I was asked to go down to Eugene to speak at a class at the University of Oregon about zines and zine culture. The class uses my book Stolen Sharpie Revolution as a text and Doug Blandy, the professor is a patron of zines.
I picked up a zip car and had Doug and Maggie come along with me for the two hour trip south. I didn’t exactly know what to expect but, I knew I could talk about random zine stuff for a long time. When I got to the University I had to find my parking spot for the ZipCar. Somehow I felt like I was a celebrity when I found this:
In the class we talked about zine culture and the importance of zines and zine culture. We talked about zines in archiving and academics and how zine culture has changed. I also found myself talking about things that I didn’t expect like my family and my given name. Overall it was really fun and I’m glad I went.
After class I was interviewed by Jennifer from Siren, the feminist paper on campus. I have to say that I had some of the best questions from any interview I have ever had. It wasn’t the typical “How did you get into zines?” “What’s your favorite zine?” “Why do you make zines?” I got hung up on one question and I have been thinking about it a lot since wondering how I could have answered it better. It was actually the second part to the questions. I was asked if I was a feminist, which the answer is yes. But then I was asked what that means to me. The only way I could answer it was to say that it’s all well and go to say “I support women and think they can do awesome thing.” but I also said that I don’t believe in single issue politics and that oppressions are all tied together. As a feminist I feel it is part of my responsibility to recognize oppression in all forms and support those fighting against them. I said all this in a super vague way because I don’t feel I need to tell you a litany of oppressed people to describe this. I did this in part because I get really annoyed when people get caught up in the rhetoric and language of radical/progressive cultures. It just seems to go in circles and alienates those that don’t fall into that specific subset. I’m fully aware that “oppression” is a work that falls in that category through.
Anway, after that Maggie, Doug, and I went to the Pizza Research Institute for some yummy pizza. After that we went to Sweet Life for vegan cheesecake. When my sister lived in Eugene we used to make a joke about getting to Sweet Life by turning ‘Right At Monroe!” to the tune of “Riot at Monroe” from the Avail song Monroe Park. It was nice to share a punk joke with Doug. It was also nice to share vegan cheesecake.