Back before all that shit went down and the punks took it coreward, a crew we all know found a cheap house on the edge of the park, and they lived there for a couple of years. This is the joke of how it all began, and the house was called Anything Goes.
They stood sticks in the dirt til tomatoes grew. They pulled down a wall in the basement and did shows. Punker’d jump from the washer and dryer into the crowd. They had a dumpster photocopy machine they fixed with the guts from a lamp, and they’d truck it around in a sideless shopping cart, back when the roads were flat as your hand, and if your crew wanted to do zines they’d bring it out. They had to flush the parrot when it broke its skull fighting the window, and then they got fucked on koolshine with eight people packed into the shitter stuffing the corpse down with a mophandle and watching the feathers float up. They had the sofa up on phonebooks, punks sleeping underneath, and in the bathtub they made chowder and smokebombs.
When things broke down they’d get together at the kitchen table and spread out some library books, or trade favors with somebody who knew the trick. So the wind never got in under the windowframes, and the power never jumped off the wires and cooked anyone, and whenever somebody’s elbow broke the plaster, it got patched. Space after space went under, but they kept it together at the House of Anything Goes, and the shows got really hard. On Groundhog Day somebody went assfirst through the only wall standing in the basement and left a hole shaped like a dirty punk.
Couple nights and they had a wall fixing party. Everybody was broke so they pried twobysixes off a halfbuilt pizzahut, and they biked out to the desert and dug around for gyprock to mix a bucket of plaster. When the patch was up they stuck their fingers in the wet plaster and carved FEAR and SST, MDC, BAD BRAINS, and it was the greatest thing they ever saw.
Then somebody took a hammer and beat another hole in the wall, and said, this patch we made, it’s the only hardcore thing in this whole fucking wall. And somebody else grabbed the hammer, and said, what’s wrong with your two good hands, douchebag?
So the wall fixing party crew shoved their hands up the house’s asshole, and used their knees and headbutted, and jumpkicked the framing apart, and in their chaos laughter bit chunks off the drywall till nothing stood but one plaster patch like a gutter punk’s gray soul flying backward. Then the ceiling caved in. They fucked off to the backyard and had a lot more shine, and everybody slept that night with their drunk jackets on.
Space after space was going down then. There’s no good times for hardcore, and Angeles was an oldschool city, with laws instead of hands. They’d come by a hall and say, this doorway’s too narrow. We’re shutting you down. Or they’d say, your backyard’s got too many old microwaves and your shower water’s piss. We’re pushing it down with a backhoe. Don’t ask us bout it. We’re actors of the law.
But their hardcore stood all around them in the House of Anything Goes, under the couch cushion stains and under the sink and their nails, and as they lived there so would they diy. That morning they made coffee and tactics. They hauled out the busted part of the kitchen floor, they skinned a silkscreening table with the lino and stacked the wood outside. They nailed up a plank ladder and it turned out decent actually, with smooth basement-to-kitchen access. So they ate pancakes, and their meeting bout fixing the floor pit, it went into a spiel of what pit to build next.
They had to diy every day, the hardcore of the house demanded it, plus everybody was still broke. But they started arguing over a prybar. It was brand new with the sticker on, cost tires and tires worth of money at the shop where they stole it, and it could of really ripped into the upstairs hallway floor. But the morning was still pretty early, and some punks were saying things like, what good is a brand new tool anyway? We can’t mooch off stores forever. Let’s use this one for wiping ass and make a tool with our hardcore that’s ours.
At the dump they found a huge lump of concrete stuck through with cast iron pipes, and that night they tumbled it over an overpass to bust the concrete off. They ground an edge onto the biggest pipe with a stick of rebar as a file. They were all set to yank floorboards, but it was pretty late by then, they might not of been thinking straight. We recovered this pipe, somebody said, but business had it first. This shitpipe from a yuppie prison. Its history fucks it. If we’re serious for getting ready, we can cast a prybar from scratch.
They balanced the rest of the iron pipes against a road divider and snapped them by powerscreaming and throwing concrete chunks, til they could all fit into an old propane grill. They took snips and wrecked the venturi tubes to let more propane in, and grilled the iron round two thousand fahrenheit in a big steel pan. They put some olive oil and lemon on the molten iron, with a lot of black pepper, and poured it into a mold diyed from a log.
They all sat while it cooled, circling a spliff counterclockwise and a waterjug behind it, so every couple minutes punker could get up, squeeze out piss on the red iron and bellow in the steam puff. Then somebody said, hold on. Sure this is some hardcore, but big industry ripped this metal out of the ground and they left a poison crater. Why can’t we mine our own ore for hardcore carbon steel?
That night they looked in the front of the phone book for hematite deposits, and called some friends with couches on the way. They scabbarded shovels onto some bike carts, and put a couple pounds of trailmix in jars. They biked and hitched up to Redding on the #5, where the river’s stained pink with tailings, even today. It takes like three days to bike and hitch to Redding. They cut through the fences around the abandoned mine and climbed scaffolding down to the pit, and filled two duffel bags with the reddest rocks they saw. They rolled them back onto the #5 in a wheelbarrow from an old equipment shed. Then an unemployed horse truck took them home.
They were priming the barbecue smelter when somebody else started talking. We think we’re hardcore for this? Ripping off the sloppy seconds from the shittiest iron mine in Kalifronia, that’s not diy, its only scavenging.
Somebody said, we cant diy this any further than ore. A nother punk said, steel’s just iron and carbon molecules. Real diy’s building your own steel out of molecules. Somebody else said, no, fuck molecules. Fuck molecules. Atoms are the hardcore of the core. We have to take it to the atom smasher at UCLA.
So everyone put on the patchiest shit they had, sept for one tricker in a lawyer suit with a badge from the sal-mart. They partied at the atom smasher door with plywood grievance signs, yelling science would blow up the world. Then the tricker held his badge and threatened the crew with a table leg. You’re detained, he said. You’re detained on my authority and I’m taking you to detention.
The laws at the door figured it must be official. Everybody got through after that. They punched noses all around to get blood going, so it looked like the anarchy was under control, and when guys with nicer suits came through they ducked behind some shelves. When nobody was looking they scampered into the control room and punched up some carbon for starters, cause it came first in the periodic table poster. Sirens went off, and there were some explosions from atom smashing, but they couldn’t find how to turn off the carbon. So they took a piece of diy carbon from a burning wall and hotfooted it through a fire exit.
After that, they were planning their iron run back at the house. You know it. Punker stood up. Either way, we’ll be using electrons and shit from the Reagan ministration, and probably they were part of nazis before that. We have to diy another universe straight out of sweet fuckall, and we wont have to piss around with the laws of physics. Fuck laws and fuck the laws of physics. If we’ve got an anarchy of physics we can diy every time we pull air and always be new.
Some punk said, hell are we talking bout? We already got three prybars.
No we don't. Hold on a second. Wait. Okay. Now we do.
From a book I'm doing. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, credit Martin Hazelbower.