Straight ForwardI am now older than Bill Hicks will ever be and the only thing that I can do to justify my existence is to keep on doing what I’m doing: Expressing my own sincere opinions, writing the truth as I see it and to keep on shoving my obnoxious ideas down your throat like an uncircumcised cock.
I am sure that some people are surprised to see a new issue of this zine, but I have always planned to do at least eight issues, so now we’re halfway there. My situation is common in the world of zines in that there has been a massive gap between installments, making some people wonder if I had abandoned this project. Fuck no, is my polite reply. I had a lot of other shit to do, like be a good husband and make money. When I was ready to print the first issue of my zine I had saved just enough money to either buy a new Mac or print the zine. I chose the zine. More than a year later I’d saved up even more, so it was either a great new computer or my next issue and I chose the zine again. When I got to my third issue almost two years later, I charged both a new computer and the zine and sank myself into a hole that took me a long while to climb out of. I had to do it. I had to print this zine at my own expense, no matter what.
I am now back in New York City and delighted to be anonymous and isolated once again. I no longer have to fear anyone’s road rage or an asshole in an SUV with flags on every window running me and my little Honda off the road. Everyone that knew me knew I would move back to NYC sooner or later, and my wife and I returned for a million reasons. Well, maybe four reasons if we’re being honest: Access to everything at any time, ownership in a place we’ve always called home, convenience, and fear of cars—and that’s just off the top of my head.
We got tickets to fly back to New York on September 17, 2001. Our flight, along with every other flight, had been abruptly cancelled a few days earlier. We had been trying to sell our car for a while, but after September 11, I was able to convince my wife that we should keep the car and drive it back to New York.
When we decided we wanted to buy a place to live in New York City we made a plan. Mi amigo Pedro offered to let us stay in his second bedroom in Queens, where he was shacking up with his lovely girlfriend (now wife) Lisa. After a few months, it got to be a little cramped for everyone and we moved to my Mom and step-father’s house in Rockland County. We commuted to work in Manhattan, my wife as a forensic accountant (she is the kind that uses her powers for good) and I worked as a freelance Mac consultant and graphic designer. In my spare time, and for spare cash, I auctioned off a ton of stuff that I had accumulated in my life that no longer held any meaning for me, and when I pared down my life I felt a great sense of relief. I still feel like you can never have too many books, but I still have too many videotapes, too many audiotapes and too many CDs.
Since Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came out I’ve squandered the majority of my free time carjacking old ladies, shooting cops in the head and setting bikini-clad rollerskaters on fire with a flamethrower. It was way more cathartic than writing naughty words in a zine could ever be, and cathartic violence was what I really, really needed to clear my head. Between saving to buy a place, commuting, eating, sleeping, going to the gym, watching TV, smoking weed and making sweet love to my wife, I don’t have a lot of free time. It’s not easy to do a zine like this because some days I have to do laundry and some days I just want to steal a police helicopter and blow up an ambulance.
In the past few years I wrote pieces for the zine whenever I was inspired, motivated or had a good story to tell. The main hurdle for me is that I am usually the most creative, funny and interesting between one and four o’clock in the morning. For the first time in many years I have a regular job as the IT Manager for a well-known party planner, author, style guru, TV host and Mac-user. As a result of my employment, my life has become more structured than I would like it to be, but I like the money much more than I dislike the work, though that can change on an almost daily basis. I go to the gym at least five days a week and have lost thirty-five pounds in the past three years. I look and feel better than I have for a long time and I am so strong now that I could probably easily kick my own ass.
In so many ways my life has changed since the last time I did an issue, but I think it’s all for the better. I have a wonderful wife who loves me more than anyone deserves to be loved and a nice, cozy apartment in a quiet building with a roof deck and a back garden. I have a comfy purple velvet couch that my wife and I saved up to buy while she was still in college and we have blackout blinds in our bedroom so we can sleep whenever we want. In some ways, I am really easy to please, and in other ways, I’m the hardest motherfucker in the world.
As you’ll either be reminded or soon discover, I am a compulsively honest person. Everything in here is as true as I can tell it and as fully detailed as I can remember. I sincerely believe that zines are one of the last bastions of free speech that is truly free. All of my words are unfettered by corporate or government interests and zines should always be done purely for the love and creative expression and there’s not a goddamn thing that anyone can do to fucking stop me. Drink my fucking ass, censors! Since there are people all over the world who have suffered and died to make sure that I have the right to say whatever I want, I would like to thank them for their sacrifices and then make them regret their efforts. I don’t have to do or say a redeeming thing to justify my opinions, but I’ll try. I am sure that there are some petty, jealous zine publishers reading this now who are sharpening their knives and waiting to tell me how much I suck at this and I don’t give a shit. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but man, your zine is boring.