American Hardcore: A Course In Queer Studies


I finally saw the documentary “American Hardcore,” and while I’m obviously too old to judge the music of the ‘hardcore’ movement, I know an orgy of homoeroticism when I see one.

The  featured bands  are comprised of rebellious  teenage boys  who’d rather jump around on a stage, screaming bloody murder, than go to school or get a job. Not that I blame them, of course. Their fans are basically the same demographic, who come to shows ready to punch and wrestle with other audience members.

The scenes at these shows are like mini-riots, but the sweaty young males are frantic with excitement as they shove and pummel each other. There are no women anywhere in sight: It’s a strictly male enthusiasm. Who needs girls when you can watch the young Henry Rollins prancing around in his underwear?

When we meet the band members as they are today, they all seem like lonely  bachelors who still wear black t-shirts and can’t really move on from their memories of former glory. They speak of each other in reverential tones: Vinnie Stigma, Joey Shithead, who can forget them?

The music is awful (oops, I forgot!) but it’s fun to observe a subculture so gay and seemingly unaware of it.

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