From the Stacks: November 24, 2006

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.

Mouth
Magazine
, the ‘Voice of the DisLabeled Nation,’ keeps
readers briefed on the state of disability rights. True to its
title, Mouth provides space for people to share their
experiences and gives a strong voice to members of the disability
rights movement. Combined issues #95 and #96 focus on ‘the miracle
in New Mexico’ — namely, the success of activists in convincing
Gov. Bill Richardson to sign the Money Follows the Person Act —
legislation that lets people move from institutions to community
facilities without losing state support. There’s also ‘testimony’
from New Mexicans discussing their experiences in nursing homes and
institutions. Mouth is activism-focused, with every issue
including dispatches from protests and court cases. — Danielle
Maestretti

Zinesters have an undying need to create, a
meticulous appreciation for details, a strong sense of
independence, and a refined love of paper, free copies, and
glue-sticks. But most notably, zinesters — and the zines they make
— are vastly varied in character, interests, and style.
A Hundred Dollars and a T-Shirt: A Documentary
about Zines in the Northwest US
shows the faces behind
these labors of love — substitute teachers, moms, riot grrls,
fisherwomen, and bikers — ruminating on the phenomenon that is
‘the zine.’ What are zines? What are their origins? Most notably,
whymake one? If you don’t leave this zippy,
gritty, and inspiring film with a desire to make your own zine,
you’ll at least leave with a deep, newfound appreciation of the
medium. I left with both. — Elizabeth Oliver

I
must admit, the November issue of Salt Lake City’s
Catalyst is one of the more diverse
independent free monthlies I’ve gotten my hands on. In its pages
you’ll find a spotlight on 86-year-old White House press corps
reporter Helen Thomas, a trip back to the introduction of
psilocybin (‘magic mushrooms’) into American counterculture, and a
peek at a new local play confronting gay suicide — a serious
concern in Utah. Also inside: Amy Brunvand asks where the dancing
Republicans are, and Lucy Beale sounds off on the don’ts of eating
and dieting. What’s nice about Catalyst is that though it
brims with local advertisements, the writing is more far-reaching.
— Rachel Anderson

New Jersey might be easy to overlook on a map, but
City Belt, a new Jersey City independent
news source, is getting noticed. Since City Belt launched
its monthly print edition in September, New York
Indypendent
has picked up one of its stories and another has
been followed up by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Says
City Belt co-founder Jon Whiten, ‘There are so many
stories here that have gone untold — from the notorious political
corruption and environmental malfeasance to the flourishing
independent music scene — and we plan to fill that need.’ For
example: In the October issue, Shane Smith looks at why New Jersey
is the only state that does not give intravenous drug users legal
access to clean needles. — Evelyn Hampton

Psychotherapy Networker, ‘The Magazine for
Today’s Helping Professional,’ will likely appeal even to those
outside the field. In the November/December issue, Michael Ventura
muses on the obsession with the ‘now’ in ‘Appointments With
Yourself.’ Capturing the present is as simple as appreciating it
for what it is — satisfying, poignant, or difficult — rather than
chasing after the ever-passing now. Ventura also addresses
the memories that may cloud our experience of the present moment,
as even sweet memories can leave us with wrenching feelings of
loss. He advises readers to let the ‘ghosts’ go by wishing them
well and accepting all that has happened between then and now. This
interesting and inspiring piece is but one of many in the
publication. — Suzanne Lindgren

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