Manzine at Colophon 2009

Apparently Jeremy Leslie,'s grand vizier of all things print, referenced Manzine in a speech he gave at Colophon 2009 entitled The End Of Print As We Know It, with heavy, underlined emphasis on that final clause. Flick though the images from his speech on the film below (there's no sound, so you'll have to draw your own conclusions about what he said. ) - nice to see that Manzine featured as the very last few slides, after some images of the late Arena RIP.*
I don't know what Jeremy said in his speech - though I heard through one attendee that he was complimentary about us - so I can only guess that this either means:

- Print mags are dead and Manzine was the final nail in the coffin
- Manzine is the future of print mags, the natural successor to Arena, the thinking man's grot mag.
- Something else entirely

I don't know. Mr Leslie, care to enlighten us? (and of course thank you for the mentions).

* By the way, Manzine featured in Mark Hooper's feature on "amtrepreneurs" in the very final edition of Arena. There may or may not be a poetic irony in this strange concidence.

Yours, amtrepreneurially,

Kevin Braddock

Assorted Thoughts & Various Bits

• Six thoughts from Pete Waterman about pop music
• Good stuff always gets overwhelmed by crap. In a market place where you’ve got so much music, it gets less filtered. Occasionally we get moments where spin takes over from taste, but it only ever last five minutes and people move on. At the end of the day, the customer can't be duped.
• The reality [of the music business] isn't like Blur vs Oasis at all. Steps outsold all of them and that never gets reported. Blur vs Oasis was just another five minutes in time.
• Digital has made music far more accessible. The downside is that there’s more crap available. There’s a ridiculous amount of stuff available on YouTube and MySpace, and none of it is very good.
• I heard a fantastic interview with a film director – I forget who - who said “the idea now is that digital technology means everyone can make movies. It's like saying every who can write is Shakespeare”
• I like musicians, but I don't like programmed drums. It's not technology that makes music, it’s the guy using technology who makes music.
• But what's the point of music if you’re not being creative? Most of the time people are making collages. There’s nothing wrong with collages, but you need paintings as well.
• The Genealogy of a Grudge. By Anonymous
I’m not usually one to harbour grudges. Nor am I a violent man. But people look a little surprised whenever the name of a former boss is mentioned, because I tell them I’d happily punch him in the face if he walked through the door.
My grudge started off as a minor one. On the day I resigned from my job, I went to see the manager I’d barely known to explain that it was nothing to do with him or his ridiculous policies (I was lying through my teeth). While still shaking my hand, he looked over my shoulder and asked someone what they were looking at on their computer.
At the time, I just put it down as blatant rudeness that justified my resignation. But then I spoke to some of his other ex-colleagues, and an ugly pattern emerged, mainly of how he’d stabbed people in the back to climb up the ladder. One female friend even said he’d cornered her in the office kitchen and suggested she got herself pregnant so he didn’t have to sack her. There were no witnesses. So now I really mean it when I say I want to punch him in the face.
The funny thing is, I saw him the other day. He was crossing the road, talking on the phone in luvvy-duvvy tones to his wife and kids. My inner liberal came out again. He is human after all, I thought.
So I didn’t punch him. I just whispered “cunt” in his ear as I walked past.
• Elements of Customer Service Discourse: “Yourself
It's amusing but also quite depressing how customer services make a pretence of empowering their customers when all they really end up doing is patronising them. I mean particularly how it's become the norm for call centre employees or shop assistants to refer to you as “yourself” instead of just “you” in commercial transactions, eg, “If I can take long number on the credit card from yourself”; “we’ll dispatch the handset to yourself this afternoon”; or indeed, “if you can forward the email to myself.” Is the “yourself”/”myself” register designed to infer a higher level of respect, a kind of semantic bowing & scraping, as if calling someone “you” is taking a bit of a liberty, and thus having the potential to result in Retail Rage?
Either way, I get the impression it’s one of those marketing tics that has become so deeply embedded in the popular vernacular that it’s no longer noticed, let alone remarked upon. But still, it just comes across as insincere and even more cold and wary than the conversation already is. What’s wrong with “you” and “me”? I doubt anyone wants to be called “mate” by the person they’re buying, say, some new pants from. Nor, I suppose, do most us feel the need to be referred to as “sir”. But all this “-self” stuff smacks of a David Brentish urge to dress up language in pompous and usually transparent layers of false modesty, if you ask myself. By Kevin Braddock
Romantic Strategies. By Simon Connor
Women see pizza restaurants, bars, flowers and chocolates as a lack of effort and originality. But it can be fixed. I’ve compiled some things from my personal experience that can add a bit of originality to a date, showing you have put in extra effort (though not that much).
Lust Letter
Everyone likes receiving a letter in the post or a card at Christmas, it just makes a welcome change from spam and boring bills. Contact one of her friends to find out her address and send her an invitation to go out on a date by letter - complete with RSVP and full agenda for the evening. Women love for you to be prepared so that they can concentrate on worrying about what to wear, not where to turn up. Just include a “Yes, I’d love to…” or “I graciously decline…” response (inside an SAE) that she can post straight back to you, with little effort.
The Market
It’s a fact, women love to shop. Take her to a quirky market like Deptford, Spitalfields or Alfie’s. There are always loads of things to see and talk about. You will stumble across something she likes that you can buy as a present. It goes down really well.
London Zoo
Zoos have a surprising amount of things going for them. There are plenty of opportunities to see defecating, shagging, cute and calamity animals to make her laugh. If you make it to the penguins at feeding time, she will fall in love with you instantly.
Zoo Hint: find out her favourite animal and call upon it later. At London Zoo you can adopt animals as presents - it takes next to no effort, just a trip to the website. Easy. Plus they put her name at the enclosure which tees you up for another easy date.
Pick up a disposable camera on your way to meet your date and spend the evening taking photos of weird things and each other as you walk around and visit bars. This makes a cool present when you see her again - and you will, because she’ll definitely want to see the photos.
Don’t underestimate the power of the homemade. It shows you put some effort into something prior to 15 minutes before you go out, and it goes down a treat. Pick up a cake mix from Tesco and some fashion glossies, cut out cool pictures to make a collage card. It doesn’t matter if it turns out a pile of crap.
Homemade hint: Learn to wrap. Using the glossies, pull out whole pages to wrap small presents. They make great alternatives wrapping paper and look awesome.
Simon Connor works at Not Actual Size
• Death & Fishing: Correspondence on angling, appetite and etiquette from around the world
From Jamie, Jersey: “Took the boy fishing yesterday morning - on the pier because it was stormy as fuck. We were drenched after about three minutes and didn't stay long. On the way back down the pier we saw a proper fisherman. He threw a dogfish at us. I mean, he asked if we wanted it first and I went SURE, you know, so we'd pretend we'd caught it. So it landed near me and was completely fucking alive. I got it to the car and put it in a carrier bag.
When I got home and we played our “Look what we caught” prank I was horrified to see the fucking fish was still happy as fucking Larry and still not dead. WTF. So I put it in the bath. I hooked the bag handles over the tap and filled the bag up with water while I planned my next move. I checked the internet but it said dogfish (which are actually catfish) are a real pain in the arsehole to eat. Skinning them is the problem. SO I was all Fuck That even though I fancied eating it. If I had caught it I would have eaten it. So it was alive in the bag and when I went in the bathroom it would stick its head out, I didn't like that. There was no way of getting it back to the sea, I mean, I'm not going to drive around with a carrier bag full of water and thrashing fish, you know?
In the end I just let the water drain out of the bag and then left the fish to die. Then I put it in the bin.”

From Emily, China: “Yesterday was a funny old day. We all headed out to a reasonably remote part of the Great Wall and stopped for lunch at a little local restaurant in the countryside. The restaurant owner, a tiny old woman, did the standard thing of making M choose his own fish from the tanks outside, pulling it out and sticking it in a box, all flopping round, for him to approve. It was a massive sturgeon, maybe two feet long. She then threw it on the ground and started bashing it around the head with the blunt side of a shovel. It wasn't dying so she handed M the shovel and made him have a few bashes. He was clearly very uncomfortable with this but she was shouting and urging him on. But he couldn't kill it either so in the end she had to finish it off. By the time it came to the table he couldn't eat it. Sorry, didn't take any pictures.”
• Really Short Story
Jonny Deck rang. It was 6.23pm Friday.
“Bro,” he said. “What's going on with That Girl you're seeing?”
“I don't know,” I said.
Jonny Deck is a dancer/builder/cyclist, I am a writer/occasional triathlete.
“Let's ride 100 miles tomorrow,” he said.
“Done,” I said. “But let's go to the pub tonight.”
On the way to the pub, the phone bleeped. That Girl was not around this weekend.
Jonny Deck was at the bar.
“Let’s ride 200 miles tomorrow,” I said.
“Done,” he said, raising his glass.
The weekend was arranged.

Make Friends, Get Numbers, Invite Yourself To Things

A non-career guy’s guide to getting on in New York, Battersea and elsewhere. By Joe Porn
- While I was Sufjan Stevens’ drummer I was working with gang members with learning disabilities in Harlem. I'd been working with severely autistic adults in Notting Hill for two years, then took a trip to New York, hated it and didn't meet anyone. Then the following year I stayed with a friend of a friend who turned out to be Sufjan Stevens. We got on and stayed in touch, and I thought about trying to find a job there. I made a deal with myself that if I got a flat, was offered and job and a visa, it would be a sign and I’d move. One company interviewed me the next day, gave me a visa, and I went to a party that night and someone said, Come and live with me.
My day job was working on Fifth Avenue with 16-21 year olds who have an IQ of below 70, training train them in skills and placing them in a job. I was spending all my day hanging out with people who in society’s eyes were retarded - guys who were basically selling drugs and doing very well for themselves on the street. They might have been simple but they knew how to look after themselves. We’d get them job at Gap and coach them, get them to work on time and all that.
A bad day at work was generally about people doing really stupid things. I got one guy a job at a steak bar Times Square. He had to be in Tuesday to Thursday 8am till 6pm, working in the kitchen. The first week it went fine. The second week, the manager called me and said, Where’s DeVaughn? I phoned DeVaughn and he said, Oh, it's my laundry day. The simple stuff that some people don't know. Another guy got stabbed and didn't come in for three weeks, and another guy had a fight with a manager at Gap and I had to mediate. It was skin of your teeth stuff. There was challenge every day and I was always surprised I never got the sack. I got the employee of the year award instead.
The receptionist took calls for me all day long. Everyone else’s would be about work but I’d get about 10 calls for social engagements in the evening, or like “you’ve got to turn up for a soundcheck at 6pm”. I’d rock in at about 3am every night. It was all bit surreal really.
Sufjan and me and our flatmates started making music at home in the evening. Sufjan’s a lot more professional now but very often back then, the shows were chaotic. He’d only tell us we were doing one two days in advance. We’d practice in the kitchen and then go and do the show. It wasn’t until Michigan came out that he got far more a settled band. Up till then you didn't know what you were gonna get. Once, he’d booked two afternoons of practise for a show and it wasn’t until the second practice he realised he’d forgotten to book a bass player.
In the first eight months I was in New York I was really broke and happy and last nine or 10 months I was there I had money and I was really happy as well. It changed in one month, I think it was me and God. I went from eating one-dollar ramen noodles and scraping by to moving apartment and saving $250 in rent. Then I got a $250 pay rise, so I was up $500. Then both my band started paying – Sufjan used to give me $60 a gig, I was working at art galleries serving drinks for $100 and helping a mate who had a lamp shop to install lamps and he’d give me $60, so I had money coming in. You live your life and make you money where you can. I’ve never been a career guy.
When I moved to New York, no-one owed me anything. With a short period of time I had friends who would say things about me like, You’re friendly, you’re good at this and that. Being English you hate bigging yourself up. In America, it’s the very opposite. I chose to start believing it. Educationally I’ve never been good, but there are certain things that seem to work. Make friends, get numbers, invite yourself to things. Ask them when it is and what time I should get there.
When I moved back to London I thought I’d have this really boring London existence, but it never really worked out like that. A friend of mine had set up a youth project in Battersea. Being in a band in New York doesn’t mean anything to an eight year old. You just get on with it.
People came to stay and before I knew it everyone I'd ever met was emailing saying, I’m a friend of a friend, I’m in town, do you want to hang out? On my wall I’ve got 300 Polaroids of friends. To get on the wall, they have to be friends enough that I could stay on their couch for a week. If your house burns down, you won’t have to worry about living anywhere because you’ve got enough people can call. But if you spend your life being a complete dick, you’re gonna find there’s not much room at the inn.
I’ve not interested in success in the usual sense. I only regard success in the number of people I meet and make friends with. I’ve got about 900 numbers in my phone.
Joe Porn works at Music Glue

The thoughts of Magculture's Jeremy Leslie on Manzine


What blokes talk about when Raymond Beadon cuts their hair

Guys open up at the barber’s! They just come out with stuff and sometimes I’m like, do men really think like that? It's strange how someone will tell me stuff, but that’s the sort of guy I am. I want clients to be comfortable and know they’re gonna get a good haircut. We can have a joke. It's good to come into a relaxed environment, have a chat and a coffee or some whisky or whatever.
It’s like confession for a lot of men. I’m quite close to a lot of my clients and they talk about what they're up to: mainly it's about women. If their girlfiends heard what I hear, they’d be devastated. One guy told me he had to move house because he was sleeping with his next door neighbour. Another is obsessed with going to hotels with women. He’s with this one girl and while she’s in the toilet, another comes up and gives him her number saying, “just in case”. Everyone seems to be living some sort of playboy lifestyle behind closed doors.
Like the other day a client come in and started talking about The Language of Love – some people need affirmation, some people need gifts, stuff like that. I think he fancied himself as a man who understands women, but it was quite true what he way saying. The girl I’m seeing needs affirmation and gifts. Lots of girl needs that.
Guys like to hear my stories and want to see a picture of my girlfiend. One guy was looking at my Facebook page, and you know those little pictures people have when they write something on your Wall? He said, “she’s nice, who’s that?”. It was my mum.
Business is good at the moment, for me it's back to back. People are talking about the credit crunch. A while ago people were saying it's fine, work’s coming in. Then they come in again and it's deteriorating, you can gradually see it coming down.
You make a lot of friends too. I cut Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s hair, but I’ve done famous people without realising it, like one of the Arctic Monkeys. Actually, he owes me a pound. He bought some toothpaste and said he’d drop the pound in tomorrow, and never came back!
Men are realising you can’t get a good five pound haircut. Plus people are starting to realise most products are just chemical, over the top, silver-packaging stuff. They're becoming more aware of what they use on their skin and hair it's becoming more natural with products like Santa Maria Novella. Organic hairdressing, that’s how I see it.
All the best hairdressers from Essex, I don’t know why.” As told to Kevin Braddock
Raymond works at Murdock, 340 Old Street, London. 020 7729 2299.

Thinking Man’s Crumpet. No1: The Crumpet

Thoughts on widely available bakery products considered in respect of attractive TV news presenters
Initially I was going try penning a clever piece on the experience of watching Riz Lateef present London Tonight on BBC1, as I do most evenings. I thought about making references to Debord’s “Society Of The Spectacle” and Baudrillard, perhaps invoking some peripheral thoughts from McLuhan and even notes from Camille Paglia’s essays on sexual personae to frame my argument about the tacit emasculation of men in the post-feminist/Spectacular (ie, Debordian) era.
But then I realised to do so was pointless, as all I would be saying is that I like Riz – she’s pretty and brainy, what more could you ask for - but whereas she is on one side of the screen, I am on the other and, I suspect, never the twain shall meet. I don’t want to spook Riz out either, just in case she or anyone else on London Tonight reads this.
Thus I thought it would be a much better idea to write about crumpets, which I occasionally buy in packs of eight from my local supermarket, and eat with butter and jam, occasionally honey and sometimes even with peanut butter (crunchy) if I’ve got any in the house. Here again, I risk beginning to sound like Nigel Slater, which is only marginally better than sounding like an earnest Cultural Studies grad from somewhere like Birmingham, so I'd best stop there, but not before saying:
Crumpets - one of the greatest bakery comestibles a Thinking Man can get. And unlike Riz Lateef, entirely attainable. I just can’t recommend them enough. Kevin Braddock
Next: Meditations on the Victoria Sponge Cake as against Channel Five weathergirl Lara Lewington.

Are You Being Served?

Chris Floyd stopped off at the Royal Artillery Monument, took some photos and had a think about it

"I spend a lot of time sitting in the traffic at Hyde Park Corner and staring at the Royal Artillery Monument. It’s dignified and graceful. The four soldiers – one of them is dead while three of them are standing – embody stoicism, fortitude and dignity, all those quiet things that aren’t really valued any more. Keeping your mouth shut, not complaining, not talking about yourself. Today’s climate of individualism has got both good and bad points, the unfortunate byproduct is selfishness, which I think has got to such a point that you couldn't imagine us collectively making a sacrifice on the scale of World War One any more. For a lot of people, service is what they expect to receive in a hotel or restaurant.
I saw that Black Watch play about Iraq the other night, and there’s a fucking fantastic speech where one of the squaddies talks about why they fight. He says, We don't fight for Queen & Country, we fight for our mates. It’s a shame that people don’t often understand that and seem to think that army, the military and the government are all bundled up into one big club. It makes me ashamed and angry, and goes back to what I was saying about before about individualism
It's not new that some wars are unpopular, like Iraq and Korea. There’s that Rudyard Kipling poem “Tommy” - I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer/The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here" – which was written around the Boer war, talking about how people in Civvy Street blame soldiers for the decisions taken by their political masters. It's a lot different in the US, where people seem quite capable of separating the service the military perform from the decisions taken by politicians. We don't do that so well over here.
It's so ingrained that you can do whatever you want these days, and I get the feeling people think soldiers can say Fuck It if they don't want to go and fight in Iraq. But they can’t because they took an oath to serve. It's as if somehow, the soldiers are in agreement with what they’re being asked to when actually they’re giving of themselves, prepared to do something above themselves. They’re serving and it's sad that people can't seem to distinguish between the two."

Sri Lankan rave posters, or what?

Sam Blunden writes: "the image attached is a version of something which I saw loads of in Sir Lanka. The first one I saw was called CHEMISTRY, so I thought great, Sri Lanka has a developed rave scene, what a great thing. Next I saw PHYSICS and I thought, well, its a bit more Steve Silk Hurley than MOONDANCE, but why not - gay overtones and clubbing go hand in hand. It wasn't til I came across BIOLOGY and ECONOMICS that I began to realise these were poster for education courses. anyway, they're beautiful, I think."


Objects of Disaffection No.1: The Umbrella

By Peter Lyle.

Shop Review: Clerkenwell Screws

If you’re looking for black japanned, round-headed two-and-a-half inch 14 screws, why go anywhere else? By Sam Blunden

I don't know if they were related but the shop next door to Clerkenwell Screws used to be Clerkenwell Locks. Zammo from Grange Hill used to work in the lock shop, I saw him in there, which felt significant because my dad used to teach him when he was the Head at Moorfields primary school - it was a part of family lore that he'd given him his big break as The Artful Dodger in a school production of “Oliver”. Having dined out on that for the first years of secondary school, I distanced myself from him after the heroin episode. Anyway, the lock shop's gone, but the screws remain.
My dad's not entirely incidental part to why I'm talking about Clerkenwell Screws. It was his request which had me going down there. Clerkenwell Screws mainly sell screws. They do sell other things, and these are largely screw-related – screwdriver sets, tool belts, spirit levels – but screws are the main event. Everything else in the shop feel less serious, a bit flighty - like a very practical chorus line.
Clerkenwell Screws feels like a cross between a shop and a surgery, a kind of consultation. By the time you're up, you need to know what you're asking for. I had a definite request, but this was accompanied by the anxiety of ordering something you don't really understand. Your parameters are too narrow for compromise, and you're in danger of being exposed as a fraud.
Behind the counter there are three similarly-built, middle-aged Asian men. They're quite intense looking, like they want to get you what you want as quickly as possible. The whole place is lined with cardboard boxes holding screws - floor to ceiling around the walls with an additional four-sided island behind the counter. All the boxes have the same kind of labels - the frame is a sticker with the brand name, logos plus the length, size, material, and whether they take a Phillips or a flathead screwdriver. This is often accompanied by an illustration of the screw in question.
The length (2 1/2 inches) and round-headedness I understood. I knew that 14 is the size - but I don't know what the unit of measurement is. Black I got, but black japanned?
My order had the man climbing a step ladder and mounting the solar plexus-height counter. The reassuring part was that he seemed to know exactly where he was heading. Moving inevitably dusty cardboard boxes out of the way, he produced a box of one and a half inch 12s. I had to stick to my guns and he went back in, this time coming out with two-inch 14s.
I took four. I only needed 2, but I took 4.

Clerkenwell Screws, 107-109 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5BY. Tel: 020 7405 6504