Recently I came upon a collection of fliers promoting shows at the great Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky.
The Jockey Club, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, was the best punk rock club in all the midwest. It closed in 1988. There is a Jockey Club Facebook page you can join.
One of the best things about our punk rock scene in Cincinnati is that we did stuff ourselves.
We made our own fliers, staged our own shows, formed our own bands, we printed fanzines that had interviews with touring bands and we had our own radio show on a local station. I was the co-host for three years of a weekly punk music show on Cincinnati’s WAIF-FM 88.3.
This was—and still is—the way to go. Working by ourselves and working together, we made our own scene no matter how moronic and narrow the world around us might be.
Whether it is getting on the Mayflower to exercise your beliefs in a new place, Occupying something in the name of economic fair play and a more just society, finding the internal resources to fulfill a creative vision, or working with others who share your thoughts and hopes to make something of value—It is in the end your responsibility to do the work to accomplish what you hope to accomplish.
This does not mean that luck and circumstance do not matter. These things matter a great deal. It is possible that you will get sick or be hit by a truck.
Yet in the end, here is what I would say—
Make and print your own fliers, start a blog, form a band, occupy something, be part of your local and national scene, take responsibility for your own future, generate your own content so somebody else does not generate it for you, help out those on your own side of the aisle, and don’t just hang around when there is work to be done. The ways to get these things done may change over the years, but the underlying concept does not shift.