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Internship Experience

I’m halfway through my internship with Microcosm.

Before I came here, I got teased endlessly about not being “DIY enough” for Microcosm. I only ride my bike sometimes, I’m not vegan…blah blah. The publishing and distribution part, run out of Bloomington, is actually inside of a house. A far cry from the cubicles and corporate offices my friends are interning at in New York City.

But I love zines. So I came here. So far…I’m super glad I’m interning here, where I can listen to my own music and wear whatever rather than getting coffee and being uninvolved with process.

I’m a magazine journalism major at Ohio University, and we are told day in and day out that print is dying. “If you are to succeed, you must create a personal brand. You must master Twitter, and stalk the internet so that you can make the headlines your status before someone else does.” This is what we are fed in school.

Print is only dying because we let it. But not here. And personal brand? That’s what each and every zine is: someone’s individual gift to all us, something they worked hard on so that other people can be informed, humored, and amazed.

So in essence this internship is simultaneously reinforcing and proving wrong what my journalism professors lecture. It’s a learning experience; what an internship should be.

Though my tasks here usually involve packing orders, counting inventory, folding and stapling zines, etc…I am happy with the amount of input I get to have. I can give my opinion at an admin meeting, I can choose whether or not I feel like making buttons or reading submissions, and nothing I say or do here is judged.

The most important lesson this internship is teaching me, though?

I would rather work in a collective environment doing something myself and others are passionate about than obsessively following every new social network and technology just to keep a career afloat.

If you are in the Detroit area, come say hi next weekend! Steven and I will be tabling at the Allied Media Conference.

Also, if you want to set up an internship or volunteer with Microcosm (which you totally should)- email steven@microcosmpublishing.com and fill one of these out.

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Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall is underappreciated.

Today was notable for everyone that I talked to because it represented the passing of an era; marked by the celebrity deaths of Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. But it can, and arguably, should point to the larger truth: people that are important to our lives are sick all around us, all the time. Most of the last two years is memorable to me because of the unbelievably number of deaths in people that were close to me; people I grew up with, people I met on tour and kept in touch with, people that I respected mutually, my friends’ kids, my dad, former roommates, plenty of friends’ parents, people who I had toured with, people I wished I had toured with, people I would have loved to have known better. There are plenty of situations I don’t even want to think about.

It seems that I can’t go for a week without the news of another friend passing away. Most recently it was Samantha Dorsett, who Chris wrote about raising money for a month or so ago. I didn’t know Sam as well as many but the sheer number of communications going through me about this huge loss have triggered something new in me. And I’m trying to think of a way to commemorate Sam and the importance of supporting friends in the releasing of the Plan It X DVD.

With SICK coming out last week, the stars were aligned in a rare moment of clarity.

Even the internet hoax of Jeff Goldblum’s death overshadowed the public consciousness and stole more of the spotlight that could have gone to basic community support.

overworked

We all have innumerable friends suffering from crippling physical, mental, or emotional health problems. And we are all busy. But I’ve heard far too many times about the situations of neglect that people fall into when they are disabled in some fashion. They aren’t as fun to hang out with so they get ignored.

I’d like to hear about someone receiving more support than they expected or hoped for. I’d like to hear the success story of those whose will and spirit improved so much through support from their community.

I’m tired of hearing denial of the suffering of our peers (“She’s making it up to get attention”). It’s time to take it seriously; even and especially from people that ARE trying to get our attention.

Now is the time to visit your troubled, in pain, or sick friend.

That, to me, is what punk was always about.

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