BOSTON INSTITUTE FOR NONPROFIT HASSLING
The beginning of a beautiful relationship
I come to you as the reluctant villain who told Boston Magazine that our local counterculture is in trouble. I am someone who has spent my whole adult life helping fuel the indie press, all while witnessing the steep decline of everything both non- and anti-corporate. Though I regret having to give Hassle readers homework as a prereq for my emotional old man polemic, I do hope people read the BoMag piece in its entirety, and not only because the author ultimately agrees with what many of his critics are claiming, which is that there are strong and hopeful signs of counterculture life among us.
I wholly understand the knocking of the writer’s choice to give such weight to aging whiteboy hipsters like yours truly. Nevertheless, I think it’s critical to recognize the undeniable, housing-driven fact that Greater Boston’s counterculture is unprecedentedly diffuse and, even though it may not seem the case to those who live and play in Allston, relatively minimal. To suggest the modern underground is thriving is to disregard a time in Boston when your average summer weekend in a somewhat yuppie-free Jamaica Plain packed countless outdoor parties with live music, and to forget how heads could actually burn pre-legal blunts at reggae shows from Blue Hill Ave to Cambridge back in the day.
All that said, the innumerable scattered silos of creative subterranean activity considered, I feel one thing that alternative types can all agree on is that now, perhaps more than ever before, we need to foster close collaboration to survive. This need has led my crew at the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism (BINJ) to partner with not only the Hassle and Compass, but with other local grassroots outlets such as KillerBoomBox as well. It’s a smaller counterculture tent than in the past, but I never doubted our capacity to raise the roof.