Punk began, like most everything else in this country, as a high school mentality. "Punks" were the outcasts, the losers. The kids sleeping in the back row, or not showing up half the time. Completely alienated, as the punk ethos represented total alienation, about society; about everything.
The New Yorker Twenty Under Forty by definition can't be punk; not just because they were selected by the Ultra-Approved snob magazine, but because they went through the selection process, jumping through hoops as they have their entire lives. Do I have to read all their stories to know it's bland unsurprising ultra-approved pod shit??
These are society's anti-punks. The kids raising their hands in the front row, eagerly, many wearing bow ties (see Jonathan Foer) beaming with approval of the teacher and the system, sucking up to power and approval their entire lives-- it's all they know-- leaving twenty polished apples on the New Yorker desk in their wake. Pets. Toss them a dog biscuit or give them a ribbon. They don't need my approval, certainly. It's ridiculous for anyone to ask for it. Exactly how much conformity does the literary world need?