We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

Don’t you just love a story with a happy ending? In a world full of gloom and doom, isn’t it wonderful to hear about a near miracle whereby all the 155 passengers on the US Airways flight are safe and sound after crashing in the Hudson River. I can’t begin to imagine the feelings that those poor souls went through and the stress which followed. I’m quite pleased to learn how all the passengers have been awarded $5,000 each to cover the loss of their luggage until they can be retrieved.

However, they are all safe and sound and on that score I would like to take licence and throw in a little light-hearted ‘funny’ based around the conspiracy theory which always abounds after such an event. In this case this is unfounded, because a flock of birds have been proven to be the cause of the crash after inspecting the flight black box. So please, don’t take offence when I ask you in complete joviality just who or what was responsible. Take a very close look at the picture and see if you can guess what happened. When the penny drops, please come back here and give your comments. We can have a great laugh with this one while we celebrate the sparing of the lives of the passengers of Flight 1549.

Now don’t blame me for starting this. It is going round the Internet like wildfire and although I don’t usually condone such humour, I want to make an exception in this case. I’m still chuckling. Just look at the expression on those little ‘harmless’ ducks lol. Are they on a mission or what?

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Mike O'Hare said:
It is quite correct to assume that I have very little, if anything to do with Zines.

From the We Make Zines front page:

"We Make Zines is an online community for zine makers and readers. Although there are many social networking sites out there, there is little that focuses on zines. We all have our myspace or blogs, but those accounts are filled with friends from work, from the third grade, people who don't know what a zine is and some who probably don't care.

"This space creates a place that focuses on the zines. I want this place to be less about personality and friends and more about the zines - what we produce and read."
Okay, I wasn't going to get involved in this, but after reading some more of it, I feel the need. I'm going to number my points. It helps me think.

1. MIKE: The political milieu of zines has always been on the political left for some decades now, so your joke (or the one your passing on) is getting exactly the sort of response one would expect. I clicked on your "Censorship is Upon Us " site, it was too busy and slow to download. I may take a look at it when I have more time, but if it's a bunch of right-wing hysteria, I doubt I'll spend too much time on it.

2. I see more ambiguity in such jokes than most others who responded to it do. On the one hand it could be seen as an egregious excercise in xenophobia, and understandably off-putting. On the other, it could be laughing at paranoid, conspiracy-believing xenophobes themselves. Lincoln Perry, who played the character Step-n-Fetch-It, was very much derided later in life by his fellow African-Americans for the role he made famous. But others percieved, and I think I may see their insight, that his role was a subversive joke on the racist community. The laughter and derision was directed at the racist, surreptitiously, for their stupidity and ignorance. Maybe the situation is the same with these "turbaned" ducks?

3. STILL ON ANOTHER HAND, I can see how there might be people on this site of middle-eastern descent and their friends, especially younger people who are more sensitive and less calloused by time than we old codgers, who would be quite hurt by this joke, so I have to reconsider my initial reaction that they're being hypersensitive and overly judgemental.

4. In the "zine community" (and that's very tenuous concept) there is no political or social consensus. Yes, even racists make zines, and if you take your claim of "inclusiveness" seriously, I don't see how you can be so quick to "shun" people. I usually try to express my NON-RACIST views. I don't like to call myself "anti-racist" because that term's already been taken by people who see the issue too simply and are too quick to castigate anybody who doesn't tow a leftist line. (I'm a liberal libertarian, an individualist, a skeptical and critical thinker, who sees issues as often complex).

I'm probably sticking my own neck out here, and may be accused of being ageist, but I remember I saw things more in black and white in my teens and twenties, so I guess I can't be too hard on those who seemed to have over-reacted to Mike's "joke".

5. Exactly where to draw the line between "racism" and "xenophobia" on the one hand, and legitimate and sincere criticism of a culture or ethnic group other than ones own (regional or extranational), is tricky. Accusing someone of "hate" because they criticize a country or society they find dangerous, and thoughtfully draw connections between said dangerous society and its religion or culture, is spurious and less than responsible. I don't know what's in Mikes heart. I'd have hear him out a little more. SOME Muslim immigrants have clamored vigorously for imposing Muslim law on Canadians and Europeans. And that DOES have something to do with zines, and freedom of expression, in general. Sure, let's avoid crass, ignorant, xenophobia. But let's not silence are prematurely judge people with valid concerns that involve religion and culture.
James N. Dawson--thank you for your well thought out response to this issue. You definitely brought up some points that I hadn't thought of. I appreciate having some new ideas to ponder. I think your points have really broadened this discussion.
Mike I'd like to know where were the CIA, Homeland security and the NYPD? Have those ducks been apprehended yet? A bunch of suicide ducks bring down and aircraft and then two ducks of Middle Eastern appearance are witnessed at the scene....very suspicious. They might be innocent of course but let the Judicial System be the judge of that. Not a bunch of guardians for the politically correct who need to go and lighten up! :)


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