Utne Reader, MRR, and The Match

A letter came from Quimby's today. It's a form letter, not an answer to any of the post-paid and SASE-supplied inquiries I've sent, but it does include long-overdue payment for the zines I've supplied and they've sold. Sort of.

It's accurate down to the penny, but contains no pennies. No money. No check. They're paying me in store credit, which was never the deal.

There's a line in the form letter than says they'll pay in cash if publishers ask, so I've asked, and we'll see how that goes.

Actually, though, I'm not furious. Not even mad at 'em. I love zines, and I could spend all this Quimby's credit tonight. They oh-so-thoughtfully included a store catalog, and I've been flipping through it circling zines I want.

I'm not doing Pathetic Life for the money, and anyway, there are always new subscribers who mention that they bought their first copy at Quimby's.

My rant from 3/5 remains, because that's what I was thinking that day, but whether they pay me in money or store credit, you'll still be able to buy Pathetic Life at Quimby's. 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Mark sent a copy of the latest Utne Reader, because inside there's a review of The Match, a zine we both love. Utne Reader tries to be the Reader's Digest of the underground press; The Match is an ancient, handmade, heartfelt anarchist zine. 

Utne's review says that The Match is "admirably coherent" and "frighteningly provocative," "a free-for-all of divergent ideas and opinions," but then it complains that "The Match's cop-bashing and frequent, cursory jabs at the establishment can be tiresome and reek of a superficial, Maximum Rocknroll brand of anarchy."

Which gave me a three-minute bout of the giggles — as if Utne Reader knows something, anything, about the complex and advanced theories of anarchy? 

I guess you could call it a generally favorable review, but Maximum Rocknroll is more indispensable to the counterculture than Utne Reader, and so's The Match.

Let's add up some numbers.

This issue of Utne Reader is 148 pages, of which 68 are ads. So it's 46% advertising, and there's nothing all that great on the pages that aren't ads.

This issue of Utne features a report on trans-national companies "with a conscience" (and they're wrong, there are none), late-breaking news that Deadheads are still taking drugs, Wynton Marsalis talking about jazz, an article revealing the importance of napping, which I fell asleep trying to read... etc, etc. Utne Reader is mostly fluff.  

My preference is more than minimal rock'nroll, but maximum is too much. Give me mid-level rock'n'roll, please, but the zine Maximum Rocknroll is always a good read. It's alive, written with passion, has a point of view.

The Match is about anarchy, but it's actually about trying to live life with integrity. It is literate, alarming, and funny, it has no ads, no fluff, and every page has something that might challenge the way you think. It's my favorite magazine, and it is much, much more worth reading than Utne Reader.

From Pathetic Life #22
Tuesday, March 26, 1996

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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