Reviews of Negative Capability #2
As you can clearly see, critics, zine publishers, writers and other assholes have all taken a long hard look at Negative Capability #2 and formed their own opinions. A lot of zines will run suckass praise and call it a letters column, but my dignity will not allow me to do that, ever. Letters to the editor should be of interest to an objective reader and should not be used as propaganda or self-aggrandizement by the editor. Quite frankly, I’m just a little embarrassed by all the self-promotion in NC2 and I promise to cut down on it for the remainder of my zine career. I mean it. But, if you’re a person who has never seen the print zine, or you’ve only seen the first issue, or you just wandered into this site, I really want you to buy Negative Capability #2 because, well, just read on if you need a fucking reason, baby!
Even though I know that I’m honest to a fault, there are so many goddamn zines out there that engage in deliberate fraud that it sickens me (you know who you are, Jeff “Lying Sack of Monkeyshit” Kay of the West Virginia Surf Report). All of the people listed below have written these reviews of their own free will and have either published them in the zine listed or e-mailed them to me because they wanted me to know how they really felt. I also have hard copies and the original e-mails for all of them, just in case. I have not added anything except a few facts in parentheses and jokes in brackets, in case the reference in the review is unfamiliar. The only stuff I took out was more personal stuff, redundant or in some way made reference to the girth of my penis. That’s between me and my wife and my doctor, okay?
A girl named Erin ordered #2 & #3 and wanted them sent to Croatia, where she is teaching English. I thought it was very nice of her to order them and after sending my zines I waited for a while and then I got the following letter from her, which includes a review written by one of her students. I hope you enjoy it.
Last week I gave my students an assignment to read an article and write a response to it. I gave one of my students a copy of your zine to read, and here is his response:
I have read one of the most interesting magazine I ever saw in my life. I could never imagine that the articles in this zine could be written like that. They are pretty short so that the reader doesen’t get bored, and the longer ones are so interesting that you just can’t stop reading them. The author is not afraid to criticize anything or to use dirty words of any kind. There is a story on the front cover describing how a group of puppets (in fact toys from the author’s room) go into the Central Park for a picnic and a sleepover. The whole article is written with such sarcasm and irony mixing with great humor, the kind I like so I think that it’s just great. If I could, I’d congratulate the author for his crazy ideas that made me laugh and put me in a good mood. — Tihomir Horvat, Croatia
The amazing Jøsh Saitz writes, and writes well, tearing through topics with style and with, in the immortal words of Chow Yun-Fat, in A Better Tomorrow II, a “certain panache.” “I think that everyone should write like a clearer, slightly more articulate version of the way that they speak,” he says. “I could very easily read everything in this zine aloud because it sounds exactly like I do when I talk... So, to any writer who thinks that they’re impressing people with obscure references, pointless foreign phrases and words that haven’t been in usage for decades, please, give it a rest, okay?” Words of wisdom, here, people, especially the academics among us. Sharp looking layouts complement some of the best writing in zinedom today. Mr. Saitz provides our lucky zine souls with a load of zine titles ripe for the picking (A Can of Whupass! and I’d Rather Be A Killer Than A Victim being my faves), a cool trivia contest with easy to difficult questions (and great prizes, as well), thoughts on being a picky eater and his favorite Chinese restaurant, recipes, funny fortune cookies (“Man with hole in pocket feel cocky all day long”) and comments on what’s happening in the world of television. I thought his take on the English language, names and other related topics was great, if not completely agreeable - I sure don’t think “95% of rap doesn’t qualify as music because it has no melody, just a repeated beat.” I thought someone as wordy as outspoken as Jøsh would be a huge fan of rap, but that’s forgivable. At times the layout and the extra large ego are a bit much, but the man’s writing is superb - his article and fictional story on serial killers are some of the best things I’ve read in a long time, especially when considering this played out zine topic. Highly recommended. [Then, a few weeks later] Man, I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while now to let you know how much I enjoy your writing—it’s energetic and interesting, and I was afraid my review didn’t do your zine justice. You fucking rule, man! I’d be honored if you would review more zines for AYTD—I’ve already gotten some great response to your reviews, such as “wow, these are really long and in depth” and “Merciless ... what is this, Zine World?” — Ruel Gaviola, Amusing Yourself to Death (RIP)
The first issue of Negative Capability blew me away. Unfortunately, I responded too late for Jøsh to send me copies. Luckily I got copies of #2. It is a bit difficult to describe Neg Cap because it is so eclectic. On one hand, it is like a personal zine in the way Jøsh spills his thoughts and opinions on the page. He writes like he talks, including all the mental shifts one makes when they are rambling on. But this is by far not rambling in a bad and annoying way. Jøsh’s style makes Neg Cap that much more entertaining. On the other hand the zine is far from all personal. Inside we get a glimpse of such things as Jøsh’s need to constantly think of names. He gives a run down on all the possible names for Neg Cap with explanations behind them. There is also an article on his fascination with serial killers and an excellent guide to stuffing your face with food, food, food. There is the article titled “I Am a Gay Homosexual” even though he is not gay. There are articles on a lot more too. Jøsh also provides some of the best reviews I’ve read in a long while. He reviews videos like Just Kidding, Howard Stern’s Butt Bongo Fiesta, Jerry Springer’s “Too Hot for TV!,” and Cops—Too Hot for TV!. Some of these I’ve always wanted to watch but was to skeptical to fork out the cash for. Negative Capability is just the best thing since I found Orowheat 7-grain Bread at Albertson’s. Thank you for doing a kick ass zine. They are few and far between. This seems especially so in the last year. — Sean Guillory, Primordial Soup Kitchen, which is now out of business, just like many zine stores, distros and publishers.
Negative Capability is an excellent 50-page personal zine with a healthy dose of pop culture cross-pollination. From an aesthetic viewpoint, this zine is a fine example of what can be done with desktop publishing without being too annoying. Jøsh provides a rather engrossing romantic account of how he met his wife (via a chatroom and several long distance dates). He reviews a dozen videos including one by Jerry Springer, Aardman Animations (Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run) and Howard Stern’s “Butt Bongo Fiesta.” Recommended. — Alternative Press Review (still alive, yay!)
Adults only. This is one of the most wildly irreverent books I’ve ever seen, but sharp and sophisticated, not just a lot of anti-everything bologna. Right on the edge of making you laugh to death or making you blow lunch! Is nothing sacred? Certainly not within these pages. Whew! — Small Press Creative Explosion
As for your zine, I thought it was brilliant. Really, I’m not just saying that. I found it to be truly inspired. Actually, it makes me want to do better work. I think it’s great that there are people out there who keep raising the bar. Believe it or not, I think we did that at one time. I guess it’s time for the new school of publishers to take it to the next level. Congratulations on your successes. I’m sure that there are many more ahead of you. I’m not such an asshole as to not admit when I’ve clearly been beaten. Your zine is better and that’s all there is to it. — Mark Maynard, Crimewave USA (RIP)
This is something of an anomaly - slickzine meets perzine. It’s 52-full size pages, full color cover, bar code, the works - but it’s entirely by one person, Jøsh Saitz. You know how a TV show or magazine might be described as “by, for and about teens,” or “by, for and about women”? NegCap is by, for and about Jøsh. The problem, as Jøsh himself might tell you (and does, at great length), is that Jøsh is such a fucking asshole. It’s not enough for him to be smart and handsome and funny and, well, right; he has to be smarter, handomser, funnier and right-er than you, all the time, about everything, and he never tires of repeating this. He’s full of bile and hate and disgust. All of this means that this will be packed with ads from hipster record companies in no time and it will go down in history as one of the greatest zines in the history of the world, along with POPsmear. — Throwrug (RIP)
Neg Cap #2 is a wonderfully weird affair, with a demented cover and a huge whack of insights into Jøsh’s head and the whole world. Confirm your beliefs that religious loonies have been rejected by God. Jøsh is a misanthrope with an acerbic pen and we like it. — slampiece (RIP)
Jøsh has loads of opinions, some of which pertain to the pop culture to which I am happily ignorant (modern “music” and tv programmes, for instance), but the manner with which he belts out his views are lengthy and entertaining. There is that aggravating arrogance that forever leads him to talking about himself and how handsome he may be, but he is cognizant of it and seems to just as often turn the dialogue into an interesting rant. There is much to read in this sophomore effort: items on vegetarianism, taking advantage of online fools in lust, how he was a gay homosexual (Jøsh was into new wave, but one shall have to read the zine in order to understand what is meant). There is also the aspect of lexicography that is parlayed, one that I greatly enjoyed. — Angry Thoreauan (RIP)
Interesting and provocative perzine filled with well-chosen graphics and profound stories which are the clear result of serious reflection and are executed with admirable control of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Professional level of production values covers every aspects of this zine. — Brant Kresovich, For the Clerisy (Good Words for Readers) (RIP)
It’s not often that I read anything... mainly because there’s not much that I want to read. Negative Capability is a magazine worth reading. It is worth reading because the writing is vastly superior to the dribble one normally finds in magazines. This off-the-wall publication offers a cover with a Rosie O’Doodoo doll being burned over roasting marshmallows by a nice happy group of stuffed animals. The inside? It’s even better. There are things in this magazine that had me laughing for DAYS. The ad spoof on the back almost made me faint from laughing (I’d rather not give it away, you just have to see it). But is it good reading? Consider this. Corporate magazines stink. But then, so do most underground magazines. It is rare to find something that strikes such an odd chord as this. These folks are insane in a really bazooka kinda way. I love it. YOWSUH! (Rating: 5) — babysue zine (still as psychotic as ever, but I haven't seen a paper issue in years)
Jøsh Saitz sent me a copy of his Negative Capability and asked to trade for TIS 4(1) “...because I’m a huge fan of Too Much Joy.” Apparently TIS came recommended to Jøsh, who exhibits enough energy, arrogance, and good writin’ for ten people. NC #2 is a great-looking zine and I must say if you can get past his in-your-face attitude there’s plenty of interesting stuff in there, even if the guy is an Apple Macintosh True Believer (shudder). Plus, there was the “Manmilk” fake advertisement on the back cover which had me and Ken West cracking up. What can I say? From a Swine perspective, this guy’s almost a perfect life form: self-interested and not ashamed to say so, opinionated, convinced of his own superiority, and not afraid to put very dangerous photographs of himself in his own zine. We think maybe we were separated at birth, although I am sure after we’re done disappointing Jøsh with the issues mailed to him he’ll invoke the Swine Way and deny deny deny. And besides, note that he is a Too Much Joy fan. We recommend that all Swine get a sample issue posthaste. — Jeff Somers, The Inner Swine
Well, I loved Negative Capability #2. And I love it so much because Jøsh IS an asshole a lot of the time, but the kind of asshole I respect—one who won’t suffer fools gladly. NC’s strength is that it captures the intensity of one person’s personality. It shows in no uncertain terms the good and the bad, the puppy-like enthusiasm for some things and the pure bile for others. Reading through it was totally engaging, even if Jøsh was pissing off my wishy-washy liberal views or offending my delicate sensibilities. He’s being honest, and funny, and more than a little over the top. That’s good entertainment to me. I don’t have to agree with him to admire putting so much effort into something that indulges the whims of the author as much as the voyeurism of the reader. It is personal, and is obviously the result of a LOT of work—why shouldn’t Jøsh take it personally if he feels slighted, or if he gets a bad review? It’s not a term paper, it’s a labor of love. Yes, it looks great, even if the design gets a little font-happy and is hard on the eyes now and then. (There, that’s my less-than-positive assessment of NC.) But, hell, there’s as much text packed in there as an average length paperback book, so some of the type is bound to be small. Even if it’s printed professionally, even if it looks “slick,” it’s still pretty raw. And that’s cool. That’s why I wanted to read every damn word in it. Buy it. Find out what the fuss is all about. It’s a fat lot of fun. — Sparky, Rumpus Room (RIP)
I wish I could write about your excellent zine but we just don’t cover them, no matter how cool or offbeat they are. However, I have passed it around and I saw one dude reading it while eating Wendy’s, so there’s that... I really enjoyed “The Profaci Game.” (which is my lengthy discussion of television and more specifically John Fiore, who plays Profaci on Law & Order) Anyone who recognizes the genius of John Fiore rules. Hence, you rule. — John Sellers, while the TV editor for Time Out NY, and the author of the Pop Culture Aptitude Test, Arcade Fever and the freelance writer behind the Angry John Sellers blog
Jøsh Saitz writes the overwhelming majority of this mainly personal zine himself, and he does an excellent job at it. I do not lie when I say that Negative Capability kept me entertained for hours, and I actually take pleasure in re-reading it. A talented writer with an amusing style that won’t quit, Jøsh brings us stories about names for zines, a picky eater’s favorite Chinese food joint in NYC, assholes who try to look cool by misspelling/mispronouncing words, the courtship that went on between Jøsh and his wife (the love of his life), cop shows, serial killers, and if that wasn’t enough, there’s more! Simpsons fans will like this zine. I’m telling you, Jøsh has got a great sense of humor and a downright inspiring publication here, so be a pal and read [and buy] Negative Capability. Highly, highly recommended. — Skull (RIP)
Hey Jøsh, finally had a chance to read NC2. I loved the cover. I thought the type was too damn small. My favorite part this issue were the video reviews—I love that stuff because I’m always wondering if renting Jerry Springer’s video will be worth it or just a waste of an hour of my life that I could have spent gardening or teaching a little kid to read. Also liked “Manifesto: The Sequel.” You’re sort of bitchy. I liked I’m a Gay Homosexual too. But the type was too small because I’m already losing my eyesight cause I spend so much time surfing the Net [looking for kiddie porn - Ed.] Even “I’m a Gay Homosexual” had a lot of syrupy stuff about how you met but no hot sex. Feed your reader, man! ;-) — Chip Rowe, Chip’s Closet Cleaner, author of the Book of Zines & The Playboy Advisor
i was trying to figure out a way to tell you that I liked NC #1 better than #2, but that was when I was merely half way through with it...then, i got sucked in by the article on your wife [”I Am A Gay Homosexual”] and the serial killer stuff [”I’d Rather Be A Killer Than A Victim”] and became semi-obsessed. I read it at work and before i slept, on the bus and in the movie theater before the lights dimmed. So i guess that first statement isn’t accurate anymore. Hell, I was forced to read #1 in one long swoop because I was trapped on a train in the midwest, but #2 got me doing things I never do like reading with poor lighting and checking out websites... so yeah, I’ve been reading your website at work and noticed how you were “tired of fighting” and decided to head over to alt.zines. Lo and behold, the NegCap contest/ update thread I’d been ignoring had blown up to 54 threads long! So I just read EVERY SINGLE ONE and now I feel completely maxed out on Jøshmania. After I order Misfit Toys from you, i’m going to take a Saitz vacation, I swear. Anyhow, I totally loved your article on your wifei. It was totally sappy, but it didn’t annoy me at all. In fact, you know, I’m pretty fucking disappointed with love and yet, you made me smile, not retch. awwww. the serial killer part was cool, too. I liked your analyses of serial killers more than the fictional story, though. Truth is so much stranger than fiction. And of course, I totally laughed out loud about your grammar fetishes and your complaints about the stupidity of others. I really disagreed with pratically everything you wrote about “How to Name Everything” but I still enjoyed reading what you had to say and it got me re-examining my own views. I was also really into reading about your eating habits..I don’t know why but eating habits fascinate me. Everytime I go out to eat with vegans/vegetarians, we spend the entire time taking about eating habits, which should get old after a while, but it still gets me every time. — Kelli Williams, That Girl, Zine World, 20 Bus and Kurt Kaboom was Lactose Intolerant Conspiracy Zine (RIP)
As a fellow picky eater, I can relate to “Eat Me!” Of course, also as a fellow picky eater, I am astounded how someone can be repulsed by butter, but love slimy egg rolls. But to each his own... “How to Name Everything” is my favorite piece in the entire thing, partially because it’s funny and partially because I agree with just about every damn thing you said, especially about naming kids. I also really liked “I Am a Gay Homosexual,” which I think I already told you. It’s nice that you can read a zine and have someone spout positive feelings and not feel like they have to hold back, lest they be pegged a pussy or whatever. I think it took balls to say all the things you did about loving your wife, and I have to respect you for it. Twenty years later, when you’re still married, you’ll be glad you have it on record. As for your TV article [”The Profaci Game”], yes, Dennis Miller is fucking funny and damn by all means, YES, “The Simpsons” is the funniest and most intelligently written show on the tube today (or any for the last decade). If anything, it’s gained an edge as it goes on. Since it’s not the “phenom” it once was (at its debut, particularly), the novelty for the masses has worn off and the show is taken for granted; now that it flies under the radar, so to speak, it’s able to get away with a lot more subversive stuff. I don’t miss it. As you no doubt gathered from the looks of my zine, I love video reviews, so I devoured “The Flicker of the Idiot Box.” Some great work there. I hope you keep enjoying doing NC, because that’s the only thing that’s guaranteed to keep it entertaining. You’ve got a good thing going and I’ve enjoyed your website, too. — Rod Lott, Hitch
Great, interesting layout, of course, but I have trouble reading it as the type is a little small for me. It’s amazing for a second edition. Seems you’re a debunker and irreverant by nature. I like that and always learn new things as I read. You settled finally that nagging question about were to put the quotation marks, for instance, and I always think of you when ever I use them. Odd isn’t it how we come to play a part in peoples lives? I’ll probably think of you for the rest of my life because of that one thing you wrote, even though we’ll probably never meet. And I will basically forget people I’ve spent many hours, perhaps even years with. — Asha, editor of Reddog Review (name to change soon) (RIP)
Got your new issue... marvelous as usual. We both immensely enjoyed your second issue of Negative Capability and your web site as well. — Aaron and Kevin Lee Gilbert of Think 3 (RIP)
I really enjoyed your latest issue with all the wonderful pictures and memories. Your writing is so full of warmth and love (and I can overlook the few bad words!). There is a lot of reading to do and I have gotten through lots of it - you really write so well. [Publisher’s note: after reading my first issue, I got an extended lecture from this reviewer on my use of indefinite articles] — Mormor (my grandmother, who is in her 80s) (RIP, sadly)
Negative Capability is the work of New Yorker Josh Saitz, and he doesn’t let you forget it. Endlessly self-referential, this zine could easily put off the first time reader. Look a little deeper though and there is a lot of interesting and amusing material in here. Saitz is at his best when he is relating personal experience rather than trying to be controversial, but if you are a fan of the style of Crank or Answer Me! there is plenty of here that may at least interest you. In this issue he lets fly on language, TV, food and his obsession with naming things. Misfit Toys is an audio (CD) version of the zine, and a lot of the material works better in this format. You get a feel for Saitz’ character, and some of the humour is far more immediate. There is a lot of material on the CD that is not in the print version (and vice-versa) such as Dr Seuss’ The Lorax in the style of F. Scott Fitzgerald, various sound samples and even a couple of songs. It runs to 74 minutes, though you get the feeling that not all the material would have made it on had Saitz not been a New Yorker on herbal speed. — Fringecore (RIP)
Well, besides what I heard already on the [Misfit Toys] CD sampler (which i loved, by the way... have I mentioned this yet? I listened to it on my way to and from work for a week straight), I’ve only read a little bit of the issue so far. But I can safely say that it is better than #1, and you know how much I enjoyed that issue. (I can still taste your ass on my lips from that AYTD review... heh) The best line I’ve found so far has to be “Besides, I think two writers together as a couple would end up completely hurting each other.” Genius, you bastard! — Marc Parker, Azmacourt & Amusing Yourself to Death, who is now officially dead to me, since he’s such an annoying and obnoxious little twerp asshole. RIH (Rot in Hell)
I have read a good deal of NC2 between editing sessions with a friend/colleague, and while it was sometimes difficult to wade through the televisual-related items (I am not very hip to what is on the TV, silver screen or other current forms of entertainment), there was a lot of great reading. I especially enjoyed the bit about how you met and befriended your wife (“I Am A Gay Homosexual”), for I have a similar relationship. You certainly started off on a better foot than I; I keep hidden the first issues of my first rag (which I stopped at number fourteen, and then commenced the AT issue #1), as they were handwritten, photocopied and perhaps the epitome of what I despise to see produced en masse these days. And it would have never been proclaimed the best new zine in years (I do not think I will ever be awarded even a similar accolade, as I pissed off too many of the overly hyped zinesters by calling them on their shit and refusing to have patience with their pathetic attempts to be an alternative version of what I already observed as pointless.). Surely you and I shall argue over our differences, but it is inspiring to have someone whose verve and budding vivacity (and I am not being condescending, mind you) is of your calibre. — Rev. Randall Tin-ear, publisher, Angry Thoreauan MagaZine, Blood Money Gazette, N.I.N.N.Y. and Crackhed zines (RIP)
Don’t let the production quality fool you. This is a personal zine, and a very fine one. Jøsh is a man of passion, and his zine is about his loves and hates. He loves his wife, animals and various pop culture oddities. He hates stupidity, people who abuse animals, and people who have betrayed him. The first issue begins with grammar instructions for would-be letter writers. Much bile is spewed towards a former friend, and towards people who rip off and annoy him. The second issue is slightly more positive in tone—he writes about his wife, his favorite Chinese restaurant, includes a recipe section and has a long difficult quitz which I doubt many people will answer correctly. — Monitor Review Zine (RIP)
Thanks for sending NC2, it’s quite an awesome work. I particularly liked the list of potential names (OCD? Not Me!). I also enjoyed the story of how you got together with your wife (I Am A Gay Homosexual). If only all the other zinesters that write about their true loves would wait 4 years first... — K.D. Schmitz, Ten Thousand Things (RIP)
There is some really funny stuff in the column “Keeping You Abreast”, [I’m allowing the punctuation outside the quote because the reviewer is Canadian, a country still being bent over by the British, which forces u’s into flavor and forces commas out into the cold, cruel world - Ed.] which contains updates on what’s new since the last issue, including further people attempting to seduce poor Jøsh through AOL. “OCD? Not Me!” is Jøsh’s list of alternate names he though of for the zine. I really loved this. Not only are many of the titles extremely clever or funny, Jøsh’s clear frustration with his overcreativity is also quite amusing. “Keeping It Hard For An Hour” is a list of very difficult trivia questions, and a list of all the fabulous prizes Jøsh will mail to the lucky winners. I spent more than 10 hours trying to answer all the questions, so I guess you could say I really got into this. It was like an informational scavenger hunt. I told Jøsh he should run this in every issue. Jøsh’s restaurant review, “Get a Piece of the Wok”, was a bit overintroduced, but it struck me as the best-written piece in this issue. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more enticing restaurant review. “How to Name Everything” could be more accurately titled “How I, Jøsh Saitz, Would Like Everyone Else to Refer to Everything”. I share Jøsh’s disdain for cutesy spellings and unneeded neologisms (except in irony, g), so I was nodding enthusiastically all the way through this one. Except the part where he dissed rap. [I think Ninj is a little bit of a guilty liberal, either that or he thinks owning the new Beasite Boys CD makes him a fan of rap. I own that CD and think most rap sucks. So there. - Ed.] There’s a bit in here where Jøsh dissects headlines from Entertainment Weekly to show that they have the form of wit but not the substance that is pure genius. I was cheering him on. The next article, “A Futile Attempt to Bring You Around to My Way of Thinking”, contains more corrections of everyday idiocy, such as using the term “Machiavellian” to describe a system of governance Machiavelli exposed. [I think Ninj means “opposed” or “espoused” not “exposed” but I like when others make mistakes, too. - Ed.] Again, I’m with him.
Jøsh tells the story of how he met, courted and became engaged to his wife in “I Am a Gay Homosexual”, a fantastic article in which Jøsh pretty much totally drops the tough guy persona and writes with utter sincerity. Negative Capability wouldn’t be half the zine it is if Jøsh didn’t include these articles along with the rants and denunciations. “The Profaci Game” is about TV shows Jøsh likes, and “The Flicker of the Idiot Box” is about odd videos Jøsh likes. Jøsh is a good reviewer; my eyes would normally glaze over reading reviews of TV shows or bad videos, but these were okay. The final big feature is a story Josh wrote about a serial killer. As in the previous issue, Jøsh includes an introduction to warm the reader up and a discussion of what it all meant afterwards. I think this format could grow on me. So, yeah, Negative Capability is one of my favourites. It always makes a strong impression. — Ninjalicious, Infiltration, Yip (RIP, see "Beating the Horse That Has Already Died" in NegCap#5.
A lot of people have raved. And, to be sure, it’s not without some very strong points, like a great front cover and lots of other nice graphics. It’s clear that Jøsh works really hard on the layouts and typography and so on. Each page has its own look—NegCap (#2, ©1998) and is a real labor of love. If I find most of the pages ugly, well, that’s a matter of personal taste. A lot of pros do worse
Here’s another quote: “I feel that I’m amazingly talented, funny[,] and smart. Yet the world seems to reward everyone but me, even though the rest of the world is mired in mediocrity.” (p. 42). I can relate; I’ve often felt much the same way about myself (except I only feel like I’m about averagely funny [Owen is very generous about his own very, very, very meager talents, to be sure]). There’s nothing wrong with a huge ego and a lot of morbid self-absorbtion. We’re zinesters, after all. And he’s reasonably talented and smart. [But,] he’s rather an insufferable asshole. This will undoubtedly strike some readers as a personal attack, and I suppose it is, but it’s not a gratuitous personal attack: Jøsh is very much his own favorite subject, so criticism of the zine necessarily involves criticism of the character. Anyway, it’s not personal in the sense that I have anything against the guy—other than the stuff he writes, obviously.
Jøsh has been looking for a job in the general area of magazine publishing for several years; I predict that he’ll get there soon. It’s clear from his work here that he knows quite a bit about production; Negative Capability would make a good resumé.
It may have occurred to you by this point to ask why I would take all the trouble to write this. Does NegCap deserve any review? Well, as I’ve mentioned, Jøsh put a great deal of effort into producing it and I figure it deserves to be taken seriously. I fully expect at least one reader to consider this unfavorable review to have been motivated by envy. And, to be sure, I would indeed like to be able to make a zine this elaborate, and I’d sure like to find as many readers as Jøsh has done. — The Ten Page News (Probably still publishing, but it was so fucking awful that I can't imagine a single human being ever wanting to read this. The author of this zine was one of the biggest douchebags I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. He made his zine career by attempting to ridicule me and failed miserably, as he did in every other aspect of his life. Suck it, douche.