Before blogging, bulletin board systems, and social media, there were zines—do-it-yerself style; copied-folded-stapled sheets, however you did it, whatever it was for you, however you flexed your head, from music to politics to collecting poems, or Xeroxing journals, theorizing, riffing existential, interviewing your friends, sharing found art, sexxxing it up… THE ZINE AND ZINE CREATORS ARE THE ORIGINAL INTERNET.
While I was roughly piecing together my fledgling involvement with Krishna’s New York version of Hinduism in DC, my ex-wife, in West Virginia, who had a similar involvement, was also getting into Riot Grrrl and put out several zines dedicated to sexual abuse and feminist principles. I don’t think we understood at the time how these worlds would collide and force us to reassess our feelings and beliefs.
Krishnaism, I doubt, will ever cast aside its scriptural excuses and admit to its conservatism, blatant sexism, racism, and homophobia. It is guilty, as are many institutions, of hiding the essential HARM and plodding on. Riot grrrl and many others are never gonna bow down to this bullshit.
My first zine, Suffer Free, in this regard, had zero foresight, and the same was true for my Exposing The Educational System and even my beloved, well intended, Journal of Thought… at least in the beginning, until I plodded UP and OUT and ON into a sister movement, The Open Mic Spoken Word, basically greatly killing you. But now that we’ve evolved into nearly all things digital and our books and magazines are now vastly digitized into byte sizes, still THE ZINE lives on. I’ll trade mine for yours.