We are very excited to announce the newest issue of our digital zine, featuring a previously unpublished essay by Brian Eno and articles on John Carpenter's Lost Themes, D'Angelo's revelations about social movements of today and yesterday, safe spaces in hardcore punk and DIY, Form A Log, and the Fantastic Planet original sountrack. Throughout the issue, Keith Rankin reviews his old visual art.
We are standing at the edge of something, but what? Last year was one of widespread protest in America, be it by outraged citizens rallying in the names of Mike Brown and Eric Garner or fast food workers striking in the name of a living wage. Such are reactions to our country’s increasingly bellicose approach to law enforcement and a so-called “economic recovery” that leaves our country’s lower and middle classes in the dust. Scarred by George W. Bush’s antagonism against his populace and Obama’s first-term tepidity, we millennials seem to be growing more aware of our collective voice by the day, of an imperative to actualize a better society. What will that society be? Well, time will tell.
D’Angelo released a new album at the end of last year, striking a chord with his socially conscious-- also furious, articulate-- throwback R&B. In this issue’s close-up on Black Messiah, Julia Selinger keenly links the record to black protest music made in similarly tumultuous historical moments, drawing a line from the Vietnam War era to today. It is crucial to keep in mind, though, that while both the Vietnam-era and present-day America are marked equally by corruption and oppression, it’s hard to look to the earlier era for blueprints for positive social change or metrics of successful progressive revolution.
After all, the longest lasting revolution in the post-Vietnam era is a socially conservative, economically neoliberal one, initially led by Ronald Reagan. Watch Paul Thomas Anderson’s stellar Inherent Vice for a look at the late Vietnam era: a time that little resembles our own either visually or tonally, short of ravenous chiefing. In Inherent Vice, a dream is dying, idealism is diffusing. Yet Black Messiah is marked by a pragmatism—an attitude that is equal parts “can do” and “how to”—and hopefully it is this very pragmatism that will see the triumph of our generation’s struggle. In both Selinger’s piece and Beth Tolmach’s on safe spaces, a uniquely millennial sensibility pervades: there is one way to make our world better, and it comes from people acting. Consider it the “do it” part of “do it yourself.”