From the Stacks: July 21, 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.

POZ is one of the more inspiring
periodicals I’ve encountered, likely because it gives its target
audience — people diagnosed HIV positive — a healthy dose of
encouragement. POZ empowers the community by creating a forum for
grappling with intense issues. Especially interesting in the August
issue was ‘The Blame Game,’ an interview between a recently
diagnosed man and one who has been living with HIV for 16 years.
They talk about the healing made possible by forgiving the people
that infected them, how difficult that is, and the seeming
impossibility of trusting others or oneself after the initial
diagnosis. — Suzanne Lindgren

We recently acquired the
first two issues of DILDO, ‘A Zine with ADD.’ Nadja Martens
offers the following explanation of her chosen title: ‘I hope my
zine can cover topics of sexuality, serious issues, and above all
things of humor.’ Issue 2 (Spring) offers Martens’ adventures at a
film festival and a Hot Hot Heat concert, as well as bits and
pieces torn from the pages of pop culture as she sees fit: a 1994
Playboy blurb on zines and an ad for ‘below the belt masculine
hygiene deodorant.’ Exemplifying her quirky style is a spread in
which a thoughtful, grammatically correct book review is placed
next to the introduction to her comic, ‘Stinky Mike,’ about a boy
who ‘grew up on cheep beer & porn while living in a one room
apartment with his prositute [sic] sister Mary.’ — Suzanne

It’s difficult to
sift through the lovingly created zines that pile up in our library
without grabbing paper and pens, hijacking the office copy machine,
and printing my own. Now that I’ve stumbled upon
Stolen Sharpie Revolution (Microcosm,
2005, third edition), Alex Wrekk’s zine on making your own
hand-crafted publication, I have no excuse not to. The DIY guide
offers invaluable advice on creating, printing, and distributing
zines. And if all that doodling, cutting, and pasting becomes
overwhelming, you can always sit back and relax with a title
ordered from the list of distros (distributors), bookstores,
libraries, and websites compiled in Wrekk’s resource appendix. —
Kristen Mueller

Keeping up with the latest developments in nutrition (Soy is
great! Soy will make you infertile! Drink whole milk! Don’t drink
milk!) is harder than keeping track of the latest celebrity
surgeries. (Have you seen Ashlee Simpson’s nose lately?) Adding
dough (wheat free — no — gluten free) to the kiln is
Wise Traditions, a magazine on ‘Food,
Farming and the Healing Arts.’ Even the publication’s readers
contribute insights into modern dining habits that will make you
question your kitchen’s contents. In the Summer issue, an Arizona
woman writes of her first experience drinking milk straight from a
cow’s udder, denouncing the taste of the pasteurized liquid found
in most supermarket cartons, while writer Becky Mauldin’s food
feature proposes eliminating wheat, rye, oats, and barley from your
diet to restore health. Now that’s food for thought. — Kristen

There have been
an overwhelming number of natural disasters in recent years, and
while people are still donating generously in response, the aid
isn’t always reaching those in crisis. The
takes an interesting approach to addressing the
problem of ‘Making Aid Work’ in its July/August issue. MIT
professor Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee presents his case on the
‘institutional laziness’ of aid giving, where some affected areas
are receiving an overabundance of aid while others go completely
missed. Fourteen guests, including writers, economists, and other
professors, write response pieces, some in praise and others in
opposition. The Boston Review touts itself as a ‘political
and literary forum,’ and its feature package indeed demonstrated
that 15 heads can be better than one. — Rachel

The Summer issue of Santa Fe Trend celebrates the marriage of
traditional Pueblo influence with the region’s Mod-Art flair in
home art and design. You don’t have to live in Santa Fe to
appreciate its vibrant art and culture, and the publication
provides plenty of eye-candy for design buffs anywhere. A pictorial
of architect Mark DuBois’ residential creation rivals a visit to a
contemporary art museum, and a few pages later, photographer Robert
Miller walks us through a traditional adobe-style home, built of
10,000 mud and straw bricks. These two houses embody Santa Fe’s
polar artistic forces, which, when overlapped, result in some
interesting new design ideas. — Rachel Anderson

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