Thankfully (from a parent’s point of view), Brandon didn’t wear his pants halfway down his backside, spike his hair, or dress as punk as some of his friends. I think because he packed groceries at the local supermarket he chose to reign it in a bit. You would think he didn’t need to care, but for whatever his reasons, he did.
Off duty, he often ran into people he knew from being at the market, and occasionally his employer or members of his employer’s family. Brandon was a smart guy, and because we are a small community within a larger metropolitan area, he knew his inner punk needed to be expressed differently – especially since his part-time job helped to make his car payment. “I don’t need to advertise my punkness. A real punk doesn’t need to show off…Its like a Karate man… the Karate man bleed on the inside. A real punk is punk on the inside.” –Mark Hoppus (Blink 182)
Towing an identity around as a teenage kid is – like, what we all do. For a lot of kids, an initial identity is not really who they are, but notably, most teenagers are not sure who they are. Did you? If you answered in the affirmative, then you are one of the lucky ones. Most kids find something simply relatable and often jump in with abandon.
It has that innate quality to bring people together. Mutual resonance – it is undeniable. Music, the great universal Unitetor. The heart of a Punk and the soul of a Rasta are brought under the same bodily roof when music enters the scene. Neither culture could be whole without its music, and they hit off of each other like reunited lovers.
The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, the Dead Kennedys, all date back to the 70’s. The punk scene is in it’s fifth decade. It plays scores, so to speak, that they have endured the test of time and still hold a place on the top 10 list of all time greats.
My son said he had the soul of a Rasta. I’ve wondered in his sixteen year old mind what that really meant to him. We never really discussed his core relationship with being a Rastafari and to be truthful, I wrote the whole thing off to a phase. But in Brandon’s honor, since his death, I have chosen to learn as much about the Rastafari movement as I can.
The religion of Rastafari was inspired around a modern day “Savior” in the physical form of Haile Selassie I. The initial inception of the religion was at the turn of the twentieth century, when a prophesy by Marcus Garvey announced that a new black king would reign in an African country.
In the 1930s, the Ethiopian Emperor was seen by many as the second coming of Christ. And even if Emperor Selassie was not recognized as the universal second coming, he was a savior in the eyes of the people of his country. Selassie knew that Ethiopia was richly endowed with an abundance of natural mineral springs. Using deep well drilling and water filtration to exploit the natural riches and drive them back into the welfare of the country was one of the Emperor’s greatest endeavors. He understood that water was the life-blood of his country.
Having the heart of a punk isn’t always easy. Brandon liked the idea that he could be his own man, even if it went against the norm – especially if it went against the norm. He experimented, like all teenagers with different personas, and I’m not sure he would have settled on the punk mentality if he had had a chance to grow into a man. Who’s to say? As a parent, I simply wanted him to know he had the space to be whatever expression he needed to be. Music is the great uniter, right? Here are a few of Brandon’s favorite artists and their latest releases:
3D Printed is not your average 3d product design company. This heavy metal group started getting attention back in 2011. Combining the fear of a collapsing economy fueled by the unrest of the many doomsday prophesies for the upcoming 2012, this group hit a chord. With a name that implies the duplication of more of the same in our future, their recordings hold true to the times. 3D Printed’s first album, To Hell With Hell, took it’s listeners into the depths of a dark reality.