Do It Yourself
Music eventually drove me to the internet’s dark underbelly. But first, it connected me to an innovative community I’d been pining for as a teenager. Through liner notes in Dischord and Lookout! Records cassette tapes, I discovered not just a directory of information, but a network.
Punks used the post office to bridge distance. Mainstream music stores didn’t and wouldn’t stock their art, so they circulated tapes by mail instead. A band from one city would call up their fan in another, asking to sleep on their couch after playing a concert in their town. This reciprocity grew their community into an organic movement, with a method and ethos called “DIY”: Do It Yourself. After all, who else was there to rely on?
The American punk movement seeded communities across a 3,717,813-square-mile piece of land, forming a web of trust, and an alternative economy.