From the Stacks: August 25, 2006


| August 2006


Utne receives some 1,200 magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, and zines. Add in hundreds of books, CDs, and DVDs, and it's a flood of media that lines the walls of our library and piles high on our desks. All the ideas, people, and stories inspire lively daily chatter, but they can't all fit into our bimonthly magazine. So we share the gems here in our weekly editions of 'From the Stacks.' Check in every Friday for the freshest highlights of the independent and alternative media.

Cranky, a triannual literary journal out of Seattle, fills its pages mostly with poetry, but also contains short prose, paintings, photographs, and the occasional interview. The latest issue (#7) is replete with refreshing verbal imagery and thoughtful purpose. A standout is Paul Maliszewski's pair of letters to President Bush. Separated by pages of others' work, each letter addresses the president in a meandering narrative that doesn't necessarily bear any overt point, but might offer the sheltered leader a frank and detailed notion of daily life for an average American, should he care to read them. -- Suzanne Lindgren

FilmPrintThe July/August issue of FilmPrint -- 'the magazine of the liaison of independent filmmakers of Toronto' -- is thin at 24 pages, but was clearly made with a passion for the medium it covers. David W. Scott's feature, 'Alive 8!', explains how the quaint appeal of Super 8 film has outlasted generations of image-recording methods, from video to digital, and evolved along the way. Also in this edition, a brief tale by William Scott Eldridge entitled 'Dumbluck' conveys the critical role serendipity plays in the film production business. -- Suzanne Lindgren

The September/October issue of Preservation, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is so rife with images and tales of crumbling old buildings, threatened natural spaces, and happy success stories that it could inspire a frantic look around your own town for 'endangered' places to save.?One piece tells of a La Jolla, California, couple who saved three of the town's treasured turn-of-the-century cottages (most are being razed for million-dollar condos and mansions).?Another section, 'Transitions,' runs a list of lost, saved, threatened, and restored hotspots around the United States. The subjects are diverse and educational: a photo essay on Kentucky, a 'how to' on additions to historic structures, and a look at Eudora Welty's Mississippi house.?In the back of the magazine, take a peek at the listings of historic properties for sale (houses, theaters, and more) and long to preserve your own little bit of history. -- Elizabeth Oliver

IsthmusMadison is well-known for being progressive, so it was a bit surprising to learn that at the city's lone Waldorf school, the only class currently on offer is kindergarten. In the August 18 edition of Isthmus, Madison's alt-weekly, Jason Shepard takes a look at the school's plans to expand. Also in this issue, a 'Watchdog' article wonders why inflation isn't factored into disability aid, an opinion piece questions whether Republicans are scaring people for votes, and a feature shows Madison's kinky side. -- Rachel Anderson

SatyaHow can you have a barbecue without meat? Ice cream without dairy? Muscles without animal protein? The August issue of Satya, a publication dedicated to animal rights and social justice, removes these common roadblocks to veganism and animal rights activism. What is essentially a collection of interviews with experts and industry types, the edition shows that vegans can be funny, sexy, political, and, well, not terrorists. Satya also sticks up for those who cannot speak for themselves -- the animals -- letting readers know the kindness of pit bulls, the charm of farm animals, and that chimps aren't the Hollywood players we enjoy them to be. -- Rachel Anderson