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Showing posts with label Magazine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Magazine. Show all posts

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why I have chosen to discontinue distributing Slice Harvester Quarterly through Microcosm Publishing.

This post may not seem especially relevant to folks who are not involved in punk or activist communities, but it does address larger-scale issues of dealing with abuse and holding abusers accountable in any community, and what role individuals play in making that accountability happen.

Some years ago, Joe Biel, a co-founder of Microcosm, was publicly called out for being emotionally abusive in his relationship with his then-partner and Microcosm's other co-founder Alex Wrekk. He has also been called out as being manipulative in collective organizing with Microcosm. This whole time, the company maintained a degree of silence about this issue that I personally found totally odious and appalling.

Some time in 2009 or '10, (you can read an accurate timeline at ), Joe began engaging in a mediation/accountability process initiated by , publisher of Doris Zine and general rad ally and friend. I had already read Alex's zine about the abuse via , and was heartened to hear that Microcosm was perhaps finally taking accountability. In January of this year, Microcosm released , which has been far more succinctly than I feel capable of right now. In February, someone from Microcosm contacted me to order new zines and I wrote them the following email:
Hey J----,

I don't think we know each other. I have had lengthy discussions with S---- in the past about some misgivings I've had about distributing through Microcosm, which she more or less helped me to quell, but those misgivings have been given new breath as of late.


Aside from doing Slice Harvester, my main project for many years has been doing perpetrator accountability work [with] Support New York (http://www.supportny.org) here in NYC. Much as I appreciate the income generated by, and reliability of, turning a bulk of my mail-order over to Microcosm, my allegiance lies first and foremost with my beliefs around those who perpetuate abuse and how they should be held accountable.


Before agreeing to distribute through Microcosm a year or so ago, I had a number of long and very involved conversations over the phone with S---- in which she assured me that Joe's process was making progress and that the collective was totally into keeping him accountable. In light of some recent updates from Cindy Crabb, I don't feel like I can continue to distribute Slice Harvester with you all in good conscience. Even though SH is totally separate and anonymous project and is absolutely distinct from my accountability work, my commitment is still to that work, and when I think about continuing any kind of relationship with Microcosm, I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I've learned to heed.


I wish Microcosm had been a little more transparent about acknowledging Joe's abusive behavior from the get go, and I really wish it seemed like you all were acknowledging it at all right now. I can't even find the public statement you guys made about Joe's behavior anywhere on the website. Is it available outside of anarchistnews.org, where I finally found it in google? It doesn't seem very transparent or accountable to leave something so crucial off the website.


Overall, I am really disheartened by all of this and as I said, I don't think I feel comfortable working with you guys any longer.


love, Colin
No one at Microcosm bothered to respond. Earlier this week I was shown , which was actually published on their website this time, at least. At the time I first saw this statement, there was a conversation going on in the comments section that seems to have disappeared now, but was luckily archived . If the comments had still been open on that blog post, I probably would've written to Microcosm there instead of writing this public letter, but since they seem determined to close down any actual dialogue, I feel like I have no choice but to write something here.

While I think that the new statement is far more heartening than the last, I still feel majorly let down by it's timing, it's vagueness, and the silencing of criticism Microcosm has engaged in by hiding the comments that were previously posted. At this point, Microcosm has a few copies of Slice Harvester Quarterly #2 left and when they sell out I don't think I'll be selling them any more any time soon. I would urge any other zine makers who consider themselves an ally to stop working with Microcosm until they get their shit together, and I would urge everyone else to hold off on ordering from them until they prove themselves to be willing to engage in actual accountability and dialogue.

There are standards we must set in our community. Abuse and abusive behavior happen in this sick fucking society, there is no avoiding that. We are socialized to harm one another, and men in particular are socialized to be so disconnected from our emotions that the harm we cause is oftentimes inadvertent. However, it is each person's responsibility to be open and honest with themselves and the people in their lives and foster an environment where abuse accusations can be taken seriously, and both survivor and perpetrator can be given access to the healing they need. Microcosm's actions have done the exact opposite of that. They've given an abuser a shield to hide behind and perpetuate his shitty behavior while publicly seeming accountable, and that is untenable. Microcosm needs to get their shit together ASAP. This stuff is hard to navigate but they are majorly fucking up.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Contributor Comix Friday!

I had planned to write a review today during the slow early evening hours at the diner, but I left my pizza journal at home. However, I present to you instead, a comic, by my good friend and fellow pizza lover, Gabby Schulz, known to some by his nomme de plume, Ken Dahl. Gabby makes awesome comics and writes wry, social commentary on . He has  and one of my favorite .

I asked him to draw a comic for the most recent issue of Slice Harvester Quarterly (ordering instructions here), and he threw this together for me in like, 5 minutes, which is super amazing to me because .


If you're somehow unfamiliar with the ubiquitous , it is discussed in depth here.

Reviews will be back on Monday. Until then, go read about why the world is a shitty, unforgiving place on Gabby's blog.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Joe Porter: His work thus far.

Today I ate pizza with my friend Joe Porter. I am feeling a little bit shitty today, so I am not going to bore you all with some dull, half-hearted post. Pizza reviews featuring Joe's sagely wisdom will begin on Monday. For now, here is a collection of all the illustrations he's done for the Slice Harvester Quarterly magazine, this far. I don't think the magazine would be what it is without him, so I feel totally awesome giving him his due.


More after the break.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WEIRD PIZZA CONTEST, October 2nd!

Hey guys! Have you been frustrated by my total disregard for anything but plain pizza? Have you cringed every time I've mentioned my disdain for Shrimp Tempura Pizza with Wasabi Aioli because you make THE BEST Shrimp Tempura Pizza with Wasabi Aioli? Now is your chance to put me in my place and make me admit that you are right and I am wrong.

On Saturday, October 2nd, I am throwing a one year anniversary party/release party for the new issue of Slice Harvester Quarterly in conjunction with my good friend and pizza comrade , who is releasing a new zine and unveiling her 2011 calendar!

The event is from 6-10pm at and will be featuring, among other things, a WEIRD PIZZA CONTEST! Judged by myself, and two "celebrity judges," to quote from the press release, "prizes will be awarded to:

Most Savory
Most Sweet
Strangest Combination of ingredients
Funniest Looking

If you feel like entering the contest, please email me so I can figure out how many Weird Pizzas to plan for, although last minute entries will be accepted. Just please make sure to bring your pizzas to the City Reliquary by 7:30pm as the actual contest will begin at 8:30pm. Also, contestants should make sure that their pizzas are edible and safe for human consumption. We will not have the means to keep the pizzas warm, so please be aware that all entries will be judged warm to cold (aka probably not hot)!"

Feel free to repost this everywhere. This party will be so fun, there will be booze, City Reliquary has a great backyard, there's gonna be weird pizza, some pizza related performances, zines and calendars for sale! This shit is gonna rule!

Saturday, October 2nd, 6-10pm
The City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Take the L to Bedford or Lorimer and then walk there.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Slice Harvester Quarterly Logo? and I Need YOUR Help.

So, the other day I designed a potential new logo for S.H.Q. and I want to know what you fuckers think.

For all the uncultured plebs in the audience, it is based on the New Yorker logo, which is a caricature of Nyles Crane from Frasier.



Like any great genius, I need the help of my adoring fans to coast towards stardom. I am currently trying to compile a list of references to pizza in literature, sparked by this Jonathan Lethem quote, which opens Slice Harvester Quarterly #2 and which my sister sent me:
When I was a boy I used to love pizza, and whenever my father took me to the pizzeria I'd order two slices. And I'd sit and he'd watch me wolfing down the first slice with my eyes on the second. I wasn't even tasting that first slice. And one day my father said to me, 'Son, you need to learn that while you're eating the first slice of pizza, eat the first slice of pizza. Because right now you're eating the second slice before you've finished the first.'
I'd like more shit like this from books. I was talking with Corey Book Thug the other day, and I was all, "yeah, like, I bet there's some part that I don't remember from the Autobiography of Malcolm X or that Lenny Bruce memoir where they talk about pizza." Sadly, I can't reread every book I've ever read, so I bequeath you, my dear readers, to just keep pizza on your mind when you voraciously devour the hip new novels of today and yesteryear and if you run across a passage discussing the most divine comestible, please, leave me a blog comment or send me an email. I would be much obliged.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Zine release reminder!


I am at work without my pizza journal, so today's slice review udate will have to wait until after five. However, I wanted to remind everyone that there is a zine release party tomorrow night at Bookthugnation, the best used book store in Brooklyn (100 N 3rd St right across from that yuppie biergarten) at 7 pm! There will be pizza provided by Carmine's Original, hands down my favorite pizzeria in North Brooklyn, and I will probably do a short reading. Afterwards, my best friend Marcia and I will be spinning records over at our buddies' bar, The Second Chance Saloon (659 Grand St) from 10pm till eternity.

So stop by one or both events and pick up a zine. The new issue covers every slice joint on the Upper West Side and looks way better than last time. It once again features lovely drawings by the inimitable Joe Porter, and this time there's a back cover by my number one homegirl Meredith Neide Gaydosh.

Monday, February 15, 2010

La Crosta: "'Gourmet Pizza' huh?"


Initially I was a little skeptical when I saw the phrase "gourmet pizzeria" on the awning of , but it was quickly clear that it was an empty platitude. There was a certain banality about this pizzeria, and a destitute resignation in it's employees, that made me think of Samuel Beckett. My friend Andy, who's new zine Folk is probably available from by now, wrote an essay not too long ago .

Now if there's one thing I learned from college, it's that a smart person can write a persuasive sounding academic critique about ANYTHING and make it sound good with the inclusion of a few out of context passages from Baudrillard or Lacan. Andy compares pizza to pornography in a way that I found somewhat offensive, but also totally clever and entertaining.
The definition of pornography can be extended to encompass any object with which its user engages into a type of experience that is qualitatively less fulfilling than the experience it is aimed towards. This leads us to question what is the experience we are deferring in food when we consume something with no lasting gratification, and what kind of meal do we really hunger for? With fast food we lose the ritual of “Setting the table” as a group. Everything packaged and ready to eat, utensils included, there is no room for anything new between those that eat together. The problem is not just that the meal is reduced largely to utility, but the meaning packaged with it is similary cheapened. Pornography and fast food both remain chiefly instrumental, but in attempting to replace the experience of a communal meal or sexual communion with another person, the tacked on meaning has come to define our approach to that which it is used as a desperate replacement. At a point, the desire for a pizza experience supercedes that of the desire for actual food. When we impact this sad fact back to sex it demonstrates how a culture may be simultaneously well-fed and starving.
While I can sort of agree with the thesis here, that reducing food to utility removes agency and community orientation from people's lives, I have a fairly different relationship with both pizza and pornography than Andy does. I won't get too deep into my Personal Habits, as my mother reads this blog and other readers got up in arms a few months ago when I talked about taking a dump, but I will say that though it is not often, when I utilize pornography as a tool for helping me jerk my dick off, it is usually qualitatively pretty rad! Videos of people fucking each other and enjoying it are kind of cool sometimes!

And I really disagree that pizza is a food that removes the communal aspect of sharing a meal with other folks. If anything, the is one of the most festive and community oriented activities! Claiming that a food that's divided into easy to share segments for the express purpose of sharing with others contributes to alienation or detracts from a sense of community is ridiculous! Pizza builds community. Remember the words of the late Howard Zinn, "the road to a better tomorrow is paved with pizza."


All this stuff aside, though, the pizza at La Crosta was so unrelentingly mediocre and boring that I feel like I've gained some insight into where poor Andy may have been coming from. I don't recall having ever eaten pizza with the fellow, and maybe, just maybe, all the pizza he eats is as bad as the pizza at La Crosta. If that's the case I can see where he's coming from and I'll have to take him to pronto. And then we should probably stop by and get him some decent porn!

La Crosta - $2.50
436 East 72nd Street
New York, NY 10021

----------

So, the zine is done, the release party happened and was amazing and I'm starting to get it into some stores. Slice Harvester zines are currently available at: , , , and . I will update this list as the days go by and more places start carrying it. I think this week or some time next week I'm gonna drop by a few places in Manhattan. If anyone has suggestions on stores that sell zines, let me know in the comments.

My friend Jacob Berendes emailed me a while ago to share an old G.I. Joe Yearbook comic he scanned in which .

Finally, in pizza ephemera news, the new-ish Jay Electronica single, "Exhibit C" that has been all over Hot 97 lately begins with this fantastic triplet: "When I was sleeping on the train / Sleeping on Meserole Ave out in the rain / Without even a single slice of pizza to my name." And the Just Blaze beat samples !
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