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Anti-zinester sentiment! How do you feel about the term zinester?

Are all of you folks comfortable with the term zinester? I have big problems with the word because it implies that I am a part of a scene. I consider myself a writer. A writer who would be writing whether or not there are zines. The term zinester is one that started being prominent when the D.I.Y/radical dirty kids appropriated the zine in the mid-nineties when most independant writers went online. That was the same time that zines started to tank in quality because instead of being used as an available medium for anyone, it was fetishized for it's archaic quality by a certain scene who then started pushing zines about the same shit like making out and riding bikes and polyamoury.

Zines have since becoms a "safe place" where only a few topics are covered. You see less zines be older people or contraverisal people or disenfranchised people, very few zines about labor or cultural critique. Years ago, when someone said that they didn't like zines it meant they were square and needed a professional to tell them what to read. Now it means they don't want to read about how great it was on a rooftop on night.

The term zinester and the zine community that is being pushed is really confining. I write a zine because it is a medium I have access to, not because I want to be a part of a community. Have you heard of a book community that just calls themselves that because they all make books? Republican writers chilling with Leftists and people who write cookbooks chilling with a sci-fi author because they are all booksters?

It's also the zinester philosophy that's been pushing the idea that making a zine is the hightest good, no matter what the quality and that everyone should be making one no matter what. Teaching make-a-zine-in-an-hour workshops that encourage people to lower the bar. Fuck that! You should be making a zine if you have something to say. 

I don't really get offended when someone calls me a zinester by accident, it makes sense considering the prominence of the word. However, I always feel the need to correct them. I do take offense the fact that just because I make a zine I'm already a part of a club that I don't feel like I identify with at all. And that writing in zines isn't taken seriously anymore by anyone accept for this scene, because of the stuff that they are promoting.

I think that people can write about whatever they want and I don't have to read it. But I feel like the problem is more with the fact that, due to the speed of the internet making zines archaic has allowed a certain group (the zinester) to say that they are the voice of zines. I feel like some of the best zines being made out there like "Underworld Crawl" are marginalized due to the fact that they don't fit in the zinester scene/community stuff like that.

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I'm with AJ, in that I personally prefer the term zine publisher, even though I'm the primary contributor to (and default editor of) the Zinester's Guide to NYC - the term was already in place for the Zinester's Guide to Portland, also published by Microcosm, and it seemed unwise to sever the connection. I really dig my fellow late-to-this-party guest, Kira's interpretation of zinester as something akin to reader or writer. That's how I'll try to look at it from now on, while still identifying my ownself as a zine publisher (and Chief Primatologist and Sole Employee of The East Village Inky)

After a few years of using the word, I'm ready to weigh in: I don't like the term "zinester." I thought it would grow on me, but it hasn't. It sounds like a Teamster who produces a zine about Jimmy Hoffa conspiracy theories. But I use it all the time, because that's the word and there's no equivalent-length alternative. I think if I were talking to a non-zine audience, I would go with "zine writer." On WMZ and in other conversations, I think "zinester" is fine. At least it's not obzine (sorry).

I think its a lame term,but unfortunately one that fits most zine people.Other terms that fit,like "Overpriveledged""Worthless""Self righteous"and "Inconsequential" are also annoyingly apt.

i'm fine with the word "zinester." it may sound as ridiculous as "bookster," but it's not that different from "author." i'm a zinester who isn't really part of a (real life) "zine scene/community," but what else could i go by? "pamphleteer" sounds like it's for religion or politics. "zine writer" sounds fine.

i understand what Craven Rock is saying, though. i had similar feelings about joining my high school Pinoy group. in my zine i wrote, "I had contradictory feelings about it: I wanted validation through identification with other Filipinos, but at the same time refused to be lumped in with them just because we had race in common." i wanted to do my own explorations of the culture without having to associate with that high school crowd, who i didn't like for other reasons. i guess it's up to us to redefine what zinester/Filipino means.

i like the term, personally. i like everything that zines and zine communities are about. also, i find the history of zines pretty interesting and think that if you call them something else, they become something else, without that history and without that open community there. i don't necessarily like the sound of the term? or the aesthetic of it. but i like the word for what it means.

It makes me cry

As long as they spell my name right

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