Is anyone else out there fucking sick of the news? When did even our most stalwart, no-nonsense journalistic organizations fall prey to the model of news as entertainment? I’ve noticed that lately, even NPR has given itself over to a tone of sensationalism—sounding often more like a radio drama than the last bastion of straightforward, unbiased news reporting it did even just a few years ago. I point especially to recent hurricane coverage, and the mass shooting in Las Vegas. I know that these are horrific events negatively impacting the lives of countless people—I don’t need to feel as though my feelings are being manipulated in the process. There’s a tone you don’t hear in the older reporters, like Robert Siegel, and like Robert Siegel, these reporters are retiring. Pretty soon, everyone is going to sound like fucking Wolf Blitzer. Anyway…
Now to the more important point. Part of this journalistic style is breaking the story. Nevermind getting it right the first time, because you can always retract, yeah? Here I’m thinking of the news of Tom Petty’s death. That shit was fucked up. Yes, Tom Petty was a national treasure rightfully adored by millions, and as a fan myself, it was hard to read the news of his death, infuriating to read of its retraction, and then even worse to have to read it a second time. What do you think that did to his family? His close friends? It is that need in our instant access society to know everything now—especially when it comes to celebrity—that effectively stripped the Petty family of the right to live in hope and love and come to terms with this personal tragedy in private. Privacy is not a luxury, it’s a necessity, and I think that, as a whole, we are rapidly losing sight of this very crucial element of the human condition.
This week I talk to the fantastic Charissa Lucille, creator of Fem Static Zine, owner and operator of Wasted Ink Zine Distro (WIZD), and organizer of Phx Zine Fest (coming up on October 22nd!). We talked a lot about zines, their place in society, art, and culture, as well as the struggles faced creating a business and movement in a place as sprawling as Phoenix quite clearly is, and the success that’s shone through along the way.