Censorship: Ravi Grover's Column
A while back I wrote a column talking about the annoying overuse of the word "sellout" by the hardcore scene, spoke of Rage against the Machine, along with numerous other inconsistencies. Since then I've gotten into a few debates, including one with Steve Feltner who wrote a letter printed in the last issue. We actually ended up having an interesting discussion on the whole thing. In the process I got him to agree with some of my arguments, and he ended up convincing me on some of his. It also made me think of some things I want to clarify for all the punk fundamentalists, who, like animal fat in Dick Cheney's arterial walls, are still stubbornly clinging to this one single subject of mainstream bands.
Part I: Climaxing on Major Labels
I think DIY's inception can be traced to a UK band named Crass, who were fed up with the Sex Pistols' corporate affiliation and success. They stressed forming an underground music scene free from greed and unethical practices carried about by many mainstream companies. This was all brand new in the 70's, and it spawned newly created DIY scenes in the US and eventually the world. In its original formation, the common thing to talk about was how major labels were evil and how bands who were mainstream should be treated like the scourge of society. This was also a time when values were being popularized, low prices on shows, low prices on records, with do it yourself business ethics. So here's what we've come to: there were 20+ major labels in the beginning of punk's birth. Now its 2001, and the music monopoly is controlled by five majors. From back then until now, where did the scene go so horribly wrong?
I can look at a recent issue of HaC, Maximum Rock'n'Roll, or any punk 'zine and I will bet you that at least one person in there will be writing about how bands have sold out, or how MTV is a bigger threat than global warming. Then I can look at any 'zine published 5 years ago and read the exact same thing. I can look at a 'zine printed 10 years ago, and someone will have duplicated exactly what was said 5 years before that 'zine was published. What was sung about, written, and said in the late 70's and early 80's is still being rehashed and regurgitated in the new millennium. In my opinion, one of the major problems facing punk is that it recycles itself way to much, which prevents itself from making any real progress. It would make sense to repeat something again and again if there were actual results to justify it. This is far, far from the case. Talking about how bands like Bad Religion and Rage Against the Machine have sold out has gotten extremely repetitive. In fact I don't understand why most people haven't become extremely bored with constantly reading and hearing about it. All you have to do is replace those bands' names with Green Day and Offspring from 6 or 7 years ago, and then go back a few more years and replace it with Nirvana or whoever everyone hated back then (by the way, Nirvana's mainstream success is what first got me curious about underground punk). Okay, so bands crossover and all major labels are immoral. GET OVER IT ALREADY. The majority of punks don't purchase major label music, so must you constantly say the same thing over and over again, for 20 long years? In fact, why don't you repeat it again, we're so stupid that we didn't hear you the first billion times! What really boggles me is not the anger felt by new teenagers that first enter the scene. The anti-major label idea is completely brand new to them, so that's somewhat understandable. What I don't understand is people who are in their late 20's or early 30's, who've been in the scene for more than 10 years and are still neurotically obsessed with bashing commercial music. I sometimes want to ask them what has (not) happened over the years where they have grown and experienced life more than most of us younger people, yet are still so easily aggravated over this one specific subject.
The common argument I hear is that since major labels bands are employed by a corporation, they are part of the problem, so the scene should be attacking them. Well let's take a look at other jobs that people do working for corporations. There are numerous journalists who write for mainstream publications and report on corporate-owned stations like ABC, CNN, and MS-NBC. Millions of people worldwide have seen and read investigative news stories on the evils of the WTO, racial profiling, genetically modified food, the Firestone tire recall, etc. through the mainstream media. To stray off the subject for a second, if all of those truth seeking journalists quit their jobs and went to work for the independent press, what we'd have left is very little truth being reported. Only pro-corporate, one sided views would be pushed, and our views would be non-existent. But that's a completely different subject so I won't even get into that. Nobody is up in arms criticizing Hugh Downs, Larry King, Geraldo Rivera, and numerous other reporters when they talk about these same topics that hardcore bands sing about at shows. On the other hand, punks are always quick to jump when the words "major labels" are brought up. A few issues ago, HaC printed an ad for a rally in support of Leonard Peltier. Leonard Peltier's latest book is printed by St. Martin's Press which is nowhere near being DIY or anywhere close to being considered a small, independent book publisher. To quote Kent McClard: "The medium is the message." So please tell me then why nobody accused the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee of being insincere by printing Peltier's book through a corporate publisher? And why did a 'zine that constantly preaches DIY allow the promotion of an organization that not only worked hand-in-hand with a corporation but actually helped that same corporation promote the book for free (!) to increase its sale and profit? Any radical-minded hardcore kids upset right now? Nope. I've seen in numerous older anarcho-punk 'zines, free publicity for Mumia Abu-Jamal's Live from Death Row. Yet another book far from being DIY, this one was published by the non-independent, for-profit Addison Wesley book corporation, and even made the New York Times' best seller list at one point. Addison Wesley's name is well known for selling millions of school text books worldwide, they aren't exactly a small operation. This book was also promoted for free by Mumia's support groups. The publication was sold for around $20, and thanks to all the people who bought it, including those radical punks who preach anti-corporate values, Addison Wesley made a hefty profit in the end. To paraphrase, the corporations get a little bit richer every time someone buys Peltier's and Abu-Jamal's books. I even specifically remember Maximum Rock'n'Roll, the most narrow minded, rigid, DIY 'zine doing a review for Live from Death Row! Somebody please explain to me why the punk community takes a firm stand against promoting bands on majors, but have no problem whatsoever promoting books and authors on those same majors? Where the fuck were the DIY fanatics to call out MRR's hypocrisy and inconsistency?? Where were the anarcho-punks when HBO aired documentaries on Abu Jamal, or shows that pointed out racial disparities in the failing US Drug War? Did the DIY punks who watch cable TV get offended when documentary producers collaborated with a TV channel owned by Time Warner? Several times in the pages of HaC I've seen mention of Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States and Michael Moore's Downsize This!; here's more free advertising for books printed by Harper Collins, a book company owned by Time Warner! I have a few important questions for the so-called anti-corporate DIY community: WHY ARE YOU ZEROING ON JUST MUSICIANS? WHY DO YOU WANT TO HAVE MUSICIANS BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE AS IF THEY'RE ROLE MODELS? WHY IS IT OF ALL THE BUSINESSES THAT EXIST OUT THERE, MUSIC IS THE ONE THAT YOU SINGLE OUT TO BE REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL YOUR VALUES AND BELIEFS? WHY THE HELL DO YOU GET SO EASILY UPSET, EMOTIONAL, AND UPTIGHT OVER A FEW STUPID BANDS THAT YOU DON'T EVEN LIKE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Besides authors and journalists, there are also actors who take on causes but then work for multi-national movie corporations. There are models who are involved in anti-fur campaigns but then promote fashion made by designers like Tommy Hilfiger who make their clothes in sweatshops. There are people who do not support destroying the Earth but cut trees for a living and are employed by lumber companies, many of whom are responsible for much of the planet's destruction. For the sake of argument, I'm gonna take the hardcore approach which strictly blames mainstream bands for their employers' destruction, and hold all these other employees liable for the evils of the corporation they work for. And I'm gonna also say that corporate employees like news reporters and authors like Michael Moore don't sincerely care about the issues they report or write on, they're just doing it to further their careers and make money. In a fit of hysterical rage, I now declare all these people as non-genuine and greedy bastards. So from now on, don't attack the CEO of Nike, attack the athletes who do commercials for them. Don't attack Time Warner, criticize the writers, the bands (wait, that's already taken care of!), all the actors, directors, cartoonists, cameramen, sound engineers, (the list goes on) that have their products made by Warner. Don't be angry at clothing designers for having unethical labor practices, instead focus all your efforts on destroying the careers of super models in Paris. Instead of being aggressive towards the board members who decide fuel efficiency standards in automobiles, do an individual profile on each autoworker who is against air pollution and then expose them as hypocrites for daring to work for an anti-environmental company. Focus all your anger at that teen vegetarian who's working at Pizza Hut slicing pepperoni, why bother targeting the actual company or even the meat industry itself.
If you haven't figured out my point in all this, it's a HUGE fucking waste of time to be attacking employees of a corporation. Let me give you a scenario. Say Rage picked up a 'zine and after reading it they said to themselves "You know what, these angry kids are right. We are hypocrites for being signed to Sony. Let's just break up and not put out anymore records so our multi-national employer doesn't get any more money from us." So what happens now? Considering that Sony owns movies companies, music labels, TV stations, not to mention sells electronics worldwide, I seriously doubt they are gonna collapse. Bands on majors hated by the scene probably constitute .00001% (not an exact figure, so don't quote me on that) of a corporation's overall sales so I don't understand why people feel the need to focus on merely those bands as if they solely reap all the profits and are alone responsible for the evils committed by these companies. And why waste all that time criticizing STRICTLY music? The scene has already wasted 20 years with absolutely nothing to show for it. Bands don't sit in corporate board rooms behind closed doors making decisions that could destroy the world. Drummers don't decide on CD price fixing. Song writers don't determine what wages to pay sweatshop workers. Maybe these bands are part of the problem for being employed by corporations, but in order to eliminate a problem, you don't attack the symptom, you attack the root of it!
Part II: DIY vs. Punk Rock Idealism
It's just that simple: if people want DIY to be preserved in the long run, kids need to stop complaining about slight markups on products. Hard as this may be to believe by some of the more affluent consumers of hardcore (that would be the majority) this markup can in some cases determine whether or not someone who is running things DIY will go into debt or continue doing what they love. Some believe shows should not be higher than $5 or 7"s priced more than $3. If you live in big cities like New York or Chicago, these rules make sense and can be applied easily because there is a such large scene to provide economic support. On the other hand, if you're a band traveling through low population towns with small scenes, or you have a show venue who only has 30 kids attending shows that occur twice a month, DIY ventures will definitely run into severe money problems. The common argument I hear against adding a slight markup is that it keeps punk from being "affordable" to the consumers. I'm sorry but that excuse is seriously weak. Hardcore is all about consumerism. I know first hand, because I used to do a distro. The majority of stuff that I sold was not cheap 'zines or tapes, it was T-shirts, which cost more than records, and are the most expensive items sold by labels and stores. It's always funny to see kids rocking a bandanna, spikes, a hooded band sweatshirt, high priced jeans, and name brand shoes pull a Fred Sanford inside a record store or at a show. They grasp their chest as if in need of an angioplasty, but instead of saying "Elizabeth, I'm coming home!" they cry out in terror over the 25 cent 'zine, the $3.50 record, and vomit some b.s. rhetoric on how capitalists are taking over the scene, trying to reap profits off of unsuspecting, innocent hardcore kids. The relationship in the scene reminds me of spoiled rich kids. In some suburban families, it's the mom and dad who do the work to provide for their family, while the kids act like they deserve free shit, a nice car, some nice clothes, all without actually having to contribute anything themselves to the family as a whole. It works the same way in the scene. A small group of individuals pour out their heart to do something creative, they put in the hard work, sacrifice their personal time and energy, and sometimes (actually most of the time) lose a lot of money in the process. Then along comes the well-to-do scenesters, who believe they are the center of the universe, and that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. They want, no they demand, free 'zines, super cheap door prices, and even cheaper music. Nevermind that a bass player is out $500 from pressing their band's record or that the local independent shop is having a hard time paying its monthly rent. All they need is a helping hand, but the almighty scenester has money he wants to blow on himself, he is after all entitled to consume everything for cheap. When I was in the 11th grade attending Cracker High, my sociology teacher told our class that statistics showed that the people least likely to donate money to charity were the upper-middle and upper classes. Basically their attitude is that even though they have plenty of money to spare they believe that the world revolves around them and that they don't have to give a shit about anything except gratifying themselves. This same mindset exists in hardcore, where people with plenty of money at their disposal could easily help out a struggling DIY collective, store, label, or venue but will instead accuse those who don't kiss their ass, give out free shit, or sell them a product for an extremely cheap rate of being "sellouts." The reason many kids demand low prices is not because they believe in the DIY ethic. If this was the case they would demand that their artist charge less than $100 for the tattoos they get. They would refuse to pay hundreds of dollars in clothing to let everyone know how punk they are. Parking lots at show venues wouldn't be filled up with cars completely decked out in band stickers. There wouldn't be kids who throw money every weekend on expensive liquor and cigarettes, or a $50 backpack with embroidered triple X's. Again here is that simple, narrow minded mentality coming into play. All values are applied exclusively to music and nothing else. Just like kids will only attack corporations and their employees if it's strictly related to music, those same people believe in low prices only when it comes to punk consumerism. "Keep it affordable" is something that better off kids demand from the scene to fulfill their own desire, not those who are genuinely into preserving DIY in the long run. How many hardcore kids do you know who own just one or two records or CDs? Most have massive music collections, and anyone that tells you a $6 show or a $4 record will cause hardcore fans to start living below the poverty line is out of their fucking mind. The reason these people demand low prices is because it is the norm for many kids to think everything should be catered to them. They believe people who carry out the DIY ethic should invest hundreds or thousands of dollars of their personal money into a project and then provide for these spoiled brat type consumerists who don't bother to help anyone out but themselves. It's extremely insulting when kids try to disguise themselves as "working class" or "poor" in order to justify cheap prices. If someone is genuinely poor, they sure as hell won't be inside a record store acting like a crybaby over some stupid "high priced" music. Actual struggling people simply don't step into that store in the first place, because records, shows, and fashionable merchandise are not on the top of the list for a poor person's necessities. If it is their most important need, they need to seriously reevaluate their priorities. If someone wants to spend their money on punk rock products, go ahead, I'm not trying to dictate what people should spend their cash on. All I'm saying is, stop allowing these dumbass rich kids who hide behind "DIY ethics" to harass those who are actually doing the work to make a productive scene. As for those who believe profit should be entirely out of the picture, if you genuinely believe something is too "expensive" simply don't buy it. Then congratulate yourself for preventing a greedy bloodsucker from almost making 50 cents profit. The horror of it all. Who knows what crazy luxury items that scene leech may have bought themselves with that extra two quarters! Maybe a candy bar? A can of soda? Maybe even a stick of gum! Just thinking about it gives me nightmares...
I used to respect counterculture in that I thought it was effectively rebelling against what was wrong. I now think the word counterculture should be replaced with the word "counter-productive" because it's exactly that. I agree with some of the ideals in hardcore but I think its potential is stifled due to immaturity and unrealistic ideology. I think people who are hardline about the whole major label and low price issue are blinded by dogma, much like those who participate in fundamentalist religion. Followers of fundamentalist religion spend too much time viewing themselves as being better than everyone else, after all, to them the entire world is corrupt. They are "enlightened" and anyone who disagrees with their viewpoints is an idiot. Instead of working to eliminate concrete problems that exist, they instead waste their time constantly talking about what they dislike in people who aren't similar to them, pointing out problems we already know exist, never actually seeking long term solutions, while accomplishing very little (if anything) in the process. They're stuck in the Middle Ages, completely against the concept of moving forward. I see this same dogma and attitude in hardcore. It tells kids to hate everything that isn't like their precious scene, and tells them to ignore the real issues that people should be concentrating on. Instead of seeking progress, punk fundamentalists urge everyone else to continue on with the 20+ year sermon on evil mainstream bands, avoiding what's actually important and changeable, and preferring to focus on the trivial and the unchangeable. People who write and play songs talking shit about commercial music are praised and worshipped for simply doing just that: talking a bunch of shit. People who try to actually accomplish something are ridiculed or accused of being greedy. Can you imagine being like these religious hardcore fundamentalists, going though your entire life being an anti-social misanthropic snob, with your nose turned up at everyone who is unlike you, despising everything mainstream, filled with hatred for everything that doesn't mimic punk (practically the whole world!)? Can you imagine living your life viewing everything that you believe in as God's gift to humanity, while constantly criticizing people who might not have a full understanding of your opinions? Can you imagine yourself at age 35 still throwing temper tantrums over the fact that yet another underground band has a video on MTV? That's wasting life if you ask me, not to mention fucked up and pathetic.
The way I see it, there are 3 types of people in this world when it comes to dealing with problems that affect all of us. There are the traditionalists who are rigid in their thinking and want to continue to handle everything the way it has always been dealt with. There are the progressives who acknowledge that maybe some of the older ways of looking things just don't work anymore and that we need to evolve and at least try something different from what the traditionalists want. And then there are the people who don't really care either way and simply take whichever side (progressive or traditionalist) happens to be stronger. Right now in the scene, it's the traditionalists who have the stranglehold. This is partly due to the fact that some of it is now controlled by older people from the 80's scene who are exercising their influence. It may have been a good solution in Crass' day to rail against the Sex Pistols and The Clash for being on mainstream labels. But this isn't fucking 1979 anymore!! By now people should have realized that simply talking about corporate music negatively has not in anyway prevented bands from crossing over, eliminated greed, or caused companies to lose money. At this point in time, common sense would tell people to step back and either seek a different solution to this problem or redirect their attention to some other issues more worthwhile. Unfortunately, the traditionalists prefer everyone to lack common sense.
If the scene wants to continue running this anti-major label issue into the ground, first it should ask itself these questions: Has constant repetition of this subject made major labels weaken? Has DIY hardcore strengthened? If the answer was yes to the first two questions then why are there now only 5 major labels and a long list of failed DIY operations all over the globe? How many teenagers do you see at punk shows? Now how many of those kids do you think will still be there when they graduate from college? How many people do you know in their early 30's who are still into punk? Why is there such a big difference in numbers between these age groups?
Part III: Moving on with your life
It's time to stop drilling the two decade old major label topic and start paying attention to seeking solutions and fixing legitimate problems. If punk is supposed to be genuinely anti-corporate then it needs refocus its efforts on one or more of 3 things: 1. working to strengthen the underground, which is riddled with financial difficulty and a high failure rate among DIY; 2. Actually attacking the CEO's or the corporations themselves; 3. Actually spreading ideas outside of the scene so that more and more people in the mainstream take on the anti-corporate mentality and/or the DIY ethic, which in turn would weaken corporate power. The reason animal rights groups were successful in getting Gillette to stop testing on animals was because people wrote in letters and pressured the CEO of the company, not because PETA investigated which Gillette employees were against animal testing and then printing up 'zines that questioned their sincerity. The reason many American college campuses are not purchasing clothing made in sweatshops is because students go straight to those in positions of power, they don't waste their time on unchangeable nonsense like how MTV is trendy. Nike stocks have gone down in value because their labor practices have been exposed to the public, not because Michael Jordan was painted as Satan for doing commercials for them. Nobody is dropping a lawsuit against Chumbawamba because the company they work for has unethical practices! Personally I don't think musicians, athletes, or celebrities in general should be treated as idols or held up as role models, that's why I don't spend my waking hours paying attention to what they choose to do or feel the need to hold them accountable for society's problems like the scene does. Spending all your time attacking mainstream bands will not in anyway lessen corporate profits or convince these bands to come back to the underground. All the scene can really do is forget about them (yes, you read correctly, I said forget about them) and direct its attention to more important things.
I would like to see kids who become over-emotional about Green Day being on television instead get riled up over the fact that DIY spaces are constantly shutting down all the time, that indie labels constantly go into debt, that a widely read 'zine like Profane Existence can fold, and that there is an overall high failure rate for all things DIY; please stop whining about MTV, worry instead about financial instability in the scene. It would also be nice to see the people who hyperventilate over shows more than $5 and non-existent "high prices" on music as the biggest threat facing their life savings instead work to spread their ideals to society-at-large and not the already converted scenesters. There are so many people who speak of "unity" and wear anti-swastika pins, but then are complete snobs to mainstream people while participating in an all homogenous, mostly white scene. Read both HaC's Women's issues and the Race and Punk issue, and then ask yourself how people can wear shirts reading "Compassion towards all living things" but then partake in a music subculture so self-absorbed, with a shared type of thinking and make up of a yuppie Country Club or the Republican party. Hardcore, Country Clubs, and the Republican Party have all built themselves up by thriving off of isolation, exclusion, and elitism. The only difference is that in punk, people have deliberately decided for themselves to believe in these fucked up values. Country Clubs are made up of people who refuse to share their space with those that don't have the same prosperity they do, and are only accessible by the worthy few. Punk works the same way, made up of people who refuse to share their ideas, music, and beliefs with those who are clueless about its existence or choose to not base their entire identity on hardcore; in the same manner it's extremely close minded when it comes to accepting outsiders and non-conformists. It would be more productive to have those people who spend all their time making up lame rules for what makes someone "punk" instead try destroying the close minded, snob mentality that prevents hardcore from improving itself. I'd like to see kids who wear cliché Equality patches actually convincing elitists to step outside of their segregated Country Club scene for once and interact with the real world. The segregation goes even further within the scene where there are cliques split up based on dress code and what brand of punk they listen to: oi, emo, crust punk, pop punk, grindcore, emocore, metalcore, skacore, dumbasscore. To some of the more narrow minded members of society, including some jocks, you're all a bunch of fags regardless of which form of punk you happen to like, so why do you feel the need to differentiate yourselves based just on personal taste? Not to mention it's just music. Don't treat it like a religion with 80 different denominations. Believe it or not, just because someone doesn't listen to the same genre of music that you do doesn't mean that that person is incapable of sharing your beliefs.
Pretend that I'm on my hands and knees. I beg you to please stop having spasms over something you can't change, and instead redirect your energy, anger, passion, and creativity on something more concrete. Build up something that will actually have an impact on making DIY successful. Stop living under the punk rock, step back, and take a good look at the bigger picture. Ultimately, hardcore traditionalists can have it their way and let punk stand still for another 20+ years by continuing its infatuation with commercial music. Or it can actually do something worthwhile, get real, and move forward. I hope that this will encourage discussion.
The darker the meat, the sweeter the treat:
Ravi Grover/The South Asian Fidel Castro/PO Box 802103/Chicago, IL 60680-2103; firstname.lastname@example.org
-Speaking at a press conference before fighting Lewis Lennox, Mike Tyson said the following: "...I'm Sonny Liston, I'm Jack Dempsey, there's no one like me, I'm from their cloth, there's no one that can match me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I'm just ferocious... I want to eat his children!" I'm indivisible.
-If people did realize that wasting time talking about mainstream bands doesn't really accomplish anything, there might be some problems. After all, some people have very little talent and are only capable of writing a million songs on the exact same subject or putting out 'zine after 'zine that point out the obvious, ie. what Blink 182 is up to these days on MTV. It doesn't exactly take much brain power to scapegoat commercial bands for all the world's problems. The reality check might cause some sort of small punk recession; what will there be left to do for those people who've built their entire careers on simply bashing major label acts? Oh no.
-HaC has done numerous theme issues, and I think they should do a Class and Punk issue. I haven't really seen anyone address the fact that so many middle and upper class kids masquerade as "low income" while they are spending so much money amassing their personal music collection and band wardrobe. I'm not trying to criticize people who want to spend all their money on that stuff, that's their choice. I'm just saying nobody should pretend to be something they're not. I think the class relationship is really similar to how white kids think they can identify with melanin-enhanced people because of being hassled a few times by cops for their appearance. For instance I heard a Caucasian once say "I understand what it's like when minorities get harassed, one time I got followed around in a store cos I had a lip ring on." Nevermind that ethnic features aren't removable, while punk rock appearance is VOLUNTARY and jewelry can be taken out. Likewise, you have kids from well-to-do backgrounds who move into run down, urban neighborhoods and are shopping at thrift stores. All of the sudden they think they're "poor" or "working class." I remember having a discussion with a Korean friend of mine and we were trading stories of numerous middle class hardcore kids we knew who got full paid scholarships to expensive universities and then threw it all away before the 1st year was even over to live out some sort of "rebellious" punk rock fantasy lifestyle. We agreed that no minority or actual poor white person who was struggling or living in poverty would blow off an opportunity like that. Just because one VOLUNTARILY chooses to live in squats, dumpster dive for used clothes, not bathe for months, live in lower class neighborhoods, or turn down opportunities disenfranchised people would kill for, doesn't automatically make one able to identify with being poor. It just makes em a really big dumbass. It's like my friend said while walking through Little 5 Points in Atlanta, "something is up when a guy with 10 facial peircings asks for change." Please find me someone from the slums who's saying "Right now I'm broke but I think I'm gonna go to this club tonight and argue with the door person so that I can get in for free." Fuck you if you romanticize being lower class. Ask the people in the slums if they glamorize their living conditions.
-I'm working on a 'zine/website that will detail the benefits of vegetarianism/veganism, and also offer perspectives from different religions and global cultures, list name brands of veg. food companies, explain its impact on the world and its environment, etc. Don't worry, there's no preaching to the converted here. I want other people to be able to use this so they can expose non-veg's to the whole subject. Hopefully by the time you're reading this I'll have bought at least one internet domain name to put everything on. The plan is to also print up several thousand copies, half size newsprint, and give this away at bookstores, houses of worship, grocers, and schools. What I need is recipes!! Since I first talked about the idea a year ago, a whopping 12 people have submitted recipes. What's up with that?? Please, please send me recipes, I've set a deadline for August 1, 2001. Anyone who can help out and take fliers promoting the 'zine to pass out or post, write me and I'll gladly send you some. Ok what are you waiting for, send me some freaking recipes!
-One final note for the anti-major label music fanatics, then no more of my lovely sarcasm. I read HaC on the train ride home from school and here's a brief list of some of the more serious topics I saw in the last issue: education, rape, violence against women, racism and activism, and labor unions. Of course some more light hearted columns inhabited the 'zine's pages, along with lewd writings by the female Ol' Dirty Bastard, Jen Hate (thanks for sharing all those details, buddy!). But how then is a 'zine gonna incorporate stuff like: "Rage Against The Machine isn't a sincere band." After readers are bombarded with such grim content, how the hell can anyone get so worked up and take the whole mainstream band/music issue so intensely in comparison to numerous other problems that are being discussed? The traditionalists need to stop patting themselves on the back for being so melodramatic about a few hated bands and the commercial music industry; as if they are accomplishing some great big huge feat by talking a bunch of shit! People who are trying to build up DIY or confronting actual problems should be the ones who get our respect, not some whiners who simply repeat what's already been said. Traditionalists are the biggest threat facing DIY because they are actually helping to strengthen corporate power. Instead of spreading their ideas to the mainstream to increase DIY's influence, they would rather those ideas stay isolated within a small music scene, preach to the converted, and waste time complaining about things we already know! You can quote me on that.