On Selling Out (1 Viewer)

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Any of you crusties ever sold out completely?

I'm talking 9 to 5 with a lease and stability.

If so, how did/are you faring?

I've been a crusty traveler for a while. Years ago, I was hxc into computer science, but gave up that passion for degeneracy. I've had amazing experiences. I've truly been living a life fully aligned with my values and beliefs. I couldn't imagine giving up that. Lately tho, I feel my growth as a person has stagnated a bit. It's been difficult for me to work on projects or be productive in any sense. I mean, obviously, being productive isn't a priority when you're a hedonistic degenerate... but idk. Continuing life as is seems more like suicide than anything. Not that I want to kill myself. It just seems like the trajectory I'm headed. My initial reasons for leaving "society" were in search of autonomy and greater truths. I also loathed the very concept of society. I've since realized I'm no more "enlightened" than the yuppies who call the cops on me (ok maybe a little but still). I'm still just another skeleton in a meat suit. My pursuit of freedom has left me feeling more trapped than ever before. As much as I've tried to escape the restraints of society, I can't. It's damn near impossible without complete isolation. Which brings me to my next conclusion. Society ain't all that bad. It just needs to change.

I've lived fully off-grid in isolation. No one fucks with you. You are free to do whatever you please within the physical limits of your environment. But that's just that. No one fucks with you. No one talks to you. No one laughs with you. It's just you and your thoughts. I damn near went schizophrenic. I was becoming a prisoner in my own mind. It seemed the only escape was to project my existence onto others. As if the mere act of communicating or having people see me allowed a part of me to be free. This sounds so fucking gay, but without others it was like I didn't exist at all. I was simply stuck in some weird limbo I had constructed for myself. It was fucking horrible, and I consider myself an introvert. I think we are inherently social creatures. We need each other...

I know there are plenty of communities on the fringes of society, but most just aren't all that great tbh. I mean, the amount of fucking work required to keep those communities running smoothly... you might as well work at fucking whole foods. I'm just thinking about how difficult it has been to live outside of society. How much fucking work it takes to do simple tasks. Just things like pouring water from a faucet, plugging into an outlet, using wifi, driving to the store... all these basic things that are so easily attained in society just save a ton of fucking effort. I'm just thinking of all the days spent trudging with a fucking full pack through the heat just to get a sip of water. Like yeah, it's cool as shit to live a life of adventure. Where every day is something new. Every day is a new challenge. But, like, at some point the novelty has to wear off. At what point does catching out go from "holy shit this is so exciting. the views are gonna be so amazing. i can't wait!" to "fuck, i've been sitting here for hours. why am i even hopping on this train. it's dangerous. i could actually die. i might get arrested too. if i lose my pack i'm fucked. man, i need some water".

You know. Maybe getting high every day and sleeping on the streets isn't good for my psyche. How many friends do I have to lose? Do I even have any friends anymore? My family is getting older every day. I miss them. I wish they didn't worry about me all the time. Why would anyone ever want to fucking date me? What if I want a kid? This life is hardly good for a dog. Ever see a crustdog cower under the subway seat as everyone around you stares at your ringworm arm, wondering who has it worse, the dog or you? Man, I'm being cynical as fuck.

I've been offered a path out of my current lifestyle. The idea of saving up and buying a house in detroit is starting to sound real nice. I could work on art and other projects. I could eat nice. I could go out to bars and talk about my travelin' days. I could travel abroad and not subsist off of bread and dirt. I could build a badass bus. I could even get back into gaming... I could just fucking sit in a room in peace and quiet. Sleep on a comfy bed. Take bubble baths... I could give crusties free drugs every week...

I wonder what the world would be like if all the crusties started making money and had power in this capitalist world. Would we all just be poser sell outs like all the yuppies?
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Juan Derlust

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it's good to have options

please save me a seat if you arrive first
 
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Faceplant

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You know, there’s a season for everything. It’s perfectly o.k. to change your mind. Hardly anything is irreversible. Don’t apologize for anything. On any given subject, 50% of the world will agree with you, 50% will disagree.
 

Thewalkindude

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Doesn't take too long to realize this lifestyle is heavily romanticized and most people aren't cut out to do it for life. I understand the feeling of being trapped on the road, despite hitting the road because I felt trapped in the 9-5 cycle. It's okay to not be a lifer. It's okay to want material things like a van or a house. In a weird way it seems like there's pressure from the traveling crusty community to tolerate all the bullshit that comes with the road in the name of idealism. In fact there's a lot of parallels between life on the road and "normal" life. Try and find a happy medium.
 

lazerskull

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I went to college to get a degree in music. Which is my passion. I happened to be really good at it, and my professors encouraged me to go to grad. school. Which I also did. Grad school sucked the life out of me, and I barely finished a master's degree. For both degrees this took almost a decade of my life. Now I am over 150k in debt. I pay it off on some kind of weird plan and it's about a hundred bucks a month which barely puts a dent in interest. My only hope for that debt is for the government to forgive it all.

I make around 50k a year doing music which is what I love. I haven't sold out but in some ways I have. I bought a car with influence from my cousin. After six years I almost have it paid off. I live in a trailer and pay my rent every month. I hold down three music related jobs; and any chance I get I tear away from the city like a bat outta hell. Last week I spent a few nights backpacking in the Sierras. I met up with an old friend of mine I used to catch out with.

I could tell at times it made him uncomfortable when I'd offer to buy all the liquor or buy him a pack of smokes. He's in between jobs and used to being self sufficient. When we hung out last we were just frustrated punk kids in a boring suburban town and I was like barely 14 (I'm 35 now).

I don't really subscribe to "normal" things that people do now. Like "online dating." Mortgages. Whatever. Facepoo. Instafart. Whatever.

I strive to be the same reliable dude I always have been. And I strive to continue to do the things that make me happy. I still skate, snowboard, hike, backpack and hopefully soon train hop. In some ways I have sold out, but in some ways I haven't. I play piano for a church for example. For some people that would be selling out I guess. But to me it's still music which is my talent. I help people who want to worship God feel a closer connection to that, and I also pray at times myself. If it weren't for the money though, I am sure I wouldn't play there, so many times a week, every week. Whenever I do need to not be there though I can arrange a substitute and then they get paid. I don't have any benefits or vacation time or anything. Just the freedom to go when I need to. Which is nice.


My closest flirtation with buying a house was I was in a relationship for almost 2 years and toward the end it felt like I was about to buy a house and go that route, but I couldn't turn a blind eye anymore to the weird hypocritical life choices of my then, would be spouse, so I cut myself loose.

My dream job is to teach music at a university and perform music and compose. If I can save up enough to buy some land. And get a decent job doing that for a university, I'd be set.

Next month I am taking a week off to backpack the Sierra Nevada. When I go I'll be using the same crusty Alice pack I used as a kid. I'll have just as many beers in my pack as I do trail mix.
I'll respect the land and not be a dickwad, but I sure as hell won't be wearing a bunch of thousand dollar gortex and what not.

I guess what I mean to infer is that I think if you do what you love for a living and follow that, yes at times you'll have to sell out and work your ass off, but you also might wind up having the same freedoms also.

I am also a son of mixed race marriage and my parents come from two, totally different cultures / I am a middle child / my Zodiac is Libra / so it seems natural that I would straddle the lines of "being an adult" and not being a fuckwad. I always seem halfway between everything.

In conclusion, I see the pangs of what people label as "rites of passage" in adulthood like mortgages and kids and what have you and I see that for some it brings genuine happiness... but all too often it brings depression, compromise, and being overly self absorbed... I see how fear is the motivator for wanting security and how that bargain never works out unless you're willing to be a little bit ignorant, and I just can't be.

I have always connected the deepest with the punks. I laugh at the way punk has been appropriated by consumerism, how soccer mom's take their kids to Supercuts to get blue faux hawks and how it's normal. How every other human being has a tattoo of a native american thing or a butterfly or barbed wire or a skull or some shit. How it's all just a big cesspool of shit. Even skating and snowboarding aren't quite the same. The kids who do these things now they still get a part of it, but they don't really get what they've missed by being born too late. Sure they have all the skateparks now but the culture, the common bond, the feeling of being a trailblazer, standing up for something and being judged unfairly for it, these sorts of marks of character, are slowly but surely being boiled out of the culture.

As these cultures are strained however, new ones come up. And I guess that's all we can be hopeful for is that perhaps after all this appropriation and bullshit runs its course some new flock of kids 10 or 20 years down the road will find something else that sets them apart, and breathes new life and meaning and purpose and beauty and truth into the world that is so much needed and always will be.
 
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Not having a home base definitely wears on the soul after awhile, so I can see where you’re coming from...
Quite frankly, everything seems to be meaningless , and not in a depressing or cynical sense but looking through a lens of jaded misconception. Reckon it’s up to each individual to find a reason, a motivating factor that rekindles a spark of purpose into ones own existence.
Some people rely on routine for their sanity, others get their kicks trucking into the unknown...no one size fits all, no judgement . Just acceptance
if we can accept who we have become , we can begin to understand a little more who we are and appreciate. & accepting we will never fully know in its entirety ,
Cuz then there’d be no need to trek along on this spaceship earth
So be easy in yo self and try not to judge so harshly the moves you make upon the unfoldment of the life’s next chapter.
 
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I hate waking up every morning just to go to work just to pay bills. I'd trade all this for a shack by the stream away from society with my own thoughts and a sketch book any fucking day of the week bro. I hate the city and the smells the amount of people and the noises that come with it. Hell I can't even step outside and see the damn stars with this light pollution. Fuck society fuck the government fuck rules
 

lazerskull

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Quite frankly, everything seems to be meaningless , and not in a depressing or cynical sense but looking through a lens of jaded misconception. Reckon it’s up to each individual to find a reason, a motivating factor that rekindles a spark of purpose into ones own existence.
Some people rely on routine for their sanity, others get their kicks trucking into the unknown...no one size fits all, no judgement . Just acceptance
if we can accept who we have become , we can begin to understand a little more who we are and appreciate. & accepting we will never fully know in its entirety ,
Cuz then there’d be no need to trek along on this spaceship earth
So be easy in yo self and try not to judge so harshly the moves you make upon the unfoldment of the life’s next chapter.
Truth!
 

Brodiesel710

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Words from a friend, "The idea of staying true, never changing, being "authentic" are all essentially about freezing people. When we freeze and can't change and grow we are at the end of our life."

Thats the worst part about punk.
 

Older Than Dirt

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As an old guy, i will chime in.

My hardcore traveling days were a long time ago, in the '70s (see my "Tales of shoplifting, hitchhiking..." thread), but i was a teenage dirtbag who lived in a tent all up and down the northeast, and by scamming and hustling (and sometimes cooking in restaurants) from 14-21. I never graduated from high school or got a GED.

In the '80s, i was what you kids call a "house punk" and a weed dealer in NYC (i scammed out of rent most of those years, which led to law school). The '90s were law school and then a PhD in criminology, then a 20 year career doing research attacking the "War On Drugs". Some of the results of work like what i did (i won't say my work) are syringe exchange/harm reduction, and cannabis legalization, and attention to racial/class injustice in policing.

I don't consider the work i did for 20 years to have been "selling out", i think it may have helped and at the very least did not leave the world worse off.

If you know people that shoot dope, and go to syringe exchanges, my pal Holly is why they give you the cookers- she demonstrated HCV transmission was occurring from shared cookers; she also did important HIV work that changed syringe exchange practices and the supplies offered. She has saved many hundred of thousands of lives. Going to check out her new spot in the upstate woods nearby this weekend. I don't call that work "selling out".

I caught a colleague fabricating data, got fired for reporting it, sued, and retired after the bad guys settled and gave me a lot of money. So i own a small 100 year old house in a small town north of NYC. i never though i would possibly own property in my life, but i got my 1/4 acre, with corn and sunflowers taller than i am and more tomatoes than we can eat.

So far this year i hitched up to Massachusetts to buy legal reefer in the Berkshires, just for the novelty of it and because i was bored, took the Greyhound across the country to New Mexico to do acid in the desert with a 79 year old elder in ritual magick, hitched from there to Durango to hang out with an old hippie ex-dopefiend pal, bussed to Fort Collins to hang with another old brother there and flew home, and last week did 3 days of bikecamping on the C & O Canal Towpath trail in Maryland before deciding a folding bike is no fun on mud and gravel trails n a heatwave and bailing to the bus home.

In August me, the wife, and teenage kid will go to Portugal to see some retired Brazilian punk kids who got kinda medium rich (not rich rich but way more money than me) running a bar in Sao Paulo. I will probably do a few more semi-local bike camping things when it cools off in fall, little 2-4 day jaunts. A fair amount of travel for an old man in a year, and very little money spent on all of it.

I think traveling or settled, wherever you go, there you are. Who you are doesn't need to change. There are jobs that are not Babylon, some even may make the world better.

OK, i'm from a different generation and was very lucky. True.

But i know full-on ex-crustlords, talking (back when i met them) horrible tattoos (well they still have those), filthy stank-ass bibs with Crass patches etc and more lighter tab studs than you, actual filthy dirty trainhopping squatting spanging folks just like you, most from the first generation of '90s trainpunk kids, who are now: data analyst for a state health department, several union stagehands and stage carpenters, regular carpenter doing fine interior cabinets (his rich clients love the face tats), and head of EMT services in a very large Eastern city (head like she is boss of the whole fucking thing city-wide).

Do What Thou Wilt, not what someone else (or internalized "someone elses" in your own head) tells you to do, whether they're telling you to work in an office or hop trains.
 
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lazerskull

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Yeah I Guess that question itself is revealing, "any of you crusties ever sold out completely?" Like it sort of paints something into a corner of a "yes" or "no" when in reality it's not "yes" or "no." I guess completely selling out would be like getting a job for Haliburton developing missiles. Buying some cheese ball McMansion in a pretentious suburb, having a trophy wife or husband, buying a bunch of stock in Chevron, Shell, Lockheed Martin, etc, having kids you don't really love, developing WMD's for the hugest MID in the history of all mankind, having a few affairs and a coke habit on the side to make it all good before bed each night... IS THAT WHAT YOU MEAN BY SELLING OUT COMPLETELY? In that case. NAH HAVENT GOT THERE YET.
 

SlankyLanky

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Words from a friend, "The idea of staying true, never changing, being "authentic" are all essentially about freezing people. When we freeze and can't change and grow we are at the end of our life."

Thats the worst part about punk.
Did Aaron write that? I was gonna talk about the worms and the birds but you summed it up good enough.
 

Brodiesel710

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My friend Chris, we have been talking a lot after two of our friends died, he's got a lot of good things to say.
 

Juan Derlust

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Ideals change as we allow experience to shape them
 

roughdraft

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Ideals change as we allow experience to shape them
nailed it

My pursuit of freedom has left me feeling more trapped than ever before. As much as I've tried to escape the restraints of society, I can't.

I've lived fully off-grid in isolation. No one fucks with you.

I know there are plenty of communities on the fringes of society, but most just aren't all that great tbh. I mean, the amount of fucking work required to keep those communities running smoothly... you might as well work at fucking whole foods. I'm just thinking about how difficult it has been to live outside of society.
we learn from our mistakes, slankylanky and brodiesel are posting some good insight on this in this thread, but i want to add just a smidgen my personal experience

life is not static, it´s just dynamic, and between our thoughts and feelings and all else we have to deal with, it seems this is something we have to realize and lose sight of multiple times before arriving at the best station in ourselves

i just think back to a girlfriend i had in brattleboro when i was like 18 and how we were sitting in a coffee shop one day talking shit with someone else about other people moving to the area posted up by their souped up vehicles blaring music and just kinda lookin °gangster° and lookin for fuckshit to fuck around with, and how she used that word [static[} and it made so much damn sense, but let´s be adults now and think about what is it that these people in their current states if you can imagine that guy there, what is it within [you[ }} as an individual, ALL that you are responsible for, have in common?

very little time but what a damn good thread

life is about balance and unfortunately irony is a very powerful force, relative to... what we think we understand... you know how you think you know something and then it turns out the opposite... why is it so often like that....like, how is it OP found himself more enslaved procuring freedom?

and blah blah blah everything has advantages and disadvantages

but if you´re stuck out there worrying about what somebody else is gonna think of what you do, whether you are punk just one example, isn´t that the definition of a poser? the poser wants to be seen, they do the pose right to be seen, and then that´s it they don´t know how their life really should work, so back to the static-dynamic spectrum right, don´t make yourself static, right don´t freeze yourself, don´t stop growing or considering the best option, just fucking go for it....but tread wisely...anyway that is how i am trying to tell myself these days
 

Older Than Dirt

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The OP trusted themself enough to go against everything they had been told about how to live, and go on the road.

Sounds like they are having a hard time trusting themself again, to make another, different change, maybe because the social reinforcement and love they have found in road culture is better than what they left behind in the straight world.

But as lots of folks have pointed out, when you stop growing, which means changing, you start dying. Staying a caterpillar, as others turn into butterflies, is lame; but failing to morph because you think taking your new form is "selling out" or "not punk" or some other dumb ideological construct, is even lamer.

''Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule you" , as the Hobo Code begins, or ""Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law; Love is the Law, Love under Will; Every Man and every Woman is a Star" as Aleister Crowley puts it at slightly more length- same idea.

Listen to your real self to decide what to do with your life. If it don't feel right, it ain't right, or else you ain't doin' it right.

Only you can figure this out for you; listen to those you love and to those who love you, but, in the end, make up your own mind/body/soul.
 

Older Than Dirt

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If your version of being "punk as fuck" involves conformity to punk/dirtykid/what-the-fuck-ever dress-code, or obedience in sticking to this list of approved punk activities, or doing what other punx do to fit in, you have kinda missed the point.

Let an old motherfucker remind you punk is about refusing to conform or obey or fit in, including not conforming to punk fashion and approved lifestyle, refusing to obey how someone else thinks you should be a punk, and fitting in to a "society" of one- you.

As so often as an old fuck who has seen it all twice, just left asking: "What do they teach these kids in school these days?" This shit is covered in like Punk 101: Kinderpunk, right?

 
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onandonward

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This is a really fantastic thread. So many thoughtful comments.

I think to have reservations about constant mobility and societal isolation is completely sane. Ultimately, I know that my travel is a self indulgence. Traveling has really become just an idea for me, that I return to when I feel trapped. When I actually pursue it, I'm bored and depressed if I'm not intoxicated in some way. There are very beautiful moments, but there are also very beautiful moments in society. They are not the same type of beautiful, but neither is worse or better.

Of course, I come home to my mother – who cries about the complete emptiness of her job, the pressures of taxes and mortgages and various other responsibilities; all that require immense sums of money we do not have; and I am reminded of the listlessness that society can hold also.

I am not ready to say that that either type of life is better than the other. Human beings are problematic and weird and very self-absorbed. The way things are going, it seems there will always be something to escape, and even traveling is a human construct outside of a construct: as this website makes evident. I'm trying to settle down more, as I find more meaning in developing permanent relationships and the responsibility they carry than in whatever feeling of faux-freedom traveling imitates. However, I do think some people (few and far between) really find zen and purpose in transience. Hats off to them.

One of the most annoying aspects of this website is that it is constantly visited by some of the most forward thinking people, and yet, because a lot of us are so angry and apathetic towards society, what could be a great platform for organized activism is sometimes just a place to discover ways to avoid society as much as possible. As I've gotten older, I've hated this mindset the most. Punk is about active resistance, isn't it? Then why are so many of us content with passive hatred?

Weirdly, there is more activism from the people within society than from the people outside it, and though I like the people outside it an awful lot, and often agree with their radical beliefs far more, I have to go within it to actually make a world I want to live in.
 
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