I’m the Australian intern at Microcosm. Secondly my name has been Americanized, I’m now being referred to as Staples. And thirdly, I agree: Fosters is a terrible beer and most Australians have never seen a Fosters before, let alone drank that terrible sewer juice from the Australian outback. I’ve never actually seen a can of drink that freaking huge before. The stereotypes of everything is bigger in the states is actually true.
I’ve been residing in the beautiful town of Bloomington, Indiana for the past three weeks. A genuine community is the first thing that springs to mind about this place. It seems like everyone here either works at a rad socially aware workplace or they volunteer at three or four killer nonprofit organizations with little to no sleep. I’m not just working with the cool cats at Microcosm during my stay in Bloomington. I’ve also had the opportunity to do many insane things that the ‘big cites’ simply can’t offer. The highlight has definitely been the crazy ass quarry jumping, closely followed by the 100ft slip and slide in 9th street park, thanks to Mr.Matt Ray.
Sure I sound like a broken record. Everyone is sick to death at the house where I’m staying when I mention my disbelief of corn syrup shit in everything, and its amazing health benefits. That’s another rant for another time. Back to Bloomington: It feels so great to be in a real town with real people and real food. I’m not sure how much longer I could have taken being in LA eating overpriced terrible salads. That said, I did see a salad here, which may or may not have been consumed by one of the Microcosm workers. A salad that had those biscuit gold fish in it. In a garden salad. Crazy!
If you ever venture in these parts, which I strongly recommend you to do, your must stops have to include Boxcar Books, a very cool, volunteer run, non profit with an extensive collection of books on any topic imaginable. A close second would be Rhinos youth space, a super tight all ages music venue that hosts everyone from Dillinger Escape Plan to Against Me! But they also keep it real by supporting local emerging acts. A very cool space, well worth checking out even if you can’t buy booze.
In my time at Microcosm, some might say I’ve learned a ‘shit ton’. You know you’re working with rad people when you get in trouble for having the stereo too low. Publishing and distribution isn’t rock and roll but if you’re wanting to support the zine scene, educate people, and make people think outside the square, it might be for you.
If you’ve ordered anything over the past three weeks and it has been messed up, you can blame the Aussie. It’s been hard adjusting to everything back to front when coming from the land down under.
Support Microcosm, stop cutting your hair and quit that real job. Start a zine or a distro, dust off that screen printing gear and mess the system that doesn’t give you the time of day.
Favorite American Experiences to date:
- Getting my photo taken next to the tree that Lindsay Lohan crashed into in LA
- Purchasing a Hollywood homes tour ticket then being asked if I was interested in an eight ball of coke.
- Being bitten to death in New York City by bed bugs
- Catching Greyhound buses
- Getting pulled over by the cops. But then getting a lift to the airport in the front seat.
- Shipping Australian zines back to Australia.
- Visiting the restaurant that my country was founded on. My home town is actually on the menu. Toowoomba, it’s actually about three hours west of the ocean. But the dish is actually a seafood dish.
- Scoring a twenty dollar ticket to a Broadway show. Front row center!
- Meeting all the rad people of Tucson, Detroit, Bloomington and San Francisco.
- Crashing at Guilty Pleasures at Bloomington. RIP best basement shows even though it’s the only basement show I’ve been to.
- Quarry jumping
*(the photo from left to right – Adam Gnade, E. Chris Lynch, and Jeremy Staples)