Blog #8

Choose one section from the second half of Double Duce (Part 3 / onwards) that captures the aspect of punk ethos/logic you find most appealing.  Describe what’s interesting about it and how it relates to the rest of the novel, its characters, and/or its historical context.

Let me underline one more time the importance of going beyond merely describing/summarising/reporting/paraphrasing – when performing a close reading, it is crucial that you ask yourself questions such as “What effect does this produce on the reader?” “How does this challenge/reinforce our understanding of this theme?” “What is the relation between the way this theme is represented in the novel and the way this theme is perceived/represented at the time the novel is set/was written?” and such. This is especially important in light of the way you start thinking of your essay #3.

Min-Max Length: 500-750 words.

13 thoughts on “Blog #8”

  1. Throughout the Double Duce narration, a common depiction observed is the notion of self-destruction. At first, I thought it would contain an outward negative connotation because their actions lead to a dilapidated apartment that was constantly in terrible shape sanitarily, physically, and emotionally which would disgust a normal person. Yet, my opinion changed when I perceived the chemistry between Aaron Cometbus’ roommates, among many reasons, who managed to always lure him back into the apartment, which the readers can ascertain for themselves. This nihilistic outlook of internal devastation is a common theme according to punk ideology.

    The first mention of the internal devastation concept is specified as follows, “Part of the nature of punk is celebrating yours flaws, parading your idiosyncrasies. Bringing out your best and worst qualities and seeing which will destroy you faster” (pg. 117). I found this quote appealing for two reasons. Firstly, when I read the sentence, I thought it was grammatically awkward due to the break between the parallelism in the sentence and due to the word choice of “parading.” However, it was purposefully chosen due to the fact that a parade is an outright declaration of pride about a certain topic. Consequently, punks declare in an outright manner their countercultural beliefs that can be seen as contrary to the normative culture. Secondly, this quote applies to everyone Aaron narrated about, in one way or another. The second part of Double Duce strongly emphasizes deterioration both physically and emotionally.

    A prime representation of this ideology is Willey. Willey is one of the people within the apartment that have some qualms of joining the punk faction, so much so that he is judging the rest of the group and their qualities. His internal devastation is due to the inner conflict of the societal perceptions of ethicality clashing with punk’s perception of ethicality. For example, Cometbus narrates, “Why can’t you settle down, raise a good family, learn a trade, and do something worthwhile with your life?” (pg. 104-105). This rhetorical question is constantly repeated in Willey’s mind in order to create guilt that Willey is being an unproductive punk, going against the wishes of his family. It demonstrates the degree of the psychological struggle that Willey has, leading to his judgmental moods.

    Another depiction of internal devastation is Theodotia. Theodotia, Aaron’s former pen pal, was initially founded in connection to illegal drug consumption. As Theodotia moved in, she has shown physical and mental deterioration, where she barely spoke to anyone and was barely seen. In the second part of the novel, it resulted in her forceful removal from the apartment. As Aaron explained, “For every person bailing water out, there were two drilling holes in the bottom of the boat. Theo went overboard and there was nothing we could do but watch her sink.” (pg.111). Cometbus employs a metaphor of a boat to indicate Theodotia’s situation. Her continuous lack of productivity and drug consumption led to her downfall. He implemented sink due to its dual meaning of drowning in water and also the metaphorical connotation of drowning psychologically. Additionally, it can be inferred that Theodotia was the one who was “drilling holes” within the boat due to the obvious juxtaposition. Therefore, her internal demise was due to the punk ideology taken to an extreme.

    Internal devastation can result from many instances in various contexts within the novel. Whether it is psychologically, emotionally, or physically, each of these characters possess these qualities in relation with punk idealism. However, they realize these struggles are what constitute being human, and therefore embrace these qualities that comprise the individual.

  2. Aaron Cometbus’ novel, discusses his individualistic experience in Double Duce. The way he described his life, along with his roommates, helped me comprehend and empathize with them and the patience they were able to have with each other, and how they dealt with their struggles. Additionally, he included his personal journey of the life he had in Double Duce, as well as others. An important recurring theme depicted in this novel is the engaging activities pertained to drug usage. After reading and analyzing this novel, I found it to emphasize the use of drugs in multiple different ways. This helps me relate it to the punk subculture and how punks indulge themselves with alcohol, recreational drug use, and smoking substances. For instance, in the novel, Cometbus mentions how “Jag was totally out of his mind, hoping that bottle beetles would fix his mind a little bit. Bottle beetles are this Mexican all-purpose drug pill. Aspirin, caffeine, a barbiturate, and some other weird thing. It would make you so confused that you couldn’t even say a sentence” (pg. 70). This drug pill contains barbiturates, which is a potentially deadly depressant. In addition to this, Cometbus mentions how they were not drinking enough coffee (pg. 102). Although it may not be as obvious as other drugs, caffeine, is a class of drugs found in coffee, a stimulant. Moreover, Little G, created a list of stages and ways of life, where there are some sections of the list that mentions the practice of drugs. He includes, “drinking, driving etc…”, “overdoses”, “delirium”, “selling drugs”, and “smuggling drugs” (pg. 107-108). Alongside with this, Little G, has “been buying weed down south and giving it to the drug dealer kids on San Pablo to sell” (pg. 103). This shows how involved Little G is with drugs, along the side of other characters. As mentioned above, Cometbus includes this in his writing and it helped me relate it to the widespread use of of drugs, not only in the city of Berkeley, but in California, in general. These psychoactive substances, had a major influence on the characters living in Double Duce, as well as, the punk era in general. When punks living in Berkeley got involved in situations that present the intake of drugs of any sort, it may tie in with the fact that it is apart of the nature of the punk rock ethos. Throughout this time, the theme of recreational drugs was very widespread and uncontrolled. It helped punks express their individual freedom. When reading this novel, I was able to connect my knowledge on the consumption of drug products, with the punk subculture, and how doing drugs helped them express themselves. Furthermore, the constant drug use in Double Duce helps me understand how psychoactive substances used by punks, dulls senses and motivates feelings of euphoria, intoxication, and relaxation, which is uncovered throughout the novel. Interestingly, this reveals how the relation between the way the theme of psychoactive substances is depicted in the novel and the way this theme is represented, at the time of the punk era. Throughout Double Duce, the idea of drug consumption teaches and helps us grasp a better understanding of the punk lifestyle. Therefore, the frequently expressed features of the punk subculture, in addition to their aesthetics and ideologies, was to embrace their constant use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.

  3. As ‘Double Duce’ continued, it shared more depth and besides for thinking, the reader began feeling for the characters and the situations. The first part to me was many stories cycling back and forth between each other, which possibly was like that to represent their lives. However, the second part – parts three and four – were more focused. I felt that there was a pretty strong focus on dreams and the future. Whether it was an individual dream, or an over arching dream, it was mentioned. Just as one longs to achieve their dream, as the reader, you were really able to grasp onto the dreams and eel with the characters.
    There was one paragraph, which left a huge impression on me. This paragraph, to me really encompasses the whole book of ‘Double Duce’ and potentially the whole punk subculture. In part 3, section 70. DTRT was a poem about their life. Aaron wrote about typical actions and events of their lives, and in between it said “Do the right thing”. It was almost as if they were living life, but they constantly had a voice in their heads reminding them that there is right and wrong. This gets Aaron and the others thinking that maybe there is more to life, and maybe the right is worth going after. Before and after that paragraph, it speaks about dreams, for example, Willey spoke about how he wanted to get married and have a family, Aaron spoke about how he wanted a commitment – whether it be with a woman, or with Double Duce as roommates. All their dreams and ideas were different, but all their hopes were valid.
    As the book closes, it leaves the reader with an idea about where each Duce member was and where they were headed. Willey and Aaron, along with Ada, Sluggo, and Sean, were driving off, but staying somewhere in Berkley, which was their home. Little G and Jag left town, Jed was with his mother somewhere in the mountains, everyone was on their own. In some ways the end of Double Duce is the start of their life, the beginning of their future, and achieving their dreams.
    Throughout Part 3, the paragraphs surrounding the focus on the dreams, Aaron was trying to not portray, but rather describe his motives as a punk. He wanted the reader to finish reading his book, with a strong, serious understanding of the reasons punks were the way they were, and their motivations in life. Aaron spent time describing how Punks lives their lives with self-destruction. It was trial and error with bringing forth the bad and the good and seeing how they played out. They were risk takers; they were the opposite of conventional. While reading it, you learn that him being an outsider – which we saw in the first part – was also true here. Aaron’s way of thinking was different than the typical Punk. For example, in Part 4, 88. Entropy, he writes “Part of the nature of punk is celebrating your flaws, parading your idiosyncrasies. …For me, the excitement and conflict of it is trying to find an extreme that you can sustain. Walking right on the edge without falling off. For a lot of other people its about getting to the edge so they can jump off …”
    I think this passage along with the poem from section 3, really exemplify the entirety of the book and of the punk subculture. It allows one to do deep thinking on their way of life, and on their motives and behavior. Maybe trial and error was their way of redemption of the society that they feel so distant towards. Maybe this way of life allows them to be the people they want to be, with little/no restrictions. Maybe, as readers we believe otherwise, but maybe this is their way of truly living life to its fullest. There is a lot to consider – the risk taking, the unconventional behavior, the dreams, the voice telling them to do the right thing…all of it plays such an integral part in the punk community and ideology. The book has great points and a lot that one can learn from.

  4. While reading the last two sections of “Double Duce” by Aaron Cometbus, I came across the DIY ideology. I found the DIY ethics to be a positive effect on punks. This is because punks are able to create their own music. They don’t have to be famous to perform in punk scenes; they can just be ordinary people creating music. For instance Cometbus writes, “We started the band in the fall. At first it was just Sluggo and writing songs and practicing them acoustic up in the attic. I banged on pans and bits and pieces of drums, in the corner of the kitchen. Sluggo, Willey, and Little G were a mess of cords and amps of all shapes and sizes” (pg. 92). This quote is showing how Aaron and his roommates started out the band in the attic. Additionally, this connects to the idea of DIY ethics because these are just ordinary people trying to produce punk music. Cometbus states, “We would yell at each other, but then we would suddenly start yelling together, the way we all snored together at home. Yelling about our frustrations and problems and hopes, and about our neighbors, backed up by a warm wave of guitars, a steady throbbing bass, and pounding drums. Reclaiming music in its purest, most vital form, and making it our own” (pg. 93). This demonstrates the idea of creating punk music. Punk music is a way for punks to release their anger and frustration. Aaron and his roommates get inspiration for their music by singing about the things that bother them. Additionally, punks don’t create music to become famous they produce it because they want their songs to have a meaning. On the other hand, Cometbus mentions the idea of normal bands and how they don’t last. He states, “Normal bands play for years, then end up living or traveling together. They start with music, then move on getting a name, covering the town in graffiti, traveling together, getting matching tattoos, trashing every place they stay, overdosing, hating each other, and breaking up” (pg. 93). The author is describing normal bands and how they hope to become famous but the fame causes them to break up. However, this is not the case with punk bands because they want their music to have a meaning and influence other people. Aside from creating their own music, punks also influenced others by writing novels. The author writes, “Sluggo had a new issue, and so did Jed. Copies of both came out of the machines and right out the back door at Sluggo’s new job. The one copy place in Berkeley neither of us had worked. Nowadays I paid to have my magazine printed offset” (pg. 94). This connects to the DIY ethics because they created novels to have people read them and also to go against the government. This idea also influenced punks to do things themselves if they wanted something to be done. Overall, the DIY ethics was presented throughout the novel in many different methods.

  5. The last section of Aaron Cometbus’ novel Double Duce, offered a summation on the ideals and themes that were present within the beginning of the text. The idea of jealousy and self-harm was an idea that was solidified during the first part of the text but it began to change while the text progressed. I originally thought that this would break apart the roommates and harm their experiences with each other, but I was completely wrong. Aaron Cometbus surrounded himself with good people during this time. When Aaron wanted to leave, his roommates always managed to lure him back into the apartment, this shows the theme of friendship in its full effect. What stood out to me the most and what I think affected the text as whole was the theme of drug use. After reading the novel to its fullest totally, I found that the author emphasized the use of drugs in multiple ways. This helps relate it back to the punk subculture and how punks deal with all drug substances. One way in particular stood out to me. Drugs became the answer for many during this time period. The character Little G plays a significant role within the text. He can be described as the one character who abuses these drugs the most. Little G is seen mentioning the practice of drugs alot. He is associate with, “drinking, driving etc…”, “overdoses”, “delirium”, “selling drugs”, and “smuggling drugs” (pg. 107-108). To add on to this, Little G has “been buying weed down south and giving it to the drug dealer kids on San Pablo to sell” (pg. 103). Although all characters are seen using drugs within the text I can argue that we see it affect the life of Little G the most. Drug use basically became Little G’s life. Little G was able to relate with his roommates by the constant drug use. It reminded me of the California Cartel at the time, when drugs would be transported and sent out to California to a lot of obsessed drug users. Little G is basically described as a drug dealer and I feel like there was a lot of these people in the punk rock era. Drugs was the answer to most of people’s problems at the time as we have seen earlier on in the text. Yes, it can create some separation, but it allows for unity at the same time as well, and this is seen within the roommates. All of them are seen consuming drugs while they go through there experiences in life. The constant emphasis on the idea of drug use in Double Duce helps me understand how these substances affected punk. It begins to interpret the relationship between the drugs used at the time and the punk rock era. Throughout Double Duce, the idea of drugs help us readers grasp a better understanding of the punk lifestyle. Therefore, I concluded that the punk subculture and drugs go hand in hand. Punks embraced the constant use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, it made them whole.

  6. Blogpost #8

    Aaron Cometbus’ Double Duce captures his experiences regarding the various parts of the ethics of punk. Based off one of the documentaries watched in class, I saw that friendships mean a lot in the punk world. The importance of friendships is also visible in Cometbus’ world, making the two connect. With that being said, one of the subdivisions that portrays this is in section 77: Commitments. Cometbus discusses how Willey wanted to move to Montana to settle down, have a family, and build his dream house. While being happy for his friend, Cometbus stated that “What I really wanted was to live together forever…The thought of that kind of stability was so exciting and comforting to me,” showing how he deeply valued his friendship with Willey. Not only that, it also shows that Willey was somewhat torn from the punk world and societal norms which included having a stable job and raising a family. Cometbus was against making a commitment, particularly with a girl, because he believed people separated romance from the rest of their lives and valued his friendships more. He shows this when stating, “what I was really against was some people separating romance with the rest of their life with the secret plan that when the time came, they would sever their life on that dotted line.” His feelings are particularly shown when he mentions “sever their life on that dotted line,” which hit home, basically saying that your life is no longer about you, but now about the other person you want to please and make happy. Essentially Cometbus articulates his feelings towards this part of commitment by saying that when getting into a relationship, you live for the other persons happiness, making their happiness your happiness. However, is that the true definition of happiness? Despite his thoughts, Cometbus focused back to reality and appreciated Willey’s honesty towards his dreams and accepted his inner conflicts, whereas everyone else kept their secret of ditching the punk world and wanting a family to themselves. Throughout many parts of the novel, Cometbus reiterates how important his friendships mean to him. And it’s not only Willey, there was also Sluggo, Little G, and various others that he cared about. These were friendships he wanted to hold on to, no matter what the living conditions were. His genuineness and authenticity in his writing made everything seem more realistic to the reader. Although we aren’t next to him, his feelings could still be felt because we as readers also connect. Everybody values their friendships. After reading certain parts that show how much Cometbus cares for his friends, I put myself in his shoes, thinking how I would feel if one of my closest friends moved away. Granted I don’t live with them, I still think how much harder life would be if I didn’t speak to them everyday. Yes we have phones, but it’s not the same, and it certainly wasn’t the same in Cometbus’ world, and to him, his friends were his family.

  7. Double Duce has been exceptional due to the fact that it was able to convey it’s message to readers through characters situations. Reading this I have become a much more open minded person than I was. Before reading this I always saw the drugs that they consumed as unnecessary and really just a nonsense thing to do. Double Duce changed my perspective on this. The drugs that were repeatedly mentioned were consumed to feel part of something . The punk subculture looked as drugs in a way to escape from all and really feel connected to one another. I thought of the drug consumption as the moshpit that the punk subculture looked as a way of coming together.
    Throughout Double Duce I also noticed that the roommates went through much trouble and have overcame a lot, such as moving from place to place facing struggle . Moving from house to house was a constant change in their life , but at the end of the day they remained together , emphasizing the idea of unity, punk. The punk subculture brings all together and it symbolizes best in the novel when it is mentioned, “we had a whole huge house, everyone has their own room, but we woke up the same as always , next to eacjotehr , cuddled up in a row.” This really emphasizes the idea of a whole, togetherness.
    The idea of punk was best represented in the novel as a whole from the following statement ,” lying there trading our dreams, laughing at them, we were sharing each others hopes , and after all that’s what our life together was all about.”
    Being together sharing the same thoughts and beliefs as others makes you feel apart of something, further expanding on the subculture of punk.
    punk is all about being together and feeling supported in which was greatly reinforced in Double Duce .

  8. From the continuation of part 3 in the novel “Double Duce”, Cometbus continues discussing about him and his friends that are living the life that’s suitable for them. I felt like in this section I got to know Cometbus in an even more personal manner because he started to inform us on his feelings toward certain characters. Throughout all of the parts of the novel, the theme of family was encompassed in great detail (mixed ideas of family throughout). Punks are known to have close relations to their friends, almost considering them as family. For instance, on page 59, the Friends and Family section, Cometbus states the differences between his roommates and his friends, “The important thing is, the Double Duce crew were my roommates, not my friends. It was nice if they understood me, or worked with me on my projects, or wanted to join me out of town, but I never expected those things. I expected them to live with me day in and day out, and share with me that most personal time and space. They were the ones who saw me most and knew me best, but they didn’t know where I went when I went out, and didn’t know half the people I went to meet……. There were roommates and bandmates, family and friends, business partners and romances, former friends and former lovers, penpals and people on the street. Each had a time and place in my life, and a special unique relationship.” It is evidently clear his roommates weren’t his friends, in a way there were more than friends, these “roommates” are people he can actually relate to and share his world with. Interestingly, Cometbus doesn’t label his roommates any name, such as brothers, or best friends, he simply just refers to them as his “roomates”. In addition, the idea he was conveying is totally relatable because we all have people who we call “friends”, people who we just hang out with whenever we have the time; however, similarly to Cometbus’ “roommates”, we all have those couple of “friends” that are just something more. Even the everlasting effect of the house from the beginning of the novel, the foundation of their friendship became the foundation of their new house. When Cometbus wanted to leave the household, his roommates urged him to stay, it is almost like the house had a perpetual effect. Also it seems to me from the beginning of the novel, the author’s overall aspirations were more of a collective mission (his “roommates” sticking together and making it). However, as the novel ends each of the Duce crew members split roads in a way, it’s almost like each of their goals became individualistic, like them starting a new life with new opportunities and prospects. Finally, this novel provided many great facts regarding the subculture of punk and it further expanded my knowledge on punk.

  9. After reading parts three and four of “double Duce” by Aaron Cometbus, I came across many passages that made the reader feel for the characters and essentially began to understand the book more. One particular passage that stood out to me was WDH on page 92. After going back and close reading this passage again this specific passage from the text really connects this group of characters to the punk scene. Many punk bands including this one struggled to make money and often lived in terrible conditions. This specific band in no different but it still never stopped them from playing music. The reader could infer by this passage that music is there escape because it allows them to get away from there actual life and just be Artist. In this section Aaron says “normal bands play for years, then end up living or traveling together. They start with music, then move on to getting a name covering the town in graffiti, traveling together, getting machine tattoos, trashing every place they stay, overdosing, hating each other and breaking up. WDH took he opposite approach we started at the end and did it all backwards.” This quote stood out to me because when I read this I noticed that this band in not necessarily playing to become famous. This is not to say that they don’t want to become famous but regardless of there fan base they just want to play music. This has a great affect on the reader because we see how his group is not life the others the came together to write this music and try to make a change. This illustrates how much music Means to them because they are committed to perform for themselves and not for the fame. This quote represents them as punks because is shows there togetherness is first and foremost. This band may believe that to be a punk you are just striving to reach your dream and that’s all these characters are doing. These characters attach them selves to one another through music and throughout life.
    After completing this novel it’s really opened my eyes up to what a punk is and what a punk tries to accomplish. Punk is very similar to many counter cultures that came before them they just express themselves in a more unique way. The whole idea of punk is to unite and make the world a better place. Through this music and “punk rock” we see how the people of the punk counter culture unite and become stronger.

  10. Blog post #8

    Punk aesthetics covers a variety of topics such as the way things look, feel, taste, sound and smell in punk. I strongly feel that the second part of double deuce along with the first part illustrates punk aesthetics fairly well. For starters, the appearance of the novel seems to have this unique capitalized font. The font of this novel may most definitely represent a demanding ideology for which Punk stands for. Given the fact that this novel was hand written by Mr. Aaron Cometbus portrays a strong statement of how punks are against capitalistic ideology of officially transcribed documents. Hand writing this novel shows Cometbus’s passion towards the punks. Throughout the novel Aaron describes the house they live in, this in my opinion is an important aesthetic discussed within the novel. “it was bad. I’d put all this work into the place, getting everything turned on and working again. We’d have a little good thing going. It turned sluggo doing his drunken new wave shithole place. Car parts in the kitchen and never taking them out, so you couldn’t even walk around. I didn’t want to be in my room, underneath sluggos room, listening to his fucking new wave records”. One thing punks seeks for is unity, hence all the moshpits and everyone coming together to listen and dance to music. Similarly, Aarons home symbolizes the unity amongst his friends AKA family. The fact that sluggo is turning their home into a shithole urkes him. Punks were not accepted by society and suffered from police brutality. Aaron illustrates “the next day there was ten of them, and they all just swooped in on us and started throwing everybody on the ground. I said you can’t do this shit, don’t throw my friends on the ground in front of my house. We’re going inside. You have no business fucking with us. So, they punched me in the face and told me to get on the ground, and I didn’t want to get on the ground”. It is evident that punks had a hard time dealing with law enforcement and they were not accepted into societal norms. Another aesthetic would be the formation of their band. A question comes to mind when reading about their band; why do they form a band? “Our wail of suffering, our tales of glory, our ticket to redemption. It was no small thing. This was the first band for everyone except me and Jed and you could see the pure joy of creation and the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment it brought”. This was the first time they actually planned something and it was a success. Additionally, this was a great way for all of them to come together and express themselves. Therefore, this novel portrays various punk aesthetics vital to all punks.

  11. Section 58 (Return to the Fold) was one of the sections of Double Duce that captured an aspect of punk ethos/logic that I found most appealing. What I found most interesting about it was how Aaron and his other punk friends decided to move back together again. At first it talks about what each character was doing with their lives. Aaron wrote that “Sluggo had gone to Cleveland to clear his head, save up a ton of money, and fix his car. Willey hopped trains to Minneapolis for Shen’s wedding…” And that Willey “was exhausted from his job at the Strand bookstore. This shows that as punks they were all trying to fit into society but it wasn’t working out for them. This foreshadows the notion that their seemingly normal lives weren’t going to last too long and that it was inevitable for them to move back together again.

    This section relates to the rest of the novel because it shows how punks have a difficult time conforming to society. From what I was able to understand from the novel, Willey lost motivation when working at the Strand. As Aaron put it “Everyone who comes to New York does time as a prostitute or at the Strand, so they say, and the difference is negligible.” What Aaron is essentially noting is that Willey’s job at the Strand isn’t a noticeable accomplishment and he compares it to prostitution. This eventually prompted Jed and Little G to give Willey a call asking him to go back home which Willey couldn’t refuse. After that, everyone was returning to the fold which symbolizes the fact that they all feel like a family. Little G mentioned that ” the separation had been a necessary one” which shows that Little G even admits that the time they all spent away from each other was worth it. It was a way of detoxification of the recklessness that they were going through on a daily basis which he admits as something that was necessary.

  12. While reading the second half of Double Duce, one can see the punk idea of “Do-It-Yourself”, DIY, common amongst the sections. Most specifically when looking at Section 58, “Return to the Fold”. In this section, Cometbus is able to capture this idea through each of the character’s life decisions and paths. He explains himself that he left Berkeley due to this need for independence, which he ultimately regretted and felt the need to return to, “I’d missed that comraderies, and feeling of community, so bad. The easy acceptance, the easy laughter. Even the constant crisis and street. It made me feel useful.” This quote is interesting since it also touches upon the Punks’ idea of unity and community, uniting through strong expression and relieving the anger & built up emotions, as seen in the moshpit. Cometbus need for comradery and sense of community ultimately causes him to return to Berkeley, however his decision to leave for the independence that he initially thought he would receive, demonstrates the DIY idea that punks implemented in creating a path for themselves.

    Furthermore, he goes on to write about the different ventures that his friends have taken. Sluggo rushed off to Cleveland to “clear his head, save up a ton of money, and fix his car”, and “Willey hopped trains to Minneapolis for Shen’s wedding, then took greyhound to New York.” One can see that the purpose of creating a life for themselves was not exactly to become “successful” or to meet the expectations of societal norms or of their parents/grandparents, but rather to follow a path of their instinct, a path that called to them & in some ways contradicted society’s expectation for them.

    Therefore, although their decisions didn’t necessarily prove to be productive or have positive outcomes, it still fit into their DIY mentality. This is seen in section 58 as well, Cometbus writes, Cometbus writes, “After months of working at a Cleveland newspaper, Sluggo was in debt, and his car and his mind were still hopelessly broke. Willey was exhausted from his job at the strand bookstore, hauling huge boxes of books around in the freezing cold.” This proves that even though they weren’t necessarily reaping the “benefits” of their trip, or decisions, it still exemplified this idea of DIY, of looking within themselves and seeing how they change things and how they can create their own narrative. Although their narrative proved to be “exhausting”, “hopeless”, and “debtful”, at the end of the day they were still successful in creating their own story.

    This idea is also demonstrated beautiful toward the end of the section, as Cometbus quotes Little G’s statement regarding their time spent apart, as it was “A season to let the crops fallow”. Meaning the separation was necessary in that it allowed for everyone to follow their own plans and self-interests, without being held back by the restrictions or “checks and balances” of anyone else in the group. The DIY mentality, allowed them to look inwards of themselves and see how they can change things for themselves, and follow their own pursuits and desires.

  13. In part 3 of the novel, it expands more about the Punk aesthetic lives. Punks have their unique vision to view their fashion. Therefore, Punks present their lives as something unconventional. They choose to live differently from other people for their individualism. The key term of their individualism is freedom. So, DIY would be a better way of explaining why they’re doing these. In my belief, Punks don’t follow the laws and norms not because they refuse to work hard, but is because they don’t believe following what other people do will make themselves successful. One of the examples of DIY is they create their own band. Besides, working with a traditional job, like go to a company, they make their own job, which is to create music. They didn’t have a model to follow and they just making random melodies out of heads. At section 69, it describes that music makes them joyful and give the sense of fulfilment. They were so into the music. Everyone is involving with their ideas about the music. They are not just compromise easily of what every other member said, but they are saying no to them and believing each of their own music creation is right. Another detail I want to expand more on DIY is they also create their music without buying any instruments outside. Not to mention they decorate their house with random items they find outside the street, which are not from stores; they also create their music in the same way. They “banged on pans and bits and pieces of drums.” While they’re creating the music, they feel relieved. They can shout out the “frustrations and problem.” And they feel proud from it because they finally find the way that shows they can actually do something not just wondering around as usual, like siting at one spot all day long. Also, they feel super confident that they would never broke up like some other “normal bands.” Their creation of band is reinforcing the theme of the novel, which has something to do with counterculture. Normally, a traditional band would be using a full set of instruments but punks don’t. Punks use pans. A “normal band” would like to create music for others, and maybe wanted to be praised. However, Punks create the band, they believe is their own art work and nobody else has to understand what they’re doing. They create music not just for themselves. They would be satisfied with making their music because they create the “purest music. Last thing I want to add to this example is each character was initially lifeless but by the time when the creation of the music they are alive. One scene talks about one character is drunk all day and yelling distracting others; other character has nothing to do, siting there unloading and loading the gun bullets. This is the life they’ve gone through. It’s the band makes them rethink what they want, meaning, it is the way of challenging the norms and fulfill their wants.

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