From the Stacks: February 23, 2007

Utne Reader‘s library is abuzz with a steady flow of 1,500
magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines, and other lively
dispatches from the cultural front that are rarely found at big-box
bookstores, newsstands, or even online. So we share the highlights
(and occasional lowlights) of what’s landing in our library each
week in ‘From the Stacks.’ Check in every Friday for the latest
edition.

For nearly 15 years, Musea has doggedly served as a dispatch
from ‘the ongoing revolution in the ARTS!’ In the February issue of
this short-but-sweet zine (replete with a cool handmade bookmark),
editor Tom Hendricks cobbles together a divinely far-out roundup of
his favorite books. I have a very sensitive radar for the
‘weird-for-weird’s sake,’ and believe me, this isn’t. Hendricks
explains that he bought many of the books from library sales; I
can’t think of a better way to assemble such diverse choices as
World’s Best Clown Gags, Ben Bagdikian’s The Media
Monopoly
, and Forever Lounge: A Laid-Back Price Guide to
the Languid Sounds of Lounge Music
. His enthusiasm about each
title is contagious, too — I’m this close to buying
Elvis Presley’s Graceland: The Official Guidebook, and I
don’t even like Elvis. — Danielle Maestretti

It seems like an insult to
call Esopus a magazine, though technically
that’s what it is. With large, thick, full-color pages — many of
which unfold into posters and vary in texture and size —
Esopus feels more like an exhibition catalogue that one
might purchase in a museum gift shop. The pages are full of
stunning photography, poetry, fiction, and paintings. Each issue
also comes with a music CD stuck to the back cover. Considering all
that Esopus offers, it’s surprising that the magazine is a
nonprofit publication, kept afloat by generous donors and a small
subscription fee. Issue #7 features a 13-year-old’s colored-pencil
war drawing, a museum guard’s take on art, and eight pages of
translucent squares, perforated to be torn out for display, making
the magazine part of the art itself. — Mary O’Regan

Each issue of 2wice , a semiannual arts journal of the
not-for-profit 2wice Arts Foundation, Inc., evokes a particular
theme, with the latest being ‘how-to.’ The 16 instructional
categories are diverse, often surprising, and certainly intriguing.
‘How to Botticelli’ offers an informative look at nude
paint-by-numbers in the 1950s. ‘How to Spread Democracy’ features a
man covered by machine guns with a halo of fighter jets —
juxtaposed with a page of deformed plastic toy soldiers. ‘How to
Fix Things’ showcases artist Nina Katchadourian and her arresting
mended spiderwebs. Also be sure to take a gander at her collections
of stacked books, which, when the titles are read from top to
bottom, make for a delightfully quirky story. — Elizabeth
Ryan

‘We’re masters of
the universe over here, and we didn’t even go to Space Camp,’
concludes the editor’s note of
Missbehave‘s second issue. Published in
Brooklyn, Missbehave is sarcastic, urbane, and giddy
–thoroughly a product of its milieu. The article ‘Intervention:
Jared Leto’ speaks to my inner space cadet, admonishing the
heartthrob of My So-Called Life for his recent fashion
swerve into tackiness. Also in this issue, ‘Good Hair’ profiles
Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardottir, whose preferred medium is
hair — one of her headdresses appears on the cover of Bjork’s
album Medulla. Missbehave had me wishing for
longer locks so I could twirl them around my finger as I snapped my
gum. — Evelyn Hampton

A growing sense of urgency to better understand youth violence
and prevent it has both researchers and people who work with young
people scrambling to pool their resources. Enter the
Prevention
Researcher
, a 20-page journal packed with research related
to at-risk youth. The magazine bridges a divide between
researchers’ data and the professionals who work with susceptible
youth. The resulting invaluable resource for nurses, psychologists,
and social workers is published quarterly by Integrated Research
Services, Inc., a nonprofit research organization based in Oregon.
Though the publication is definitely geared toward evidence-based
minds, accessible articles in the February issue on youth
victimization provide strategies to reduce online victimization and
understand the connection between victims of violence and juvenile
offenders. — Jenna Fisher

For an update on what’s happening in Native American
news, pick up a copy of
Indian Country Today. The weekly newspaper
offers its readers news and views on the issues facing native
communities. Every week, the broadsheet keeps a strikingly sharp
eye on Washington, with in-depth analysis of the various bills
moving through Congress and their possible impacts on Native
Americans. A front-page piece in the Feb. 14 issue by Jerry
Reynolds picks apart President Bush’s 2008 budget proposal and
quotes House Rep. Nick Rahall saying the budget ‘both debilitates
the basic needs of sovereign Indian nations and stunts the creation
of opportunities in Indian country.’ — Natalie Hudson

Dispensing with the typical clich?s of pastoral life,
Backwoods Home gets down to the
nitty-gritty details of a living off the land. The sticker seals
that protected the March/April issue were difficult to open, likely
because they expected me to have a survivalist knife on hand to
assist. Once inside however, I was rewarded with interesting
stories on growing your own food, protecting your home from
wildfires, and a rather gruesome story of wilderness dentistry
involving a carpet needle, lineman’s pliers, and a lot of blood.
Backwoods Home can be delivered to your door six times a
year, wherever that door might be. — Bennett Gordon

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