From the Stacks: October 13, 2006


| October 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.

The Public Eye, the newsletter of the Massachusetts-based think tank Political Research Associates, features in-depth reporting on the activities and rhetoric of the right in the United States. The Fall issue includes 'The Art of the Slur,' a lengthy analysis of liberal-gone-conservative writer David Horowitz's self-proclaimed 'political warfare' strategies, comparing them to Joe McCarthy's. Another essay, 'Cruising on Military Drive,' deciphers the framing of immigration as a national security issue, whereby Latinos are represented as either 'good' (pro-war, assimilationist, legal) or 'bad' (anti-war, gang members, undocumented). There's also a thorough piece by Michelle Goldberg that looks at Mississippi -- with its single abortion clinic -- as the vanguard of the slow-but-steady movement to erode abortion rights throughout the United States. -- Danielle Maestretti

The East Bay Monthly out of Northern California offers the standard alternative press fare: local arts and culture reviews and listings of upcoming events. The September issue, however, highlights some innovative services that could inspire readers everywhere. A piece called 'Taking Turns' showcases car-sharing services that, though local, could help any urban driver avoid the costly upkeep and parking nightmares of owning a car in a metropolitan area. 'Yuppie Puppy' examines some higher-quality alternatives to stashing the dog at a bleak kennel. And 'Eco Opportunity' may plant ideas in the minds of those curious about building environmental homes. -- Rachel Anderson

Just in time for Halloween, AMC Outdoors shares a half-dozen tales of haunting legends circulating throughout the New England woods. Those eager for what executive editor Ed Winchester calls 'a case of the willies' can read through stories of unexplained disappearances, mountain poltergeists, and mysterious rock formations. This member magazine of the Appalachian Mountain Club is published 10 times a year. And, besides items on trail equipment and the best sugar maple groves to hike, the AMC Outdoors includes a section on dozens of upcoming member events in its latter half. -- Rachel Anderson



Green Futures' coverage of all things sustainable manages to resonate with today's urgent need for lifestyle changes without making didactic demands that people deprive themselves of comfort. In the UK-based magazine's September/October issue, a string of articles under the umbrella title 'Greening the Catwalk' looks at advances in sustainable-but-hip clothing, how ethical threads are quickly becoming the next fad, and the origins of our need for ever-changing, ultimately landfill-bound fashions. Elsewhere, Kay Sexton's 'Roof of Life' profiles Dusty Gedge, the brain behind Living Roofs, an organization that promotes turning roofs into green spaces and habitat for wildlife. Gedge outlines the value of biologically diverse roof-tops and highlights the nuanced differences between 'green' and 'living' roofs -- the latter prioritizes sustainability and self-sufficiency over appearance. -- Suzanne Lindgren

Orin Domenico recently sent us Doubly Mad, a charming bimonthly journal he and his wife, Kim, publish in Utica, New York. In the September/October issue, Domenico re-examines the mysterious shooting of a local resident in the early 1900s, an incident that involved his great-grandfather. Also included, a column dubbed 'Slow Food Dude' reflects tongue-in-cheek on how the small city compares to the Big Apple for entertainment and food: 'Truth is, New York does not have the corner on the constant stimulation industry. We have a fix available here in Utica but only the Coor's Lite version.' Whether I was reading a rant on local leisure activities or a wine review, I felt like I was part of an inside conversation with the owner of a local coffee shop (fitting then, that the publisher of the newsletter is the owner of a coffee shop in Utica). -- Jenna Fisher