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Friday, March 28, 2008

The letter "X"

The letter "X" is the most prevalent symbol of straight edge also known as sXe. Commonly it is worn as a marking, symbol or tattoo on the back of one or both hands, though it can be displayed on other body parts as well. Some followers of straight edge have also incorporated the symbol into clothing and pins. According to a series of interviews by journalist Michael Azerrad, the straight-edge "X" can be traced to the Teen Idles' brief U.S. West Coast tour in 1980.[1] The Idles were scheduled to play at San Francisco's Mabuhay Gardens, but when the band arrived, club management discovered that the entire band was under the legal drinking age and therefore should be denied entry to the club. As a compromise, management marked each of the Idles' hands with a large black "X" as a warning to the club's staff not to serve alcohol to the band. Upon returning to Washington, D.C., the band suggested this same system to local clubs as a means to allow teenagers in to see musical performances without being served alcohol. While the practice was never widely adopted by D.C.-area music venues,[1] the mark soon became associated with the straight edge lifestyle. Recently, however, after a slow pickup, more and more music venues have been employing this system.

Sometimes the number "24" is used, as X is the 24th letter of the alphabet. A variation involving a trio of X's ("xxx") originated in artwork created by Minor Threat's drummer, Jeff Nelson, in which he replaced the three stars in the band's hometown Washington, D.C. flag with Xs.[citation needed] The term is sometimes abbreviated by including an "X" with the first two letters of the words "straight edge: sXe."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Straight edge

Straight edge refers to a lifestyle and scene that started within the hardcore punk subculture whose adherents abstain from alcohol, smoking, and other recreational drug use. There is considerable debate over what constitutes a straight edge lifestyle, and some adherents may also abstain from caffeine, psychiatric medication and promiscuity. The term itself was coined by the 1980s hardcore punk band Minor Threat.