“In the aftermath of the Islamic revolution, the mullahs forbade the use of contraception, and women were encouraged to be fruitful and multiply. An enormous baby boom ensued. Today, two-thirds of Iran’s 66 million people are under 30. But many members of the generation that was conceived as warriors for the ayatollah are now chafing under his restrictive laws, more interested in checking their e-mail than in dying for Islam.”

A Better Class of Wino

I found Guinness bottles in my yard this morning. Could it be that the neighborhood is finally turning around?

Iranian Punk Rock

It sounds to me like the ground is fertile for an Iranian Johnny Rotten. Check out this recent article from the New York Times and see what you think.

Among other things, this story, by reporter Tim Judah, talks about the drugs, prostitution, anger, music and even blogging being done by today’s Iranian youth culture. I found it enlightening.

Here’s a quote, just to put it in context:

It’s All Happening at the Zoo… Again and Again and Again

I went to the Toledo zoo and saw a black sloth bear with OCD this morning. He shuffles his feet and rolls his head from side to side. There’s a sign on his cage that says he’s mentally ill. It makes me, for a moment, consider what my sign might say at the zoo — maybe something like, “Human. Obsession Compulsive. Watch him arrange his belongings in neat rows, touch doorknobs over and over again, and become anxious at the sight of cracks in the sidewalk.”

We went to the zoo to see their naked mole rat exhibit, but it was closed. Linette says that they can chew through concrete. I’ve never seen one.

Personal Ad

I just had a funny idea for a personal ad: “Unhappily married man seeks same for friendship, maybe more.” I’d like to see what kind of responses I got back. Maybe I’ll do it and reprint the letters I receive here. (And, no, I am not unhappily married. Just because something occurs to me and I say it doesn’t mean it’s the case. I do need friends though. Linette just told me that last night.)

Matador and the Bull

Do you know anyone at Matador Records? I’m frustrated. They’ve been an advertiser in Crimwave for years and they say that they don’t have the money to advertise in this issue. It’s breaking my heart. I like the label and I want for them to be in this issue. We go way back together, from the first time we interviewed Chan Marshall from Cat Power about six years or so ago. I’m going to break down and start crying… Anyway, the woman who does advertising there now said that they didn’t have any budget for “zine advertising.”

When I heard that, I said, “No problem, just call Crimewave a magazine. Lots of people do.” She must not have thought that was funny. She didn’t write back… In truth, I do find that kind of offensive. It’s not like we hand-write each issue of Crimewave in pencil while we sit on the toilet. We send it to the printer like everyone else and we have distribution like everyone else. We print thousands of copies. The only difference is that we don’t trick people into buying our magazine by putting half-naked, asshole celebrities on the cover. And, people keep issues of Crimewave. They don’t get them in the mail, glance at them and toss them out. They get them and they keep them. The third difference is that our ads are fucking cheep! It seriously costs less to run an ad in our magazine than it does for us to print that page that the ad is on. If we weren’t completely stupid, we wouldn’t even have ads. It makes no sense. We make NO money on ads. We’re doing a full-color cover this time out and we’re selling the back of it for like $300. That’s insane. That’s the most stupid business proposition since the Pets.com. It’ll cost us three times that for the covers alone to be printed.

So, why do we do it? Because we like having ads and we hate selling them. We practically give them away because we don’t have the guts to get in there and try to get what they’re worth. Plus, we just like the idea of having ads. It makes us feel grown up and legitimate. It’s like a certificate that announces we’ve sold out. We like that. Plus, some people actually think we make money. We like them to think that. We don’t want people to think we’re jackasses who flush our own money down the toilet every time a new issue comes out.

So, if you know anyone at Matador, like co-president Gerald Cosloy (I almost listed his email address, but I fought the urge), and feel like putting in a good word, feel free to do so. Or, maybe one of you could organize an e-mail bombardment campaign where all of their inboxes begin to overflow with notes screaming “Crimewave USA IS a MAGAzine.” Of course, I would have to disavow any knowledge of your having done so.

I’m actually OK with it. We still have friends at SubPop, Virgin, Dischord and lots of other fine labels. I just hate to see a good friend like Matador go away and I hate for it to be over something petty like money. That just makes me sad.

Goodbye, old friend.

No Good Posts for a While

No really good posts until the new issue of Crimewave is at the printers. We’ve been working on it all weekend, but we’re not quite done yet. Linette and I still need to sell ads and write our stories. We always save those things for last. Wish us luck.

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