1994. One to many caffeinated nights, one to few colleges applied for. Thus began my trip into the culture of “zines”, underground culture, and things with a diy, artistic, or eccentric bent. There is no telling which mainstream magazine led into my mailing of images and stream of consciousness “stories” to virtual strangers, most likely one called “Hypno”… Either way my adventure took me all over the country, to concerts, art galleries, on road trips, and in envelopes full of goodies created by the wonderful folks I met for a moment of time, and a postage stamp. Its not an easy thing to describe to most people what all this was about; to me it was learning, meeting interesting folks, and discovering that I wasn’t alone as an oddball, or one willing to be creative and silly, just for the sake of that alone. Meeting others who were having fun making art, or publishing media that wasn’t being spewed from the smokestacks and warehouses of yet another giant corporation was a beautiful thing. The excitement of getting a manila envelope from one of the many geniuses i met was only a tiny part of a whole society, nearly secret, or secret enough for me… because one just didn’t find a fLatter!, or a Chuck, or even the always insane and hilarious babysue sitting next to a Cosmo, or an Enquirer… In the small town I hail from there was no college to speak of, no centers of art, (unless you count cheesy pastel colored fiberglass Wahoos or Mackerels as “art”. (I suppose they are, but they are mostly a pricey decoration for a summer home…) Then there is the factor that I as a young man could write to, and confide in folks a bit older and wiser gave me a sense of community, support and guidance I didn’t seek out from parents, (what 19-21 year old does that?)…. So here I sit, some 15-20 years later ready to jump back into that culture, knowing that many of my old friends, cohorts, and fellow “zinesters” must have moved on, but like during that time of seeking, I am excited about the possibilities and adventures that await!
Also, I was happy to find that others are having thoughts along the same vein (see link below), whether it be from nostalgia, or tying up some loose ends, either I for one am jumping wholeheartedly back into this… this Raging Flamingo, this silly little slice of life that is inspired not so much by the pink bird, but by mankind’s drive to profit off of Anything… even a long and lanky, crooknosed tropical bird… More to come on what Raging Flamingo can and will stand for, (this is only limited by my imagination and my time).. but for now there is an article on the RF front page from a fellow” zinester” (ugh we need a better word!) that i never met that sums up my desire to explore “zines” once again….
cheers! conan sugarsmak aka (timdavis)