Thursday, January 10, 2013

NEW AGE RECORDS - "watching you fall only makes me stronger" hooded sweater


This was once a present by Robi I think, the problem was: I am a big guy! No matter who hard I tried I did not fit into a hooded sweater size M. So it became and still is a pyjama top for my better half.
They have been printed in large quanities on different colours, also the printing was in different colours and I am not quite sure but maybe New Age Records Europe also printed them, but that's just a hypothesis. Speaking of being a big guy: I had this once with a brown golden printing on a longsleeve with sleeve printing in XL. It was that large, that I was nearly strapless. I sold it right after Ebay Germany started, must have been around 1999 or so. I still have a shirt version which had those nice sleeve printings we all loved about US shirts back then (thanks to the Dubar family by the way!): I will pull out that one later!
New Age really followed the early 80ies Boston, late 80ies New York straight edge footsteps in the early 90ies. Some give them credit others just saw the third wave of stereotypes. I again was caught between two stools.
The slogan on the back (the picture shows Unbroken's singer) led to many discussions. I never read it as a holier-than-thou, Lebensreform-like attitude - the way most Europeans read it: I simply just saw the Straight Edge stereotypes: being angry with kids who were big-mouthed about "true till death" etc. and then leave. It has a lot to do with identity, personal letdowns, deprevation of appreciation and distinction. And these are good points to be criticised but that never happened. There is a short statement by the titular Saint of my Blogger/ posting name in the booklet of Assay's LP "Pisschrist", it somehow went into that direction, although I did not agree on the act on instinct, need for social relations part, but let's not dig out those old jokes.

Here is a short passage from an interview with Mike Hartsfield where he relates to the slogan:
"Onto those famous two words…straight-edge still holds a big value as far as the label goes – I think almost all of your current roster are edge and you have just started an self-proclaimed edge band, do you ever feel like the images of those bands or their 'aesthetic' – do you ever feel like that overtly straight edge message has lost currency in today's scene?
Not to the kids here today. From my position i have seen 99% that claimed they would be "true till death" come and go so I could be bitter about straight edge but it's not that way at all. It makes me reflect on an old New Age straight edge shirt that said "watching you fall only makes me stronger". That is something that relates to me daily. I really feel that the YOU and the ME are most important in that phrase. The overly straight edge message can seem passe to those gone from it now, but not to those who still believe. In regards to the label and a straight edge message, it goes back to the fact I listen to our bands. I love the straight edge, simple as that. So straight edge will always dominate most of the roster. "

But hey: maybe someone else wants to do this one? A scientific critique of straight edge would be nice considering parts of the ideology merging into the views and lifestyle of the parvenu middle class and official politics, nourishing strange antagonism concerning society's delevopement if you consider the findings of Alain Ehrenberg, Robert Pfaller and others.

Anyway getting back to the European viewpoint: I couldn't care less and who really gets stronger by watching friends and family suffer from drugs - legal or not?!
The only thing I cared about when I was younger was being fed up with intolerant big mouths giving others a hard time for the short period of time they are involved with some need for identity be it straight edge or whatever: you guys were, are and always will be the real nazi punks. And we all know that you became educationists, members of the Green Party or bartenders in left wing residential communities.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't the simple understanding of straight edge as a movement imply a "holier than you"-approach? And doesn't the "true till death"-attitude as well as thinking of others as drop outs only work if you see straight edge as movement?

Hirsinger Youth said...

Although I do not care about straight edge with such a short sentence you have opened the can of worms. And it's a question which can't be answered with yes or no or in an appropriate way in a comment box. From a sociological point of view I do not consider straight edge being a movement, although professors like Robert T. Wood now do.

Maybe it's a misunderstanding, I criticise this thinking ("It has a lot to do with identity, personal letdowns, deprevation of appreciation and distinction."): I can't find anything positive in it. I just thought that slogans like these were running in circles reproducing the own clichés while everyone was discussing the bigger picture, leaving the originators shrugging.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to attack you. It's more of a stupid reflex, I've always hated that shirt. Maybe for the wrong reasons, but it has always seemed kind of symbolic for the totalitarian tendencies of straight edge to me.

Hirsinger Youth said...

I don't feel attacked and I enjoy a good argument. While I somehow do not feel a need to discuss about straight edge in 2013.

I got your point. Mine was that most of the people saw it that way while the originators didn't think about it that way or even much about it. Or even at all?! With the interview abridgement I tried to second that notion that it all went in circles. An idylic world where nothing else than 7" records, moshing forever, sport shoes and X'ing up count. Although it's no excuse and that's where you come into play.

Concerning totalitarian tendencies within straight edge: maybe you'll stop by for some coffee and we'll write the book that has to be written - since everything I know is just touching the surface while a harsh criticism of ideology is still missing. Then again: the subject of investigation really might not be worth the effort.

Anonymous said...

You know, with the the Red Hare LP and the Swiz 3xLP box coming out in spring, I friendly have to decline to think about straight edge anymore. :-)

chrisapproach said...

ich hatte das shirt früher öfters in der schule an.bester kommentar von einem lehrer damals war,daß er das total asozial findet,weil er dachte,daß es dabei ums prügeln/körperliche auseinandersetzungen ging.