We Make Zines

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self censorship:a gosh darn son of a gun problem

one thing plagueing the zines you see these days is self censorship.censorship in general is really boring,and it makes life alot boring-er.but when it comes to something like zines,which,in all honesty,were not too incredibly exciting to begin with,it's pretty self defeating.zine expansion and production has expanded during the years,with some amazing writing and art spreading across the world,but its come at a price.nowadays you see alot of people just basically puffing up thier resume with a zine,or trying to get some desperately needed street cred,often by falsely portraying themselves as poor or cool.another problem is that alot of the zines are just really boring.this i attribute to self censorship.i understand how racist,sexist and homophobic images can help reinforce bad behavior and thought processes of knuckleheads that need no encouragement.i also understand how alot of people look at zines as a separate world,free of the trappings of society,thus allowing freedom of expression,and giving voice to usually unheard viewpoints.i personally hate racism,etc.,but my problem is,who do we really trust to judge these zines,and what falls under thier definition of the afforementioned faults?what is the definition of racism?is thier definition different than an african americans?will we ever know?just a vague "no" doesnt really seem like a very good policy.it seems there is a serious double standard,where if your basically a preferred personality type,you can say anything you feel like,but if your not,your encouraged to shut up.i know old school gay dudes that thought queer nation using the word queer was offensive.i mean,your going to offend somebody somewhere.ive been doing zines for a long time,and my writing and art is a release for me.its what society really looks like to me-all the hypocrisy,racism,brutality and stupidity.i release it through my art and stories.without this,my pent up hostility would turn me into a criminal.instead of crimes against people,i can just draw a comic about how rotten life is,and maybe someone else pissed off can relate to it.frustration is poured out in zines,and alot of it could be considered racist or sexist.i mean,if some women gets fucked over by a guy,why should she not be allowed to say"all men suck"?its sexist,but its also funny and true.im not trying to change any of these vague rules,but i think really for an art form like zines to flourish,there should be more freedom of expression,before the zine community resembles a cartoon version of the "p.c. thought police".one set of rules for the hippest minority of the minute and another set for male heterosexuals is....well,sexist,really.

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Comment by bobby madness on April 11, 2011 at 1:13pm
i dont know about alot of the things you said-e forums,apa's and stuff.when i learn what those words mean,i'll be able to talk like you guys,and i'm sorry i'm so stupid.but i think your saying you are okay with my blog.sorry that my replies are so stupid
Comment by James N. Dawson on February 5, 2011 at 1:17pm

I often wonder if I'm looking at the old zine scene with rose-colored glasses and remembering it as more exciting and vibrant than it really  was, or whether it actually was that good.  So far, I'm still not sure.

If it used to be that much better, I think a lot of the good/interesting/stimulationg conversation that used to be in the letter columns of zines and mailing comments of APA's pretty much migrated to the blogs and e-forums.  I'm a stimulation-junkie and when I crave a good discussion or debate, I usually go to the Net and either hunt them down or just find them as I'm browsing, often in moments of desperate boredom, and print them out, usually at the university library.  Whenever I come to WMZ, I'm usually looking for one of the more controversial discussions, just because amidst the heat and acrimony, there are honest and interesting insights that are so hard to find these days. 

Why don't I just leave zines and letters and mail behind, and "get with it", hone up on my Net skills and go to blogs and e-forums?  I have and continue to explore and puzzle over that question.  I have some theories, but no absolute, final answers.  I AM on e-forums and try to participate, but there's an almost indefinable, missing ingredient in the process, or something in it that makes them laborious and too much work, and in some way, less satisfying than papernet/zine/journal communication.  Paper pages, tables of contents, indexes, thumbs and forefingers, and scanning eyes are so much easier than "Web Navigation".  I (and Heath Row) have made forays in reviving APA's and inclusive zine-review zines---for every forum I'm on and blog I've read, I'd LOVE to have the same people and focus in an APA or zine---but there just seems to be very little interest.  My zine .Zap!!omania is the forum where I explore all this.

Yes, race, gender, class, ethnic, sexual-orientation issues, relations and conflicts, are very complicated.  So are many other con

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