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Straight-Edge: What It Is And What It Isn't

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460 words
Social Issues

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The term "straight-edge" means' a great deal to those who follow
the straight-edge lifestyle, although there are varying degrees of it.' The
basic philosophy behind it is that no alcohol, no illicit drugs, and no use
any substance for the specific purpose of altering mood or state of
consciousness.' There are also many straight-edge people who follow
vegetarianism or veganism, for the reason that they believe that meat
products are harmful to the body and cause self-indulgence, and/or they
believe in the freedom of life and liberty for all living creatures.
There has been much confusion among non straight-edge people about why
people are straight-edge, and what it really is. This is because straight-
edge means something different to each person who follows it; however,
there are some basic "rules" that every straight-edge person follows,
whether they are straight-edge or hard-line straight-edge.

Straight-edge is not something that has occurred just recently.' It
is commonly believed that it was started nearly two decades ago in the
1980-1983 era by the hardcore-punk band called Minor Threat.' The song
"Straight-Edge" written by Ian MacKaye, the band's singer, not only coined
the phrase, but it encompassed all of the philosophies that a straight-edge
person believes in.' There have been theories that an earlier punk band,
called the Teen Idols (which included Ian MacKaye and the drummer from
Minor Threat*), started the ideology of straight-edge, but the term was not
used until MacKaye wrote and published the song.' Minor Threat have since
disbanded, but hardcore fans everywhere still follow the words of the song.
(MacKaye later joined up with the punk band Fugazi and is tragically no
longer straight-edge.)

The symbol of straight-edge, the X, which is commonly seen on
straight-edge apparel and painted in black ink, started a long time ago
(perhaps the early 1900's?).' Club and bar owners would mark a black X
across the hands of those who were under the legal drinking age (18 or 21,
depending on State laws). If a bartender saw the black X on the person's
hand, he would know not to serve that person an alcoholic drink.' Today,
straight-edge people wear the X on shirts, hats and hands with pride when
they go to shows and such.

A non straight-edge person might wonder: "What exactly is straight-
edge, and what is it not?" Straight-Edge is a decision that a person must
make for himself or herself.' It is a lifestyle that a person commits to.
It is not something ...

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Keywords: straight-edge meaning, what is straight edge in construction, what does a straight edge person mean, straight edge in french, straight edge use

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