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‘Steady Diet of Something’: Cooking oatmeal and spicy Pop Tarts with Fugazi
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‘Steady Diet of Something’: Cooking oatmeal and spicy Pop Tarts with Fugazi

The Fall 1989 issue of Flipside had features on Pixies and an obscure bunch of weirdos from Seattle called Nirvana, but it was another new combo called Fugazi that scored the cover, with just two EPs on Dischord and a release on the Sub Pop Singles Club to its name. Of course Fugazi started out with an impeccable pedigree: Ian MacKaye, the closest thing to the founder of the straight-edge movement you could name, combining forces with Guy Picciotto and Joe Canty from Rites of Spring.

Fugazi’s feature from that issue of Flipside featured five handwritten recipes from Ian, Guy, Brendan, and Joe, for oatmeal, pasta sauce, “dinner beans,” “spicy Pop Tarts,” and, for the closer, tea. If you think about it, recipes are very DIY, which maybe explains why the members of Fugazi so readily excelled at the art of recipe construction. 

The recipes are real recipes, but there’s a good deal of humor in there as well. Ian’s recipe for tea is an extended riff on being so busy that he keeps forgetting to turn off the boiling water, and when the tea is finally ready, forgetting to drink it. In his oatmeal recipe he strikes a similar note when he forgets to return to the pot once the water is boiling. The guys seldom use a proper measurement—this is fuel, not cuisine, and also not an exact science. (Brendan’s recipe for spicy Pop Tarts is just pure fun, though.)


Guy’s recipe makes a reference to vegetarianism, and in case you’re wondering, yeah, the whole band is vegetarian, a tough trick to pull off when you are touring the United States of America as relentlessly as Fugazi did. In a way it must have reinforced the band’s DIY instincts—if you can’t rely on Arby’s to make you a veggie burger—and you can’t—then you “fill up a cooler with decent food from grocery stores and simply picnic in their van,” as Michael Azerrad put it in Our Band Could Be Your Life.

MacKaye is somewhat famously vegan, although less vocal about it than, say, Morrissey. In 2010 MacKaye said, “Our society is centered around meat consumption, and our society fucking sucks.”

Here is Ian discussing his reasons for being a vegan in a documentary on straight-edge culture called Edge:


Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘The Ian MacKaye’: DC eatery ‘ironically’ names burger after noted vegan

Posted by Martin Schneider
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