Anonymous said: I was wondering what you meant by the comment on the old comic panel that you posted with the caption 'A Last Blast Against Misinformation Considering the History of the Word “Punk”'? I've looked up the definitions (albeit in online dictionaries) and have found both meanings listed, but I'm sure you know better than me. Is the "twink-equivalent" definition that people tend to get worked up over largely inaccurate?
So far as I can tell, “punk” has never been synonymous with “twink.” Within male prison subculture, it was historically used to refer to the effeminate member of a homosexual relationship— so it’s probably closer to “bitch,” in that sense, as in “prison bitch.” However, outside of that particular subculture, it retained its mainstream meanings of “bad” (“feeling punk”) or, way more commonly, “kid.” In the early 20th century, circuses and carnivals would advertise children’s days as “punk days,” and— as you can see from that 1942 Captain America comic— “punk” was widely used to emphasize the youth or inexperience of boys/young men. (It was also, in a more technical sense, used to refer to stuff that started fires.)
A good fast-and-dirty way to get a sense of how a word was being used at a particular time is to search a corpus (say, Google Books) for a particular time period, and pay attention to the different contexts in which the word occurs. Obviously it’s not perfect— people didn’t always talk how they wrote, even in fiction— but it’s a starting point?
HOWEVER: you should never assume that someone knows better than you; you should always double-check their work!
It did have a little bit wider circulation as a “queer” term than just prison—during the Depression it became the term for someone who was young, probably a teenager, who was in a usually sexual relationship with an older man referred to as a “wolf” who provided the younger guy with guidance, protection, money, etc. It would’ve probably been familiar as a term to anyone who had contact with working-class queer culture in NYC, or anyone with hobo connections. But it still retained the other, non-queer meanings you described outside of it.
How people got to think it was the oldtime equivalent of “twink,” I have no idea, because that’s just not at all what it is. It’s more like…I dunno, is there a word for the person who has a sugar daddy? It’s kinda like that.
Reblogging for more info!
eta: It’s probably useful to think of the meaning-cluster of the word as having to do with “boy,” in the sense that we still understand the word “boy” as usually meaning a young person, but potentially also being a demeaning or sexually descriptive word (depending on context).
#the great punk debate of 2014
important fandom issues of our time
—Zelda Fitzgerald, in a review of her husband’s book in 1922 (via trishahaddad)
Reminder that F. Scott Fitzgerald stole his wife’s writing, many times, while suppressing her works. See “Save Me the Waltz”, which he forced her to revise so that he could use parts of it in his own book “Tender Is the Night”. And which author do we study in school?
I didn’t know this.
He also encouraged her to have affairs so he could use that for inspiration, and when she wanted to leave him for a man she fell in love with, he locked her in their house and wouldn’t let her leave.
When she wanted to publish “Save me the Waltz,” Fitzgerald wrote in his diary about DELIBERATELY trying to TRIGGER her schizophrenic episodes and making her incapable of fighting that battle.
And Fitzgerald scholars KNOW all this. They write articles about how it was all okay because in the end, it inspired Fitzgerald to write Great Literature.
knife his corpse
NEVER READ ANY OF HIS BOOKS AGAIN. AND READ HERS INSTEAD. CONSIGN HIM TO OBLIVION.
Fuck I didn’t know this fuck ugh god why fuck ugh
Yep. All true. Learned about his trifling ass studying creative writing and English lit. at CSU. Didn’t read ONE of her books on high school, yet we’re taught how amazing and talented he was. Makes me sick. xBx
Dante Gabriel Rosetti did this with Elizabeth Siddal’s drawings, and her contributions to his drawings, as well. Then drove her to suicide by using her as his romantic and sexual scratching post. Then disinterred her body to retrieve the poems he had placed in her open coffin because they were “too good” to let her rest with them. Cool art dudes from history.