We Make Zines

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I got "Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2" in the post today, through the CornDog distro. I love it; from the size of it, to the content and the way it's laid out. It's a gorgeous book and I can see it being useful for quite a while.

But, there was one sentence that rather annoyed me. It's on page 57 and is the last sentence: "They are also a great way to keep your parents from reading your mail." I'm a parent. I'm 48 and my daughter is 22 and I would never, ever dream of opening her mail. I resent the implication that parents are just itching to get their hand on their children's mail and read every little secret. I don't know how old the author of the book is, but this, to me, seemed such a young thing to say, Yes, there may be families where the privacy of all members is not respected. But that does not mean that every parent is like that.

I felt that it marginalised people of my age at one blow. It's already plain that people over 40 are rare in the zine world, but this just pushed that message home. Is this book aimed only at the young zine fan then? Do we older ones not have our place as well? I think it would have been better if the sentence had been part of the one before. Something like, "if you move around a lot or have bad blood with past roomates, or where other people in your home may open your mail." That would not assume that the reader is necessarily young with nosy-parker parents.

Honestly, life as an older person with a daughter who is the age of most ziners is hard enough, without being classed as someone who has nothing better to do that open other people's mail. I open my husband's mail, with his permission, as he lives and works in London during the week, and it is not always practical to hold his mail over until the weekend. But in all the 7 recent months that my daughter was away in New Zealand, I never opened her mail, except on one or two occasions, when she asked me to, when an important letter had been sent to her from her bank.

Apart from that, I loved the book.

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Comment by lauramarie on August 5, 2009 at 8:37pm
Your kid's lucky!
Comment by Amazing Sunflower on June 23, 2009 at 10:18pm
"They" does refer to post office boxes in the sentence Eunice quoted. (I just read Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2 in order to review it for Zine World.) I agree that there were probably better ways to phrase what the author was trying to get across, that if there's a problem with any person opening mail without permission, post office boxes are a good way to get around the problem.

I am guessing the author wasn't trying to be offensive or marginalize parents or older folks, but it is an unfortunate choice of words. And I bet there are more folks over 40 in the zine world than this site would lead one to believe.
Comment by Dorian Shaw on June 23, 2009 at 8:58pm
What does 'they' refer to? PO boxes? I wouldn't take the comment to heart-I see it as a cutesy off handed remark. My father has always respected my privacy and I would never imagine him opening my mail either. However, in my field of work I come across situations on a daily basis where I can't believe the parents' involvement in their child's (well-young adult!) life. I want to shake them and wake them up!

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