Aggression Digression or, A Tale of Two Joshes
------YOUR FAWNING INTRO GOES HERE-------
(I got nothing, the interview speaks for itself - Josh Medsker)
When I was finishing production of NegCap #5, I was contacted by a guy named Josh Medsker. He is a college professor in New Jersey, which obviously means that he's from somewhere that has not heard the bad news about New Jersey. In this case, he is from Alaska, and maybe New Jersey is a step up from Alaska, but I digress. I guess I always digress, but in this case, I have a pressing need to bring the conversation back to the other Josh, Josh Medsker.
You see, Josh also does a zine (or ten, and a blog, maybe a podcast, maybe he has a cookbook, how would I know?) and after a brief getting-to-know-you, we traded zines. His zines tend towards the cut-and-paste and then photocopy style that is so popular these days, whereas I prefer to have my zine offset printed with lots of color and splashy design. But a zine is a zine is a zine no matter what form it takes.
I enjoyed his zines for what they are, modest little slices of life, stories, essays and ideas that related to the punk ethos without actually being too punk (read: his grammar isn't terrible and he doesn't think it's still 1978, when he was probably 2, I am guessing). When he got my zine, he was blown away and was kind enough to say so. After reading my last two issues, he decided that he wanted to interview me. After a few e-mails back and forth, he then decided that it would be better for me to interview myself, since I know all the good questions to ask me.
At that point I was thinking, "If I am interviewing myself, what exactly are you contributing, other Josh?" And the answer is "nothing." I could interview myself whenever I want, who gives a fuck? But he said he wanted to publish it. Now, I am not sure how meta you want to get, but when a guy asks you to interview yourself and also to ask any question you like, and give any answer that you like, and he will publish it, the first thing you have to ask is, "What the fuck?"
So I said to him, "At least come up with a few questions so when you take credit for the interview, at least you can say you did something." So he sent me his questions. I figure the best way to do this is to paste his questions, answer them and see where the answers take me. Many people have told me that I am an editor's nightmare because of all the aggressive digressions but that's my style and I'm sticking to it.
Josh Medsker (JM) fuck it, I thought of some pretty good questions... but I'm going to pull a Saitz and include our previous email in the article. hahahaha!
here are some questions....
What was the basic impetus for starting Negative Capability?
Jøsh Saitz (JS) The basic impetus was that I had a degree in literature and another in writing but could not get a job writing anywhere. When I finally did get a job writing, it was for a trade magazine about the greeting card industry. For two years all I wrote about was greeting cards, stationery and crap like that. I didn't mind the work, but it often enraged me how totally corrupt and sleazy trade publications are. Trade magazines are the lampreys of capitalism. They attach themselves to the host, gorge on nutrients and then move on. In our case, we would receive samples for review and our sales department would call them and tell them that if they advertised, we would write about them. If not, there were other cards to write about. It was never directly quid pro quo, but that was the general idea. I read a lot of zines at the time and noticed a similar trend. If it was a punk zine that had an interview with some jackass that I'd never heard of, there would invariably be an ad for that same jackass's new album. It made me realize that all publishing is a corrupt shit show and I wanted no part of it. I had all of this writing that I had done, all of the skills that I had acquired as a graphic designer from years of working, so I decided that if it was possible, I should do every single thing myself and make no compromises. Hell, I didn't even want to make an advertising rate card because I didn't want any ads at all. I had a few friends who had done zines and all of them told me that dealing with advertising was the worst part. First of all, whenever someone gives you money for an ad, they think they own you. Secondly, there is no way to convince a reader that you are not for sale if your words are surrounded by ads. I think of advertising as a form of lying and when I decided to do a zine, I decided that I would not lie about anything. I would have to dig deep and find my own truth. I didn't want to have every page filled with truths and then have them surrounded by lies. I got a few inquiries about advertising in the 2nd issue but I turned them down because I could never give anyone a firm publication date. I took about five ads, almost all of them in barter, for my third issue, but it was really annoying. I'll never take an ad again. So, how to pay for offset printing? Well, I worked my ass off and saved my money until I could afford it . Then for the next one I put it on a credit card (bad idea for most, but it worked for me) and the latest one was all paid for thanks to a vigorous Kickstarter campaign. Check out the video I made, it helped me raise more than $3,000!
Once I made the decision to do it, I saw that there was a zine festival happening in New York City in a few months. I decided right then that I was going to enter my zine into that festival and I was going to win something. I killed myself for two months, writing, editing, proofing and then proofing some more. I didn't make the festival's deadline but I submitted a laser-printed proof for their review and promised them the final product when it was ready. I won Best New Zine but there was no awards ceremony. I just got a certificate in the mail. I'll attach a scan of it, I consider it my first professional achievement, even though I am not a professional.
(JM) When was the last time you had contact with Bonaduce?
(JS) For your readers who don't know, I was good friends with Jeff Koyen and he did a zine called Crank. He also has the same speech impediment as Danny Bonaduce, so I always call him Bonaduce, but I pronounce it "bonna-douchey" because he's douchey. We hung out together, went on vacation together and then he hired me to be his right hand man. When I started to get to the point where I could've taken his job, he fired me for no discernible reason. The last e-mail that he sent to me was so cunty that I had to publish it. That was the last time I had any contact with him, which was back in 1998. I still hold a grudge and one day my grudge will be old enough to drink. I am not sure when, but Bonaduce mentioned me by name and said some disparaging bullshit about me in his last issue before retiring from the world of zines. I warned him to keep his fucking mouth shut, but he wouldn't, so I had to write two epic stories about his assholery as payback for being such an insecure shitbag. I saw a picture of him online when I was working on #5 back in 2010 and life has beaten and bloated him, which is very gratifying to a spiteful person like me.
(JM) Who have you pissed off since NC #5 came out? What are we going to see in the next issue?
This is your first good question, Josh. The funny thing is that I always thought that I would do a "nice" issue where I only focused on the positive pleasant things and that when I got to that point, I would be happy, well-adjusted and beyond holding petty grudges. Well, #5 was my "nice" issue, it was pretty nice, but I have not changed. Since that issue came out, the things that piss me off have become more personal and less societal. Granted, I still want to strangle people who make phone calls at the gym and I would not say anything if the police started arresting people who drive Hummers but to be honest with you, lately I have just not been that angry at anyone or anything that passionately. Since starting the zine I got married, had two kids and in 2007, I stopped working for others. Not working for assholes has really made a difference in my life. I may write some shit about my last job because it was the longest one I've ever had and it also had the most interesting characters there. I'd have to do it as a work of fiction so I could really tell the truth. I think after this interview, others will also be pissed off.
(JM) When do you know you've hit on a motherlode--as far as inspiration goes?
Another good question, you are on a roll there, Josh. I find inspiration comes to me quite randomly—I am unable to be creative under pressure or for a deadline. As an example, when you said you wanted me to interview myself, I let that idea stew in my head for a few days. I would think of a good question to ask/answer and then I'd write it up on my phone. I thought of a good title and I recorded it as a voice memo. Then I thought of another title and decided to use them both. You may throw both away but the way my brain works, even when I have found the solution, my brain still wants to work on it. It's a gift, in a way, but it's also a curse, because even when something is totally settled, some part of my brain still thinks I can do better. I came up with the name Negative Capability back in 1997 and published my first issue in 1998. In 1999, I wrote twenty pages of other names that would be great for the zine. In the issue after that, I wrote another fifteen pages. The zine has a name. It's set in stone, so to speak, yet my brain keeps thinking there's a better name out there.
As for finding a motherlode, lots of times things happen to me and I say, "This will be good for the zine," and it rarely is. When I am going through something awful and I say, "I want to pretend that never happened," that's when it's good for the zine. Because of the zine, I will try things that I wouldn't ordinarily, because I hope I can get a story out of it. Like when I met pornographer Al Goldstein at a seminar and he invited me to his home. I would never do something like that unless I thought there might be a story in it.
Sometimes I just get a title or the kernel of an idea and I will let it bounce around until it either expands or withers away. I always thought I'd do an issue of stuff that got cut, like a b-sides collection or something, but whenever I go back and read something that got cut, I am reminded why I cut it. The good thing about the format of the zine is that I either write pieces that are very short and digestible or stories that are epic and thoroughly detailed. When I worked at the trade magazine about greeting cards, my boss had a box of unused stories that were already typeset and done. He kept them in a box labeled "overmatter," and whenever we had a hole in the issue, we would dig through the box looking for a piece to complete the puzzle. I try to write a lot of short things because I can't flesh out every idea and also because I need small, flexible pieces in order to complete the puzzle. God, did I even approach answering your question?
(JM) I know that you started a novel, and excerpted it in #5... is that still an ongoing concern, or have you filed it away permanently?
I never file anything away permanently. I can always go back and work on something, even if it's been published. Every single one of my back issues has a more current version of the story somewhere on my computer or on my web site (http://www.negcap.com). I sometimes go through old stories and repurpose them for another publication, for the web or just so I can add a follow-up to the end of the story. The novel is something that I think I probably gave up on as a viable project 10 years ago because I have better ideas now. i started it when I was 17 and I was writing about a guy that I have actually turned into: a married guy in his early 40's who thinks that he missed a lot of opportunities.
The thing I always wanted to do was publish a book. Since I think that most publishing is dying in the sense that people don't really buy that many paper books anymore, I don't care to make it on paper. I have collected the best stuff from the zine, added a bunch of unpublished stuff and made it into an eBook called These Are Truths. Then I took all the fiction that I've written for the zine and combined it with my favorite short stories and made it into an eBook called These Are Lies. I was working on that for a few months and then a friend of mine came to me with a proposal to start a business. I agreed to start the business and have been spending the last few months working my ass off to launch. By the time anyone reads this, I'll be in business as Manhattan Montage. The idea is that you send us digital pics and videos and we put it together with animation, music and other elements to make a montage for a party, to remember a vacation, for a memorial or for a business. Please check it out so I can justify all the hours I've spent building it up to this point (http://www.manhattanmontage.com).
(JM) How has New York changed for creative types, since you moved back here in 2001? A decade seems to be a good vantage point for nostalgia and re-assessment.
I first moved to New York City in 1989. Back then the city was brimming with creative types but instead of making art, everyone was their own art. I think after Giuliani, things in the city started to change. Gentrification forced a lot of the artsy types out to Brooklyn (cough cough) but I have always considered Manhattan to be the city and the other boroughs are our retarded cousins. In some ways, it's gotten worse because it's hard to survive as an artist when the city gets to be expensive. In other ways, it's gotten better because as any good artist can tell you, success makes you complacent and never leads to better art. The same is true for bands. I usually love the first few albums and then they jump the shark and I can't stand them anymore. There are still so many great artists here and so many talented people that I think it's good. I remember when I was asked to be part of a reading at a place called Piano's. I had never been there, but the idea was that there would be a person doing a reading, then a band would come out and play a few songs, then another reader. It seemed like a terrible idea to me for two reasons: 1) the energy level would be cranked up by the music, then the reader would bring everyone back down and 2) there is no way for a person reading a story they wrote to be as visually interesting as a band playing music. I did it anyway just because on the bill was Jonathan Ames, Mike Daisey and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I thought I'd never get another chance to perform with those guys. Since then, Ames got his own show on HBO called Bored to Death and Mike Daisey is off-Broadway doing The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs [Update: turns out that a lot of his show is bullshit and his veracity has been called into question. This cannot happen to me because I am not a fabulist, even though I am fabulous.]
And look at me!! I am doing interviews with myself for a zine that no one reads. Go me!!I I recently saw a documentary called Limelight that details what my life was about in the late 80s and early 90s. I was part of that scene, though I was not a Club Kid, I kew all of them. It was sad to see how everyone got fat and bald. The movie didn't get everything right but they do get the flavor. I also like how they interview Michael Alig (who is in jail for murdering one of his drug dealers) but they never say that he in jail. [2022 Update: Michael Alig was released from prison and said he was planning to take over NYC nightlife again. Not too much later, he died of a heroin overdose. The point is, stay the fuck away from heroin.]
What is the A-Number-One thing that really pisses you off about people?
Hmmm. Shall I go with unjustified arrogance? Intolerance? Stupidity? Cell phones at the gym, or is that a white people problem? I think the #1 thing on my hit parade is people who are chazzers. It's a Yiddish word that means pig or glutton and when I use it, I am referring to anyone who acts like they are entitled to more than they are and feel no shame in taking that which belongs to others. In practice, it would be like ordering a pizza with 3 friends and having one person take half. That's a dick move, and typical of a chazzer. I think it's safe to say that most people in the 1% are chazzers, by definition. If you have more money than you or your kids could possibly spend in a lifetime, and you are hoarding it in a bank, you are a chazzer. FYI, the "ch" is pronounced like you are clearing your throat, not like in "cha cha cha." So, if forced to pick one thing, my answer is "chazzers." Also, my auto-correct keeps wanting to call them "chasers" but I don't give a fuck about chasers. If you want a more mainstream answer it's parents who smoke cigarettes around their kids. That enrages me like nothing else. I have a good excuse though, both of my parents smoked (often in the car with the windows rolled up) and I have had asthma and allergies since I was a kid. My father also died of complications from lung cancer when I was 15 and there are times I wished someone had lectured my dad about it. He quit smoking and then found out he had lung cancer six months later. Six months after that, he was dead.
What do you feel is your best work? If someone had to assess your writing based on one piece, what would you show them? I was extremely fond of the thing you wrote about your friend, the one you said "people have accused me of making him up." Heartbreaking, man.
I really like the piece you are referring to, which is the e-mail exchanges between me and John Dickstein. I tend to think whatever I am working on at the moment is my best work but I guess after doing this on and off for 14 years, I can look back at all of it and assess. I used to think it was "How to Cope with Assholes," from my first issue because it's very angry, confrontational and covers a lot of the issues that I touch on elsewhere, but it feels dated to me. I think "I Am A Gay Homosexual," which is the love story about how I met my wife, would give a reader a totally different impression of me. In terms of the level of viciousness that I have become known for, I'd have to go with "Beating the Horse that Has Already Died," which is in #5. I am very proud of all the research and background I did for "How to Visit NYC (without pissing me off)" and I think the writing is great, but if I had to pick one story, one thing that is the best, it would probably be "Lost in the K-Hole," which is my long history with drugs. It only appears in Negative Capability #3 but is one of those stories that I don't want to put on my site for free because it's too honest for most people and I think it's worth paying for. It was sometimes funny, sometimes painful, but always brutally honest. There are other stories that are very popular with my readers, but "K-Hole" is one of my personal favorites and I think it is as rich, varied, dense, funny, mean and original as anything else I've done, all in one story.
In your question, you refer to the "Dickstein Chronicles" and in #4, I let him talk about his work experiences and in #5 I tried to get him to talk about love. Since then, I've stopped talking to him but I really don't know how that is going to end. I doubt I'll publish him again only because I am tired of him hitchhiking around the country telling people that I love him and will publish any stupid thing he sends me. I was friends with him in college (and I am old, I graduated in 1992) and have not seen him since. All my other friends are married or settled into an adult life, but he's still bumming around the country, doing drugs, picking up girls and doing shitty jobs. The good thing about publishing him is that he makes me seem normal and together and it's a good chance for me to tell his story while simultaneously mocking him.
There was one woman that he said was his soulmate and he got her pregnant and she had an abortion and he's been crying inside over that for a long time. After I published it, the girl in question got in touch with me to tell me that almost everything he said was a lie, except the part where she was so physically attracted to him that she couldn't contain herself around him. He also said that if I ever saw her, I would immediately drop my pants and start jerking off. I don't think Megan Fox could get me to do that, but she's welcome to come over and see what happens. John's ex is very pretty and very nice, but she deserved a guy so much better than Dickstein and she got it. Now she's married and has 3 kids and seems very happy. She even friended me on Facebook and begged me to never mention her name. I agreed to her wishes, but I can talk about it in your zine because she'll never see it. And if I put it up on my web site without mentioning her name, I am still honoring my word.
I really thought I could turn Dickstein into a competent writer, but instead he just drove me berserk with his antics. He posts to message boards regularly under my name, saying that I've done shit I have never done. He thinks it's hilarious but luckily for me, I have so much other content online that his random rantings as me have not risen to the level of a Google problem.
The rest is all JS except for the few random bonus questions at the end.
Now I will ask my own questions in no particular order:
Your zine is full of obvious contradictions in your personality. You don't seem to take the standard position when it comes to binary choices, why is that?
I find that people who fit neatly into binary choices are thinking well within the box. As an example, some people say that you can't be pro-abortion but against the death penalty. Why is it ok to kill a fetus but not an adult human being? I'll tell you why: fetuses have no rights, no representation and no say. Until you are a living human being, I don't give a flying fuck about you. Even after having kids, I think abortion is absolutely necessary because the consequences of not having that choice means that there will be more unwanted children in the world and in my opinion, the most fucked up people are the ones that were not wanted by their parents. When it comes to the death penalty, I am against it because it's disproportionately applied and performed on the poor, the non-white and stupid. Timothy McVeigh deserved the death penalty because it was an epic attack, he was found guilty over and over and he admitted his crimes. But more often than not, people are railroaded into confessions, denied access to a good attorney or not aware of their basic civil rights and those people are killed more often by the state than they should be. If you look at a map of the world where the death penalty is still legal and enforced, you will see that the US is in some very ugly company and that should make us all ashamed.
What do you think about the Occupy movement?
I think income inequality is a serious issue that has been ignored or swept under the rug for far too long. The old saying that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is not reasonable because if you follow the graphs, you see where it ends. The rich get everything, the poor get nothing, if you continue on this trajectory. I am a fan of the Guy Fawkes masks and V for Vendetta. I think there is a large segment of society who have been hosed by crippling student loan debt, a difficult job market and declining wages, for a very long time. At the same time, I think there are many members of the movement who are useless hippies dipshits who need a place to play bongos and they are giving the rest of the sincere people a bad rap. Anything that is non-violent but directly confrontational is a good thing in my eyes, even if I don't agree with your goals.
You seem to have a lot of enemies in the world of zines. Why do you think this is? Do you have any friends in the zine community?
I have a lot of enemies everywhere, actually, but not all of them know it. I do have many friends that produce zines, from Josh Medsker all the way down to my son, who likes to make little comic book zines, usually about robots, Sonic the Hedgehog or both. I think some people are intimidated by my zine or think that because I am harsh and merciless in print that I would be that way in real life, which is actually quite accurate. Some people are mature enough to see that there's a difference between the zine and the person, and that difference is that in person, I have to lie to get by, in the zine, I don't give a fuck. This has caused awkwardness with many people, but as I like to say, that's on them.
What else have you done that Wikipedia refuses to acknowledge?
Well someone else started a Wikipedia page for me and I discovered it by accident. I was so excited and pleased with myself that I sent the link to a few people I know. By the time many of them saw it, there was a notation saying that the page was due to be removed because I wasn't notable enough. Then there was a discussion where the editors debated whether or not I was worthy of being in Wikipedia. It was decided that I was a nobody because I had only done a zine and my page was whacked. But I haven't just done a zine. I also did an audiozine called Misfit Toys, something I have never seen before. I have also have contributed articles to many other zines, I wrote great reviews for Amusing Yourself to Death and I even had a lot of my content repurposed by Ayun Halliday of the East Village Inky when she did the Zinester's Guide to NYC. I highly recommend that book because I wrote funny shit that is in it. I don't see a nickel, so my motives are pure.
How do I get your zine?
Check out the zine's web site at http://www.negcap.com. The other Josh can vouch for its potency. The new issue is $5 for 68 ad-free, full-size, offset printed pages. There is even a 16 page color supplement in the center. The whole issue was designed in full color and if you just want to read the PDF on an e-reader, you can get it for just a buck—that's a shitload of content for just a dollar.
Who are your biggest influences, not just as a writer, but as a person?
I have always been a huge fan of Bill Hicks. There is something about his worldview that is so in line with mine that it's spooky. I never got to see him live because he died in 1994 but his ideas still resonate with me. I love Howard Stern and listen to him every day. I make no apologies for this. I remember this fucktard named Dan Halligan was once bashing me because I like Howard and Dan was saying that Howard is a sexist pig. This is coming from a guy who lived in Seattle, so he never heard a live Stern show in his life, yet he feels comfortable bashing both of us. He used to do a zine called 10 Things Jesus Wants You to Know, which made MRR look brilliant. Then he did a newspaper called Tablet, which also failed. Now he's a librarian. Checking out books is PUNK AS FUCK, right, dickbag? I will never tire of kicking dirt on that douchenozzle. Part of the reason I keep shitting on him is that I want people to google him and see what I've said about him. Speaking of which, I got a great letter on just this subject which you can read by clicking here.
After finishing this interview, I saw that Josh Medsker had decided to come up with 24 questions to ask people, in keeping with the name of his zine, 24 Hours Zine. Is that correct? Fuck if I know. Let me answer those questions and then I can call it a day.
What are you reading right now?
I read a lot of magazines and non-fiction. Right now I am not reading any books, but I do love New York Magazine. I guess I am also reading this interview. I want to stop reading so many magazines and read the pile of books I have on my nightstand.
What music is currently dominating your listening device of choice?
I listen to a lot of the Fucking Dewaele Brothers, who record as a band under the name Soulwax and as DJs/remixers as 2 Many DJs. They are fucking awesome. My favorite musician of all time is the great Robyn Hitchcock. Every night before bed I listen to a meditation playlist with Underworld, Zero 7, Tones on Tail and Thievery Corporation. That shit mellows me right the fuck out. Why did I suddenly start with all the fucking cursing? Here are some links: http://www.last.fm/music/Fucking+DeWaele+Brothers and http://www.soulwax.info. If you decide to check out those links, you should start with ”Skee-lo and & Eye of the Tiger” because that is one that I have played a million times and was my son's theme song for a while. In my library that song is called "I Wish I Was a Tiger" but I don't know if there is an official name for that mash-up. Tones on Tail was a short-lived side project by most of Bauhaus but before Love & Rockets and I spent most of my college years high as fuck listening to Tones on Tail. In the early 2020's hey reunited as Poptone with Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins and Kevin's daughter on bass and did a brief tour where they played mostly Tones on Tail, some Love & Rockets, a couple of Bauhaus, some solo Daniel Ash and a couple of covers. It was a great show.
What is your all-time favorite book?
For fiction, it's either V for Vendetta or Watchmen. They are both so layered and nuanced and beautiful. I think Alan Moore is a genius and those are his best works. When I was in college and for many years after, I had immeasurable respect for Toni Morrison, especially in The Bluest Eye and Beloved because it's a subject and experience so different from my ownI am a huge fan of PK Dick and his worldview, but I am not nearly as paranoid. Or dead. As for non-fiction, I always recommend a book called The World Without Us. It imagines what would happen to the planet if all of humanity suddenly disappeared. He bases his speculation on his actual observations of places that people no longer go, like the DMZ between the Koreas, the area around Chernobyl and other abandoned cities. They made a TV special out of it but my imagination was much better than their shitty CGI.
Who is the most important artist out there that no one has heard of?
James De La Vega. Follow him on Twitter @delavegaprophet. He works on the Upper East Side and he is a street artist in the best sense of the word. He actually draws wonderful pictures and sayings on the street. Then when it rains, his art is gone. He also draws on other people's garbage or tossed furniture. For example, if you throw out a mattress, he might draw a few fish on it and the saying, "Become Your Dream." I have two sons who are 7 and 4 and I am teaching them to be real New Yorkers by always observing their surroundings. One of the ways was by playing a game where we would look for De La Vega's art around the neighborhood. My son fell in love with the art and now he thinks of himself as an artist. For my wife's birthday, I bought her an original De La Vega and she cried she was so happy. When I went to pick it up, De La Vega himself was outside the gallery, drawing on the sidewalk. I told him that my son was inspired to be an artist because of his work and he was touched. He came into the store and drew a picture for my son on the brown paper they use to wrap framed art. My son was over the moon that De La Vega knew who he was, and without any prompting, my son (who is just learning how to write now) wrote him a letter, thanking him for the art [Art is included]. He also drew a few pictures of robots and Sonic the Hedgehog, which are his favorites. I dropped the letter and art off at the store so the dealer could get it to De La Vega. A few days later, I got an e-mail from the owner saying that De Le Vega loved Oliver's letter and he wanted my son's work framed and put on the walls, next to all of his own work. I cannot tell you how floored my son was when I casually walked him past the gallery to see the De La Vegas and he saw his own letter in the front window. I'll include pictures of all this stuff. So now my wife has one and my son has one. If I had more money, I would buy many more. He's really a very creative and original guy. I also bought my son colored chalk so that when he feels like making art, he can just get down on the sidewalk and draw whatever he likes. For the record, after writing this about De La Vega, I had to pick up my son from school and I saw two De La Vegas in chalk on 1st Ave and I took pictures of them. It's raining now, so they are already gone.
If you could be another artist besides yourself, who would you be and why?
When I was in college I wanted to be Man Ray because I thought he was really doing some cool, original and impressive things. I always loved Dali as well but I never wanted to be him. I am huge fan of William Wegman but I don't know that people take him seriously as an artist because he's so goofy. I truly admire Banksy and I think his work is brilliant. I like that he's famous and anonymous at the same time.
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
There's no comparison. The Beatles had more hits, did more experimental stuff, wrote better songs and were talented enough for all of them to have legitimate solo careers. The Stones haven't a good song since "Emotional Rescue" and I think that was when I was in high school.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Same thing I have every day, Kashi Heart to Heart, Kashi GoLean Crisp, a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seed (I don't eat fish, I need omega-3s) and some Gatorade G2. I wouldn't say that I am on a diet, but I am actively trying to get down to a certain weight to prove that I can. I used to have OJ every day but my wife always tells me that juice is just empty calories and I need something sweet with my breakfast.
Which sense would you rather lose, sight or hearing? Why?
Hearing because they can sometimes fix that shit. Being blind would make me dependent on others and the thought of that is revolting.
What project are you currently working on?
Objection, your honor, this question has been asked and answered. Objection sustained.
Who is the most overrated artist in your field?
In the world of zines? Is anyone even highly rated? Who is the most famous zinester? I used to think it was Jim Goad but I think people lost interest in him. I guess anyone who is more well-known than me is overrated, everyone else is rated just right. I used to think that Seth Friedman was important because he resurrected Factsheet 5, but he ran it into the ground. I met him a few times (and worked with him at the SF Bay Guardian) and he's kind of a loser. I am sure that everything I am saying in this interview will piss someone off, so good for me. Seriously, if you are reading this, Seth, go take a shower. I think that Eric Lyden from Fish with Legs is underrated, that is one of my favorite zines.
If a genie could grant you three wishes, what would they be?
The first wish would be for me to be a genie who can also grant wishes, then I would fucking kill that other genie.
Is that all you got?
Shit, Josh, I am printing a proof and this fucker is 11 pages. That's enough free work from me for you. Now write me a good outro and promote the shit of this. K. Thx. Bye.