fanzines were often limited to a few copies. The fanzines mostly contain interviews with bands, reviews of sound and video carriers and columns on various political topics. Fanzines of their own that are only related to straight edge were also published. The straight-edge scene was also reported in larger fanzines, for example in the United States in Maximumrocknroll , HeartattCK and Punk Planet , in Germany mainly in Ox-Fanzine and in the Trust .
Like the hardcore punk scene in general, the straight edge scene is also home to the DIY idea. As a listener you are not only a recipient, but also a co-creator of the scene. In addition to founding a band, the followers can find employment opportunities in organizing concerts, creating fanzines or leaflets , selling and producing sound carriers, but also in political activities (especially in the field of animal welfare).
Straight Edge is not seen as a political movement by its supporters. Nevertheless, the political attitude of its followers is more left-wing, especially due to the orientation of hardcore punk. There were explicit links to Marxism and communism , especially in the Netherlands and Belgium, through bands such as ManLiftingBanner and Nations on Fire . Also explicitly on the left was Refused , one of the most influential hardcore punk bands of the 1990s, which printed an anti-capitalist , straight-edge-oriented manifesto in the booklet on their landmark album The Shape of Punk to Come (1998) . There have also been attempts to interpret the straight-edge idea in an anti-fascist or anarchist way . However, these plans failed. There are also right-wing interpretations of the straight-edge idea, including in the hardline movement, which is partly racist , homophobic and misogynistic . As explicitly right-wing extremist who holds NS-hardcore scene.
Religion is not a significant element of the scene either. There were repeated attempts to influence the religious image of the movement, especially in the Hardline and Krishnacore, but no group was ultimately able to prevail. It is worth mentioning a Christian straight edge scene around the record companies Tooth & Nail Records and Facedown Records , which tried to reconcile certain straight edge practices with Christian belief, such as the tendency of the scene towards the idea of monogamy propagated in Christianity , but also self-cleaning by avoiding intoxicants. What was appealing to the Straight Edger here was that they could live out their convictions, which for many other peers were “uncool”, “within the framework of an accepted youth culture”.
A satanic interpretation of straight edge is also often mentioned in the literature , which, however, was often greatly exaggerated in view of a relatively small scene. The scene was headquartered in Cleveland , where portions of the scene gathered in the Process Church of the Final Judgment . This was often seen as a satanic organization, but besides Satan and Lucifer , YHWH was also counted among the three great gods and Jesus Christ was seen as their messenger. Some of the supporters published various leaflets and pamphlets under a self-proclaimed church (the Holy Terror Church of Final Judgment ) , which were sent and published via the Victory Megazine , its mail order business and various other fanzines. The scene was apocalyptic oriented and saw Straight Edge as a way of cleansing society before the end of the world . However, this interpretation stood against the positive thoughts of the rest of the movement and could never really prevail. The bands Integrity , Ringworm and Transcend should be mentioned as representatives here .
Relationship to the punk scene
Punk and hardcore punk are the starting scenes of the straight-edge movement, and in the beginning there was also strong contact with the skinhead scene. There was a strong connection between the three scenes until the mid-1980s, after which the relationship changed. The punk scene had a strong tendency towards addictive substances before. While this did not cause any problems worth mentioning at the beginning and only met with incomprehension among older punks, the scene now began to split. Concerts from straight edge bands rarely took place with punk bands, and straight edgers only attended a few punk concerts. At the same time, the following also changed. If you believe the scene-savvy Craig O'Hara, the "new bands and their fans [...] had become reactionary, conformist and macho". Even if this individual opinion from the late 1990s is not covered by the literature, this statement shows the broken relationship between the punk and straight-edge scene, which is also shared by other scene observers.
Relationship to violence
In the literature, violence is counted among the peripheral aspects of the straight edge movement. The hardline movement is used as the cause and declared as an outside position. Interviews with people who identify with the scene show a different picture. For example, Ian MacKaye reports in American Hardcore that he only went to New York City to provoke the local scene and get involved in brawls. There were also frequent arguments around hardcore punk and straight edge concerts. Street battles with the police were not uncommon. Many protagonists also report that the scene had become violent before the hardline movement emerged. Some of the conditioning factors can be found in the hard dance style, which is also held responsible for the fact that there are hardly any women in the scene. MacKaye also sees this as a media problem: The media attention that would be placed on the violence aspect, would attract young people to the scene, according to the motto: "That sounds cool, you beat people - I'll be there!" other followers are deterred and leave the scene. The tendency of individual supporters to violence surely reached its peak with the hardline movement and then flattened again. In the 1990s, a straight-edge gang was founded in Salt Lake City , which was listed in the US gang database and whose dispute with other gangs resulted in a death. The street gang Friends Stand United from Boston also became known, which hunted down “ white power skinheads ” and drug dealers. It is part of the documentary Boston Beatdown from the 1980s and a National Geographic documentary. In 2004, founder Elgin James released his own DVD with interviews, filmed brawls and clips from Death Before Dishonor , Blood for Blood and Ten Yard Fight .
Much of the scene criticizes and rejects both the violence from the hardline movement and the militant splinter groups. One speaks out "against violence and the idea that all other people have to live just like you." In addition, violence stands against the positive attitude towards life of most straight edgers.
When the faster, more aggressive hardcore punk developed in punk in the late 1970s and early 1980s, its mostly very young protagonists and followers were confronted with problems that resulted from their young age. On the one hand, they were not taken seriously by the older punks, and on the other hand, they were unable to attend many concerts, as the clubs and bars did not allow minors due to licensing regulations. At a concert by The Teen Idles in Los Angeles , the band members noticed a way to circumvent the age restriction: the bouncers painted a capital "X" on the back of the hand of minors as a sign for the bartender not to serve alcohol to these people. Back in Washington, the band managed to get pubs to adopt this practice there too and now to hold all-ages concerts, i.e. concerts where there was no age limit. The cover of the band's 1980 Minor Disturbance EP features two fists with an "X" on them that belong to Ian McKaye's brother Alec .
Over time, the symbol lost its original meaning and became a sign of the straight edge movement. It was also used by the elderly, who could legally purchase alcohol, as a sign of solidarity and the conscious renunciation of alcohol. A broad “X” developed as the basic shape, mostly drawn with a felt pen. "X-ing up" was used as slang for this.
Over the years the "X" has been developed in various forms and used in various interpretations. The crossed Richter hammers from the band Judge, the crossed hockey sticks from the band Slapshot and the variation of the DC flag are well known. It was also used as a symbol of the hardcore movement as such, in which every free space was used for a letter, for example as a symbol for New York Hardcore (NYHC).
The "X" was also used in various band names as the first and last component of the name. For example with xLooking Forwardx and xCrosscheckx . Sometimes this was also used (mostly humorous) in bands of other genres. The Grindcore band Anal Cunt has an X as a dot behind the letters A and C (AxCx). Several short forms for straight edge have become established: sXe, SxE, XXX or simply SE.
The "X" is often used as a T-shirt design. It is also worn as a tattoo , both discreetly hidden and (as with the original motif) on the back of the hand. The devotees often compare this display of the "X" with the symbolism of the crucifix in the Christian faith. Some straight-edgers, however, refuse to display and do without the symbolism.
Over the years, several other scene codes that are often used have developed. A typical phrase, for example, is True till Death (German: 'Treu bis zum Tod'), coined by the band Chain of Strength . The phrase is intended to represent the user's belief that they will always remain straight edge. Due to the many dropouts from the straight-edge scene, this phrase is also often converted to true till college , i.e. 'faithful to college ', the American school form after high school. At this point, the young person has reached the age at which he can legally purchase alcohol. Important proper names are brother hood (dt., Society ') and the female mold sisterhood (dt., Sisterhood').
Straight Edge was picked up by a small part of the political hip-hop scene. The scene is networked via the Internet. Among other things, two hip-hop compilations were created that were initiated by the website Veganstraightedge.org . But the scene doesn't have a big influence.
Followers of the straight-edge idea who do not take part in the scene are referred to as “Net-Edger”, “Self-Edger” or “Drug Free Kids”. They live the lifestyle but have no connection to the hardcore punk scene. "Net-Edge" here refers to the Internet, their most common form of communication, which is also chosen because they do not know any like-minded people in the area in which they live. While “Net-Edger” is a sociological term, the terms “Drug Free Kids” and “Self-Edger” originated in the scene itself. They serve as scene codes for followers of the basic principles of the straight edge who are not interested in the To display "X" and not actively participate in the scene. The latter term in particular is usually used negatively.
NS straight edge
A right-wing interpretation of the straight edge idea emerged in the course of a flow of right-wing extremist activists from the neo-Nazi and comradeship scene , which is known as Autonomous Nationalists . In this movement, right-wing extremists adopted a number of actually left-coded scene codes. Among other things, the actually left hatecore has been reinterpreted. With the spread of right-wing extremist hardcore ( Hatecore or NS-Hardcore ), the straight-edge idea also gained a foothold in this youth scene. The Daily Broken Dream group was a first representative in Germany. The best-known bands from Germany include Daily Broken Dream Anger Within and Fear Rains Down. Much of the scene can be found in Russia, other countries of the former Soviet Union and in the United States. Internationally, a network called Terror Edge has been founded. The right-wing extremist straight-edge scene is based on the idea of popular health and mixes concepts such as animal welfare with radical anti-Semitism . In Germany, the right-wing extremist Internet platform Media Pro Patria , which no longer exists, brought the first reports about the still young scene. The report was accompanied by bands from the Until the End Records program. Individual comradeships such as the Ruhr-Mitte Action Group also adopted the concept.
Both the religiously colored straight edge and the hardline movement have had multiple problems with homosexuality. But even apart from these extreme manifestations, parts of the straight-edge scene are homophobic. In opposition to this, the so-called “Queer Edge”, an approach that combined straight edge and homosexuality , emerged within the hardcore punk scene around 2000 . Descriptions by fans and bands often show a criticism of the drug use of queer culture, but also a criticism of the often macho behavior of the straight-edge scene. Queer Edge is part of the Queercore movement, which promotes a more open approach to sexuality.
The media controversy about straight edge in the United States mostly focused on the violent parts of the straight edge movement. Both television and magazines mostly reported on the hardline movement, claiming it was representative of the straight edge.
Reporting only became more positive at the turn of the millennium. German media in particular, such as Spiegel Online , the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , but also TV programs from ZDF , reported largely benevolently about the straight-edge scene.
The straight edge movement is themed in the US films The Edge of Quarrel from 2000 and American Hardcore from 2006, but they mostly deal with the hardcore punk movement in general. In 2008 National Geographic published Inside Straight Edge, a report on the straight edge scene. There, the positive part of the scene is contrasted with a movement negatively associated with violence in Salt Lake City and Reno (Nevada) . The film EDGE the Movie - Perspectives on a Drug Free Culture (2009 - Marc Pierschel / Michael Kirchner) explicitly deals with the history, motivation and interpretation of straight edge. In the American series Big Love , u. a. addresses the straight-edge movement in Utah.
Several books have been written on the subject of straight edge, including several interview volumes: All Ages. Reflections on Straight Edge (1997) by Beth Lahickey and Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics (2010) by Gabriel Kuhn deal exclusively with straight edge. American hardcore. A Tribal History by Steven Blush from 2001 deals with the hardcore scene in general and was the basis for the documentary of the same name.
Ross Haenfler ( Straight edge: Clean-living Youth, Hardcore Punk, and Social Change , 2006) and Robert T. Wood ( Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture , 2006) aimed for a scholarly discussion . In the German-speaking countries, Merle Mulder ( Straight Edge. Subculture, Ideology, Lifestyle?, 2009) initiated the scientific work .
The preoccupation with the straight-edge idea in mainstream culture is rather marginal. One of the few examples is the former wrestler CM Punk , who was active for the WWE and who goes by the name “Straight Edge Superstar” or “Straight Edge Messiah” (one of his distinctive sayings: “ Straight Edge means: I'm better than you . ”, In German: 'Straight Edge means: I'm better than you') was one of the top stars of the league. Phil Brooks, his real name, not only played a character, but transferred the straight-edge idea from his private life to the character CM Punk. He justified his openly represented position in interviews with his stepfather's alcoholism . As an active wrestler, he avoided prescription medication in the event of injuries, which can be interpreted as a reference to the extended straight-edge idea. This was in stark contrast to the fact that in wrestling addiction to steroids and painkillers was common; many professional wrestlers have died in the past from drug, alcohol and steroid abuse or the consequences thereof.
Literature on the subject
- Mark Andersen, Mark Jenkins: Dance of Days. Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital . New York 2003, ISBN 1-888451-44-0 .
- Steven Blush: American Hardcore. A tribal history . Los Angeles 2001, ISBN 0-922915-71-7 .
- Beth Lahickey: All Ages. Reflections on Straight Edge . Revelation Books, Huntington Beach 1997, ISBN 1-889703-00-1 .
- Ross Haenfler: Straight edge: Clean-living Youth, Hardcore Punk, and Social Change . New Brunswick, NJ 2006, ISBN 0-8135-3851-3 .
- Gabriel Kuhn : Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics . PM Press , 2010, ISBN 978-1-60486-051-1 .
- Robert T. Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . Syracuse University Press, New York 2006, ISBN 0-8156-3127-8 , pp. 99 f .
- Chris Wrenn (Ed.): Schism. New York Hardcore Fanzine . Boston 2005, ISBN 0-9765966-0-1 .
- Mark Andersen, Mark Jenkins: Punk, DC. Dance of Days. Washington Hardcore from Minor Threat to Bikini Kill . Mainz 2006, ISBN 978-3-931555-86-3 .
- Marc Calmbach: More Than Music: Insights into Hardcore Youth Culture . Transcript, 2007, ISBN 978-3-89942-704-2 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . Unrast Verlag, Münster 2010, ISBN 978-3-89771-108-2 .
- Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-933060-29-7 .
- Jörg Scheller : Exaggeration in the direction of purity . The straight-edge scene as the heir to cultural criticism. In: Elke Frietsch, Christina Herkommer (eds.): Ideale . Designs for a "better world" in the science, art and culture of the 20th century. Kulturverlag Kadmos, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86599-153-9 .
- poisonfree.com: "What is Straight Edge - Frequently Asked Questions"
- straightedge.com: “What is Straight Edge?” - Chronological outline with a large number of quoted lyrics
- tier-im-fokus.ch (tif): Vegan Straight Edge: Lifestyle or Ideology? - Detailed article with an interview with Gabriel Kuhn
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . Unrast Verlag, Münster 2010, ISBN 978-3-89771-108-2 , pp. 7th f .
- quoted from Complete Discography , Dischord Records , edition 2008.
- Record cover Flex Your Head , UK pressing on Alternative Tentacles , 1982.
- Record cover Flex Your Head , reprint on Dischord Records , 2010.
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 11 .
- Text imprint on Complete Discography , Dischord Records , 2008 edition
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 9 .
On Minor Threat see: Mark Andersen, Mark Jenkins: Dance of Days . S. 96 . For SSD see: Interview with Al Barille . In: Schism Fanzine . No.
8 , 1988 (no page number). Reprinted in: Chris Wrenn: Schism .
- from: Chant , Album: Back on the Map 1986.
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 15th f .
- Ian MacKaye in Beth Lahickey: All Ages. Reflections on Straight Edge . S. 137 ff .
- Jason Anderson: Break Down the Walls. Allmusic , accessed September 27, 2011 .
- American Hardcore , DVD, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2007.
- Beth Lahickey: All Ages. Reflections on Straight Edge . Revelation Books, Huntington Beach 1997, ISBN 1-889703-00-1 , pp. 137 ff .
- Beth Lahickey: All Ages. Reflections on Straight Edge . S. 93 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 16 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 28 f .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 20th f .
- Gabriel Kuhn : Timeline . In: Gabriel Kuhn (Ed.): Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics . PM Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-60486-051-1 , pp. 11 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 24-27 .
- Hardline Records at Discogs
- cf. Christian Kruse: Earth Crisis - a man of conviction . In: Metal Hammer . September 2011, p. 42 .
- Ross Haenfler: Straight Edge: Clean living youth, Hardcore Punk and Social Change . Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, ISBN 0-8135-3852-1 , pp. 90 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 27 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 22 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: "I'm Not the Flesh". Krishnacore and Straight Edge. AAP, March 2012, accessed April 27, 2014 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 54-58 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 2 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 23 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 24 .
- Ross Haenfler: Straight Edge: Clean living youth, Hardcore Punk and Social Change . ISBN 0-8135-3852-1 , pp. 17 .
- Ross Haenfler: Straight Edge: Clean living youth, Hardcore Punk and Social Change . S. 170 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 31 f .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . Syracuse University Press, New York 2006, ISBN 0-8156-3127-8 , pp. 99 f .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 18th f .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 19 .
- We're Not in This Alone , Caroline Records 1988.
- what is straight edge - frequently asked questions. (No longer available online.) Poisonfree.com, archived from the original on July 18, 2011 ; Retrieved September 5, 2011 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? S. 25 .
- Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? S. 10 .
- Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? S. 11 .
- "After the Youth of Today song 'No More' came out, practically the whole scene went vegetarian", quoted from Beth Lahickey: All Ages. Reflections on Straight Edge . Revelation Books, 1997, pp. 131 .
- quoted from Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-933060-29-7 , pp. 46 .
- Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? S. 45-46 .
- Translated from Ross Haenfler: Straight Edge: Clean living youth, Hardcore Punk and Social Change . Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, ISBN 0-8135-3852-1 , pp. 37 .
- Youth Crew on the 7 '' Can't Close my Eyes , Positive Force 1985.
- Ross Haenfler: Collective Identity in the Straight Edge Movement . In: The Sociological Quarterly . Vol. 45, No. 4 , 2004, p. 793 .
- Karin Felsch: DRUGFREE YOUTH - The importance of the youth culture Straight Edge for adolescents with a special focus on their positive potential for value development in the context of socialization theory . In: Jenaer Schriften zur Sozialwissenschaft, Volume 3 . Jena November 2009, p. 16 ( fh-jena.de [PDF]).
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 45 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 46 .
- Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? S. 24 .
- cf. also the concert descriptions in Mark Andersen, Mark Jenkins: Dance of Days. Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital . New York 2003, ISBN 1-888451-44-0 .
- Karin Felsch: DRUGFREE YOUTH - The importance of the youth culture Straight Edge for adolescents with a special focus on their positive potential for value development in the context of socialization theory . November 2009, p. 17 ( fh-jena.de [PDF]).
- Karin Felsch: DRUGFREE YOUTH - The importance of the youth culture Straight Edge for adolescents with a special focus on their positive potential for value development in the context of socialization theory . November 2009, p. 18 ( fh-jena.de [PDF]).
- Poisonfree.com. Retrieved September 7, 2011 .
- Straight-Edge.net. Retrieved September 7, 2011 .
- Ross Haenfler: Straight Edge: Clean living youth, Hardcore Punk and Social Change . S. 26 .
- Karin Felsch: DRUGFREE YOUTH - The importance of the youth culture Straight Edge for adolescents with a special focus on their positive potential for value development in the context of socialization theory . In: Jenaer Schriften zur Sozialwissenschaft, Volume 3 . Jena November 2009, p. 18 ( fh-jena.de [PDF]).
- Karin Felsch: DRUGFREE YOUTH - The importance of the youth culture Straight Edge for adolescents with a special focus on their positive potential for value development in the context of socialization theory . November 2009, p. 9 ( fh-jena.de [PDF]).
- biography. Laut.de , accessed on September 8, 2011 .
- cf. the article Xsaraquaelx: The Antifa Straight Edge . In: Gabriel Kuhn (Ed.): Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics . PM Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-60486-051-1 , pp. 154-159 .
- cf. the article Nick Riotfag: Towards a Less Fucked Up World: Sobriety and Anarchist Struggle . In: Gabriel Kuhn (Ed.): Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics . PM Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-60486-051-1 , pp. 176-192 .
- Maybaum quoted from Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? S. 42 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 37 .
- Bill Beckett: Preparing For the Fiery End: Process. The Harvard Crimson, April 27, 1971, accessed September 12, 2011 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 60-61 .
- Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-933060-29-7 , pp. 24 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 92-100 .
- quoted from Craig O'Hara: The Philosophy of Punk. The story of a cultural revolt . 3rd edition, last edited 1999. Ventil Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-930559-72-2 , p. 142 .
cf. also Andreas Richter: Anyone who says sXe must also
saysex . About straight edge and the missed opportunities . In: Testcard : Sex . No. 17 , 2008, ISBN 978-3-931555-16-0 , pp. 115-117 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 46 .
- Jamie L. Mullaney: Unity Admirable but Not Necessarily Heeded. Going Rates and Gender Boundaries in the Straight Edge Hardcore Music Scene . In: Gender and Society . Vol. 21, No. 3 , June 2007, p. 7 .
- “ That sounds cool, you punch people out - I'm in! ”Quoted from Ian MacKaye : Interview with Ian MacKaye (conducted by Gabriel Kuhn ) . In: Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics . PM Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-60486-051-1 , pp. 39 .
- Wilfried Breyvogel: An Introduction to Youth Cultures: Veganism and Tattoos . VS Verlag, 2005, ISBN 978-3-8100-3540-0 , pp. 132 .
- National Geographic : Inside Straight Edge. 2007. Online version: Youtube
- US Attorney's Office: Alleged Founder of Street Gang that Uses Violence to Control Hardcore Punk Rock Music Scene Arrested on Extortion Charge for Shaking Down $ 5,000 from Recording Artist for Protection. Federal Bureau of Investigation , July 14, 2009, accessed September 26, 2011 .
- Boston Beatdown Vol. 2 , DVD self- release , distributed by Cargo Records , 2004.
- Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? S. 37 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 115-116 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 113 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 118 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 113-114 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 44 .
- Salt Lake Tribune: Straight Edge: is it a Gang or a Brotherhood? Documented from straightedge.bbactif.com, January 31, 1998, accessed September 7, 2011 .
- Vegan Straight Edge Hip Hop. MySpace , accessed September 8, 2011 .
- Vegan Edge Hip Hop for every mc who opens cages ( Memento from December 18, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
- Merle Mulder: Straight Edge. Subculture, ideology, lifestyle? S. 42 ff .
- Editorial collective Balance the Books: Reactionary Rebels: "National Socialist Hardcore" and its structures in Germany . In: Trust . 138 (October / November), 2009.
- Jens Thomas: Drug-free and German with it. heise online , April 22, 2008, accessed on October 14, 2009 .
- Nick Riotfag: My Edge Is Anything But Straight: Towards a Radical Queer Critique of Intoxication Culture . In: Gabriel Kuhn (Ed.): Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics . PM Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-60486-051-1 , pp. 200-212 .
- Gabriel Kuhn: Lucas - “The Only Thing I'm Drunk on is Cock” . In: Gabriel Kuhn (Ed.): Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics . PM Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-60486-051-1 , pp. 213217 .
- Robert Wood: Straightedge Youth. Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture . S. 47 .
- Carola Padtberg: The toughest wimps in the world. Spiegel Online , August 9, 2006, accessed September 7, 2011 .
- abstinently entertaining . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . No. 184 , August 10, 2007, p. 7 ( faz.net ).
- Gabriel Kuhn: Straight Edge. History and politics of a movement . S. 31 .
- Profiles. WWE .com, accessed September 9, 2011 .
- The self-appointed saint. Spox.com, April 11, 2011, accessed September 13, 2011 .
- Eric Cohen: Wrestling's Dirty Secret. About.com Guide, accessed September 13, 2011 .