I’m so punk I polish my Docs

*starts cassette player with ‘Dirty Boots’/ Sonic Youth*

1990s. Teenage-me, yelling at parental person for daring to polish my Doc Martens. I don’t care for your bourgeoisie standards – I’m going to look nasty and enjoy disturbing delicate sensibilities.

2013. Nowadays-me, keeping my Doc Martens looking fine. I don’t care for what others believe Doc Marten’s should represent (grungy anti-establishment life) – I’m going to do my own thing.

Both views are okay. Both views are punk.

Isa Chandra Moskowitz struck a bass chord in my heart: post-punk is the feeling of being “older and facing the conundrum of growing up and making compromises that their eighteen-year-old selves might hate them for”. Post-punk is how I describe how I feel these days. What happens for us in 2013? We’ve gone through the ‘fuck you’ bit, and although we’re still ‘fuck you’ we’re also ‘I’m gonna do this thing over here where I eat decent food and wash my hair and participate in economic production/ consumption’. It’s hellishly confusing at times. It’s not so much growing up, but growing out – seeing more than just the relationship between myself and my boots, but the relationship between myself, production, consumption, and my boots. A bigger story.

I respect that the materials came from somewhere – the rubber, the leather, the thread, the chemical cements.

I respect that a fair amount of time and skill was needed to produce the boots.

I respect that a fair amount of time was needed to earn monies to pay for the boots.

I’m not going to waste all this effort by treating my boots badly and see them fall apart before my eyes. I value my boots because of their complicated connections and meanings.

So I polish my Docs. I clean them and polish them up every week or so. I also take care of other’s Docs too – my Alan’s work shoes, other boots that come through Damned Soles for restoration. I _don’t_ polish my Docs because That’s What Nice Normal People Do. I polish my Docs because of my ingrained punk ethic – DIY, understanding political power plays underlying everyday actions, walking to the beat of your own drum. I also like working with Docs because they are well constructed. Mending only works when you’ve got something to work with.

These bad girls were purchased from Downes in The Valley. The thick sole indicates they are from an much older production run of Docs.


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