Punkhouse un-parable (1 Viewer)

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Deleted member 14481

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So, I’ve tried to run a punkhouse. Unfortunately, we had people move in saying they were down with the culture and willing to participate in such an environment, and turned out to be selfish posers looking for cheap rent. They don’t want to clean up after themselves, do chores, an didn’t understand that sometimes they will have to share the bathroom. They don’t even want to label their food to make sure it doesn’t get assumed as shared to be eaten by someone else. They treat everything about in a communal environment like rocket science.

People cons where shining more than their pros, and no combination of personalities will work if people don’t even know how to properly communicate. I was trying to do this in Minneapolis, and not being from here, people are afraid of how open I am about my feelings, and find it intimidating that I’m not passive aggressive.

I’ve haven’t heard much feedback on the rights and wrongs of punkhouses, but I’ve gotten 2 very informative input on how people have been ripped off in trying to run their own houses. One of people saying they're down, and admitting later that they only wanted cheap rent (in Mpls). Another saying one person said they were down, but letting their drug addict partner stay in the room (location unknown). At this point, I’m ready to throw in the towel, because I don’t trust anyone around me to cooperate.

What say you on this issue of punkhouses, and things working out or not coming together. Or, housemates?
 
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D

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i think you kinda hit the nail on the head about people not wanting to contribute or participate. its certainly stressful when shit doesnt come together the way you had planned but ide say dont throw the towel in just yet. you just gotta vet people better before letting them move in. im assuming mpls has a food not bombs? maybe try showing up and talking with those folks about moving into yer place.

i know first hand how much of a pain in the ass it can be to find reliable half responsible people to live with because ive been on both sides of it. you gotta make it real clear that certain shits not gonna fly at yer house (like the drug addict partner of someone moving in) and that moving in isnt just about cheap rent.

dont give up just yet!
 

timeeeee

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Maybe you're already doing this but in my experience, the more explicit you can be about expectations the better, even to the point of writing them down and posting them somewhere in the house. That way when someone's not participating or is causing other problems, you can either point to the list and say "hey I really like you but we all said we would ______, can you do this please or move out if this is not the right place for you anymore?" It's much better if this is a group process, so that they feel more like agreements and less like rules one person made.

If you manage to find a solid core of people, it gets a little easier to handle these things as a group. Plus it can set a social expectation and sometimes people will move out on their own if they don't feel invested. Best of luck!
 

roughdraft

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[They treat everything about living in a communal environment like rocket science.]

[people are afraid of how open I am about my feelings, and find it intimidating that I’m not passive aggressive.]

i really feel you on these issues

my advice is simple but true, for me anyway - a friendship or housemate arrangement or whatever group effort is like a romantic relationship..it can hurt when it goes to shit, but there are plenty of fish in the sea

there are definitely people who want what you want and can honor their commitments..it's a rough road doing all the legwork to meet them yknow..but it's certainly possible

if you are to throw in the towel on this, what's your next best option?
 
D

Deleted member 20683

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"this is why anarchy doesn't work yall !!!!!!"
j/k....mostly....the fact that it's so hard to pay rent is what drives people to seek shelter together even when they're not really compatible. add to this the fact that people are, not 'naturally' but are trained to be selfish and awful and you get all the stuff mentioned here, which are a lot of the reasons why i never lasted long as a housie.
 

Coywolf

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Is this a squat or a rented space?

Have you explained, In detail, what is expected of people who live in the house?
Punk house or not, there are going to be guidelines to follow living with others. Those "rules" differ between different situations.

Perhaps these people got away with it before and assume it is ok. Or perhaps they are freeloading ass holes. I get anarchy, no rules, ect, but some guidelines are essential to living with other human beings.

Lay down the law. Tell them what is expected or git out! However, I don't have tolerance for shitty roommates, that's just my view.
 
D

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To be clear, this punkhouse DOESN'T run on anarchy nor is that necessarily the case for any house. I also said "low commitment communal" situation, and I was clear bout my intentions in the interviews. I set rules and made my expectations clear, and people started out cooperating at first, but started showing they had problems early on. And, they became more relaxed with their problems. If they were addressed on the issues, they would change for a little bit than go back to what they were doing. And, some people complained and nitpicked about having to label their food so it doesn't get eaten, knowing at the door that was a thing - which is really fucking stupid.
 
D

Deleted member 14481

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if you are to throw in the towel on this, what's your next best option?

I could join someone else's house instead of trying to run my own. Or, go to a different house that doesn't identify as a "punkhouse". Or, I could get into a more "mainstream" situation where people just leave together, but don't talk or share. Or, move somewhere where it doesn't cost an arm and leg to live alone.
 

japanarchist

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It's a rough situation sometimes, but i think ultimately you have to find people who share your values/ are on the same page as you to create a harmonious living situation. I found that asking people to do/not do certain things for the sake of collective living will only last so long until they default back into old habits, as what happened in your situation. It's also challenging because sometimes you might have friends that you like and enjoy being around but wouldn't want to live with because of differing/conflicting values and potentially ending your friendship. If you value washing your dishes and cleaning the bathroom, but your friend doesn't, then it's probably best if you don't move in together.
 

Dameon

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Give 'em a trial period. Make it clear that for the first three months, they can be kicked out for any reason, even if somebody just sort of doesn't like them, and they won't get notice and they won't get their rent back. Set up chore lists, and definite penalties for failing to do your part on time. Essentially, make it look like a lot of work and risk up front so that people who just want to mooch decide it's too much for them, and give yourself maximum freedom to move people on their way when they suck.
 
D

Deleted member 14481

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If you value washing your dishes and cleaning the bathroom, but your friend doesn't, then it's probably best if you don't move in together.

There's only know peon in the house that was my friend prior to moving in, so that's not the problem. It's been strangers saying they know what's up and they're down and turn out to be flops.
 
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Not sure if this is your first time living/running a punk house, but im going to tell you right now - shit like this is always going to happen so get used to it. The world is not perfect and a punk house is not going to be perfect. Yes, sometimes people are just going to be looking for cheap rent - Can you blame them? Sometimes people are going to try let their "drug addict partner" have a roof over their heads for the night (monsters!) I understand its lame of them to hookwink you about "commitment", but again, the world is not perfect. Also, I notice some people here are telling you that you need to tighten up a bit, i'm going to suggest the opposite. If people don't want to label their food, they shouldn't have to - as long as they don't complain about it when it gets eaten (this is the whole point of the rule right?) Is that whats happening.... or.....? Putting up a rules list is a good idea, if you dont already have one. - but make it reasonable . the YOU MUST LABEL YOUR FOOD rule for example should be (Warning - if you dont want me to eat your food - LABEL IT) Shit like that. (your partner can not LIVE here) (No hard drugs in the house)

This is a long-term project if you want it to be sustainable. It can take awhile, but eventually you will sift out the shitheads and have a good group of people who understand and respect each other., and the rules become unspoken.
 
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nobrains

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Punkhouses take a lot of effort & commitment, and fucking heap of compassion and understanding for the varieties and difficulties of life. It's a process, not a goal. It's not easy or simple or straight forward. That's why it's called that. Not a normie house. Not a get along with everybody house. Not a do everything right the first time and get straight As house. Not a never get mad house. A punk house. I get a lot of mileage out looking at myself in the mirror and asking myself: "Consider for a moment that you're the difficult one to get along with!"

Making all the RULES and you have to obey the RULES and if you don't I'm gonna get mad at you!!! isn't a great strategy for getting people on your side. A punkhouse, any communal situation, sex or no sex, needs involvement and communication and mutual understanding, and a shitload of compromise, and ability to chill the fuck out. If these people don't want those things they're in the wrong house. If you don't want these things you're running the wrong show.

I stayed for a single night outside (they wouldnt let us sleep inside) a 'punkhouse' in Portland.. The entire house was filled with these nitpicky signs about the proper way to do absolutely everything. Light a match when you poop. "I shower and shit and have sex with the door open get used to it!" Here's 3 pages about how to wash a cast iron, if you fuck up you're out! Your leftovers will be thrown away after 3 days! Turn this fan off if you're not in the room OR ELSE. This is my section of the fridge! it's the whole fridge! don't touch Robby's beer fridge! Don't touch the compost bin, you'll just fuck it up you pleb!! If you don't pay for the wifi you wont get the password we change it daily! It was a horrible experience and I knew it would be the moment I saw their kitchen. I drunkly spilled a pot of beans on the sidewalk while making dinner. In the morning I promptly cleaned it up but they were so pissed they wouldn't talk to us or let us inside to get our stuff. I ended up leaving my favorite knife and pot lid there. The show was run by an openly poly couple and it was the first thing they told us (my partner and I) about themselves. I can't imagine how horrible the sex must be.

The world is fucked, we all grew up fucked, raised in totally different environments by whozits and wombos. We all have different habits and expectations. If you want to live a chill life you gotta be chill. Coast downhill. Roll with the punches. You can't convert people into being the perfect pawns in your lego village. What you CAN do is adapt, adjust, and flow with it. Pick the right people to be around by being that right person yourself.

In the Tao Te Ching it was written:

FIFTY-EIGHT

When the country is ruled with a light hand
The people are simple.
When the country is ruled with severity,
The people are cunning.


Happiness is rooted in misery.
Misery lurks beneath happiness.
Who knows what the future holds?
There is no honesty.
Honesty becomes dishonest.
Goodness becomes witchcraft.
Man's bewitchment lasts for a long time.


Therefore the sage is sharp but not cutting,
Pointed but not piercing,
Straightforward but not unrestrained,
Brilliant but not blinding.

The best punk houses I've seen didn't have signs except for sometimes a big one in the kitchen that says something like "I LOVE YOU. NO HARD DRUGS. WASH YOUR DISHES." with inside jokes and doodles scribbled all over, and the sinks were heaped with dishes, and people were in and out 24/7. and there was usually some strange person passed out by the firepit. They didn't need bosses cos people managed their own biz. How do you get there?
 
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One of my favorite punk house rules : more of a reminder than a rule, written on the top of the mirror in the bathroom "All Grown Up"
 
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D

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I've been reaching out to different groups online and offline, and I think the advice I'm going to take is to not call it a "punkhouse".That label came with a set of expectations that I actually don't adhere to. Really, our house isn't a puckhouse because it's not trashed and people aren't sleeping and flopping all over the place. I can run a communal house, and have a set of rules with everyone having the understanding that they will have to leave if they don't participate in with they have agreed to beforehand. I will take the advice to tighten up, and use a different label than "punkhouse".
 
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Yea, I'll just go ahead and be the one to do this. It sounds like the only issues you have are people NOT LABELING THEIR FUCKIN FOOD, someone had someone over that you dont like, and people not wanting to deal with your antics so they use the "im just here for cheap rent " cop out. (I take that back... im sure you have tons of issues.)

If you want a regular house... your gonna have to pay for it yourself, sry. (I honestly wish you didnt have to, fuck capitalism) It sounds like a house full of roomates might not work out for ya. (dont worry, its not for a lot of people, and their is nothing wrong with this) Maybe an apartment with 1-2 and see how it goes?

**Sorry, I just re read this and I realize I came off way too harsh here. My point was that with a house full of roomates (punk or not) your always giong to have to deal with little issues like this. Even if people agree to your rules in the beginning.... shit is still going to happen. No way around it. It sucks, and you can try and maybe succeed in making it a bit easier on yourself, but just try to realize that issues like this are going to come up no matter what you do. If you cant handle it (and there is nothing at all wrong with not being able too,, it can take really thick skin, and a fuck load of patience) get out sooner rather than later**
 
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D

Deleted member 20683

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It’s kinda the same problem of semantics that always accompanies “punk”. To some people it means radical politics, creativity, community and autonomy within accountability. Some people just think it’s an excuse to be gross, obnoxious and do whatever they feel like.
 

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