Ben "Way Bad" Jensen's an Ottawa, Canada-based illustrator who works with/has worked with Vans, Raised By Wolves, Maximum Rocknroll, Antique Skateshop, Blood Of The Young, Permanent Sleep, a bunch of punk bands, and more. He's exhibited in a buncha shows in the US and a few in Canada, and juvenile delinquents like getting his stupid drawings tattooed on them, too.

Hire him if you want his kids to keep eating.


Asked Anonymous

MONDAY, JUNE 18th, 2012

I’m gonna go ahead and break my ‘no responding to anonymously asked questions’ rule again, and answer this one in honor of my ‘punk rock and skateboarding’ comic recently reaching 15,000 notes on Tumblr.

Cuz I’m pretty sure this question might be in response to that one… even though most of the bands in the question have NEVER been mentioned in any way, shape or form on this Tumblr.

So, to answer your question: I guess the main difference is that the first group are a bunch of bands I’ve loved since high school (minus THE DESCENDENTS; I never really got into them), and the second group are a bunch of bands I USED to love in high school, but now I don’t give two shits about one way or the other.

 Now for the meat-and-potatoes of this post:


This comic got a lot of attention—95% of it seemed to be on board (no pun intended) with the message, the other 5% was some of the most hilariously ignorant reactions I could ever hope for.

Among the best:

-The kid who wrote (paraphrasing here, but pretty accurate): “Never heard of Black Flag, but I checked them out aaaand… they suck.  Blink 182 forever.” 

-The one who wrote (direct quote here): “I don’t think you realize that the guy on the left IS THE ORIGIONAL PUNK ROCK FAN/SKATE BOARDER…… What the fuck?” Holy shit.  So someone out there in internetland ACTUALLY BELIEVES longboarding Blink 182 fans pre-date skateboarding Black Flag fans?  Christ. This kid’s probably a goddam creationist, too.  Timelines obviously aren’t his strong suit… 

Now, to all the people out there who got mad at this comic because they thought it was “elitist” or “pretentious” or that it was saying people shouldn’t be allowed to listen to whatever they want and ride whatever they want: 

It has NOTHING to do with ANY of that.  Let me start off with a little context to help you understand the meaning of this comic.  Punk rock and skateboarding existed LONG BEFORE they got exploited, marketed and perverted by the corporate world (ie: long before they popped up on the radar of anyone who actually got offended by this comic), and they both mean a HELL OF A LOT to a lot of people… largely because both punk rock and skateboarding — at their purest, realest, and rightest — embody a rejection of the same mass-marketed, consumerist, mallrat bullshit that fuels, breeds, and defines Blink 182 and mainstream longboarding.

So the opinion (more like “the truth”) expressed in this comic isn’t just some flippant “I don’t like what you like” kinda thing; it’s based on a real deep annoyance at the fact that two things (punk rock and skateboarding) so loved and so respected have been tainted by two other things (mall “punk” and mainstream longboarding) that are basically the complete and total ENEMIES of those things.

The dude on the right couldn’t give two shits about the fact that dude on the left listens to Blink 182 and rides a longboard; that’s NOT the message of this comic.  The message is, he’s pissed off that he’s calling them things that they’re not.  That he’s calling them the names of the two things HE loves.

It’s not pretentious for a punk fan to say Blink 182’s not punk; they’re not.  Would it be pretentious for a mason to correct a carpenter who calls himself a mason?  Of course not.  Same deal here.

Punk was born (and still exists) out of a rejection of the mainstream and of consumerist society.  Blink 182 was born out of a complete acceptance of that market-it-and-mall-it culture.  Polar opposites.  That’s why Blink and all those other bands AREN’T PUNK.  Not even pop-punk.  They’re pop.  Or rock.

I’m able to explain why Blink-182’s NOT punk; are you guys who say they ARE able to explain WHY?  Is it cuz their songs are fast and simple?  Okay, so what makes a polka band not punk?

I think it’s veeeery safe to say, anybody out there who got offended by this comic knows NOTHING about punk or about skateboarding.

Listen to Blink if you want.  Ride a longboard if you want.  The world needs all kinds.  But do your fucking research before you misrepresent yourself.

Oh, but I don’t wanna forget the Blink fans and longboarders who were still able to laugh at this comic; that’s awesome.  Thanks, guys.

*    *    *

On that note, thanks to all the straight-edge kids that are down with the straight-edge zombie comic I made that’s been making the rounds again lately; I think I’ve only noticed ONE uptight dingus giving you guys a bad name over this!  You open-minded straight-edgers (the vast majority, I’m pretty sure) rule!

19 notes

\This was posted 2 years ago
  1. mikeladeroute said: Dude. As you’re friend I’m usually on board with you on most things. But If you started skateboarding anywhere after, say 1988 (which being the same age as me I’m guessing you did) you go into skateboarding at it corporate sellout HIGHT.
  2. waybad posted this