From the trenches of San Francisco’s sharing economy comes a Lyft confessional.
Ride shotgun with me as I cruise through San Francisco’s latest Tech Boom and divulge the stories, conversations and opinions of the passengers I pick up along the way.
The size is 5.5” x 8.5” with a saddle-stitched binding. The page count is 56.
For five years, before I went broke and half-insane, I was a small press publisher. I started out doing zines and then moved on to trade paperbacks. In true DIY spirit, I handled every aspect of the operation myself: the editing, the designing, the printing, the distribution and the marketing… It was all about becoming the media and my steadfast determination to take a crackpot idea as far as I possibly could, despite the lack of money or the fact that I had no business running a publishing company.
Pamphleteria is the story of that ill-fated venture, told in three parts. This is the first part of the story and yes the title is that long.
The size is 5.5” x 8.5” and it’s perfect bound. The page count is 64. And the price is 5 big ones.
“The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin was the brainchild of Brett and Vic. As the outcasts of Saks High, they found great pleasure in being contrary. Since the Christians were always talking about devil worshippers and cults, they decided to start a cult of their own. The stuffed talking bear was the most absurd icon they could think of to worship. They scrawled ‘Teddy Ruxpin Rules’ all over school, on desks, cafeteria tables, their lockers and the bathroom walls. There were slight variations, such as, ‘Teddy Ruxpin Is God,’ ‘All Hail Teddy Ruxpin,’ or ‘Teddy Ruxpin Is My Savior.’ But the message was always the same. They knew it was stupid, but it alleviated the boredom. And it pissed off the Christians. So that made it worthwhile.”
Even though “The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin” is part of a much larger work, that is, the novel A Masque of Infamy, I am loath to label this zine as an excerpt. Those who have read A Masque of Infamy may feel turned off by this zine because of the potential regurgitated material, but there are additional passages, rewritten parts and anecdotes that were painfully cut from the novel. Despite my impractical, I am often told, desire to publish that entire novel as a series of typewritten zines that truly represent what I was trying to accomplish with the novel, this version of “The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin” is the complete tale of how I lost religion, discovered punk and made true friends after moving to a small town in Alabama. It is a story of teenage rebellion, resisting high school conformity and conformity in general as well as subverting the dominant paradigm. It’s about how a seed was planted in fertile soil, a seed that continues to mature to this day
“The Murky Realm” is a biographical sketch of a tragic union with some creative engineering…
My parents never should have gotten married. But even though my father was gay and my mother was chemically imbalanced, this was the 60s, when single men in their forties did not identify as queer and people with personality disorders were rarely diagnosed, much less treated. And marriage was inexorable. The tragedy, of course, is that, besides ruining their own lives, five children came out of this unhappy coupling. But that’s not the point of this story. That comes later. “The Murky Realm” is about how these two people got together, fell apart, came back together, then fell apart again only to get back together again…
I pieced the facts together from what we were told growing up, what I remember from talking to my parents as an adult before dementia set in. I used my imagination for the rest, after walking many miles in both their shoes.
The text is typewritten on my Olympia Manual. The size is 5.5 x 7 and the cover is black cardstock with a handwritten title piece glued on. The page count is 44.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT:
hand drawn titles