This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books
Book: Gun Fag Manifesto
Author: Edited by Hollister Kopp, foreword by Jim Goad
Type of Book: Non-fiction, ‘zines
Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Because it made me remember with fondness the old Loompanics Catalogue.
Availability: Published by Nine Banded Books in 2013, you can get a copy here:
Comments: So, I read this a long time ago and somehow forgot to discuss it, which is a shame because I found it to be a funny and at times uncomfortable blast from the past. I never read this ‘zine in its original format so this was entirely new to me even as it reminded me of the more humorous excesses of the old Loompanics catalogue and a bit of Paladin Press’ more gunnish releases. God, I really miss the old days sometimes, wherein if you wanted to obtain and read really fucked up books you had to peruse a paper list of books that got mailed to your house and really alarmed postal officials. I mean, I don’t miss it over much because it’s nice to hear about a book and be able to buy it immediately but sometimes I realize half the people reading here have only ever ordered outre books online and don’t remember the heady thrill of renting a post office box at a mail drop and ordering books that Focus on the Family insisted were occult and Satanic and also evil. (Remind me to tell you all my “James Dobson mistook me for someone else and touched my arm twitch” story some day.)
Back to the book. 1994. What a time for all of us who were alive! I graduated from college and started dating Mr Oddbooks. OJ Simpson captivated us all as he engaged in a low speed chase in that white Ford Bronco. Nancy Kerrigan got hit in the knee. And Hollister Kopp edited this ‘zine. This is a messed up ‘zine – completely politically incorrect, verging into outright sociopathy, and, in its own bizarre way, it is glorious.
Don’t get me wrong. You all know that I am so liberal I should probably go straight to jail for stealing all your tax money to give to lesbian welfare crack babies. I don’t get into racist propaganda and racial epithets make me nervous because I’m not wholly sure what my own ethnic background contains and what I do know is Irish and that’s almost never a good sign amongst Americans. But I am also a pro-2A liberal. We are rare, like white tigers, but unlike unicorns we really do exist. I’m not a gun fag, like the editor of the ‘zine. And I really don’t miss the days when Mr Oddbooks would drag me to gun shows and I would end up listening to John Birchers explain to me why it is that blacks and women should never have been permitted to vote and that things went straight to hell after we started putting fluoride in the water, but there is something refreshing reading something so utterly unimpressed by basically everything that makes me who I am.
As we all know, Internet killed the Xerox-zine star. I know the world seems really nuts because we have access to so much insanity online, but back in the old days you had to seek it out and when you found it you were less inclined to complain about it. Were these zines online, the comments would have to be disabled. I think part of the refreshing element of reading this zine compilation was the realization that I would not be expected, culturally, to engage in an argument when I was finished. That having been said, this is an extremely hyperbolic collection. A lot of really offensive content got crammed into three editions, and if you can’t embrace the weird when it is offensive, you will want to give this book and the rest of my discussion a miss.