Friday, March 5, 2010

More Malcolm, Less Martin

posted by Free Press Houston @ 6:24 PM

I have touched on this before but I have to revisit the recent concept of 'DIY'; the hip new abbreviation of 'Do it yourself'. It baffles my mind that people keep giving themselves gold stars for being 'DIY'. But who else can do something for you other than yourself? Mom? Did she do that diorama for your 2nd grade science class? Understand, 'DIY' is a concept that only exists with artists and musicians that are Anglo-Americans who are probably dressing down to hide their affluence. Never do you hear artists in the hip-hop community touting their DIY adventures. They have been 'doing it themselves' from the get go. So please, stop getting on your soapbox and telling people how you deserve some honorable distinction by actually being self reliant. Speaking of self reliance, our buddy Malcolm X is on the cover of this issue courtesy of Houston poster art progenitor Jermaine Rogers. Jermaine has done several covers for us over the years yet not in quite some time. We are honored to have his work gracing our cover again. This punk rock depiction of Malcolm X is sort-of our 'better late than never' tribute to Black History Month. Malcolm X's writings on self-reliance and defiance of tyranny were some very important stepping stones on my ideological journey. Yet, my post-adolescent fervor for firebrands like Malcolm has ebbed and flowed. In recent year's I have ascribed to more pacifist teachings attributed to MLK or Gandhi. But fact of the matter is, neither of those men scared my white in-laws. So today we salute you Malcolm X. Keep on scaring them white devils.

9 Comments:

At March 6, 2010 at 2:34 PM , Blogger Bru said...

Yes, you need to be able to wipe your own ass, do your own job, and pay your own bills.

But when I hear the term "DIY" I usually think in terms of musicians & other artists creating tangible content without the backing of a label, financier, or other representation. B L A C K I E's tapes are DIY. Fat Tony's work ethic touts DIY [i.e. bust your ass, work your hustle, and promote the hell out of yourself so people take notice of your music].

sIngs early releases are DIY. Giant Princess/B L A C K I E/Wild Moccasins t-shirts are DIY. Any show at the Indie Houston house or Muhammid Ali's house is a DIY effort - what's more punk/DIY than putting together backyard/living room shows?

Sorry, I guess I'm just another ranting white DIY hack who is broke because I'm not living on someone else's money.

 
At March 6, 2010 at 3:55 PM , Anonymous editor said...

Understood Bru, but the point is that there have ALWAYS been more people producing their music and art without major financiers or label backing. People have always been doing it themselves yet DIY is something new to our lexicon. Kudos to all those artists you named. But ultimately, the hoisting up of the DIY term is symptomatic of our coddled comfortable western culture because we think we are honorable when we screen print a shirt ourselves or record something at home. This is not something new, the term DIY is something new.

 
At March 7, 2010 at 10:12 AM , Blogger Bru said...

Understood. I think it's all about attitude & authenticity, as with most things.

I'd agree, if you're touting the DIY term to pat yourself on the back then it's merely pretentious.

However, I also think the term DIY can be applied as an adjective, purely for description's sake, in a valid manner.

Hey FPH, keep on keepin' it DIY.

 
At March 8, 2010 at 9:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you live deep within a vast, dark cave? On a deserted tropical island? On Mars? Do you seriously think the term "DIY" is new?

 
At March 10, 2010 at 9:51 AM , Anonymous Tom said...

DIY is not just some current fashion, it came out of the 70's, through PUNK, in opposition to music that was corporately manufactured and controlled... the fact that DIY culture has been co-opted by mainstream hipster B.S. is another story... but don't hate on DIY... read up on some history before you post about it

 
At March 13, 2010 at 1:41 PM , Anonymous brandon said...

"Understand, 'DIY' is a concept that only exists with artists and musicians that are Anglo-Americans who are probably dressing down to hide their affluence."

well i am glad we have that nailed down you fucking racist. i know this article is "your" opinion but, seriously consider editing it so you don't come off as such a piece of shit. hooray you're probably not anglo-american! you want me to give a you an award or a pat on the back because of that circumstance?

 
At March 13, 2010 at 8:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think diy meas personal initiative and responsibility not just in the arts which the lack these days

 
At March 15, 2010 at 1:34 PM , Blogger Matt said...

I didn't really realize DIY was 'in.' I'm 30 and I've been cutting my own hair for almost 10 years... and I don't have a shaggy haircut. Of course, I'm a guy, so the money saved is far less than if I were female. I changed my oil myself on motorcycles I've owned (for a short time), and try to only pay for parts for my car when the repairs/upgrades are expensive.

I'm pretty antisocial, but I've never got the feeling that people I've run into and to whom I've told these money-saving habits were really impressed. Who are these fellow citizens who admire saving money? However, I have to say there is some validity to the practice, if only for personal experience and a decent way of doing things that doesn't require practically commanding someone else for money in order to get something done.

...and just for the record, I didn't think your use of the term "anglo-american" was racist, and the bit about "affluent" people was funny. It's one thing to DIY it and take money from your parents, and another to go it on your own. I'm sure there are a few non-white people out there getting their bills paid and "DIYing" as well though. Anyone faking it, of any race, is simply a poser. Call them on it or, in today's unfortunate terms, defriend them... or whatever social networking nerds call it.

 
At April 7, 2010 at 8:30 AM , Anonymous Hugh Malone said...

I see your point, people who brag about being DIY are annoying and are probably doing more talking than action, but BOY does your piece sound ignorant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_it_yourself

 

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