Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Papernet: MY ZINE

Should you ever tell a zinester what to do? Fuhgeddaboudit. Especially if that zinester is Fred Argoff, creator of the paper zine Brooklyn!

In B! #68 -- which just arrived via snail mail -- Fred has an essay entitled YOUR FRIENDLY LOCAL NEANDERTHAL which addresses the issue of paper versus photons.

He explains that a couple of people have told him that his zine should go digital instead of being exclusively hardcopy. One person stated that Fred was wasting his time with B! because it wasn't being produced as an e-zine.

Fred's response is summed up in two words: MY ZINE. As in, this is my zine, not yours.

As he explains: "You want to read your zines off a computer screen? Go right ahead. But for long as there is a zine called Brooklyn! it shall be produced on paper."

His zine. His call.

I agree with him. If you don't like what he's doing, then start an ezine about Brooklyn.

Me, I'm both paper and photons. I blog first, then collect some of my posts into a paper zine. For me online has priority, then the hardcopy comes later. That's how I work as a zinester. Other creators have their own priorities.

The reason why most zinesters end up doing what they do is because they're fed up with gatekeepers and critics. Gatekeepers, editors and publishers who subjectively deem the good and the unworthy. Critics, those who can't create but sure can criticize. Sometimes there isn't much difference between the two categories.

Zinesters both online and offline can bypass all the bullshit. Individuality can stand out; homogenized crap no longer rules.

Sure, you can suggest something to a zinester, make a helpful comment, ask a question. Just don't tell him what he should do.

If something is that important, do it yourself. And maybe after see you all the effort that is involved, you'll start to appreciate the labors of a creator.

(Contact Fred Argoff at 1170 Ocean Parkway, Penthouse L, Brooklyn, NY 11230-4040.)

1 comment:

X. Dell said...

One of the issues that some, mostly in professional circles, has with the Internet is its lack of gatekeepers. There are beneficial consequences of this, and problematic ones. On the one hand, gatekeepers can be incredibly myopic, and have a slavish devotion to professionalism--often at the expense of excellence or profundity. On the other hand, gatekeepers also serve a function in separating the wheat from the chaff.