snip snip

31 was kind of a throw-away year for me. I lost too many friends and relatives, work just limped along, and - strangest for me - I didn't release a single zine the whole time. Looking back at it, that's a major sign that something just flat wasn't right in my life at the time.

But here I am now, 32, climbing out of the doldrums. Last night, I sat down with some pictures, graphics, and articles at my living room table. As I downed a few beers, I cut pieces of paper into smaller pieces of paper and then glued the snippets to yet more pieces of paper. I have no idea why I love doing that so much. I feel like I've truly accomplished something when I see those copies come popping out of the machine at Office Depot, ready to be collated, stapled, folded, and shoved into a stranger's hands.

The most fun I ever had with that last bit was at the show at the Beta Bar a couple of years ago. I'd run an article on the brand-new-at-the-time Tallahassee Rollerderby Team as the center spread, and I finished the final paste-down and copying just a few minutes into a show that was a benefit for the squad. I wanted to be able to hand out issues that night, but I'd run out of time for assembling the copies. So I walked into the venue carrying a box of loose pages and my long-arm stapler. The roller girls (Capital Punishment!) laid that puppy out and put it in order, sending me set copies to be stapled, folded, and thrown on the merch table. Somebody brought me a draft beer while I worked, and the issue disappeared as quickly as we could put it together. Beer, zines, and hotties in short skirts collating for me? The ultimate zinester fantasy.


EDP said...

I think there's something reassuring about simply creating something. For me, the first sign that something is seriously off is when I stop writing for fun. Sounds like you're finding your way back, and that's a good thing.

Lazy Rani said...

my friends like to have a little party every year known as "denver zine fest" and this year i told them i wouldn't come unless i could host a round table on "how blogs are fucking up the scene." your problem wasn't "31". your problem was this "push button publishing" nonsense.

okay, but seriously, i am fascinated with the ways technology change what it means to self-publish. i know thinking about things like this for fun makes me geeky, but i don't care. (i mean, i already visit the library every week; why fight it?)

downtown guy said...

edp: Exactly. I knew I hadn't worked on my main zine all year, but I only realized a few weeks ago that I barely did anything along those lines at all at 31. Which is like me not drinking beer or not listening to music - it's never happened. I made my first newspaper when I was in grade school, and haven't stopped since. I felt a great sense of relief last night, knowing I still have it in me.

lazy rani: Although I agree with you that push button publishing has put some dents in the zine scene, I don't think that's my issue. I've been fucking around on mostly the same online spaces for years and years now, and it doesn't affect my urge to cut and paste and copy and staple. In fact, I very deliberately have not published anything from any of my zines online, because if you can't put it in your pocket or read it in the crapper, it's not a zine.

(You know, I've never been to a zine fest, though I get invited to a half dozen or so every year by friends, especially back when I was running a distro.)

Mr Pineapples said...

when you say "beer" - are you referring to that useless tastless fizzy rubbish you yanks like to drink? we call it lager here - in the home of true beer.

Mr Pineapples said...

o gawd...you have to APPROVE the posts ....so anything even slightly critical gets dunked?


downtown guy said...

Nope, I publish everything except spam, which I get my share of.

I mean beer, which comes in a can and you drink it ice cold, preferably in large amounts.

Mr Pineapples said...

Hey Downer....


You yanks havent a bleedin' clue have you.

Beer (the real stuff not that fizzy dribble you lot supp)- comes from a barrel - drawn with a pump.

It do not come in a can.

downtown guy said...

Hey pineapple - leave me to drink the beer I like and I won't start in on English food.

Mmmm, canned beer.