We Make Zines

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A gray sky day of drizzle that April 21, back in 1994. The official date of my move to Eugene, Oregon and that evening I was already loving it--seeing Spitboy play at Icky's Teahouse and thrilled too be a part of what was sure to be a vibrant scene. Several southern Oregon punks had moved to town and there were not only loads more local punks already but an anarchist collective also. Leaving college for to build a thriving punk community was looking like the best decision I had made in my short life. I had just turned twenty and thought I knew how the rest of my brief stay on earth would play out.

Twenty years later...you probably already guessed that personal projections  are phantom imaginings and what really happens if far different and affected by a host of factors beyond one's control. I may not be a part of a thriving anarcho-punk community providing an alternative way of life to the capitalist consumer system, but I'm still a part of the wider punk and anarchist movements even as my daily life resembles mainstream norms from a distance.

I've always had a problem when people called punk a youth movement as I had friends of all ages (the shows are all ages, not underages). The idea that one had to give up the things you love just because you got older always struck three chords of absurdity with me. The idea that punk was a fashion or a musical genre was also anathema as I viewed it as a way of living, being, and operating in the world. How can you give up a way of life? There are many ways to live, to be punk, to take up space in this world that aren't better or worse than any others--but it is about our own lives and what we want.

Hell, last Saturday I saw Oi Polloi for the first time after listening to their music for over twenty years. In the past five years I've seen the Subhumans, Amebix, The Mob, and other bands with people who are older than I am. Even if I was feeling too old to be relevant, with such fine examples how could I stop doing my punk thing?

So, twenty years after Mayehm #1, after a name change to Mayhap, and a final settling on Mishap, here's issue #33 and it's about stories (as so many issues have been). The importance of fiction for our lives. Politically-minded book reviews. Book suggestions for your consideration and photos from recent travels Tracy and I have undertaken. Issue #1 of my zine had three fiction short-stories and nearly every zine since has had at least one, current included. Lost the Thread is a suicide story about stories. I felt relieved I'd made it through adolescence and young adulthood without killing myself; like my worries were over, made it through that rough patch, smooth sailing. Middle-aged men, however, have a high rate of suicide, depression, and sundry other problems I find myself dealing with. As I do, I'll continue to write about them, to make stories that stave off the lows and celebrate the highs. And I will have punk rock, zines, and stories to sustain me.

Mishap #33 is free. Send a message with your address if you want one.

Ryan

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