This post is about dealing with the straight edge label, as I’m lately being swayed towards the label, and I frankly find it to be an interesting label. Somehow it sounds badass and cool, and I feel it may have some association with strength, possibly due to their rejection of what they view as a weakness.
But let’s be careful, because sometimes labels can be very messy, especially if you’re trying to apply them to yourself.
I used to stray away from that label because I feared it was mere conservatism and about three or so years ago I thought it was lame. Nowadays I find it to be cool, but confusing. The term “straight edge” usually refers to those who refuse to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or take drugs (though let’s face it, alcohol and tobacco are drugs so part of this sentence is moot). That’s usually the definition I go with. But that could be anyone, so you kinda have to identify with the label.
For me, this isn’t easy. Sometimes people include the rule of “no caffeine”. This I cannot do since I like drinking coffee and soft drinks and choose to do it. Some associate veganism or vegetarianism with the movement. I don’t follow that because I oppose those things and love the taste of meat. Very often straight edge includes opposition to promiscuity and casual sex. To be honest, I can’t buy into that opposition, because for a long time I’ve been an ardent supporter of sexual liberty and liberal sexuality and have always despised conservative attitudes towards sexuality. I don’t like the whole image of “clean living” either. I do reject drugs (including alcohol and cigarettes), but it’s not for the sake of being clean, it’s because I just don’t like drugs.
But if one thing’s for sure, it’s that if you’re a real straight edge, you do it on the basis of independent thought rather than following trends. You don’t do it for the sake of fitting into a crowd. You do it because it’s right for you. That in itself is admirable and worthy of respect.
In the end, I’m probably only a straightedge in the sense that I don’t drink, smoke, or dope, but that’s probably just the same basic definition for straight edge to begin with. Maybe it’ll be enough. If I am a straight edge then i guess I wouldn’t be particularly hardcore about it. Blending straightedge with my satanic attitudes might be interesting, in theory at least.