|Frankly Speaking #4
In the past issues, I have used this space to introduce you to the artists and the writers in the particular issue. But in this issue, there are simply too many for me to do that. And besides their work should and does stand on its own. Most of the people in this issue ... and we are honored to be able to present them to you ... have their own books in the underground. If I were you, I would seek these books out.
I need to thank Urban Ore of Berkeley, California for giving us a deal on the collection of original 60's rubber stamps which LaBash used in our cover collage. Thanks also to Wendy Gunderson of Imagick, Ltd., P.O. Box 405, Ledyard CT 06339 for the 50+ rubber stamp-images which LaBash used in our back cover collage. If I were you, I would send away for her catalog of rubber stamps.
Wendy and I, along with JoAnna Pettit and Jim Audlin, are a part of a community of friends that uses the GEnie computer network as its means of communication and cultural subversion. My e-mail address on GEnie is f.moore7. I would love to hear from you directly. But old-fashioned letters are great too ..!
Now that we have gotten the business out of the way ... let me ramble and rant for the rest of the page. It has been amazing how this zine has found its way around the world, being distributed by Tower Books and Fine Print, getting all kinds of kind words in reviews, etc. ... all without our trying. It is a cause of concern ... are we getting too slick, too acceptable ... are we, god forbid, politically correct...or to use the more politically correct term for politically correct ... are we culturally sensitive? Is there a worse fate? Like being undead. It did not help our self-confidence getting "friendly" letters from advertizing agencies and record companies asking for our ad rates and for free copies (how cheap can they get?). What do we look like ... Rolling Stone? Then there were letters from print shops specializing in "alternative publications", trying to woo us away from our local xerox place. We had already resisted the temptation to raise our prices after signing the distribution deal. What was this force trying to make our little zine into a REAL MAGAZINE? Where did we go wrong?
Then I forced myself to calm down. I forced myself to remember the good things. I remembered that the anti-liberation post-feminists go through each issue ... and especially the LaBash drawings ... counting tits, pussies, and cocks ... and always getting offended by the number. You know the ones ... the ones who can't see that separatism, racism, and sexism are the same thing ... the ones who are misusing Annie Sprinkle's work to support their isolation ... the ones with chips on their shoulders and between their legs.
I was feeling better. Then I remembered that some "gay" bookstores will not carry T.C.(r) because it is not "queer enough"! It doesn't matter that about eighty percent of our contributors consider themselves gay or bi. It doesn't matter that some of the works focus directly on "gay" reality. It doesn't matter that T.C.(r.) has always been included in the queer zine scene. And it does not matter that I am a lesbian in a male body.
I was now feeling really good. Then I remembered what a male reader wrote. He said he liked the zine ... and Annie Sprinkle's tits .... but why did I have all these women writers and artists in it? "Face it," he said, "women don't have the balls to write good sex!" If he said that around the women who are in the zine, he might not have his balls for long!
Yes, I was feeling great now. If we offend all the hues of separatist/sexist/elitist thinking which limit freedom with political correctness ... well, we must be doing something right! We can sleep good.