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Is Punk Rock the New Dad Rock? Ten Signs That Going Soft Is the New Hardcore

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When punk rock sneeringly ejaculated onto the music scene in the 1970s, it was all about volume, attitude and, most importantly, the rebellious nihilism of young disillusionment. But in 2012, self-proclaimed punk rockers look like massage therapists at a Winnie the Pooh spa.

Just take a look at The Other F Word, a Sundance-approved documentary about professional punkers who are also parents, screening this week at O Cinema.

The proliferation of heteronormative breeding (that is, makin' babies) is only one sign that punk rock is getting cuddlier by the minute.

10. Hardcore Kids Are Turning Into Prancing Electro Goths

What does Cold Cave playing some dingleberry convention have to do with punk getting soft? How about a little thing called everything. While Wes Eisold -- vocalist for Boston hardcore band American Nightmare -- and Dominick Fernow -- one-man harsh noise artist Prurient -- have gone incognito as electro-pop fancy boys (leather jackets at a summer festival are 2012's equivalent of synth-pop's sunglasses at night), both are textbook former bruisers who have forsaken the pit for shouting over Kreayshawn and begging for a plus one.

9. All Black Flag Everything

OK, shaving the Black Flag bars into your lawn is actually pretty cool. But no logo could be more over-fucking-parodied. While we love imagining how much it annoys frantic copyright hound and Flag founder/lone-constant Greg Ginn, we're sick of every douchebag with Photoshop getting fresh with those sacredly iconic bars.

8. Rhinestones, Smurf Skirts, and Junkies With Guitars

Mall store Forever 21 tried to sell a knockoff Flipper tee based on Kurt Cobain's famous homemade sharpie shirt. And while we're glad the public outcry over this rip-off convinced the outlet to pull its homage to both '90s grunge and '80s drug-rock, the point still remains: We live in an age where the mall is built upon fourth-generation reproductions of imitations of things that sort of, at one point, had to do with punk rock.

7. No One Can Stop Green Day From Killing Punk Rock, Over and Over Again

Has any band sold out as thoroughly and frequently as Green Day? When the East Bay pop-punk trio signed to Reprise, the crusties and the diehards were calling for their heads. But they had no idea the next two decades would be filled with prime-time television slots, Broadway musicals, and an endless supply of mascara.

6. Kurt Cobain Is the New Jimi Hendrix

Can't really laugh about artists cut down in their prime by their own vices. So let's just acknowledge Cobain as rock music's contemporary tragic hero and move on to some jokes about straight edge.

5. Ian Mackaye Doesn't Shave His Head Anymore, He's Just Bald

The first Minor Threat seven-inch is 31 years old! Straight edge has existed longer than most hardcore kids have been alive. Our point: You can't be expected to stage-dive from balconies at middle age.

4. Even Crass Cashed In!

With Steve Ignorant's phony-baloney Crass tour in 2011, punk rock officially proved that there isn't a single band capable of upholding its own rigorous standards and resisting the great midlife cash-in.

3. We Would Much Rather Have Henry Rollins Give Us an Ass Beating Than a Lecture

At least when Rollins was a paranoid meathead tripping on acid in the Flag trailer, an encounter would leave you with a story or two. Now you'll be lucky if you end up as an awkward meme.

2. Jello Biafra Is the Only Person More Annoying Than Henry Rollins

Is anyone in the history of punk rock as self-satisfied, smarmy, and hair-raisingly precocious as former Dead Kennedys vocalist and all-around media whore Jello Biafra? Can you believe people pay to listen to this volcanic fartbag speak? Crossfade has a name for those people ... masochists.

1. What's With All the Damn Babies?

If you haven't watched the trailer for The Other F Word, we highly recommend it. You will have little doubt in your mind that, these days, punk rock is softer than baby thighs.

The Other F Word. Thursday, January 19, to Sunday, January 22. O Cinema, 90 NW 29th St., Miami. Tickets cost $10.50, $9 for student and seniors, and $7.50 for members. Call 305-571-9970 or visit o-cinema.org.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

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