Feb 9, 2015

Zines and Dreams

I meant to get to the library half an hour early to have lunch before the Zinesters Talking Publishing event at the downtown library. Somehow I arrived 80 minutes early. I had a nice walk through town, the farmer's market and the park blocks. It's surreal to arrive here from Corvallis and immediately find produce stands from Corvallis. As if I am being followed. It's raining now. I am in my car getting over the parking meter hullabaloo I created by being early and not realizing it. I either have to buy a whole new ticket for two hours before the talk or leave in the middle of the talk to get a new spot for one hour. Four dollars is a surprisingly large sum right now.

Anyway, it's beautiful here. In the park blocks I reminisced about my twenties when I thought it would be a dream come true to live by the park in an old brick building. I have lived in a couple brick apartment buildings since then. Now I want to be near a meadow or a forest...at least away from busy streets, Old urban brickers still appeal to me which I see as a result of watching a lot of Sesame Street growing up.

The talk was inspiring. Everyone reiterated this thing I've been learning which is that if you do what you love and get involved in the community things happen and you find yourself with a career that makes use of your talents and passions.

The talk also showed me that I haven't been interested in zines for the wrong reason. I always wanted to be inspired by zines but I would browse through a few of them and get bored. When I look deeper I see that the problem lies in a societal value that things are only worthwhile if they generate revenue or are applauded by a mass audience or at least some "authorities" in the field. For as anti-mono-culture as I think I am it is surprising and uncomfortable to learn that I've been tied up with the such commercial priorities.

The speakers clued me in to the real benefits of zines. They give voice to people who didn't feel they had one, they connect people who thought they were alone, they have been part of the movement that has made a rather large space in the mono-culture for difference to be recognized and celebrated. It seems magical that one talk has given me the opportunity to slip out from under commercial values, to create more, explore more, and share more...to revise my dreams according to my values instead of the dreams I accumulated watching TV. It gives me hope that we can create positive change in the same way we can create positive careers...by doing what we love and getting involved in the community.

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