punk ethics

I love the DIY ethics of punk. You wanna be in a band but have no musical ability? You wanna put on shows but have no money? Wanna make a zine but you have no writing ability? Wanna draw but you can’t draw? Go do it, do what you want to do, the scene is full of people who don’t meet societies standards, we don’t need to be up to societies standards. Doing things is good, so do things! People that do things inspire other people to do things!

I was asked once again to explain my views on ‘punks dress punk’ and all that so here’s a more in-depth explanation. Yes, I have learned a lot more and educated myself on this, so don’t come for me with that immature “hahaha you used to be sOoO PC your ideals are different.”

People can love punk music and not be punk at all. DIY ETHIC IS A MASSIVE PART OF PUNK SUBCULTURE. People have literally died for wearing punk clothes. If you want to call yourself a punk, adapt the attitude and take some pride in what you wear. It’s perfectly reasonable to like our music and be a casual listener, but don’t come on tumblr with a thrifted blue denim jacket with a single anarchy pin and claim Sid Vicious’ reincarnation. Take advice from people, learn how to make your own shit, etc. I’ve been in a year-long hazing state within the scene and trust me when i say that its a part of the culture and its important to keep the edgy poser kids from claiming punk. You really do not need to be slathered in fuckin studs, but put some work in your gear and wear it out of the house and in the pit once in a fuckin while. 

If you want to be apart of the subculture, fucking act like it. Punk isn’t your yuppie day job or a costume to be worn when you’re feeling particularly edgy.

Am I upset? Oh boy you bet I am. I’m upset because I live in a world where everyone’s told they’re a snowflake. Everyone’s told they’re special and different and one of a kind. I’m upset because I live in a world where I’m lied to, you know? When I was younger I thought I was special, I thought I was going to change the world. I thought I was better than average. I’m not. I’m a special snowflake all right, but I’m a special snowflake that’s lost in a drift with a million other snowflakes who are as, if not more, special than I am.
You know what makes it worse? Nobody will tell me that. Whenever I say I’m not going to make a difference or that I’m not special, a soccer mom comes running in screaming that I am. If the participation medal I got when I was seven or the paper honor roll certificate I got in eighth grade is what makes me special, boy do I have a reason to be upset. That’s not special. Maybe compared to someone else it is, but they’ve probably got something special of their own that suburban moms are gushing over.
I’m upset that kids are told they’re special. You’re not born special. You played on a sports team? Well good for you kid, that doesn’t mean you’re the next Babe Ruth. You won a debate round? Great, let me know when you become president. It’s harsh I know, but maybe if we stopped telling kids they were amazing, talent, wonderful flowers from God’s own garden, they’d stop believing it their entire lives. Maybe they’d get their heads out of the clouds and work towards being something special.  
You know what believing I was special got me? A whole lot of anxiety and an inferiority complex, that’s what it got me. Because my mom told me I was special my entire life, I believed her. So when I saw some kid do better than me, I thought, gee I wish I was that good. Instead, I was constantly living short of my so-called potential. Maybe if I was raised to think, you’re okay, but you’re never going to be better than average if you don’t try and work for it, I might actually have worked for something and not assumed it would be handed to me because I was a special perfect snowflake that was gracing everyone’s life by simply drifting through.
So yah, I’m a little upset. Worst of all, my parents’ generation and their parents’ generation sit around complaining that people my age are entitled, prissy, lazy, narcissistic, broke, stressed for absolutely no reason, underachieving punks with no work ethic. Well guess who raised us to be entitled, prissy, lazy, narcissistic, broke, stressed for absolutely no reason, underachieving punks with no work ethic? I can promise you it wasn’t the special little snowflakes and God’s personally grown flowers that feel like they don’t live up to their parents expectations because they were raised in a world where they have a little special something that other kids don’t have and yet if anyone else asked, they’re all equal because you don’t want a kid to feel bad about themselves. Don’t let other kids know that they might be less by giving them participation trophy when they suck. Don’t let other kids know that they might not make it far in life by giving them a bogus award that doesn’t mean anything so that they don’t feel bad that some kid got a four point oh by studying non-stop while they sat around and did nothing and scraped by with a two point.  
OF COURSE I’M UPSET. Even now, I have some much stress and anxiety in my life I can barely keep my sanity for a semester. I cry when break comes because it’s over, but I know it’s going to start again in a month. I was raised with a sense of entitlement that lead me to think everyone wants to give the special snowflake everything I wanted. So now that scholarships are harder to get and there’s fewer jobs and everything costs more and there’s downright awful social conditions for me to live in, don’t think for one second that I wouldn’t be upset.
I’m upset because I’m working so hard to be special and make a difference, but so is everyone else. Maybe if someone didn’t destroy everything for us before we got there and then say that it was our fault that the world was going to hell because we’re a bunch of entitled, prissy, lazy, narcissistic, broke, stressed for absolutely no reason, underachieving punks with no work ethic, we’d stand a chance. Maybe if we didn’t think we were special snowflakes in a world where we’re nothing but average, we’d try and be something more instead of falling short to outrageous expectations. If we were raised to believe we were average, we’d set our goals to be above that.
I’m upset because kids are raised to believe that they are above average. You know where goals are set when you think your above average? They’re set at perfect. I’m upset because an average kid can’t ever reach perfect, yet they were raised to believe that that is the only place they can go. So, yes, I’m upset.
—  KJS // Excerpt from the book I’ll never write #15

Interview: Osa Atoe

New Orleans

In 2008, Osa Atoe was touring around the country with her punk band New Bloods. When we met her, she had changed gears, steering her focus to concentrate on the kind of art you can hold in your hands. She makes her life and living now as a terracotta potter in New Orleans, Louisiana, her color palette vast in its temperature if not its hue, both defying and defining the heat of the city. 

Osa’s bowls and dishes are elegant vessels, radiating with a staccato drum beat of angle and line. The geometric patterns in her ceramics recall the drawings in Shotgun Seamstress, Osa’s self-published zine about Black punk and political activism. A passion for personal and societal transformation, DIY ethics and the vocalization of the under-represented are the driving forces in everything she does, manifesting themselves in media as disparate as terracotta, punk and art historical essay. Her work is her voice: loud, unfettered by form and resounding in revolution.

We spoke to Osa about the relationship between punk music and ceramics, what a vessel stands for and the richness of New Orleans’ craft heritage. 

Portland punk band New Bloods.

What is your relationship to the the process of creating pottery, especially in relationship to punk and DIY aesthetics? You mentioned that you’ve been a punk musician since you were 19. Does that play into how you make ceramics now? 

I think I always wanted to work harder on punk bands than I actually could while collaborating with people. I was always very clear about the fact that I wasn’t in bands to make money; I wanted the music I was making to be purely about expression and participating in the legacy of punk and American indie rock. Unfortunately, I think that when you’re not getting paid for your craft, it can’t take as high a priority in your life. You’re always spending such a large chunk of your time working for money to keep food in your belly and a roof over your head. I would’ve loved to work on being in a band as hard as I work on pottery, but when you’re working with other people, you have everyone’s schedule to take into account. In the end, the longevity of your project also relies on multiple people.

Keep reading

Watch on rookiemag.tumblr.com

The new Grass Widow video. Serious summer fun jams. Tobi Vail (formerly of Bikini Kill) interviews the band here. They have a great discussion and touch on the importance of pursuing your dreams ethically and honestly:

“I think that a lot of the punks pretend that they’re outside of capitalism and somehow off the grid, but I think you can make money and be honest about the way you’re making money—and not fuck people over.”

–Jessica H.

Ignorance is Bliss

An old college friend of mine randomly messaged me while high as balls and started saying things like, “People are so gross! They kill animals for food and hunt with guns!" 

So I explained that I’m a hunter - I kill animals because I believe that, as an animal biologically designed to eat plants and meat myself, it’s what nature intended me to do. When I do kill something, it’s because I am playing the part of a predator in the ecosystem. Predators are, after all, vital to the continued long-term survival of all prey species, and frankly, there aren’t enough predators around these days - largely on account of humans (this is part of the reason I’m personally opposed to hunting cougars and bears and wolves in the area if their numbers are not stable enough, but that’s a different topic altogether) to keep balance on their own. If every animal on earth ate plants and plants alone, we’d be thrown into a state of imbalance and nature as a whole would inevitably fail. 

In order for some animals to live, others must die. And there is, I believe, something numinous about the fact that when I kill and eat a deer, that animal’s energy then becomes a part of me. It lives on, and will do so until I eventually pass and become food for the earth. It’s how things have always been (and, if we value the continued survival of the planet) how things should always remain. 

But my friend immediately says, "That’s stupid! If you love animals, why would you want to kill them?" 

So I tried to explain it in more simple terms, at which point he said I was treating him like a toddler and didn’t want to listen to me anymore. I said that he clearly wasn’t ready to have this discussion with me if he wouldn’t set aside his emotional bias and pre-established judgments, and gave him one last chance to discuss the topic logically.

But, inevitably, it went south quickly. And I actually don’t mind at all, largely because this is the same guy who said many unintentionally racist and sexist things during our time in college together, not entirely because he believed them, but because he was not well-educated as to why such things were problematic. It was uncomfortable, to say the least.

I’ve realized now, though, that his problem - and indeed, the problem many people have - is that they don’t WANT to learn about why their actions or beliefs are such a big issue to others. It’s the "ignorance is bliss” effect, and frankly, I’m getting really tired of it. 

anonymous asked:

Can you just admit you are not a diy or punk band, you simply used those things to gain notoriety with privileged white kids that love posi pop punk?

I’m sensing anger in your writing. You probably already don’t like us and want some sort of justice that you’ve created in your head.

What is your definition of DIY? Are you mad that we don’t fit it? When we first started we printed our own shirts, recorded our own songs, burned our own CDs and dubbed our own tapes, made our own packaging, blah blah blah.

This isn’t some contest to out punk anyone else, and look at anytime we’ve been asked about DIY. We didn’t preach some punk ethics, we said we did it ourselves because no one else would. We did it ourselves until Flannel Gurl came along and started making records for us, then we asked someone to print our shirts because our personal lives got busy and we couldn’t print the number of shirts we needed with that little free time. Then Scott single handedly booked a 72 day full US tour, where we would go out with all of our merch and send out any online mail order whenever we had downtime. Now my parents willingly and eagerly help out with the merch store from their house. Then Greg Horbal demanded we let him be our booking agent and we liked the idea. Then we got a bigger van so we could tour more without having to worry about shit breaking. We’ve gotten shit about that too, which is on a payment plan on a credit that we pay off every month.

Would you like me to go even further to satisfy this not punk notion you’re looking for? We never preached a punk god, we did the work we knew from our own common sense and when people came asking if they could help, if we trusted them and knew they weren’t big business bullshit then we let them in.



VIDEO: La Dispute at the Howell Opera House, November 22, 2008

7 1/2 years ago, the group that would eventually become Fusion Shows first hosted the band La Dispute.  I can remember it very clearly.  LD drummer Brad Van Der Lugt had been filling in on drums for a radio rock band called Broken Sunday, and for a few years, we had been bringing them to Livingston County.  He kept telling me “we’ll have to get my actual band out here someday”.  Eventually, we worked it out, and we added the band on to open Monte’s EP release party at the Howell Opera House on September 29, 2006.  Also on the crazy multi-genre bill were Bringing Down Broadway, Tips, Apathy For An Enemy, and The Story Changes.  

They arrived first, before any of the other bands.  The band that was scheduled to play first that night was running late, so I made La Dispute play first.  I did so many awful things to bands in those days, I didn’t really know what the hell I was doing.  There was probably 20 people in the room when they played (the show ended up selling out, but it was late arriving crowd - ahhhh the good ol days), and La Dispute ripped through a short set of what was likely songs from their Vancouver EP.  

We brought them back to play the two biggest Blue Collar Booking shows in 2007, kind of as an “I’m sorry”, and also because I really liked them, both as musicians and as people.  They played the February SayHy Radio birthday bash with The Hard Lessons, The Killing Moon, Ender, and more, and then played at Skate-A-Que at Meijer Park that summer.  I remember watching their mid-afternoon set at Skate-A-Que, and Jordan noticed someone with their back turned to them, chatting with a friend while they played, so he snuck up behind him, jammed the microphone in the unsuspecting dude’s pocket, latched onto his leg like a toddler getting a free ride, and screamed lyrics through the dude’s jeans and into his leg.  It was one of the funniest moments I can ever remember at a show, but also just showed a showmanship that can exist even in a band with such a great punk, DIY ethic.  

From those high-energy sets, we built the band to eventually be able to sell out a series of two Opera House shows, that rank among some of my favorite memories to this date as a promoter.  On one of them, my mom showed up to the show, and if any of you know my mom, she’s not one for loud music or whatever.  But she showed up randomly just to say hello right before La Dispute went to go on stage.  I told her “Mom, you have to experience this band”.  I gave her a pair of earplugs, and she stood with me behind the band on “stage” (the Opera House didn’t have a stage, just an open floor), and she refused to leave until it was over.  She was really amazed to see the amazing outpouring of love and connection with the band’s lyrics that marked a La Dispute show.  

Overall, tonight’s show will be the 21st show my companies have hosted with La Dispute somewhere on the bill.  That includes 4 straight Bled Fests (2008-2011), opening and then headlining slots at every venue in Livingston County, headlining shows across the state, a support slot with Frank Turner (we knew that was weird, but we didn’t care), and a bunch of other shows.  

So fast forward to today.  The band has done it their way, all the way through.  I’ve never been so proud of a band’s success, because all along the way, they’ve always taken care of everyone they come into contact with.  One of the most selfless and truly team-oriented bands I know.  The new record is amazing (pick it up if you haven’t already).  I’m so excited to see my friends tonight, and to celebrate what live performance is all about.  It’s bittersweet, because Kevin Whittemore is leaving the band after this tour, and it’ll be my last time to see him play live.  I love that dude.  

Thanks for being along for the ride.  Let’s take care of each other tonight and have an amazing evening!