From the Stacks: September 29, 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.

premiere issue of Pirate Papa: A Journal of Anarcho-Green
collects posts from
Cosby’s Pirate Papa blog
. Cosby’s writings on parenthood and
love are endearing, as is his wonderment at his twin daughters’
linguistic additions to ‘their already formidable arsenal of
boogadies, moes (more), nos, uh-ohs, la-las….’ He gracefully puts
into words the changes young parenthood has wrought — among them,
his ‘crumbled and reshaped’ relationship with his partner — and
lightens things up with links to punk parenting sites, occasional
recipes, and photos of his adorable girls (sometimes clad in pirate
gear). A great resource and a fun read for parents and non-parents
alike. — Danielle Maestretti

experience of reading Hi-Fructose lies somewhere between the
uninhibited glee of a five-year-old sucking on a glazed donut and
an LSD-laden trip to a Tokyo Toys ‘R’ Us. Opening with an image of
San Francisco built entirely of jewel-like Jell-O molds, Vol. 3 of
the magazine continues with sweet spreads of artists who delve into
the darker side of childlike reverie. A historical piece introduces
us to the fascinating life of Marvin Glass, the genius behind games
like Lite-Brite, Perfection, and Rock’em Sock’em Robots. Inner
child not yet satisfied? Flip to the back of the magazine and make
your own macabre toy art: a paper pink cyclops or drooling skull.
Elizabeth Oliver

If you’re looking to read beyond film publications that feed the
celebrity of actors and actresses, you might want to pick up
, a Canadian quarterly that explores international
film. Here, directors and writers are the stars, and the study of
acting is far more analytical, moving the emphasis away from
whether or not performances are Oscar worthy. The Fall issue
spotlights the homeland’s pride, featuring not only a range of
pieces on the country’s filmmakers, but also a roundtable
discussion with Canadian writers, directors, and critics on ‘a
certain tendency of the English-Canadian cinema.’ — Rachel

has been promoting up-and-coming photographers for more
than 30 years, and the organization’s publication,
Contact Sheet, is one of the oldest art
photography magazines available. Issue No. 137 is the special Light
Work Annual, showcasing the work of photographers selected for
their exclusive artist-in-residence program based out of Syracuse
University. Some highlights are Angelika Rinnhofer’s modern-day
take on paintings of Christian suffering, and Hank Willis Thomas’
pictorial collaboration using GI Joe action figures to portray his
cousin’s violent death. — Rachel Anderson

Austin-based Texas Observer calls itself ‘A Journal of
Free Voices Since 1954.’ Writers and editors plug away at that
mission with tenacious political reporting (the Observer
took top honors in political coverage in last year’s
Independent Press Awards
), but there’s also fine fodder for the
mind in the magazine’s ‘Books and the Culture’ section. The Sept.
22 literary lineup is diverse, with a local focus, containing an
interview with ‘[p]oet, professor, human rights activist, and
well-known Austinite Raúl Salinas,’ and poems on death and deadbeat
dads by Jesse Herrera and Trinidad Sanchez Jr., respectively. In
‘The Real Facts of Life,’ a review of Texas author Antonya Nelson’s
Some Fun, Emily Rapp picks apart the complexities of
Nelson’s novella, citing characters whose lives oscillate between
their external social lives and their secret lives of pleasure and
disaster. They are characters, says Rapp, who find grace within the
messes they make of life. — Suzanne Lindgren

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.