Zine-ophobia

You won't read an editorial like this by the editor of U.S. News & World Report because he's not allowed to write one, and that's the beauty of zinedom: It's one big, happy family. "It gets me off, clipping and pasting and associating with other people who do zines," says Melmo. "There are some people who I feel like I know who I've never seen before. It's beyond pen pals."

The cosmic message of the zine revolution is not that, as a reader, you'll necessarily glean stuff more intelligent or perceptive than you might get from a mainstream paper, or even from an alternative rag like the one you're holding right now.

What you will get are unfettered opinions, gloriously whacked nonsense, a different viewpoint. And it may be coming from a bedroom in the house next door.

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