Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I'm back. I really haven't had much to say in the last couple weeks. What little I've had to say could be handled by my regular posts at the Comics Journal Messboard, and over at Slushfactory. If you're looking for any revelations about turning 40, I have none. Birthdays stopped being really important to me after I turned 25 and my auto insurance went down. All turning 40 has done is make me feel creepy when I realized that a certain pornstar I've been admiring on-line has the same Birthdate as me, but twenty years later.
I did get The Simpsons Season One DVD set from my Brother and his family. That provided a couple days of distraction from the blog. Pet-Sitting for a couple weeks also kept me away from the computer. And I re-discovered my PSOne. SIMCity 2000. spent a couple days building and destroying a city I called Bucken Fjord. I need to get my Demolition Racer disk back from my friend Eric. But I probably won't touch the playstation again for another month or so.

The Philly Zine Fest turned out to be what I expected for a first time show. I made about $50 over my expenses (which were cheap. Zine fests are so much easier on the wallet for the exhibitors than Comic conventions. But then you can expect to have lower sales. But a couple Zine fairs I go to have pleasantly surprised me there.) Most of the about 40 tables were DIY Zine Distro folk, with the usual assortment of Cometbus and Burn Collector, etc. Mary Knott and Beppi of
Pretty Beaver comics were the only other comics folk exhibiting. I did see Dave Kiersh in the crowd, but he didn't table. Robert Helms, of Guinea Pig Zero made a presentation. I was probably the only other person in the room who'd been in zines long enough to remember "Factsheet 5" when he made a reference to that old review zine.
I notice that there's a turnover in zine folk about every three years. Few people stick with it for longer. Only the really dedicated or those with deep pockets who can withstand the few-and-far-between moments of slight monetary reward.
No. I can't think of anybody who stays in zines for the financial reward. You gotta find other ways of making it reward you. Intellectually, spiritually, or perhaps they just distract you or give you an occasional smile.
The one change I'd like to see for next year at Philly is the bands. I think it's a good attraction, and having them in the same room as the exhibitors doesn't take the crowd away. But if they must be in the same room, they should keep the volume down. I had to run to the local drugstore and buy earplugs. Nobody could hold a conversation at their tables, except during the interludes. And the bands were a bit too avant-garde musically. The BR-5 were loud, boring and unintelligible. The Dirt weren't loud, but they were spacey, and rambling. Like The Flying Lizards without a rhythm section. I think a combination of the loud music and the heat in the venue caused too many folk to go sit outside, where they could converse (and smoke). This took them out of the picture as potential zine customers. Meanwhile, those of us with a table felt obligated to sit inside and withstand the loud torture, just in case somebody came to the table.

Enough ranting about that. There are a couple things I'd like to mention in the recent news.

While I'm glad that the question of Udai and Qusai's whereabouts has been finally answered quite bloodily, I'm a little disappointed thatwe couldn't take them alive. I'm not upset that they were killed. They definitely deserved to be killed, but it would have been more effective to have them killed by representatives of the Iraqui people, after a well-publicized trial for their crimes. I'm sure that now certain elements will only use them as martyrs, since they were killed by the "Infidel Imperialist Occupiers"

It's a shame that Celia Cruz, the "Queen of Salsa", has passed away. Every Network, Cable, Radio, and Print news source had ample coverage of her death. But where the hell were they during her career, while she was still alive?
Why am I, a white, middle-class, American male, only now hearing about her? Granted, I'm no fan of Salsa Music, but I'm also no fan of Rap, Hip-Hop, Pop Divas, Heavy Metal, Country, or Christian Rock, yet I have plenty of knowledge of artists in those genres, because the Mainstream Media seem to consider it newsworthy whenever one of these artists has a hangnail. Paying attention to an artist after her death, calling her "The Queen of Salsa" in two minutes of news, is little recompense for ignoring an entire musical genre otherwise. Maybe the brief bump up in record sales will help her heirs pay for her burial expenses. Yahoo!

My final rant is about all the media now changing the pronunciation of "Niger". All of a sudden, it's "Nee-zhur" instead of "Neye-jur". I suppose that this fall I will go to the fair to see the Wheat Teisures now, instead of the White Tigers.
This latest round of white-bread journalists trying to ethnically correct themselves seems to me like a typical Nigerk reaction.


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