John Porcellino on alternatives

“I had long known that I was not cut out for the normal world, and like many of my peers at the time, set out instead to help create an alternative society, commingled at times with the straight world, but existing independently of it as much as possible. We started, developed, and cultivated our own bands, records labels, performance venues, zines, newspapers, artspaces, distribution networks, and so on. And we largely succeeded in our task, all essentially powered by Seth Tobocman’s motto, ‘You don’t have to fuck people over to survive.’

The ‘indie’ world, the ‘alternative’ world, or the underground, whatever you want to call it, has seen its ups and downs, reckoned with its strengths and weaknesses, ridden waves of outside interest and/or disdain, and continued on apace. I see it in the noise bands that tour American basements and refuse to record, in the zine fests multiplying like rabbits across the world, the self-published comix anthologies and comix collectives, the proliferation of independent presses and print studios, etc. Despite the darkness aboveground, the underground is energetic, bright (even in its despair), and flourishing.

It’s with that mindset that I sit here in Beloit, Wisconsin, USA with my doggies snoozing in their little beds at my feet, and type this, clean up these King-Cat pages, pack these Spit and a Half orders. The world is in rough shape, and all we can do is our fair share… Find the spot that brings us to life and take care of it.”

— John Porcellino (via)