Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory
by Mickey Hess
This is a book, not a zine, but it is the zinest book I’ve read in a long time. And for the record the author did his tour of duty in zineland. Technically it is memoir, but it is also a look at jobs, decisions, dreams, influences and how to find meaning. The period this book covers is approximately 2000-2002, where Mickey finds himself in his post-college days with part-time teaching jobs, but also random gigs as an ice cream truck driver, stand-up comedian, and arcade attendant. He pokes fun at the colleges he works at, just as he does the “ridiculous” jobs. He is caught between a job he almost seems afraid to care about and those that amuse him. For our generation, and I am going to assume Mickey and I are almost exactly the same age, work has a different place in our lives. We know that bad things happen to good employees and that most people change jobs (and careers) repeatedly these days. We’ve watched jobs shipped overseas, fear layoffs, and seen how corporations have kept the minimum wage ridiculously low. We are a generation of cynics, but what happens when cynics find jobs with meaning? What happens when you find that you can’t keep up the façade of youth and irresponsibility forever? The book is insightful, but also funny as hell. The scene where they are housesitting and a friend breaks the toilet tank in the middle of the night made me laugh out loud. Mickey has great comedic timing with a deadpan delivery. Highly recommended.
Who and What We Are
Xerography Debt is a review zine for zine readers by zine writers (and readers). It is a hybrid of review zine and personal zine (the ancestor to many blogs). The paper version has been around since 1999. This blog thing is are attempt to bridge the gap between Web 2.0 and Paper 1.0. Print is not dead, but it is becoming more pixelated.