Netpunk May 2003

I first started writing this column in February of 1996, after convincing Tim Yo that there was enough punk rock on the Internet to make it worth writing about.  Back in those days, the Net was new and exciting and there were not nearly as many websites that dealt with punk rock.  Search engines were hard to use, and there were not nearly as many bands with websites, email addresses, etc.

Well, the world has changed a lot in the last 7 years, and now just about everybody you talk to has access to email and most bands have websites.  There are great resources that tell you everything you want to know about punk rock but were afraid to ask.  Hell, even MRR has a site, which probably would have happened eventually, even if Tim were still at the helm (though it boggles my mind).

I've actually changed a lot to.  Back when I started Netpunk, I was playing in a band and my job was managing a forklift company (making no use whatsoever of my liberal arts college education).  Now, I work for a mom-and-pop Internet Service Provider (still making no use of my education), and am trying to find a band to play in, though not having a lotta luck.  In other words, I use the Net all day, every day, and it isn't nearly as new and exciting to me as it once was.

All of these factors have contributed to my decision to make this the last Netpunk column, at least written by yours truly.  I don't know whether the powers-that-be at MRR will continue with a column about the Net, but frankly I don't really believe there is a need anymore.

This, in my opinion, is a good thing.  I no longer need to champion the Net, or try to talk punks into seeing it as a tool to exploit, rather than some sort of evil capitalist tool (though it can be that too).  The telephone isn't punk either, but punks still use it to book tours.  Get it?

I was looking over my past columns this evening, and what amazes me is the stuff I was writing about in 1996 is still relevant today.  There are still challenges to what you can read, write, and buy on the Internet, and there are still privacy issues with what web sites you visit, who can track you, etc.

It is encouraging that these issues are still around, because it means that the fight hasn't been lost yet.  There are still all of the great online organizations that have (and will continue) to fight for your rights as a cyber citizen.  These include the Electronic Frontier Foundation (, the Center for Democracy and Technology ( and, of course, the ACLU (  These three organizations have done more for Internet freedom than just about anyone, and will hopefully continue to act as watchdogs as the Republifucks in power try to take more and more of our freedoms away.

Also still going strong is the International Punk List, though no longer hosted out of Finland like it was when it was started.  The punk list has been around since 1991, and is still going strong.  To subscribe, visit the punk list website at and follow the instructions in the FAQ section.  I'll be hanging there for another decade at least.

So, anyway, I'm outta here for the last time.  My email address, will continue to operate, and the Netpunk section at will remain.  Maybe I'll even start a Blog or something there, just to continue to put up anything new, cool, or exciting I find.  Thanks to everyone who ever sent me submissions or feedback.  See ya in the pit.