Sunday, January 6, 2013

DIY Does Not Suck, Despite What You Must Think

I haven't written in here forever. I haven't had anything to say.

But I've had this tab open in my browser for a very long time. It's an article on BuzzFeed, 39 DIY Gifts You'd Actually Want to Receive, by Alanna Okun, because I've wanted to remark upon it to someone. However, I don't have visitors, and my commentary might start a fight, so I'm just going to complain here where nobody will see it.

Alanna Okun, Assistant-Editor - Shift
Image: Miscellany News, Vassar
Let's start with the title of this article. It's insulting because it presumes that do-it-yourself (DIY) crafts are inherently repulsive or undesirable. The title suggests that despite the fact these gifts are DIY, they have other qualities that counteract this negative aspect. Unlikely as it may seem, given their DIY nature, a reasonable, mature person might somehow be interested in the items selected in this list.

That's insulting because the DIY ethic should be encouraged. Consumerism is a mental disease and infinite growth economy is a very dangerous fallacy. These philosophies encourage greed, hoarding, materialism, unhealthful competition, envy/jealousy and paranoia. They do not contribute to communities and social relationships, and they impress a heavy burden upon environmental concerns at every level. Conversely, people relearning self-sufficiency is a useful step toward emergency preparedness. People learning how to better their dexterity and cognition by hands-on crafts should be encouraged, not derided. Exercises and activities that support people exploring creative expression and crafting items for their household or gifts for others are beneficial to people and communities. Ms. Okun believes that making things with your hands is deserving of insult, and that purchasing mass-manufactured crap from a corporate behemoth is the superior decision.