In Justin Pearson's memoir, From the Graveyard of the arousal Industry, he recounts the events that occured from his early years of adolesence to the latter years of aduthood of his unforgiving and candid life, set in the late 1970s "Punk" rock scene. Through pure determination and perserverance, Pearson is able to successfully see through his aspiration to become a musician. From the Graveyard of the Arousal Industry offers a valuable insight about what culture is, how it differs from ideology and how we interact with it in our lives while implicitly subverting the conventional vision of straightedge culture.
One of the implications of Pearson’s
In his novel Straight Edge, Ross Haenfler advocates that straightedge culture is centralized around the idea(s) of radical activism, such as abstinance from intoxicants and narcotics, vegetarianism, and safe sexual practice if one so chooses not to remain pure, stating "Straight edgers make a lifetime commitment to positive, clean living" (Haenfler 40). He goes on to emphasize that members of the "Straightedge community" hold true to their values while encouraging others to follow similar paths along the way. Furthermore, Haenfler insists, "Resisting social standards and expectations allow them [Straight edgers] to follow their own, more meaningful, path in life, towads greater self-actualization." (Haenfler 47). Though I concede that many of these values described by Haenfler contribute toward the "true identity" of straightedge culture, I still insist that Pearson's memoir aims to prove that one can be "straightedge" without possessing all of, or any, of the values advocated by Haenfler. More than this, in his memoir Pearson is critical towards those who embody Haenfler's conventional vision of straightedge culture, referring to them as "Cliche" (Pearson 12). I will show this by examining how Pearson records his own experience as a punk rocker, and some of the underlying impliations of the events in his life.
One of the more influental turning points in Pearson's...