Saturday, May 3, 2008

Punk Rock Academy

I've been thinking a lot lately about nostalgia, sentimentality, and self-identification. Believe me, it's not as fancy as it sounds—it's way closer to navel-gazing self-indulgence than an academic pursuit.

So, yesterday, while on my bike and fully engaged in such serious pondering, I passed a parked car with a "Punk Rock Academy" bumper sticker. At first I couldn't place the phrase, but then I remembered: Atom and his Package.

This is Atom and his Package:



And these are the lyrics to his song, "Punk Rock Academy":
I was fighting the mold in the bowl with my pee
When a thought popped in through my brain
If all of us hated high school so much
Why was nothing ever changed?
So I called Brian up with my plan that's red hot
Got a private institution in the name of punk-rock
We got some government funding & our own
Private road & 666 for our radio snow code.

I had a dream when I was in high school
That I attended the Punk Rock Academy
I had a dream when I was in high school
I attended the Punk Rock Academy.

Chris Jensen's teaching science
& he's still running mountain.
We fired the guy from Bad Religion 'cause he
Sold punk rock out & we'll give the dirty punks a
dip & get rid of all their fleas.
and we'll never buy anything with a UPC.

I had a dream when I was in high school,
I attended the Punk Rock Academy
I had a dream when I was in high school,
That at the Punk Rock Academy no one made fun of me

At the punk rock academy
Where all the students, they're diagnosed with A.D.D.
Take me home tonight,
I dont want to let you go 'til the feeling's right,
Take me home tonight,
I dont want to let you go 'til the feelings right

We'll import a token jock & then we'll
kick his token ass & there will never ever be
A physical education class.
Think about, you'll agree. It's the bizzity
Bizzity bomb & maybe we can get the F-bombs to
Play the senior prom.

I had a dream when i was in high school,
I attended the Punk Rock Academy
I had a dream when I was in high school,
That at the Punk Rock Academy no one made fun of me.

This is Atom (a.k.a. Adam Goren) performing the song in 2002 or 2003, not too long before his last performance with The Package:



According to his Wikipedia page, Adam Goren now teaches Chemistry and Physics at a high school in Philadelphia.

This all makes me think about a few things:
  1. There are other people who remember "Punk Rock Academy" as fondly as I do, and that makes me kinda happy.
  2. I never got to see Atom and his Package when I was in high school, and that makes me kinda sad.
  3. Do his current students have any idea? 
  4. Bumper stickers, while generally annoying, can sometimes be quite apropos.

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