Vitriol
© 1995 by Andersen Silva (06-95)

What the hell possesses someone to bomb a building full of innocent civilians in order to voice political protest?!? I've never understood this, no matter where it's happened. Violence has never been a viable form of expression; it may earn you cheers from your own, but it will only earn you the contempt of the civilized world. A last word on the subject of OK; why was everyone so quick to jump on the anti-Arab bandwagon during the early hours and days after the bombing, when it was suggested that this may have been committed by foreign terrorists and not domestic ones? I wonder if any apologies were issued...

I think we're being reminded that nature is still more powerful than we are. Necrotizing faciitis (the flesh-eating disease) and ebola have both been in the papers several times in the past few months. These are both diseases that kill quickly, and their victims die horribly. Hopefully, we will find the means to eradicate or at least control them, but... it HAS been theorized that what will decimate the human population is not a nuclear exchange but a new disease, and they are cropping up lately. Not with a bang...

There's going to be an Underground Press Conference in Chicago in mid-August, and many of the people involved in 'zines will be in attendance. I'm going, too, though I don't really think of the Extreme as a 'zine; it's a bit more polished, doesn't have a particular theme or direction, and contains far fewer typographical errors. (!) I have to shake my head at the title, however, and at the 'zinesters who indignantly insist that their publication is more "punk" or "DIY" or "underground," and that someone else's is "not legit" or "selling out" or whatever.

I see 'zinedom in terms of the punk revolution. In the mid-'70s, there were a few punk bands. Towards '77 and '78, the record industry realized that punk was "in" and could make them a lot of money, and they began signing anyone who came close to being punk. Johnny Rotten and the Pistols self-destructed; the Clash started moving their sound in a different direction; and a handful of the other original bands just kept doing what they had been doing. But the punk revolution had been turned into an industry. Hardcore was an attempt to circumvent that industry, but... Jello Biafra once sang, "Punk's not dead, it just deserves to die / When it becomes another stale cartoon." As far as I'm concerned, punk is now dead; the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, the Exploited, and their peers of the mid-'80s were the last punk bands (the Ramones, of course, will carry the title of "last punk band on earth" to their graves, and X still get together every now and then). While I like the Offspring, neither they nor Green Day (or Rancid or the late Nirvana or Tool or anyone else you care to name) are really punk rock.

I was going somewhere with this, wasn't I? Oh, right; the early 'zines were like the early punkers. Don't ask me to name them, I'm really not an expert on 'zine culture. They were truly independent and DIY and set the course for future 'zines. Within the last two or three years, though, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of publications; just about anyone can do one, really. There are a few bad ones, a metric ton of mediocre ones, and a handful of really good ones. This is not "underground" anymore. A few years ago, a co-worker and I collaborated on a newsmagazine called the Underground Giraffe that truly was underground; it was like an alternative to the company newsletter and featured articles, columns, and ads that poked fun at company policies. When I created the Extreme, I knew there would be nothing really underground about it. Maybe some of the poems and fiction you can read here is not stuff you'd find in mainstream magazines, but that doesn't make it underground.

The fact that there's a "second annual" Underground Press Conference spells the doom of the 'zine revolution. That doesn't mean we're all going to suck. I attended the first Lollapalooza tour and enjoyed seeing bands like Jane's Addiction, Living Colour, Ice-T, and Nine Inch Nails. It was an alternative concept, and the bands were, at the time, rather alternative themselves. The successive tours, while boasting some talent, were mockeries of the original. The music was no longer "alternative," at least not by definition. I feel the same about this conference. Last year, maybe 'zines were still "underground;" now, they really can't be.

Whew! On to television... "The X-Files" season finale was astounding. They always manage to leave us wishing the summer were over (incredibly enough) so that we could see the conclusion. Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are a great team, and I hope they'll be working on this show for years to come.

Another superb show on Fox is "VR.5," starring Lori Singer. I read rave reviews repeatedly (try saying that five times fast!) before the premiere was broadcast, and I found myself pulled into the show even faster than I'd been pulled into "X-Files." The visuals are stunning, and the storyline has convoluted enough so that you're as unsure of what really happened to the Bloom family, and why, as the sisters are. Well, the truth is out there... Hopefully, Fox has the sense to bring this show back next season; it definitely has the potential to become another "X-Files" for them.

All right, that's enough. If you'd care to comment on any of this, do so! 'Til next time...


April 2004 - The real final Vitriol, Howard Stern, Dubya, etc.
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March 2004 - Dining out with my baby, Virtual PC, and the end of Vitriol... or is it?
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February 2004 - Two weeks between jobs, three new songs, grabbing Panther by the tail
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January 2004 - Ice skating with Gina, sushi at my sister's wedding, war-riding, the pink slip
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December 2003 - Moving pains, goin' places with Gina, Christmas bells
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November 2003 - The looong month of October, finding an apartment, Ozzy's gone
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October 2003 - I'm in love with her and I feel fine, Boston, the Dalai Lama, apartment for rent?
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September 2003 - Andy, happy? it could happen!, taking time off from work, Ringo Starr, "Discworld," the blackout
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August 2003 - (W)here (M)ight (D)ose WMDs be?, gay marriages and the people who fear them, '80s metal bands, Computer Man to the rescue, Philadelphia freedom
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July 2003 - Boondocks.net is back!, rudeness on public transportation and elsewhere, "Hole in the Wall"
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June 2003 - Science fiction movies, where is Boondocks.net?, still no weapons of misconstruction...
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May 2003 - How 'bout them weapons of mass distraction, huh?, Def Leppard, Michael Palin, another Silva, wireless networking, and a damned good raspberry margarita
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April 2003 - They're still French fries, dammit!, a new guitar for Andy, music-music-music
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March 2003 - The buildup for, and the protesting against, war
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February 2003 - The destruction of the Columbia, the National Day of Poetry Against the War, hard and soft atheism, Pete Townshend, and the gift shop
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January 2003 - Christmas loot, "Swingin'," more war talk
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December 2002 - The year in review, moving again?!?, moving world leaders around, too
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November 2002 - "Scarlet's Walk" and Tori's penguin, jackasses, and killing in the name of...
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October 2002 - Boston, Aimee Mann, and Palpatine/Bush
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September 2002 - George Darius Bush and George Xerxes Bush
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August 2002 - Movin' out of Paisan-town, and far away from the Regal Beagle
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July 2002 - Church and state: you gotta keep 'em separated, Dubya still doesn't want to play nice with the rest of the world, John Entwistle's gone
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June 2002 - Movin' on from town to town, Dave Barry and the Rock Bottom Remainders
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May 2002 - Science fiction movies everywhere!, jail time for virus creators, Dubya finally learns to pronounce 'occupation,' Andy gets a promotion?!?
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April 2002 - Terrorism on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people who don't interact with me or the Web site, "For Dana" to be released on a compilation CD
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March 2002 - Chip implants, the children of God and the followers of Christ commit murder in His name, ultranationalism American style
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February 2002 - Dubya says, "These pretzels are making me- ack!" Sharon continues playing Napoleon, and... the return of Foogar?
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January 2002 - Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne, and other Christmas-related items, stealin' cars, karaoke!
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December 2001 - George meets his sweet lord, terrorists EVERYwhere!, Tomb Raider II finished finally, and the Segway, finally!
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November 2001 - Anthrax (the band), WSOU rocks - but for how much longer? and a minute of silence?
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October 2001 - Osama bin Laden and anthrax and the women who love them
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September 2001 - Governments and armies and the assholes who love them, more misspellings, and a large lack of feedback
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August 2001 - Dubya's isolationism, the Macedonians and Albanians search for peace the Israeli/Palestinian way, 2004 Olympics in Beijing
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July 2001 - Not the Sexiest Geek Alive, war (what is it good for?), murdering citizens American-style
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June 2001 - A dead hitchhiker, the Taliban, and an independent Senator Jeffords
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May 2001 - Joey Ramone's dead, and "Joey Ramone's Dead"
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April 2001 - Brazil (not the Terry Gilliam film), Dubya and carbon dioxide, Yugoslavia begins coming to its senses, Israel and the Palestinians still haven't come to theirs...
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March 2001 - New look for the Web site, upcoming vacation in Brazil!, the pig-headed Taliban, "Hannibal"
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February 2001 - Tomb Raider II, Dubya plays with his new toys, nature plays with El Salvador and India, and the inevitable Chechnya and Israel/Palestinians references
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January 2001 - Snow, a new year/decade/century/millennium, screen resolutions
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December 2000 - The iBook, "The X-Files," the Grinch, the pathetic turn of events in the U.S. elections...
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November 2000 - Got the iBook! the Village Parade, trouble still brewin' in the Mideast, the upcoming U.S. elections...
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October 2000 - Andy turns 30, the Middle East, the anniversary of the invasion of Chechnya...
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September 2000 - A random act of kindness, Great Adventure, new music, new iBooks?
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August 2000 - Palestine and the Israelis, Milosevic, Speight, and breaking the speed of light!
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July 2000 - Israel & the Palestinians, the missile defense shield, and (who'da thunk it?) Chechnya
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June 2000 - Um, Chechnya again, gun-totin' Charlton Heston, misspellings, and xenophobes
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May 2000 - Communism on the last May Day of the twentieth century, and Andy's life ("Don't talk to me about life...")
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April 2000 - Hold on, it's more Chechnya rantin', and an appeal on behalf of a friend caught behind red tape
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March 2000 - Hey, hey, Pinochet, Russia and China won't go away, "The X-Files," the American presidential race, and a prelude to vacation
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February 2000 - Again with the Chechens, and Elián, Pinochet, mp3.com vs. the recording industry, and snow
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January 2000 - Made it through January 1st, Syria and Israel, public transportation, and, er, Chechnya
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December 1999 - Indonesia comes apart, Chechnya (no shit), Seattle's burning, 'n Happy Xmas
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November 1999 - Halloween, my bad knee, Russians? in Chechnya?!? Buchanan and the Reform Party, NIN
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October 1999 - Hurricane on the East Coast, earthquakes in Taiwan, Turkey, and Greece, and Apple Computers
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September 1999 - I'm not getting you down, am I? I'd hate to think I was getting you down...

- - - the Dark Ages (reprise) - - -

April 1999 - the return of Vitriol, Kosovo, a foreshadowing of the Russian invasion of Chechnya (!), and Libya

- - - the Dark Ages - - -

September-November 1995 - the Underground Press Conference, a co-worker bites the dust, Rabin really bites the dust, Remington Bond, Win95, and the Sex Pistols
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August 1995 - the death penalty, the V-chip and violence in pop culture, and "TV Nation"
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June 1995 - Oklahoma City, 'zines, "The X-Files" and "V.R.5"
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March 1995 - I'm sick!, the space program (ha), alt.zines, "Star Trek" and "Voyager"
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February 1995 - the very first Vitriol! Newt Gingrich, political correctness, media overkill, Howard Stern, the Apple goon squad?
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