Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

If there’s one thing that defines punk rock, it’s proper planning. If there are two things that define punk rock, it’s proper planning and fondant—two punk rock ideals that have become sadly lost in punk rock’s absorption into the mainstream. Fortunately, Martha Stewart Living is here to smash and/or gently muddle the state with its guide to throwing a “Punk Rock-Inspired Party,” returning the genre to its roots as a meticulously organized gathering of spoiled children rigidly adhering to dress codes and stereotypes. And spinach dip.

“There’s a reason kids love to rock out,” begins assistant digital editor Alexandra Churchill, correctly identifying the “attitude of freedom, self-expression, and do-it-yourself creativity” that punk fans have long gravitated to, and that Martha Stewart Living embodies with its step-by-step instructions for you to follow exactly lest you face being ostracized. Indeed, much as anyone who wants to be “punk” is free to express themselves by choosing slight variations on costumes and chord structures, so can anyone who wants to throw their child a “punk rock” party carefully work their way through Martha Stewart’s pre-approved checklist.


“A multicolored mohawk? Check. Leather jacket? Check. The rest of the party? That’s a little trickier,” Churchill writes, echoing the lament of countless punk musicians. But besides just suggesting a playlist of carefully researched punk bands like the Ramones, Blondie, The Clash, and The Police, she’s here to help with reminders of other things crucial to punk, including:

  • Invites styled as concert tickets, like the kinds one would purchase to rock out. “They can double as placeholders at the table with a seat number.” Anarchy is fine for the U.K., but it shouldn’t extend to seating.
  • “Punk-inspired garlands (think plaid fabric, safety pins, and shiny gold and brass materials),” such as the sort worn by punks and Christmas trees. String them up, the way punk would like to string up the engineers of our oppressive capitalist system!
  • A crafts booth where you can make “kid-friendly” colored mohawks and tattoos (“Don’t worry, Mom! They’re just temporary,” Churchill soothes of both these and your punk values.) You can also create punk things like “a matchbox guitar,” the kind famous punk musician Sid Vicious also couldn’t play. (Don’t worry, Mom; he’s dead!)
  • You can also drive nails into a pumpkin—which, actually, is pretty fucking punk. Fuck you, pumpkin! The gourd hierarchy topples today!
  • A “nosh pit,” a wild melee of spinach and things that go with spinach. For example, Spinach Ricotta Skulls—spinach and ricotta, like children eat, shaped into skulls, like punks eat.
  • “Buy a sheet of music—in your favorite punk jam, of course—to top fondant-covered cupcakes.” Such as these cupcakes, topped with the punk-rock grooves of Earth, Wind And Fire.

But punk rock isn’t just for cupcakes. You can also use this easily acquired punk rock sheet music to start a band. Tour the nation in a van adorned with plaid garlands. Move into a fondant-covered squat. Freebase spinach. Die young and unappreciated, knowing that someday your delusion of artistic rebellion will make for an adorable party theme.


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