Saturday, December 8, 2007

Brian Deneke - Tenth anniversary

Ten years later and the crimes go on but he is still remembered. Brian was run over ten years ago in a horrible crime.

Punk killing raises awareness
The Ranger, TX - Nov 29, 2007

Sometimes, it takes losing a life to create awareness. In 1997, what many considered a hate crime resulted in the death of a 19-year-old named Brian Deneke. Deneke lived in the Texas Panhandle town of Amarillo, where he and his friends liked to skate and listen to hardcore punk music.

Deneke, also known as "Sunshine" by his friends in the local punk scene, sported a faded blue mohawk and leather jacket. They were different, and as a result, they were considered outcasts in a town full of high school football players and jocks.

There had been constant name-calling in the halls of Amarillo and Tascosa high schools, and it was common for fights to break out between the two groups.

About 11:30 p.m. Dec. 12, 1997, Deneke and his friends were hanging out in an International House of Pancakes parking lot when a fight that would end in tragedy broke out.

Dustin Camp, a 17-year-old junior varsity football player at Tascosa High School, got behind the wheel of his 1983 Cadillac and jumped a median, running over and killing Deneke.

Camp was charged with manslaughter and received 10 years probation and a $1,000 fine.

"A Night for Brian Deneke," a tribute concert, will be from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 8 at The Roadhouse Saloon, 6159 FM 78.

DJs Anthony Prater and Dina Hernandez, who host Punk Rock 101 on KSYM 90.1 FM from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Tuesdays, got together with The Roadhouse Saloon and New Goon Productions to help organize the event.

"This hits close to home because that's the kind of scene I'm into," Prater said. "I guess Brian was just a nonconformist in a conservative town, and what happened was unfortunate."

The goal of the event is to encourage tolerance, dialogue and civilized respect for different lifestyles and perspectives, and at the same time, discourage violence and prevent acts of retaliation.

"I hate the word tolerance. I prefer the word acceptance," Prater said. "Tolerating them isn't enough; people should accept others regardless of their appearance or likes and dislikes."

To honor the memory of Deneke, the event is sponsored in cities throughout the United States and Canada, and features local and national punk bands - music Deneke liked to listen to. Musical guests will include Graded By X, The Dreadnauts, The Dirty Hacks, Terrible Teardrops, Silent Minority, Sewer Rats, Pavel Demon and The Revenant, Second To None, Filthy, The Muffdivers, The Dementers, The Dispicables and Deneke's favorite band, Destroy Everything.

The event is $10 at the door or $5 with a new unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys For Tots.

Proceeds will go to the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children and the Esperanza Center for Peace & Justice.

Long hair

The Grant Stranghan case looks likely to have significant legal implications. For those who think this case is irrelevant in fact there are number of other interesting cases to consider as this post will show.

Long hair case may be headache for schools - Local & National - News - Belfast Telegraph

Friday, December 07, 2007

A row over an Ulster pupil's hairstyle could have massive legal implications for schools across Northern Ireland, it was claimed today.

George Stranaghan is planning to take a case to the High Court after his 15-year-old son, Grant, was given a three-day suspension from Ballyclare High School because his hair was two inches long. Since returning to school - almost two weeks ago - the teenager has been kept isolated from his classmates.

If Mr Stranaghan is successful in his legal bid, schools across Northern Ireland could be hit with thousands of similar challenges - potentially spelling an end to the traditional school uniform.
Even if schools insist on pupils wearing a uniform, a victory for Mr Stranaghan could mean a discipline nightmare for principals at schools across the province.

A number of high profile cases have been brought before the courts in England, mainly relating to pupils who wish to dress according to their religious beliefs or wear religious symbols, such as a crucifix.

However, it is believed to be the first time anyone has applied for a judicial review in Northern Ireland in a fight over a pupil's refusal to cut their hair. GCSE student Grant was originally suspended from school on November 21. He returned to school on November 26 but since then he has been kept isolated from other pupils at the school, including at breaktimes.

Mr Stranaghan is applying for leave for a judicial review into the matter and asking for his son to be allowed to return to class, claiming that he is suffering sexual discrimination, as well as a breach of his human rights.

Rosemary Craig, a lecturer in law at the University of Ulster, said she believed schools will be watching the outcome of the case with great interest.

"It could have great ramifications," she explained.

"If you are going to have girls with long hair, then in terms of equality, boys must also be allowed to have long hair.

"If girls have ear-rings, in order to be strictly fair the same must apply to boys and, say, if a girl came in with her head shaved would they suspend her? Can a boy come in with his head shaved? You are going to have strict rules and have to make sure every parent signs up to them.

"Schools are going to have draw up exhaustive lists of what children can and cannot wear. They are going to spell out exactly what children can and cannot wear."

Seamus Searson, Northern Ireland organiser of the NASUWT, said he believes that uniforms play an important role in ensuring equality and a sense of belonging to a school.

"This has the potential to make schools very difficult to manage and discipline children," he said.

"The purpose of uniform and a dress code is to instil discipline in the children, as well as giving them some self-respect by removing some of the differences from the children."

A spokesman from Ballyclare High School said he would not make any further comment on the matter.

As it seems is willing to take the case to court we look at some recent legal cases. There were similar cases in Gloucestershire and Liverpool.

News - Gloucestershire - Schoolboy suspended for long hair

26 July 2006

The family of a boy suspended from a Gloucester school for refusing to cut his hair took legal action to force his re-instatement.

Sam Grant, aged 16, was suspended from Sir Thomas Rich School after refusing to cut his hair short.

The teenager, who has mixed-race parents, said he grew his hair to prevent racist remarks from pupils.

He was allowed back after his parents challenged the school saying the ban had affected their son's schoolwork.

The reaction of the school was ridiculous and we were totally shocked at its inflexibility
Stephen Grant, father

Sam said: "It's easier and friendlier for people to comment on my hair and call me 'mophead' or something like that rather than derogatory names."

"I'm mixed-race and I found that having longer hair ended remarks of a racist nature."

Sam's father, solicitor Stephen Grant, said the school had discriminated against him on grounds of sex and race and that the rule was old-fashioned.

"The reaction of the school was ridiculous and we were totally shocked at its inflexibility and failure to engage in meaningful debate about the underlying issues."

Mediation agreed

He added: "I understand they have school rules but to suspend him from coming back to school unless he cut his hair was draconian.

"Pupils committing acts of theft and damage received less severe disciplinary sanctions."

The incident started in March 2005, when Sam and a number of other boys were told to get their hair cut.

When he refused he was suspended at the end of June for 10 days.

His father applied for an injunction blocking the suspension but as part of the proceedings both parties agreed to mediation which resulted in Sam being allowed to finish his GCSEs.

A spokeswoman for Sir Thomas Rich School said she could not comment under the terms of an agreement reached on the case with the family.

Sam has since left the school, and plans to study for his A-levels at another location.

Two young brothers suspended from their school for having long hair have branded the ban as sexist.

A number of pupils were sent home after half term from St Margaret's Church of England School, Aigburth, Liverpool, for having hair past their collars.

Christian Bridge, 14, who refused to get his hair cut, was not allowed into lessons this week. His brother Dominic, 16, also faces a ban.

Head teacher Dr David Dennison said all pupils knew the school's rules.

A number of boys who flouted the rule were warned to get their hair cut over half term.

There's no way a girl would be told to keep her hair to collar-length
Christian Bridge

The school, which only admits girls in the sixth form, declined to confirm how many pupils were suspended after the break.

At least one pupil, Christian Bridge, refused to cut his hair, and was excluded.

Christian, who wants to grow his shoulder-length hair another six inches, said: "Before all this, we had a verbal agreement that I would keep my hair tied back, and I always did.

Academic standards

"There's no way a girl would be told to keep her hair to collar-length, so why should they tell boys? It is sexist."

Both Christian and his brother Dominic, who also has long hair, are backed by their mother.

But Dr Dennison said: "St Margaret's has an excellent reputation for high standards in respect of personal and academic standards.

"Parents are aware of these expectations on application and are regularly reminded of them by newsletter."

News - Tayside and Central - Pub worker wins sacking damages

14 Feb 2007

A kitchen porter sacked for his unkempt appearance at work has been awarded compensation totalling £6,361. An employment tribunal ruled that Brian Phin, who had long hair and wore earrings, was unfairly dismissed.

He claimed waitresses at the Deacon Brodies pub in Dundee with a similar appearance were allowed to work there.Bearded Mr Phin was also discriminated against on the grounds of sex. The pub, run by Rosecrown Ltd at the time, is now under new management. Mr Phin, whose hair was about 12ins (30cm) long at the time, had agreed to keep his beard tidy, his hair in a hair net and remove his earrings after being given a third warning from his employer.

Tidy-hair policy does not discriminate against Rastafarians, says Employment Agency Tribunal
OUT-LAW News, 18/10/2007

Rastafarians are protected by UK laws that ban workplace discrimination on the grounds of philosophical belief. But a tidy-hair policy does not discriminate against someone with dreadlocks, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled.

Free OUT-LAW Breakfast Seminars, UK-wide. 1:The new regime for prize draws and competitions. 2:How to monitor staff legallyA Rastafarian called J Harris worked as an executive driver for NKL Automotive. When he lost his job, he brought a tribunal claim for direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of his philosophical beliefs, and also victimisation discrimination. His claims were rejected and he appealed against the finding that there was no indirect discrimination or victimisation discrimination.

The Rastafari movement emerged in Jamaica in the 1930s. Followers believe dreadlocks to be supported by a Nazirite vow that appears in the Bible: "All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow."

The tribunal accepted that Rastafarianism is a philosophical belief, and that it is similar to a religious belief and therefore protected under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations (The Regulations were passed in 2003 and have since been extended to cover philosophical beliefs, whether similar to religious beliefs or not. But they had not been extended at the time when Harris lost his job.)

Harris had been supplied to NKL by an agency. NKL expressed concerns to a Mr Jones, who worked for the agency, that Harris's hair was untidy and that he did not represent the company well. NKL's dress code stated that drivers "should have a smart professional haircut and should ensure hair is tidy".

Harris complained to Mr Jones that he was not getting as much work as other agency drivers and complained that, unlike some other agency workers, he had not been taken on as a full-time employee. He believed he was being discriminated against because of his hair, which he wore in dreadlocks, "in accordance with his Rastafarian beliefs".

The tribunal found that the company "did not object to long hair as such … but they did insist upon a tidy appearance." Harris's hair grew more matted – and the tribunal said that it "must have reached a stage where it was unacceptably untidy in terms of NKL's dress code".

But the prejudice against long hair also ties into other forms of discrimination as this report on the problems Sikhs face shows

Racism force Sikhs to cut hair in UK-Rest of World-World-The Times of India

25 Nov 2006,
LONDON: Increasing numbers of racially motivated attacks have forced some Sikh teenagers in Britain to shed their long hair and turbans but many from the community also do so to fit in with their local surroundings.

While some groups in Britain believe that young, westernised Sikhs have long been reluctant to adhere to traditional disciplines, Sikh students say that increasing numbers of racially motivated attacks have had a significant impact on their attitudes.

Dalwinder Singh, an executive board member of the student group said, "We do get a lot of young kids trimming their hair because they see how they are treated.”

"For example, they find that they can't take part in certain things at school and they just don't want to stand out. And the attacks that have been in the news have definitely had an effect. Teenagers just want to fit in with what society is doing," he told The Times.
There are good arguments for dress code in school but hair length since it takes a considerable amount of time to alter is very different thing to wearing jewellery or makeup which can be simply be removed or altered at will. Hair is very much a symbol of personal identity which is exactly why hair cutting has been used as a symbol of punishment and shame down the ages. It is interesting to note that in English conquest of Ireland saw persistent attempts to ban the wearing of long hair by men. Clearly this school controversy continues a long tradition.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Hunt for killer of skater hero continues

See earlier post Skateboarder dies as hero.

Victim's family seeks help

Reward offered for information in slaying
By Wes Woods II, Staff Writer

FONTANA - Friends and family of Michael Lee Reed Jr. gathered with police on Thursday at the same location where he was killed last week.They had a request.

For those with knowledge about his killing to come forward with the information.

They also offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of his killer or killers.

Reed, 21, of Rialto was gunned down after attempting to save a friend on Nov. 21 at Fontana Skate Park. "This makes a difference," said his father, Mike Reed. "My son always practiced peace. He died for a cause."

Young Homes Chairman and CEO Reggie King offered up $10,000 while the city of Fontana gave $5,000.

With a poster board of Reed's image and skateboards hanging from the park's gate, Mike Reed joined Police Chief Larry Clark, Mayor Mark Nuaimi and Councilwoman Acquanetta Warren, asking those responsible to turn themselves in or for anyone with additional information to contact authorities.

Some of Michael Reed's friends - Anthony Bufkin, 18, of Moreno Valley; Vince Bowman, 22, and Sam Arellano, 18, both of Fontana - said they would never forget his humanity or skateboarding skills.

Bowman said Michael Reed spent 12 hours a day working toward becoming a professional skater. He had

Because of Michael Reed's positive influences on other skateboarders, friends and family said the skate park should be renamed the Mike Reed Skate Park and a statue of him should be erected.

At about 8:35 p.m. Nov. 21, a male between the ages of 15 and 18 went to the skate park with three other males to solicit some of the skaters for money and see if they were selling marijuana, according to police.

The male approached John DeLaCruz of Bloomington, grabbed him by the neck, and pointed a handgun at him, according to police.

Michael Reed went to DeLaCruz's aid and tried to convince the male to leave his friend alone, according to police.The male shot Michael Reed in the torso. The four fled.Michael Reed was transported to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Decker said the homicide was the city's seventh this year. - Skaters gather to mourn victim

FONTANA - About 30 skaters converged Tuesday afternoon at Jack Bulik Park to informally mourn their friend, Michael Lee Reed Jr., in the same spot where he was gunned down Nov. 21.

They decided to gather to console one another and remember their friend before heading to Principles of Faith Christian Center on Merrill Avenue for the 4:30 p.m. viewing.

"This is where we always meet," said Paul Deviny, 22, gesturing to the paved skate ramps. "This is the temple, the church. Welcome to our congregation."

They mainly stood in silence, leaning against parked cars.

Some took to their boards, busting tricks.

Others talked about Reed and his signature move, a switch backside 360 kick flip.

He was the park's best skater, the only one who could land the move, they said.

Reed occasionally skated all the way from his family's home in Rialto to the park, friend Johnny Rivera said. Most of the time, he would spend the night sleeping on Rivera's floor.

"He'd always say, `Hey, let me borrow a shirt,"' said Rivera, 21. "Sometimes I'd give him shoes. He always needed socks."

Rivera lives only three blocks from the park. Staying with Rivera allowed Reed to meet his goal of skating everyday, all day.

Reed wanted to get a sponsor and become a professional, friends said.

They called him their "body guard," "a powerhouse" and a "a peacemaker."

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Patricide was it motivated by listening to metal or horrendous sexual abuse?

Back in July in New York Brigitte Harris murdered her father. It seems her crime was motivated by a lifetime of horrific sexual abuse. There is an interesting new article on the case here which gives the full background:

village voice > news > The Goth Girl, Her Preppy Sister, Sexual Abuse and Murder by Maria Luisa Tucker

"Brigitte Harris's MySpace page portrays a young woman with interests ranging from musical theater and sewing to heavy metal and the occult."

In the aftermath of her father's murder, Carleen has been talking a lot. She launched a public-relations campaign to "Save Brigitte." Within 36 hours of the murder, she had hired star defense attorney Arthur Aidala and told the world that both she and Brigitte had been victims of a pedophile father who regularly and repeatedly raped them from a very young age. Within a week, Carleen had set up a website collecting donations for a defense fund and had held press conferences to round up support. The murder of their "monster" father was simply karma, she told Montel Williams and audiences at a candlelight vigil. If Brigitte snapped, she implied, it was their father who had pushed her.

Thanks to Carleen's efforts, a small crowd of supporters have lined up behind Brigitte, including U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and New York State Senators Eric Adams and Diane Savino.

TV report just after the arrest.

It seems likely that Brigitte's interest in metal music and gothic culture will play an important part in the ongoing coverage of the case as it does in this article.

Take a look at the details accumulated from her myspace The Original Dark Angel and Vampire freaks profiles in this article which sugges6s that listening to a metal sparked her quest for vengeance:

Brigitte Harris Accused of Murdering and Castrating Her Stepfather ...

Harris describes her interests in more detail within her profile:

"[Interests include] everything within the gothic culture, the night time, graveyards by nightfall. I am a thoughtful person when it comes to things. I don't talk a lot, I love the gothic culture, and I like wearing things that resemble medieval times. In my free time I like to read, listen to music, go [to] the movies, Broadway shows, extreme sports and swimming."
Yet if you look at Brigitte's own description of her music shows why she likes metal it has a lot to do with her own musical ability as much with dark reality of the bleak world some metal lyrics describe:
I love all Genres of Musis. My fav. genre is Rock;mostly Metal. I love Rock b/c i Relate to what most bands sing(or scream) about. i also just love the fact that they play their own instruments. thats why i love Classical and Opera. my fav. instruments R the drums,cello, mandarin and Chinese guitar. I have been playing the clarinet since the 4th grade. OTEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Linkin Park ^_^, A7X-Avenged 7 Fold, Pinkly Smooth, Opiate 4 the Masses, Kittie, Korn, System of a Down,The Used, My Chemical Romance,Sick AS Monday, Disturbed, Staind, Lacuna Coil, As I Lay Dying, Evanescence, Pagoda, 3 Days Grace, Letter Kills, Killswitch Engage, Breaking Benjamin, The Rasmus, Muse, The Cure, Rob Zombie, HIM,
Slayer, Atreyu, Cradle of Filth, Godsmack, Metallica, A Perfect Circle, Rammstein,
Static-X, Mudvayne, Underoath, Bleed the Dream, Senses Fail, 9 inch Nails, Drowning Pool, Story of the Year, Shinedown, Silvertide, Papa Roach,
Chevelle,... Tchaikovsky, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Bach, Imogen Heap, Bizet, Andrea Bocelli, Leopold Stokowski
She also loves many classical composers yet strangely no article mentions her liking for Mozart as a significant fact in the murders. [I note that Brigitte doesn't actually mention any Gothic rock bands here but discriminating between metal and goth can be tricky for media people.] How abou the fact that Brigitte unlike her sister wanted go open about the abuse rather than hiding it?

The reality is that Brigitte seems to have killed her father because he abused her. The music she listened too and the films she watched are irrelevant, likely to be found on thousands of similar profiles on the net, if she listened to rap or country the result would have been much the same. I suspect that members of the family who refuse to accept that the father could have abused his two daughters are likely to use such details of metal culture in a negative fashion.
Meanwhile, as the case heads toward trial—the plea agreement that the defense had hoped for has yet to materialize—Brigitte's family has become increasingly polarized. Carleen and her maternal relatives have portrayed Brigitte as a victim who finally snapped, while Eric's side of the family denies any sexual abuse and say the sisters planned their father's murder for ulterior motives. The family split was apparent during a court date last month. Seven members of Eric's family traveled from Rhode Island and Colorado to attend a brief hearing at Queens Criminal Court, where they exchanged information and hugs with the prosecutor. Carleen was notably absent; in her place was an advocate from a domestic-violence nonprofit that helps those in trouble for retaliating against their abusers.
Link to the

Save Brigitte Harris website

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Computer and Mobile games show school tribes

Bratz [those dolls] now have a computer game in which they solve all the high school divisions... the game is not very good apparently. Sounds like stereotype city.

Bratz 4 Real - Review

December 3, 2007 - High school. Four years of homework and hall passes, four years of teachers and friends. And four years of the same friends, too, as you're doomed to fall into the trap of joining a tight, exclusive clique and never being able to socialize with anyone outside of that small circle. That's what Bratz 4 Real asserts, as it sets up a story of four fashion-crazed friends who band together to eliminate their high school's clique system, and encourage all different kinds of students to start interacting with one another. It's an interesting premise, one that shows more promise than the storyline used in past Bratz-brand titles. But while the theme of this adventure works pretty well, its execution ends up being pretty shallow.

It's a constant string of short conversations. As you control one of the four Bratz friends, you run around their high school, the local mall and an adjacent park talking to non-player characters, then talking to more non-player characters, then going back to the first character ... and so on and so forth. The plan the Bratz have concocted involves bridging the gap between different social groups, none of which is comfortable with talking to any other. So your character is constantly serving as the messenger, moving from the nerds to the jocks, from the punks to the goths, from the populars to the preppies and every other combination in-between.

It's interesting from a plot perspective. You see the popular girl in charge of costumes for the school play reach out to a punk chick with clothing design experience for help. You see a preppy who loves to proofread manuscripts assisting a nerd with his latest anime fanfiction. You see bright, cheerful cheerleaders come together with drab, gothic girls and find common ground, and it's all very heartwarming to see....

Meanwhile in Australia:

Aussie game creator blasts sex critics |

Coolest Girl In School / Supplied

Screenshots ... scenes from the game Coolest Girl In School / Supplied

AN independent Adelaide game developer has hit back at claims her upcoming mobile phone game encourages teen pregnancy and drug use. Coolest Girl In School, a role-playing game designed for mobiles, recently gained international notoriety after the Australian Family Association blasted it for being "grossly irresponsible".

The game's creator Holly Owen was "surprised" by the attack, but has revealed that none of the game's critics speak from experience. "We were really surprised at the lengths people went to condemn the game when no-one has actually played it yet," said Ms Owen, creative director of Champagne For The Ladies.

"I believe it was even accused of causing pregnancy, which I find hilarious," she said. "Someone hadn't had enough sex education to realise that you can't get pregnant from a mobile phone."

Coolest Girl In School is based around a high-school theme that, according to Ms Owen, justifies the controversial content.

"If we left out things like sex and drugs and rock n' roll... then it would really be a game about teachers and homework and pimples, which would be boring and not represent the whole theme."

The game uses multiple-choice questions, which Ms Owen describes as "the type usually found in teen girl mags".

"The strategy lies in making as many friends as you possibly can, which means that pleasing one subculture of people (like more reckless types) isn't necessarily going to do you any favours," Ms Owen said.

Players can customise their characters based on social stereotypes of different youth subcultures.

"You choose from a very extensive wardrobe that contains outfits from subcultures including emos, fashionistas, nerds, etcetera and then you go out into the world and encounter non-player characters," she said.

"Essentially they ask you questions or things happen to you and you've got three choices in terms of how you respond to their question, or the event."

One scene from the game shows an "emo" character asking: "Wanna bludge and fake our own suicides?" The response options vary from "Sure! Can it be suicide by chocolate?" to "Teenage suicide don't do it!" and "Can't sorry – I'm already failing"....

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Protests against Lordi

In a world in which there are genuine Satanic Black Metal bands it seems rather odd that anyone protests against Lordi. Did they march against the inclusion of costumed orcs in Lord of the Rings too? But maybe it is Ozzy and KISS who they are worked up about. Only about thirty years too late there.

Oh Lordi ... Christians take on fiends of rock - New Zealand,

A crusade is looming as church groups prepare to take on heavy metal heavyweights poised to play in Wellington over Easter.

Wellington pentecostal church Lifepoint says the lineup of bands - including former bat-biter Ozzy Osbourne and Kiss - are "not appropriate" and will have "negative influences" on the city during the two-day Rock2Wgtn festival on March 22 and 23. They plan to lobby other church groups and will look at taking their concerns to Wellington City Council.

"It's not appropriate from our angle of things," said pastor Karen Crawshaw.

"I don't think we can force our views on others but at the same time we think it's a very negative influence on our city. It'll put a damper on the things the church traditionally focuses on at the Easter season."

The condemnation follows confirmation that another hellish rock act, Finnish heavy metal band Lordi, has been booked to appear at the Wellington event. The band, whose five members dress in elaborate costumes as monsters and demons, won the Eurovision song contest last year.

The winning song, Hard Rock Hallelujah, includes the lyrics "I got horns on my head, my fangs are sharp and my eyes are red" - and prompted Finland's religious leaders to warn that the band could inspire devil worship. But vocalist Tomi Putaansuu, a former film student who calls himself Lordi, denies any Satanic leanings.

Ozzy has a very odd way of being Satanic as other news confirms.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sharon Osbourne and her Black Sabbath frontman husband, Ozzy, raised more than $800,000 (389,000 pounds) for charity after heavy metal enthusiasts turned out en masse for their Beverly Hills-style garage sale, auction manager Darren Julien said on Saturday. Bidders at the auction, which benefited the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation, ran the gamut from metal heads to the high-brow.

Punk's Last Refuge - TIME

I am pretty sure that punk is alive and well in other places but it certainly looks like it is taken more seriously in Indonesia.

Punk's Last Refuge - TIME
Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007

When the punk movement first surfaced in England in 1977, its nihilistic posturing and contempt for cultural and pop-music traditions rattled both the social and entertainment establishments. Long after the movement petered out or became commercialized elsewhere, it took hold for the first time in Jakarta in the mid-1990s — at a time when the music's belligerence seemed to perfectly echo the hostility many young people felt toward the authoritarian regime of then President Suharto. Onie recalls listening to Guns N' Roses and boy band New Kids on the Block and never feeling a real connection with the music. "Then an Indonesian friend told me that I had to listen to Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols and I loved it," he says. Punk soon proliferated as rapidly as cassette duplicates of the albums could be made, and Onie and his friends would meet nightly at Blok M — beside Jakarta's main 24-hour bus terminal — to swap bootlegs of albums by the likes of American punk rockers the Casualties and Scottish four-piece the Exploited.

"The youth were attracted to the freedom and rebellion that punk offered," says Trax magazine's music editor, Farid Amriansyah. "They were looking for an identity and punk gave it to them." Onie's friend Aca found his mood reflected in the stark lyrics of Fight Back, the 1980 protest anthem by English hardcore-punk band Discharge: "People die in police custody/ Where's the justice in that?/ Don't see none/ Fight the system, fight back." These words directly inspired Aca to join street protests in 1998, when he was tear-gassed and bludgeoned with the butts of police rifles. "I felt so alive then," he says. "I learned from punk and I was ready to fight no matter what." Eko, the owner of another record store, Anti Music Records, and a former member of one of Jakarta's first punk bands, the Idiots, says he constantly lives by punk's rebellious code. "I am always in a punk state of mind," he declares, as if electronica or hip-hop had never happened. "Punk is better than religion to me."

Amriansyah explains that there are thousands of punks in the country. "Through an underground network of fanzines, record trading, the growth of independent distribution outlets and the power of the Internet," he says, "the scene is widely spreading to every region in Indonesia." But these days peer support, not protest, is one of the main attractions. One of Jakarta's youngest punks, 11-year-old Doing, meets up with his friends every afternoon at a playground near Blok M. With calloused bare feet and PUNK tattooed on his fingers, he survives by playing his ukulele on buses for money. "Punks are my family," Doing says.

At this family's core are the members of Marjinal, a punk band that has helped over a thousand street kids earn cash by teaching them how to busk. "Music gives these kids a way to survive, to make some kind of living," says Mike, Marjinal's lead singer. "Punk, to me, is addressing the things that are rotten in society. It tells us that we have the ability to be independent and take care of each other."