Don’t Do It Yourself

Journal of Aesthetics and Protest

I recently got a copy of Issue 6 of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, based on a recommendation from WMMNA. I’m still making my way through it, but an article by Lisa Anne Auerbach entitled, “D.D.I.Y.: Don’t Do It Yourself,” really caught my attention.

Auerbach basically argues that D.I.Y. culture has been hijacked by corporations and their marketing departments and we’re not going to get it back anytime soon. What had started as a revolt against these very centers of consumption has been flipped on its head and is being sold back to us as a lifestyle brand. Auerbach goes on to issue a new battle cry, “D.D.I.Y,” noting that we only need to look as far as our neighbour’s garage for the tools or skills we need to complete a project (and in all likelihood, that neighbour is looking for some skill we have). In her words,

“[It] means working with friends, hiring a professional, consuming wisely and conscientiously, and providing for ourselves while working with others. We do what we do best, do what we know how to do, while allowing others to help us with what we are not equipped for.”

Of course, there are many things that can benefit from a D.I.Y. mindset—not the least of which include being able to get things done for yourself, but in a broader sense, I know there are a lot of people I see every week that can do things a lot better than I can, and in turn there are likely some things that I can do better than them. Why don’t I ask for their help more often (or offer my help for that matter)? I’m not entirely sure, but it’s something to start considering a bit more seriously.

You can read the entire article online.