Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Doomsayers”-Analyzing the Rising Relevance, Appearance, and Popularity of Doomsday Events in Current Media

Hostess, the maker of what was once considered America’s favorite treat, Twinkies, declared bankruptcy in November. Surprising amounts of people who heard this news began t o buy Twinkies in bulk, hoarding them, building Twinkie stockpiles to ensure that they obtained their Twinkie fix before the inevitable end of production of the high-calorie snack.  In a poll taken by Pensions & Investments, 18% of those polled wanted to stockpile Twinkies and other Hostess products as a reaction to their liquidation. The New York Times’ Business Section, The View, Market Watch by The Wall Street Journal, Time’s Business section, and MSN Money each posted a “how to stockpile Twinkies” article, giving advice on how to get the most profit from selling off your collection of Hostess products..

This Twinkie craze made me think of 2009’s Zombieland. Actually, if I’m honest, my friend posted a Facebook status about it: “No zombies (yet) but its time to go Tallahassee mode for the Earth’s last fucking twinkies!” In the movie, Woody Harrelson’s character Tallahassee is on a frantic search for the remaining Twinkies in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-ridden world before the treats reach their expiration dates. I can imagine these Twinkie stockpilers having a thought process very similar to Tallahassee’s:

”There’s a box of Twinkies in that grocery store. Not just any box of Twinkies, the last box of Twinkies that anyone will enjoy in the whole universe. Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, life’s little Twinkie gauge is gonna go… empty.” (IMBD)

Zombieland is one in a long list of movies and television programs produced in the current millennium about the end of the world and its consequences. Many deal, as Zombieland or 28 Days Later or The Walking Dead do, with some catastrophic plague that turns people into zombies and shatters the world as we know it. Others, like 2012, or The Day After Tomorrow, represent a cataclysmic series of natural disasters either brought about by mankind’s ignorant treatment of the earth, a destructive alien race, or the infamous ending of the Mayan Calendar, which some people believe to run out in a few days from now. There are also romantic comedies, such as Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, that use the doomsday narrative. Even more represent a post-apocalyptic view of our earth: The Road, Wall-E, I Am Legend.

However if I hadn’t studied this closely, I would think that the majority of people in America don’t actually believe that the world will end this December.  If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, you will know of at least a few predicted cataclysmic events that were set to happen this year.

“What really is going to happen in 2012? Asteroid 433 Eros is going to pass within 17 million miles of the Earth in January; the United States will hand over control of the Korean military back to the Koreans in April; there will be an annular solar eclipse in May and a solar transit of Venus in June; the Summer Olympics will take place in London; the Earth’s population will officially pass 7 billion people in October; the United States will elect a new President in November; construction of the new Freedom Tower will be complete in New York City; the sun will flip its magnetic poles as it does at the end of every 11-year sunspot cycle; and, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Mayan calendar completes its 5,125 year cycle, presumably portending the End of Days.” (Skeptoid)

Asteroid 433 Eros didn’t make contact. The Olympics went on almost without a hitch. Unfortunately, we still have a few days until we can be certain if the Mayans Calendar foretold of the apocalypse. But then again, there have been several failed prophesized doomsdays that gained an extraordinary amount of media attention, like Y2K. Do you remember the “Rapture” that was prophesied to happen last year? Harold Camping was all over television, warning the public that May 21st, 2011 was to be the Christian day of reckoning, when God finally decided to end it all, and call up all his believers, both living and dead, to literally rise up off of the earth and towards the sky into heaven. I was still in high school, spending my Saturday cleaning out the planetarium when my teacher said it was time to go outside. “It’s almost 6 o’clock. Let’s go and wait for The Rapture.” So there we stood, only half-jokingly awaiting our doom. I wondered who among us, if any, would soon be floating up towards the big blue sky. We counted down the minutes on our cell phones…but nothing happened.  Mr. Camping had messed up. He rescheduled until October 21st, but when that day came and went without much worldwide disaster, Harold finally gave up the Rapture-predicting business.

There are innumerable lists compiled by various people, blogs and organizations that give reasons as to why the end of the world may be approaching. TruTV has its own list which counts things such as plague, nuclear war, worldwide market collapse, aliens, and Sarah Palin as potential doom-bringers. Mike Strobel of the Toronto Sun ends his list of “Signs the end of the world is coming soon” with this: “10. The law of averages. Sooner or later, some doomsday forecaster is going to get lucky.”

But believing that the world will end on the 21st of this month, or the Rapture is imminent, requires faith, like believing in an afterlife, or Sasquatch. It’s unable to be scientifically proven or predicted; doomsayers rely on nut jobs like Harold Camping or ancient Mayan texts (or rather the interpretation of those ancient Mayan records) to base their beliefs. There are of course some doomsday catastrophes that very well may occur and can even be backed by science, for instance major natural disasters, like the eruption of Yellowstone National Park. Even an economic collapse or the event of nuclear fallout can seem absolutely realistic if one does enough research.

However, after looking at instances in the media such as Doomsday Preppers, or movies such as 2012, I’m starting to realize that more people in the country believe in such things than I anticipated. Doomsday Preppers airs on Tuesdays on the National Geographic channel. The show profiles people who are “prepping” their homes, lives, and families for survival after various instances of world-changing catastrophe. Doomsday Preppers claims that there are approximately 3 million preppers in America who are preparing for a doomsday event. Their website has a feature called the Doomsday Dashboard, which analyzes chatter from Twitter and visually represents which catastrophes Twitter users think are most likely to occur. As National Geographic states, “we are mining the chatter to see what is at the forefront of the public’s collective consciousness.” Presently, 34% of Tweets related to doomsday are expecting a catastrophic pandemic, 22% believe the 2012 cataclysm will end life as we know it, 20% await nuclear war/radiation, and 16% are preparing for an economic collapse. As well, 6% of Tweets state that an electromagnetic pulse will doom us all, 3% warn of a megaquake, and the remaining 2% anticipate an extreme oil crisis.

The American Preppers Network is an organization of people who for various reasons are preparing for a collapse of society as we know it, often by stockpiling food, water, fuel, and weapons, fortifying their homes in case of attack. They use their website to give tips and discuss their preparations. At first glance, the group might seem slightly unusual but generally harmless, their motto pushing “Freedom through Teaching Others Self-Reliance”. However, the discussion boards grant a peek into the extent of some member’s paranoia about potential doomsday situations.

What are you prepared to do if:

DHS, UN or other feds demand your food storage (in order to distribute via food centers) and/or demand you turn over your firearms (for the safety of society)? Would you resist with force? – OregonMike

why are all my fellow preps not seeing thing for what they are???

with world bank saying off the camera that its broke and everyone not in grip with a govermoent unit saying if obumu gets the uncontroled spending he want they say ssn and all other checks will be broke in 6 months and mainstream tv/radio hiding they truth,why is it so hard for them to get it??// my bad thing is for over a year ive preped but what i found is nnothin but greed among prepps not all but the most taking avantage of people im a vet and now a disabled vet ive got most my gear up but like most ive tryed to find a good bug location an let me tell you WOW thrir is no land worth that kind of cash and these dry food places their the worst of all even the one you indorce on this site there really bad well enough of that // you no never mind it use to be grunts help grunt and still see it in these grunts today but what the hell happen to our generation did we just quit look ive been homeless they werent there except at the end were a couple old ww11 and korrea vet got into it oh crap never mind just ramballin on just get blown away with these movents and all the talk have a great day – jim b

I usually try to get most things online … but now I’m worried about the NOSY FEDERALES wondering why I’ve bought so much ammo! -Hayduke47

The founder of APN, Tom Martin, recently published an article in light of the tragedy in Connecticut, “Was suspected shooters mother a prepper?” In the article, he addressed claims made by the Daily Mail that Nancy Lanza was a prepper who had turned her home into a fortress in preparation for an economic collapse, and of course, owned weapons (weapons which ultimately were used to perpetrate unimaginable suffering and heartbreak).  Martin was quick to defend the prepper community, stating that their purpose is to “prepare, save, and defend life”. One can’t help but question the integrity of this statement, however, when these preppers, many of whom have spent their time and money stockpiling weapons and ammunitions, also share these slightly irrational, paranoiac views and thoughts.

Understanding this matters, because it connects to the larger issue of our reliance on media, and how the media spins our feelings about certain issues. Perhaps the media is scaring the public into preparing/being wary of imminent destruction? Perhaps this is why such extreme beliefs or groups of people are formed? Surely there must be some connection between the amount of doomsday coverage, and groups such as the American Preppers Network. The question is: are there more preppers because of media coverage, or is the rise in prevalence of doomsday theme because of the increased reality of an apocalypse?

As I’ve stated, there is a noticeable and sometimes inescapable amount of media coverage of such doomsday events. Often media gives sensational coverage to events that are potentially disastrous: take for instance the Cold War, SARS, or a giant meteorite/comet will come rushing towards us out of the sky to annihilate us all. The people who consume this information must be somehow affected by it, in some cases by becoming fearful or deciding to prep themselves for impending doom. However it’s not just adults who are exposed to this kind of media attention.

According to Patti M. Valkenburg, author of “Children’s Responses to the Screen”, children develop fears about “abstract things, such as politics and the economy, the global situation, and wars and nuclear weapons” at the age of 10 years and older. She goes on further to elaborate that many children who saw scary films (that were made for adults) reported having fears that lasted weeks or even months. As well, 70% of 75 older children whom Valkenburg studied reported remembering a specific movie or program on television that frightened them intensely. Perhaps children who are growing up in this millennium and are exposed to programs such as Doomsday Preppers or movies like 2012 will carry the fear of an apocalypse into their adulthood, spawning a whole new generation of preppers.

A New York Times article, “Doomsday Has Its Day in the Sun” by Neil Genzlinger reviewed Doomsday Preppers after it first aired. The article also touches upon the relevancy of media using scare tactics to frighten people and ultimately sell products: “Even more seriously, what is the attraction of continuing to live in a world that will almost certainly not have television or the Internet, depriving doomsday types of the shows and Web sites that fuel their paranoia and sell products exploiting it?”

This suggestion is not without merit or evidence. Bizarrely enough, one of these fear-mongering websites, judgementday2011.com, offers you a Tide coupon to help you save money when stocking up on laundry detergent. The website claims that clean clothes “will play an important role in who lives long after December 21, 2012”. The conspiracist in me wonders if the makers of Tide, Procter & Gamble, could’ve used this as an advertisement opportunity in order to hock their product to the frightened masses. This theory is supported by the fact that you can also buy “Rapture Ready” T-shirts through this website…presumably to wash with Tide laundry detergent.

The American Preppers Network has commented on how the media portrays preppers. Their insight comes from a different perspective than my own, as people who are actively involved in this sort of sub-culture analyzing its representation in the media, rather than an outsider as myself looking in. Phil Burns wrote an article in response to National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers and the Genzlinger’s subsequent review of the show that appeared in The New York Times. In the review, the Genzlinger explained the impression he received from the preppers on the show: “What they want is a license to open fire” Burns had this to say in response:

“Presenting anything to the mainstream that allows them to easily draw this conclusion is something we would like to see avoided.  Every person who draws this conclusion will look at us as crazies, as they should, and not only will they not investigate becoming self-reliant themselves, but they will spread the counter-message that we are a sub-culture that should be avoided.”

Burns addresses the problems with some aspects of the prepper community and how they can be viewed as “crazies”, but also gives rational thought to how they can avoid being pigeonholed.

I’m sure a majority of preppers are rational people, who simply want to be prepared in the case that something does go terribly wrong. Whether or not you believe some form of doomsday is bound to happen, it might be useful to begin some prepping strategy. However we should examine the weight that these doomsday prophecies carry in the minds of people, and how the media has affected their beliefs.

Even if the world does end, or we are overcome with an incurable plague, or natural disaster, there is a very good chance that it won’t be anything like how it’s portrayed in movies or on the nightly news. While natural disasters are a very real threat to our citizen’s welfare, often they can be predicted and at least some emergency preparedness procedure can be carried out. We can’t really choose if and when the world will end, but we can choose whether or not to be frightened by it.

We still have a few days before the Mayan prophecy is purportedly set to unfold. Unfortunately, according to the Doomsday Prepper’s website “Get Your Prepper Score” quiz, my estimated survival time in the event of catastrophe is only 1-2 weeks. Best of luck on the 21st. I’ll be at home, watching the skies.

Works Cited

American Preppers Network. N.p., 17 Dec 2012. Web. <http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/&gt;.

Berlatsky, Noah, ed. Doomsday Scenarios. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Print. Opposing Viewpoints Series.

“December 21, 2012 ‘Doomsday’: Impending Apocalypse Similar to Harold Camping’s May 21 ‘Rapture’; Likely Another Failed Prediction.” Latinos Post. Web. 9 Dec. 2012.

“Doomsday Dashboard | National Geographic Channel.” National Geographic Channel. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

Doomsday Preppers | National Geographic Channel. Film.

Dunning, Brian. “Skeptoid.” http://skeptoid.com/. N.p., 4 Dec 2012. Web.

Errichetti, J. V. 2012 Mayan Calendar Prophecy & Related Myth. Lulu.com, 2008. Print.

Fleischer, Ruben. Zombieland. 2009. Film.

Genzlinger, Neil. “‘Doomsday Preppers’ and ‘Doomsday Bunkers,’ TV Reality Shows.” The        New York Times 11 Mar. 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

“Judgement Day is December 21, 2012.” http://judgementday2011.com/. N.p., 12 2012. Web.

“Signs the End of the World Is Coming Soon.” Toronto Sun. Web. 9 Dec. 2012.

“The Consequence of Doomsday Preppers.” American Preppers Network. Web. 5 Dec. 2012.

“Twinkie-maker Hostess Declares Bankruptcy.” Metro. Web. 9 Dec. 2012.

Valkenburg, Patti M. Children’s Responses to the Screen : A Media Psychological Approach. Hoboken: Routledge, 2004. Print.

“Was Suspected Shooters Mother a Prepper?” American Preppers Network. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Analyzing Brian Phillips “Your Stupid Rage”

Brian Phillips is here to save my life, and he is not kidding. At least, that’s what he’s told me, in the first sentence of his Run of the Play article, “Your Stupid Rage”. Phillips addresses the audience directly, kind of like breaking the fourth wall in television or movies, when the character looks into the camera and talks straight to the viewer. I’m sure his intention was to address fellow soccer fans, but he makes observations about life that every person can relate to, regardless of soccer team allegiance/preference/interest. Just because I don’t follow soccer doesn’t mean this article can’t apply to me or my life: “I mean how you’re going to live as a sports fan, but let there be no limit to the revelation: I mean how you’re going to live in every other way, too.”

He takes care not to patronize his reader or to call them out and make them uncomfortable. Phillips simply wants to make a better community for everyone invested in soccer fandom. He states that he’s not interested in solving the problem of innate rudeness; instead he tackles a specific annoyance, like hyper-partisanship. He knows that when you are “totallysupercommited” to your club that inevitably, “something is always slightly wrong with your perceptions.” The author develops his rapport with the audience by connecting with them thorough a shared common experience. “When you become a low-grade-rage fan, your club is always in the right, and truth has nothing to do with it.”

In the last paragraph, Phillips reprises his direct conversation with the audience: “And here’s where I save your life.” He gives his “uncommon” advice to his audience not to be so devoted to a football club as to be blindly ignorant of the real purpose of fandom.  His advice? “You just can’t be an idiot.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

David Foster Wallace’s “Consider the Lobster”

This article defied my expectations of what it would or should be. Since it was written for a culinary publication I assumed that the main focus would be on the actual dining at the lobster festival, or an appreciation or assessment of its culinary worth. Instead, David Foster Wallace forced me to do something I didn’t expect to do, but should have realized by just reading the title: consider the lobster.

It’s not straightforward-the author doesn’t just list the usual “important details”: a brief history, when it took place, what can be found there. Wallace doesn’t follow the traditional form of an article written about some event. Wallace turned his coverage of a rather ordinary Maine Lobster Food Festival by uncovering things that may have otherwise been left unknown and unquestioned by the reader.

On the first page, Wallace tells us something that the audience is already familiar with. The rest of his essay explains some things the reader may not have already known. As he states: “For practical purposes, everyone knows what a lobster is. As usual, though, there’s much more to know than most of us care about—it’s all a matter of what your interests are”

By the second page, I was hungry. The author gave a nice factual history of lobster and the atmosphere of the festival, a far cry from the ritzy expensive dinner platters you’d normally find lobster on- “lobster is now the seafood analog to steak, with which it’s so often twinned as Surf ’n’ Turf on the really expensive part of the chain steak house menu.” In his explanation of the lobster, the author points out what we already know-seeing the tank of lobsters in the supermarket “from which you can pick out your supper while it watches you point”

And then the tone of the article turns. Wallace makes a transition from his almost encyclopedic explanation of lobster to a hefty analysis into whether the pain we feel as humans and the emotional distress that accompanies it is the same as a lobster feels. The author gives us some scientific terms that seem to point towards the conclusion that these lobsters are not completely docile and complacent with being boiled until death in the World’s Largest Lobster Cooker. He actually poses the question, after supplying the reader with all of this food for thought (no pun intended)- is it alright for us to be boiling these creatures alive for our consumption when evidence so undeniably points to the fact that they are feeling pain?

The author acknowledges that this question is met with uncomfortable feelings and no definitive answers. He gives the reader a break by assuring them that he feels just as they do: uncomfortable facing this reality, unsure of the route of action to take, still enjoys the consumption of animal flesh as much as the next guy. Wallace says “I’m not trying to give you a PETA-like screed here—at least I don’t think so. I am also concerned not to come off as shrill or preachy when what I really am is confused.”

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Presentation Zen Analysis

On Presentation Zen, I discovered a TED presentation done by John Hockenberry, an award-winning journalist. In his speech his talked about his father, a designer, who gave him the sage advice that every element of his life should be performed or decided intentionally. His father believed that every person on the planet should be the designer of their own lives. Mr. Hockenberry went on to give examples, both personal and sometimes tragic, that described how he carried this theme of intent and discovered the intentions of others throughout his eventful life.

In our presentation, we can make our speech as effective as possible by including a well thought-out visual aid.  The visual aid should serve to enhance our words, rather than be the focus. Mr. Hockenberry used a simplistic projected slideshow that displayed only a few key words that were the highlights of his speech. As well, he only used relevant images in his presentation.  This tactic was effective because the presentation aid did not distract from his message or take away the spotlight, instead only served his words as an additional visual prop to his aural message.

Mr. Hockenberry’s speaking style was clear and direct, like a conversation with an audience as opposed to a lecture. The audience could feel included in his message because of this tone.  Mr. Hockenberry made sure to explain the relevance of his subject by including the audience in his definition of design.

Our group presentation can benefit from taking inspiration not only from the style of his message but also the very crux of his presentation: do everything you do with intent. Everything about our presentation should be intentional: the intention being to inform the audience about our research and the project we channeled it into. Our intention should be made clear and consistent throughout the presentation. If the audience can latch on to our intention, we can hold their interest and therefore have a more successful presentation. I hope our presentation is more than just speaking at the class; I would like to class to be actively listening to our speech and interested in our topic and what we have accomplished. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Clay Shirky-Chapter 8

In my day to day life, I use social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter to update my friends and family on my every boring detail of life, or to post pictures of cute cats and funny comics.

In this instance, the community I am apart of influences the kind of tools that I use. I am obligated to update my Facebook so my aunts and uncles and other family members who haven’t seen me in years can know what I’m up to in school, where I went on vacation, etc. As well, Facebook fosters friendships that otherwise could have been lost or left by the wayside because of physical distance.

I don’t know for certain if I would describe myself as belonging to an online community. I, of course, have some unusual or odd interests and could probably find people in cyberspace who share my fascination or excitement for such a subject, if I so chose. However, I don’t know if I’ve actively sought out these online communities. I think the closest example would be that I follow a Doctor Who Tumblr. Or perhaps, because I subscribe to r/doctorwho or r/gameofthrones on Reddit. The more I think about it, the more I realize I probably am a huge nerd that does belong to an internet-based fan club.

However, I’ve never taken the online groups I belong to into my physical, personal, “real world” life. Therefore, I don’t think that the tools I use on the internet really affect the kind of communities I belong to. I have friends in the “real world” that also like Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, so my participation in the fandom isn’t just online. 

Although, if I were into an even more obscure pastime or interest, I’m sure the internet would be the first place I would look to find people with similar tastes. The success of Meetup.com is a testament to the fact that humans crave social interaction, especially with others who enjoy the same things as them. And the more obscure or unusual the interest is, the more likely that people will bond over it. Meetup.com was founded so that groups that aren’t internally organized , or don’t know how or where to meet up with each other because they are less populous, can find each other through the power of the world wide web. 

So no, I wouldn’t say that the tools I use affect my social circles or communities I belong to. But they certainly have the capacity to. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” Chapter Six- by Amy Besser, Jessica Garcia, & Ciara Stone

In the sixth chapter of Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky describes the revolution in human behavior as related to the modern advantages of sharing information, creating like-minded groups, and achieving tasks that manage to fulfill the objectives of not just a “difference of degree” of accomplishment, but a “difference in kind”. Our group discovered a relevant practice of this revolution found in the way humans can now share written articles and academic sources.  Before the current movement of internet based sharing tools, in order to share something like newspaper clippings, the sender had to go through some involved lengths to share the  clipping with a number of people. Further, in order to create a mass awareness, those people had to go through the same involved lengths to send their content to another group of people to extend their audience. One of the first improvements of this process of sharing was through the emergence of e-mail. With email, articles can be sent nearly effortlessly and recipients can become senders with next-to-no effort.

In our group, our notes and works don’t have to be shared physically in person, with several different copies made for each group member; comments and edits don’t have to be scribbled down in paper notebooks. Instead, a collective, collaborative document made through a program, such as, Google Drive, can be viewed and even worked on by every team member, simultaneously.

As well, the cost of sharing or “aggregating information” as Shirky puts it has greatly diminished with these new tools available through the internet. Team Awesome-er’s entire project can be produced and completed online, if we so choose. We can create, edit, and revise our work without the use of paper, ink, or staples.
Another form of sharing is the forwarding of attachments in emails. One member can create a document, an image, a chart, a contact, an mp3, a video, a calendar and attach it to an email, in which this one email can be sent to numerous of people, allowing them to open the attachments. The recipients also have the power to send the email that they received with the attachment to numerous other people as well.
Another advancement in group sharing is the use of websites. Websites, such as, Wikipedia, can be created and detailed with information about one or several topics, linked to other websites, and made public for any internet user to view. Wikipedia also allows any internet user to make changes to the information, if necessary. The use of comments are very popular on websites. Any internet user or any internet user with a membership with the website can comment on the information provided, making suggestions and giving remarks.
Shirky’s chapter six, as well as other chapters, like chapters two and five, directly apply to our group project. We, as a group, share information through the utilization of google docs, chat sessions, and minutes.io. We also utilize e-mail as a form of backup, in case our information is jeopardized in any way.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Longshot Magazine & TK Zine

Really, it all began with a name change: in 2010, 48HR Magazine was nearly sued for exercising what CBS believed to be an infringement of its copyright on “48 Hours”. Consequently, the name of the publication was altered to “Longshot Magazine”
Longshot Magazine’s “About” page neatly summarizes almost anything you’d want to know about a magazine that sought to be entirely created and published in a 48 hour time frame (hence the original name). The magazine allowed 24 hours of submission relevant to its predetermined theme, then used the remaining half of the time to choose what content would be allowed and to create the design of the issue. Anyone in the world was eligible to submit a work, regardless of profession, education, etc. (I believe the authors featured in the third issue received monetary compensation). As Longshot itself stated: “We want you to make it. We want to publish it first. We don’t want your rights.” This certainly ambitious and entirely new way of going about creating a magazine resulted in Issue Zero of 48HRS magazine in early 2010. Longshot Magazine also produced Issue 1 between Aug. 27-29, 2010. The following year, Issue 2 was created from July 29-31.

Alexis C. Madrigal, Sarah Rich, and Mat Honan are the people responsible for founding Longshot Magazine. In Madrigal’s article in The Atlantic, “The Almost-Free Toolkit We Use to Make Longshot Magazine”, he lists the “tools” used to produce the magazine, including Google Docs, HP’s MagCloud, Kickstarter, etc.

Joel Johnson of Gizmodo.com expressed his enthusiasm about the magazine in his article, “Making a Magazine”: “you don’t have to sit idly by and watch a bunch of writers and artists wank away at a project from afar—you can get right in there and wank alongside.”

TK Zine, according to its Tumblr page, is a “crowd-sourced, collaborative zine created by Caitlin Dewey and Kuan Luo”. In a May 2011 post on her WordPress, Caitlin Dewey announces the initial call for submissions for TK Zine, which she describes as being “inspired” by Longshot Magazine. It appears that Dewey followed the same format as Longshot, hosting a 48 hour window for submission, editing, and design. However, TK Zine was planned to include only submitted workds that were “from and about graduating seniors” (of Syracuse University, presumably).

Longshot created a magazine without using the model of traditional institution. Instead, with the creative works of members of the public, and with a small group of founding members dedicated to accomplishing their goal. Nor did they use a professional publisher. As Madrigal stated, Longshot used tools available to anyone on the internet to publish three issues of the magazine. Madrigal also pointed out that these tools were not available to use just five years prior to the publishing date of the third issue. TK Zine followed in Longshot’s example, using only crowd-sourced material to produce a publishable, collaborative work. These magazines represent new models of publishing and authorship in that the people responsible for the content also have published it. The magazine in itself has had no outside editing or approval.

As well, the authorship of these magazines are vague. Individual entries are attributed to their authors. Caitlin Dewey and Kuan Luo are responsible for the editing of TK Zine. Just whom own the “rights” to these magazines, however, is undefined.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized