Patrick Moberg

Punk Rock Professor

March 5th, 2010

In college I had this super dorky, nerdy by nerd standards, anthropology teacher. I was taking his class as a free elective, so I spent most of the time not paying attention and silently fabricating elaborate storylines about my unknown classmates.

One day my ears perked up when the professor was talking about a few years in the 70's he'd spent touring with and studying punk rockers. The image of this starkly lame dude, surrounded by black-clad, pierced misfits astounded me. How could he have possibly been accepted into such an image based, anti-establishment culture? He explained that, at first sight, most of the people were indeed, very wary of him. But, once the punks realized he was there without bias, and that he was simply trying to learn their story, he was graciously accepted in spite of his appearance.

Looking back now, I sort of realize how completely punk rock it was for this textbook looking anthropologist, whose colleagues were out observing indigenous tribes in Africa, to roadtrip with an obscure musical subculture that was deemed, simply, "problematic" by almost all other aspects of society.

Basically, I wish I was an anthropologist and/or could grow facial hair.