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Straight edge

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**History of Straight Edge Movement**:
– Emerged from hardcore punk in the early 1980s.
– Originated in Washington, D.C., spreading across the U.S. and Canada.
– Early bands associated with straight edge include Minor Threat and The Vibrators.
– Youth Crew era in the mid-1980s saw the rise of bands like Youth of Today and Gorilla Biscuits.
Straight edge became well-known in the wider punk scene in the 1990s.
– Birthed offshoots like hardline and Krishna Consciousness.
– Influence on the development of metalcore.
– Shift towards advocating social justice, animal liberation, and veganism.
– Variations of the X symbol used by bands on album covers and merchandise.

**International Spread of Straight Edge**:
– Spread globally to Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South America.
– Growth facilitated by relentless touring of youth crew bands and ordering records from American labels.
– Fluff Fest in the Czech Republic showcases prominent bands linked to straight edge.
– H8000 hardcore punk scene in West Flanders influenced metalcore and deathcore.
Straight edge bands like Congress, Liar, and Spirit of Youth were part of the H8000 scene.

**Straight Edge Subcultures**:
– Bent Edge: Counter-movement to straight edge in the hardcore scene.
– Hate Edge: Neo-Nazi offshoot of the straight edge movement responsible for attacks on drug dealers.
– Hardline followers showed willingness to resort to violence.
– New Wave of British Hardcore in the 2010s saw the rise of bands like Violent Reaction and Big Cheese.

**Themes and Movements within Straight Edge**:
Vegetarianism became a prominent theme during the Youth Crew era.
Animal rights and veganism trends peaked in the 1990s.
– Many straight edge participants embraced veganism by the late 1990s.
– Some groups identified as vegan straight edge (xVx).
– Radical groups like Animal Liberation Front associated with vegan straight edge.

**Contemporary Perspectives on Straight Edge**:
– Studies showed that straight edge individuals are mostly peaceful.
– Growing tolerance towards those not following the lifestyle.
– Contemporary straight edge is less dogmatic and multifaceted.
– Boston straight edge band Have Heart had record attendance at a 2019 reunion show.
Straight edge groups sometimes viewed as gangs, but a 2006 study found most are nonviolent.

Straight edge (Wikipedia)

Straight edge (sometimes abbreviated sXe or signified by XXX or X) is a subculture of hardcore punk whose adherents refrain from using alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs, in reaction to the excesses of punk subculture. Some adherents refrain from engaging in promiscuous sex, follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, and do not use caffeine or prescription drugs. The term "straight edge" was adopted from the 1981 song "Straight Edge" by the hardcore punk band Minor Threat.

A straight edge tattoo

The straight edge subculture emerged amid the early-1980s hardcore punk scene. Since then, a wide variety of beliefs and ideas have been associated with the movement, including vegetarianism and animal rights. While the commonly expressed aspects of the straight edge subculture have been abstinence from alcohol, nicotine, and illegal drugs, there have been considerable variations. Disagreements often arise as to the primary reasons for living straight edge. Straight edge politics vary, from explicitly revolutionary to conservative. Some activists have approached straight edge with skepticism, ridicule or even outright hostility in part due to what they perceived as the straight edge movement's self-righteous militancy.

In 1999, William Tsitsos wrote that straight edge had gone through three eras since its founding in the early 1980s. Bent edge began as a counter-movement to straight edge by members of the Washington, D.C., hardcore scene who were frustrated by the rigidity and intolerance in the scene. During the youth crew era, which started in the mid-1980s, the influence of music on the straight edge scene was at an all-time high. By the early 1990s, militant straight edge was a well-known part of the wider punk scene. In the early to mid-1990s, straight edge spread from the United States to Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South America. By the beginning of the 2000s, militant straight edge punks had largely left the broader straight edge culture and movement.

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