Friday, December 19, 2008

Ataraxia - II

When I was in high school there was nothing I looked forward to more than the weekend. Every Saturday night basements, warehouses, empty storefronts and even the Knights of Columbus would come alive with loud, sweaty music. The music was just as varied as the venues; punk, emo, rockabilly, metal, hardcore, you name it. Regardless of where you were or what band was playing, there was always some literate, social degenerate peddling their written thoughts in the form of a bi-folded collection of 8-½” x 11” pages, stapled down the middle. They were called zines and they were everywhere.


Way before blogging, these inexpensive publications were a way to share ideas and interesting findings with friends and strangers. The topics written about ranged wildly. Some reviewed newly released albums, others discussed social politics and my favorite was a journal-like collection of autobiographical essays written by a guy with bi-polar disorder. After a couple years of envying the authors and their ability to pen their thoughts, my best friend and I buckled down and wrote our own: Ataraxia. Gross typos aside, it had no focus, no message and I always thought we were mimicking the elements we loved in other zines. I didn’t feel we had anything to contribute that wasn’t already being said in another person’s writings. I recently found those two lonely issues. My memories of weak content were confirmed accurate however, I underestimated their nostalgic value. They are a snapshot of my passions and interests circa 1995 artfully collaged in a pine green Xeroxed booklet. This brings me to blogging. While the blanketing purpose is to share ideas and present things I find particularly inspiring, I am really looking to record my interests and experiences. Welcome to Level : Zine. The best zine around because it is free and I don’t have to drive to Kinkos to make it!