oh, the internet!

okay, my goal for today is to finish writing up answers to the very fabulous selection of questions i got for the advice column & get it posted up for the world to enjoy. but first i have to share this choice little piece of internet dirt because it’s been over 24 hours & it is still making me laugh:

i was accused, you might say, of “glomming on to” certain younger, arguably hipper zine ladies is a desperate bid to keep my name in circulation in the zine scene. you know, because with the distro three months in its grave, it’s just about time “irrelevant” grandma ciara here just crawled into a corner & died, amirite? now that i am no longer paying zinesters for the privilege of working to promote & distribute their zines, i clearly have nothing left to offer. i’m a writer & a thinker well past her expiration date, & in fact am so hopelessly out of touch with the needs & desires of the current zine scene that i would dare to write zines complicating the traditional narratives of “consent is sexy” & abortion as a tragic chapter in a woman’s life rather than the truly hard-hitting issues: emotional validation masquerading as political activism & giving up shaving.

i really liked the “glomming” line though. that was my fave. seriously, my reaction to this was: “OMG lollerskates 4ever,” followed by joyous laughter. it buoyed my spirits for the rest of the day! seriously, if a person wants to criticize me, maybe they can focus on my actual character flaws:
* i hate to cook. & i hate looking at vegetables at the farmer’s market. (i conceive of the farmer’s market as a place to get fresh flowers & homebaked treats, full stop.)
* i could have paid at least six months of rent with all the money i have spent on shoes, bags, & cute jackets in the last year.
* an outrageous proportion of my wardrobe was purchased new from very mainstream shops.
* i LOVE gossip.
* i am far less happy than i should be, given the objective awesomeness of my life.
* if i spent all the time i think about writing actually writing, i would have written like twenty books by now.
* i tend not to do things i don’t think i can do well.
* i actually don’t particularly enjoy riding a bike.
* my favorite TV show is “friends”. i have all ten seasons on DVD.
* despite the fact that this battle has probably been thoroughly lost, i still have a visceral loathing for white kid dreadlocks & i judge the shit out of people who have them.
* i am excessively thrifty with compliments.
* if there are newman ginger-o’s in the house, i will devour them.
* i do not enjoy nature.
* i almost never listen to music.
* i’d rather have all my teeth rot out of my head & be toothless than go to a dentist.
* i don’t like hearing about sex, like, at all. i’m remarkably prude-ish that way.
* when my apartment was broken into, hell yes i called the cops.
* i think most people’s problems could be solved if they just shut the fuck up & stopped being so neurotic & self-absorbed.
* i’m thirty & i don’t know how to drive.
* i am nearly incapable of being goofy & silly with children.
* i read so much that i don’t always absorb all the nuances & craft of everything i read.
* i swear A LOT. even in front of people’s moms.
* poor grammar & spelling make it nearly impossible for me to take a piece of writing seriously. (with the exception of obvious stylistic choices, like writing a blog in all lower-case letters.)
* i generally treat therapy as a comedy club instead of an actual chance to delve into said character flaws. of course, some of these “flaws” are in the eye of the beholder.

i know there are some peeps reading this who have known me for ten years or more. tell me, in the time we have been acquainted, have i ever “glommed on to” ANYTHING or anybody? i can’t imagine a behavior that is more counter to my natural disposition. i make no secret of being an incredibly critical hater (just look at the blog title, or my zine name, which is specifically about NOT keeping it posi), & it’s kind of hard to do that while simultaneously latching on to things or people i don’t actually love just because i feel like they might be able to do something for me & my…what? fame? the best i could ever hope for is zine fame, which is kind of like being a nationally-ranked pokemon card player: awe-inspiring to a miniscule segment of the population, an amusing oddity to most others, & cause for pity & revulsion from some other avenues. (no offense, cait. i personally am awed.)

sometimes i try to think of things that i really & truly love without reservation. this list includes:
amanda colianni
jessika rae
“truckface” zine
“doris” zine
homemade pizza
“garfield” jokes
peanut butter fudge
critical thinking
the shuffle feature on itunes
“run (i’m a natural disaster)” by gnarls barkley
the harry potter books

my philosophy with everything & everyone else is, hang back & see what happens. employ a critical eye. enjoy it for what it is & appreciate the unexpected pleasures of being blown away by awesomeness. don’t get sucked under by inevitable disappointments. i give almost nothing an uncomplicated thumbs up, & my problematic-&-incomprehensible protestant work ethic (undoubtedly borne of being a weirdo loner bookworm social misfit as a child–i had an alter ego i used to get through rough days called “the ice princess” who didn’t need anyone or anything because she had all the discipline & self-worth she needed to get by inside her already) means that i refuse to ride anyone else’s coattails. i am all about credit where credit is due, & i don’t want any credit i didn’t earn through my own blood, sweat, & tears.

for better or (more likely) for worse, i have been doing this zine shit for a long time. i am not especially concerned with mass market appeal because i know i’ve never had it & probably couldn’t cultivate it if i tried. i’m not concerned with maintaining relevance because i don’t get personal satisfaction from recognition from outsiders. i only strive to satisfy myself. everyone who gets pissed off or pleased along the way is just gravy. i know this seems counter to claims that i am an anarcha-feminist & anarchist values supposedly hinge on inter-dependence, but…note that anarcha-feminism & inter-dependence didn’t make my list of things i whole-heartedly adore. also note that a few fabulous peeps that have been the cornerstones of my social, emotional, & intellectual lives for years & years did make the list. credit where credit is due.

two projects that are vaguely related that i have been working on for a while:
a manifesto sort of thing in praise of critique
my personal list of things i wish i’d known when i was younger, or lessons learned through the process of growing up & being an adult

ps–awesome search terms that have brought people to my blog lately:
“does kathleen hanna answer her e-mail”
“your wives are making love to bart simpson”
“naduah fake accent cult” (yes, still! she was cut like a month ago, guys!)
“angry teenager”
“angry yoga cat”
“wig reveal” (this is one of my faves–i always love a good wig reveal)
“swing coats make you look pregnant” (truefax)
& my personal fave: “bear cave lawrence ks”

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

13 thoughts on “oh, the internet!

  1. GLOMMING? Hell no, never.

    People are weird. Also, I am 28 and don’t know how to drive. My mom thinks it’s my one main flaw. Meh. Public transportation or just walking works for me.

    Glomming is a nice word though. It makes me think of those brain parasites that often pop up on episodes of Futurama. GLOM GLOM GLOM.

    1. okay, i think you are the very first person i ever knew through zines. & i remember that we had a really intense teenage friendship. so if you didn’t think i was glomming, back when i was a sad lonely teenager looking for a connection with the bigger world, i think that says a lot. & this is true also in light of that time you made a zine about how awesome ayn rand is & we had a big fight but here you are, ten years later, commenting on my blog. hilarious!

      i too like the word “glom”. it makes me think about eating my way through a package of newman ginger-o’s. GLOM GLOM GLOM.

    1. dude, i really labored over that list of flaws. i was like, “what could someone legitimately criticize me over? i am so super-awesome, i don’t even know!” but i came up with a few things. haha!

  2. ” i think most people’s problems could be solved if they just shut the fuck up & stopped being so neurotic & self-absorbed.”

    Not a flaw. Truefax.

    That actually goes hand-in-hand with the point of this post. Even if you were “glomming” [I prefer nom-nom-nomming, personally] onto “the kids” why does that person even care? They need to handle their own shit, and not worry about you.

    1. that’s an excellent point. but i’m afraid the answer is disappointingly banal. clearly the only reason to bring it up is in a sad attempt to hurt my feelings. classic mean girl behavior of the caliber i thought i had left behind when i graduated from junior high. clearly a consequence of me having too much faith in certain people. i won’t make that mistake twice!

  3. Ps. I can name at least 3 situations off the top of my headin which you definitely did NOT “glom” although you may have had the opportunity. So… Yeah.

    1. yeah, dude. lord knows i have had many an opportunity to “glom” on to people far more high-profile than some zinester who happens to have a lot of pen pals right now. & i did not seize said opportunities because glomming is not something i do. i remember in portland i had a chance to glom on to an actual book publisher who probably would have been too happy to publish anything i wrote, & i opted against it because i thought he was too interested in poetry & didn’t take my politics seriously. that would have been a chance for me to do a lot more than maintain the fame & fortune that comes with some perzinester somewhere throwing you a bone in the thank you list of her middling quality zines. *shrug*

      oh wellzzz. whatever gets people through the day, i guess. of course you still make the list!

  4. “which is kind of like being a nationally-ranked pokemon card player: awe-inspiring to a miniscule segment of the population, an amusing oddity to most others, & cause for pity & revulsion from some other avenues. (no offense, cait. i personally am awed.)”

    Yeah, don’t worry about the HUMAN BEINGS you bulldozed over to make your little analogy. I’ll just be over here weeping into a Mylar sleeve and pretending that if I capture enough tears they’ll take the form of a first edition holofoil Blastoise.

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