It’s (finally) here! “It’s Complicated: Identity Crisis” features 5 excellent essays on the intersection between feminism and other identities, and how that affects the way each writer interacts with a particular artist or work.
Issue #2 is 52 black and white pages, with a full-color cover designed by Marina Micheva. Included are the following essays:
Julia Furlan on Samba music
Susannah Young on Southern rap
Rohin Guha on gay male TV writers
Arianna Stern on Woody Allen
B. Michael Payne on “No Children” by the Mountain Goats
It’s now available for purchase on Etsy (although a special-edition bundle featuring a really great tote bag is still to come), or at Bluestockings in NY.
To a stunning degree, for a period of over half a century, Salinger managed to convince a significant portion of the reading population that his words and actions should be exempt from scrutiny for the simple reason that he wrote those nine stories, and “The Catcher in the Rye.” And because he said so.
Now the story well known to me is known to the world, though there are voices raised up still, decrying the violation of Salinger’s legendary privacy. But while this recent burst of disclosure might seem to demystify the man (or call his role as sage into question), a troubling phenomenon has surfaced along with the news.
It is the quiet acceptance, apparently alive and well in our culture, of the notion that genius justifies cruel or abusive treatment of those who serve the artist and his art.
"Eminem didn’t have sleazy, objectifying party songs; he had furious, murderous meltdowns. His was not a blithe misogyny. “Kim,” was dark, violent, out of control; but the “Kim” in the song is not a prop—she’s a demon. A demon has power….[w]hile the song pissed me off and provoked me, it never objectified or excluded me. Eminem is capable of conveying great humor and joy in his music (see “The Real Slim Shady,” “My Name Is”), but he didn’t write “Kim” to make anyone laugh. He did it to show us what a profoundly fucked-up human he was. He wasn’t bragging—he was confessing. He was daring us to hate him when Jay-Z and Puffy and Snoop were begging us to love them."
—me on why I love Eminem, at Rookie (adapted from the It’s Complicated project). Also, I am obsessed with this art.
We’re so excited to see Nona’s fantastic essay from It’s Complicated #1 republished by one of our favorite websites, Rookie!
It’s Complicated #1- do you have to hate the Afghan Whigs if you’re a feminist? #atomicbooks
If you’re in Baltimore (or, you know, on the Internet), you can buy the first issue of “It’s Complicated” at one of our favorite bookstores, Atomic Books.
It isn’t that I like it and I don’t like it—that’s too simple. Or, if you will, it isn’t “both yes and no.” It’s “this but also that.” I’d love to settle in on a strong feeling or reaction. But, having seen whatever I see, my mind keeps on going and I see something else. It’s that I quickly see the limitations of whatever I say or whatever judgment I make about anything. There’s a wonderful remark of Henry James: “Nothing is my last word on anything.” There’s always more to be said, more to be felt.
We’re surprised and excited about how many orders we’ve gotten for the first issue of “It’s Complicated.” In case you missed it, it’s now available for purchase at Etsy.
Meanwhile, we thought we’d mention that we’re also totally open to zine swaps — just get in touch via Tumblr or email (email@example.com) and tell us about your zine. As long as it’s not, like, a Men’s Rights Activist zine or something about how you hate Lydia Lunch, we’ll probably be down.
Great news: “It’s Complicated #1” is now available for purchase on Etsy! Buy it here.
Here’s all the info:
"It’s Complicated Zine #1: Totally Crushed Out!" is the first issue of a series of zines about feminist writers’ relationships to the artists whose misogynist work we love. Edited by Judy Berman and Niina Pollari.
Issue #1 is 52 black and white pages, with a full-color cardstock cover designed by Gina Abelkop of Birds of Lace. Included are the following essays:
Nona Willis Aronowitz on Eminem
Brooklyn Copeland on Marlon Brando
Elisabeth Donnelly on The Afghan Whigs
Nina Mashurova on Charles Bukowski
Tom Ribitzky on the men of Ayn Rand
Judy Berman on Glam Rock
The issue #1 zines are here! That’s the cover — and the zines as they looked when Niina opened the boxes yesterday — above.
Since the first issue is themed around artists whose work we loved as teenagers, we knew we wanted the issue to look like a school notebook with doodles all over it. Niina did the sketches, and then the amazing Gina of Birds of Lace Press took them and designed this cover.
The zine is 54 pages, and contains essays by Nona Willis Aronowitz, Elisabeth Donnelly, Tom Ribitzky, Brooklyn Copeland, Nina Mashurova, and Judy Berman.
We’ll be sending issue #1 to Kickstarter backers ASAP, including those who ordered both issues. Watch this space for more info on how to buy the zine if you don’t already have a copy coming via Kickstarter (or if you did but also want to buy dozens more copies to distribute to everyone you know).
In which John Darnielle responds to my question about why he called his own song Going To Georgia “misogynist garbage” at a recent show.
This is a good exchange (and something like something I wrote at length about in some sort of project that’s sure to come out at some point).
That too! And it (Issue #2) will come out in… not that many months, we promise.