“My punk rock lifestyle is becoming a hobby.”

We then turned to the words of the great philosopher, D. Boon: “Punk is whatever we made it to be.” One can still live DIY and pay the bills. You might want to stop dumpster-diving at some point; but in exchange, try to shop at locally owned businesses. Build what you can, recycle and reuse what you have. Make your own clothes. So you’ve got a degree in architecture, use it to design and build something of value to your community. Barter and trade amongst your friends instead of buying new, overpriced, sweatshop-built crap. Get a job doing something you love with a company you believe in.

For this continuing blog, I’m using the title “This Ain’t No Picnic," which is a song by The Minutemen. They ran their band and lives under a philosophy of “jamming econo." Though this started as the only way to maintain a touring “punk” band in the early 1980s, they soon realized that this was a very sustainable way of life. The Minutemen did not create DIY or punk, but they did help to redefine it. They showed that being punk and DIY has nothing to do with the way you dress, or the music you listen to; it was how you live your life and how you treat the rest of the human race you share this planet with. The Minutemen have influenced me possibly more than any other one thing or person. Their philosophies, politics, and ethics have been a blueprint for many aspects of my life.

A full-on DIY life doesn’t work for everyone, not even me. Once you’ve bought a house or started a family, you’ll probably have to live less of this lifestyle than you did when you were 19 years old. But, as a working adult with responsibilities, you can still be DIY to some extent. You’ll probably have more money in your wallet and you’ll probably feel a lot better about yourself and your community. Before I get the ball rolling over here, you should check out our Fix It Now blog. It’s punk as fuck and can help get your newfound DIY life started.


The Minutemen "This Ain't No Picnic"

“This Ain’t No Picnic” will be dedicated to exploring the ways and means to live a DIY life as a working adult. Just because you had to cut your mohawk and buy nice clothes for that office job doesn’t mean that you’ve sold out or given up. You can still fight the good fight and help others to do so, too.

Several years ago, a friend lamented, “My punk rock lifestyle is becoming a hobby.”

We discussed this thought over the course of several hours and several beers. We were getting to the point in our lives where having a full-time, 9-to-5 job was more necessity than chore. We were homeowners. We were planning families with our significant others. The dilemma we faced was how to continue living the DIY lifestyle while still making car and mortgage payments. Could we still try to make a difference in the world while strapped to a desk for 40 hours a week?


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