Both The Decline of Western Civilization and José Muñoz’s essay offer a nuanced view of the punk subculture and what it meant to its participants.
The Decline manages to capture the bands and the L.A. scene in all their raw and gritty glory without being exploitative or sensationalist – the effect on the audience being, as some of you suggested in class, that punk is a dangerous, nihilistic, and somewhat deranged movement. On the other hand, however, Muñoz focusing not only on the same scene, but also on the same bands (especially The Germs), enriches this reading and acknowledges the ways in which this celebration of stupidity and togetherness announces an important political project.
Providing examples from/referring to both works, explain how (and if!) Muñoz’s piece has changed and informed your understanding of punk acquired through The Decline. Feel free to raise questions for which you don’t have an answer (yet), and to reinforce your argument with external primary sources (a punk song, a punk poem, any other punk cultural artefact).
Mix/Max Length: 500-1000.