Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Importance of Paper


Originally written for Debunk zine in July 2005.

Okay, lets get something clear straight off the bat, I write a zine so this column is going to have just an itty bitty bit of bias, in fact saying this column is going to have a bit of bias is like saying catching your nuts on a razor wire fence may lead to mild discomfort. The whole ‘real zines vs. webzines’ thing has been done to death so this argument is going to be slightly different, in the way that wearing your shoes on the wrong feet is different. You know where the shoes go; it’s just an intangible ‘something’ is out of kilter. Right then, there’s two similes in the first 100 words, this column is going well!

My planned theme for this column is a random splatter of reasons I feel zines are more important now then ever. I do sense the irony of writing this for printing in a zine, but we’ll gloss over that in the same way American presidents gloss over interns (blimey, that’s a simile and a double ententrĂ©; I’m on top form today!) Anyhew, just as France and Austria once said, let’s get started...

When I was about 13 my obsession with music really kicked in. Bar three mates that lived in my village I figured that everyone else in the world was only half interested in music and bought whatever they felt was appropriate for each social event. This is the only way I could figure out status quo at barbeques and other musical anomalies. So upon stumbling across a zine I was overjoyed to see that other people in the world lived and breathed music as much as I did. I gleefully pawed through the photocopied pages wondering who all the bands were and tittered at the creative swearing and the like. Plus when I was that age zines seemed to half consist of pictures of lasses norks, which at age 13 was a definite plus! The quality of these zines was shite and most of the pages unreadable, but they held some sort of magic over me, like a window into an entirely different world that was exciting, rocking, friendly (and full of norks). Actually looking for these zines was like hunting for hen’s teeth, they only seemed to make it to about issue 2 or 3 then would disappear. As the years rolled by they just kinda disappeared. I assumed with the pritt stick and photocopying costs they just kinda went bust or the authors somehow because permanently stuck to something with pritt stick! It wasn’t until the Internet got big that I found out zines were very much alive and kicking and eventually started my own.

Zines give you the truth more than any mainstream magazine could, there are no big label kickbacks pushing bands that don’t deserve much more than being on that stupid MTV show where a bunch of losers get dressed up like a band they are into. Read a zine and you’ll get the whole (badly printed) truth, and nothing but the truth, and maybe some norks. Actually I shouldn’t say zines are badly printed, there are still a few photocopy jobs in existence (and long may they live) but on the whole zines appear to be professionally printed and look bloody great, like this zine!

So there you have it, if this is the first zine you’ve ever read then there’s a whole world out there for you to discover, so grab your SSAEs and get reading!

Thanks to Graham Birks for the lovely photo of me above.