Dear colleagues in punk,
In reflection on Lance Hahn's tragic and premature death last October, and the accumulating health concerns of many of the rest of us as we totter into our 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, we at MRR have decided to put out a Punks & Health special issue.
The focus of this issue will be on how we can navigate the broken health care system to best take care of ourselves. It will be dedicated to Lance, who was so much a part of MRR and the scene for so many years, and hopefully it can also be a forum to remember the others we have lost in these last decades. Lance's early death might well have been avoided. Some of us are ill right now, or might be soon. It's time we start paying attention.
There is no denying that we sometimes put ourselves in the path of risk. But we also have extraordinary resources available to avoid and confront these "special" risks, as well as the ordinary perils of growing older. In some ways the punk community is ahead of mainstream America: biking, diet, community support, etc. We want to cover all of this: the good and the bad, the self-destructive and the redemptive.
Rather than having this issue be a mind-numbing collection of articles about obscure herbal treatments, I envision a funny, personal, conflicted issue with plenty of argument about methods; art, comics, and memoirs ("My First Punk Rock Injury" What's The Scoop, for example); along with some excellent, solidly researched articles about the state of health care and health. Interviews with older punks would be very helpful. Were there things they did that affected their health that they regret now? What health issues are they now facing (arthritis in their hands from guitar-playing? deafness? other things?) What advice do they have for younger punks?
Some topics to consider:
Trainhopping and similar exploits
Taking care of chronic conditions.
Transgender health care issues
Alternative health care
Mental health: depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.
Big picture; universal health care, alternatives? Candidates? Solutions?
Exercise: punk rock sports.
Some big questions:
How do we navigate the broken system, as punks -- find creative solutions? How do our attitudes and behaviors keep us unhealthy? How can we take better care of ourselves and each other?
What's the Scoop Returns Photos Art Short "memoirs", like, "my trip to the ER" or whatever. Interesting punks interviewing other interesting punks, asking interesting questions. "Instructional" pieces, like, "When should you listen to the doctor and when should you tell him to fuck off?" Reprints of great shit you've seen elsewhere.
Please deseminate far and wide. I'd love to hear from you and start brainstorming with you. Deadline is August 5.
Thanks for reading.Arwen