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Old 03.25.2008, 06:08 PM   #1
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Nat Geo goes 'Inside' Straight Edge sub-culture on April 9







 
08/01/2005 - Thurston Moore - PR Photos


By M&C Smallscreen Mar 25, 2008, 19:17 GMT



Unusual youth movements pop up each generation, but the pressures of being young today can be overwhelming. Eighty percent of high schoolers have tried alcohol; seventy percent have smoked cigarettes; and almost half have used some sort of illegal drug.
But there is one group taking a stand.
They call themselves Straight Edge and they are a movement built around three simple rules: don’t drink, don’t smoke and don’t do drugs.







 


In schools and neighborhoods around America, Straight Edge has become something more: a community, a way of life. But to some, it has also become a militant-styled menace.
On Wednesday, April 9, 2008, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, National Geographic Channel (NGC) goes "Inside Straight Edge" to examine this youth movement gone “clean.” But not all is as it seems, and some members of this movement are developing a dark reputation as a violent gang, capable of malicious beatings and even murder.
The "Hate Edge."
Narrated by Sonic Youth band member Thurston Moore, the documentary asks, Is Straight Edge a safe refuge or a militant subculture that feels justified in committing violence to disseminate its beliefs?







 


Like many young adults who seek countercultural experiences, members of the Hate Edge faction of the Straight Edge youth movement can often be seen brandishing tattoos, wearing spiked hair and enjoying hard-core punk music. But this is no ordinary community of rebels. This group identifies through its unique set of rules: no drinking, no smoking, no drugs and no premarital sex.
On the surface, it’s a positive ethos that would make any parent breathe a sigh of relief, right?
Not quite.
There is another side of Straight Edge: The militant minority that believes violence is justified in order to revolutionize the world. Notable episodes of violence started in Boston’s club scene, where members brutally attacked drug dealers.
Over time this militancy spread across the country to places like Reno, where members used brass knuckles in ambush beatings, or Salt Lake City, where a stabbing took the life of a 15-year-old boy. In at least one state, law enforcement now classifies the Hate Edge Straight Edge-rs as a certified gang.
Reno gang patrol officer Pat Salerno explains, “Straight Edge … is a great concept ... and the ideals are good, [but] you do have fanatics that take it too far. They engage in criminal activity like any other gang would, but they feel that they’re righteous and that’s where it becomes convoluted.”
As Straight Edge splinters into factions with opposing ideologies, its members are forced to navigate this uneven, unpredictable terrain. But Ross Haenfler, an expert on social movements and political sociology who considers himself a “posi” or positive Straight Edger, argues that Straight Edge will persist in spite of the current battle for its identity.
“It’s going to be a permanent fixture of youth culture. And that tension within Straight Edge between the positive and militant sides I think will always exist.”
In this eye-opening documentary, NGC gets to the core of both sides of Straight Edge. Hear firsthand accounts from youth who embrace a subculture free of drugs and alcohol, including those who beat up drunks and drug dealers in the name of Straight Edge.
What draws some teens, and even preteens, to embrace the movement?
For some it’s a reaction against parents with substance abuse problems; for others it’s a personal transformation from a troubled past. But for many, it’s simply a way to feel at home along the rocky roads of an otherwise alienating world.
Inside Straight Edge profiles candid accounts from Jeremy Nelson, an ex-Straight Edge member who is now a police officer on the gang beat; Ronen Morris, director of “Boston Beatdown,” a video that brought attention to the Straight Edge furor in Boston; and Annette Bilyeu, a parent caught between what seems like a good choice for her kid and the group’s increasingly disturbing reputation.
“Like any parent would, I like him not drinking, I like him not doing drugs,” says Bilyeu. “I worry about where Straight Edge may go. Will the gangsters take over? … Or will it become just a lifestyle without the fanaticism or the radicalism of their beliefs?”
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Old 03.25.2008, 06:17 PM   #2
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Is it just me, or does Thurston seem a very odd narrator for this?
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Old 03.25.2008, 06:40 PM   #3
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oh my god

i'm laughing so hard

sorry, straight-edgers. i respect your beliefs and your ability to stick to them, but i mean, i like a beer and a smoke here and there but i don't get a tattoo going "I LOVE PABST BLUE RIBBON" (although if someone out there has one, give me a ring).

i would give some sort of intelligent argument beyond "straight edge sucks", but right now i'm.. busy.
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Old 03.25.2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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What does Thurston have to do with straight edge? I was under the impression that he wasn't straight edge in the least back in the day, maybe he is now, I don't know.



 
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Old 03.25.2008, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead-Air
Is it just me, or does Thurston seem a very odd narrator for this?
Maybe he...? Nah, I can't think of a valid reason why they chose Thurston.

And jade, RIGHT ON!
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Old 03.25.2008, 07:00 PM   #6
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maybe it's to draw in the youth and get them sucked into a pointless label to "rebel" against the system and please their parents simultaneously.
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Old 03.25.2008, 07:07 PM   #7
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Well, now I HAVE to watch this crap...
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Old 03.25.2008, 07:15 PM   #8
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I've always wondered, what is Thurston/the band's stance on drugs, smoking etc? I know Thurston and Lee used to smoke from The Year Punk Broke, but did they ever take drugs back in the day? Anyone know?
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Old 03.25.2008, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This Is Not Here
I've always wondered, what is Thurston/the band's stance on drugs, smoking etc? I know Thurston and Lee used to smoke from The Year Punk Broke, but did they ever take drugs back in the day? Anyone know?

I think that "Providence" and this picture of Lee answers that question.


 
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Old 03.25.2008, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This Is Not Here
I've always wondered, what is Thurston/the band's stance on drugs, smoking etc? I know Thurston and Lee used to smoke from The Year Punk Broke, but did they ever take drugs back in the day? Anyone know?

"Providence" on DDN is a phone message from Mike Watt to Thurston about T losing his weed. In tour diaries from that era, Lee makes reference to doing coke. As a former Deadhead who wrote the lyrics to "Eric's Trip" we can be relatively certain Lee did his share of vitamin A too. As recently as 1995 tour diaries, Thurston was pretty up front about dope smoking. I think he likely slowed down as his daughter got older, at least in terms of being obvious.

So yeah, him narrating a Straight Edge documentary seems pretty damn odd.
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Old 03.25.2008, 07:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead-Air
"
So yeah, him narrating a Straight Edge documentary seems pretty damn odd.

It doesn't sound to me that this program is advocating straight edge, if it were than maybe Thurston would be a weird choice. It sounds more like a pure history of the movement without any bias.
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Old 03.25.2008, 07:54 PM   #12
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oh, it does exactly, but it sounds boring as hell.
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Old 03.25.2008, 07:55 PM   #13
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Haha, yeah.
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Old 03.25.2008, 08:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pantophobia


Eighty percent of high schoolers have tried alcohol;


I'm my God, no!



Quote:
Originally Posted by pantophobia
But there is one group taking a stand.





Phew!



This is stupid. I tried alcohol when I was 5, doesn't mean I was binge drinking.
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Old 03.25.2008, 08:30 PM   #15
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Cool, somebody bump this thread the day it's on so we don't forget to watch it.

But yeah, random.
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Old 03.25.2008, 09:54 PM   #16
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I wonder if any upcoming interviews with Thurston will ask him about it...

Wish I had cable...
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Old 03.25.2008, 11:06 PM   #17
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Too bad this isn't an episode of Gangland. No offense to National Geographic- their pictures and imagery is pretty, but their specials are pretty fucking boring. Discovery Channel, Discovery Times, Discovery Science, History Channel, and History International Channel are a million times better.
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Old 03.25.2008, 11:21 PM   #18
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Straight edge is stupid. I don't drink or smoke, but I never rule it out.
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Old 03.25.2008, 11:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Youth 37
What does Thurston have to do with straight edge? I wasn't under the impression that he wasn't straight edge in the least back in the day, maybe he is now, I don't know.


 

not unless he's given up booze in the past year. i bought him a maker's mark last year and he seemed to enjoy it.

also, he frequently signs things or goes by "thurstoned," so that should give
you a bit of insight into his feelings about using marijuana.
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Old 03.26.2008, 12:01 AM   #20
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as for lee, i remember that at some point in the book "i dreamed of noise," there's a section where he talks about how he used drugs quite a bit in college.
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