This is the most recent issue of this quarterly progressive publication, which mixes the intensity and single-minded purposefulness of zines with the readability and engaging design of your normal big-budget alterna-culture magazine. Published out of Bohemia, a town better known for its sprawling industrial parks than its social activism, X-press attempts to overcome the weary cynicism of a generation raised on post-modern irony and stylish detachment. It does this by tempering the obligatory sappy drum-circle poetry with some direct, inspiring, common-sense news and features regarding a whole sphere of issues from corporate abuse to nutrition to the arts. This publication's contributing artists, including sublime photographer Kasmira Mohanty, also add a consistently edgy accompaniment to the plaintive yearnings of the right-on staff. Take a break from collecting Star Wars memorabilia and reconnect a bit with some of the more noble aspirations of subculture. X-press is filled with advice on getting started:
In our peace or justice activism, we are often accused of naivete or idealism. Progressive people are dismissed as "emotional" and "uninformed," even when we are articulate and knowledgeable on numerous issues. Meanwhile, the powers that be are often portrayed as objective purveyors of truth and fact.
Much of what we see in the media is written of those with money and power. How we perceive the world is largely determined by how such media portray it. It is difficult to call attention to problems when those responsible for them are able to frame the discussion around them.
One essential tool of activism is research. By doing research, we can expose what's going on behind closed doors. We can pressure those in power through such exposure. We can build support for our cause by showing people the facts or demonstrating our credibility.
Research can be as simple as going to the school library or clipping newspaper articles. You can get an amazing amount of information just by asking institutions for data.
This information should not be difficult to obtain. If you are denied the information you need, then this becomes a political issue and can be made part of your campaign: "What are they hiding?"
Send zines to Michael Giacalone at the Long Island Voice, 393 Jericho Tpke, Mineola, NY 11501-1205.
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