[TypicalGirls] Riot Grrrl book

Larry Roberts larrybob at io.com
Sat Sep 15 12:47:54 EDT 2007

I think it would be preferable to have Riot Grrrl-era zines available for 
free download rather than the current situation, where they are sold as
collector's items on EBay.

The argument about reprinting zines was had before in the Riot Grrrl Press 
era where RGP had flats of peoples zines and continued copying them after 
people were over them.

Tobi - I think it's being overmodest to say that what was produced during 
the Riot Grrrl era is no different than what's being produced now.  Those 
zines are primary texts and should be available.  If you want to 
recontextualize it with new writing and publish it in book form I think 
that would be great.

However I would say  that the message of "Do It Yourself" is primary, and 
people  should not just consume the past, but also continue creating in 
the present.

For some reason in punk cultures, records have been valued over zines. 
People throw zines away who would never throw records away.  There is a 
structure for the resale of records that does not exist for zines.  Zines 
are rarer than the records but the records sell for more.  But print in 
general is undervalued - rare books sell for less than they should based 
on scarcity.

The 60s have been much more institutionalized than the 80s/90s 
underground.  Many people involved in 60s counterculture ended up entering 
academia.  The 60s were also better documented at the time - printing and 
film were both cheaper than in later eras.  The punk/post-punk/riot grrrl 
era fell into a media gap between cheap film and cheap consumer video.

Almost every underground publication from the late 60s and early 70s is 
available on a microfilm collection which is owned by many university and 
public libraries.
Of course, the print runs were much larger in the 60s and the number of 
people involved was greater.

There are some people who were involved in Riot Grrrl who have gone on to 
academia, notably Mimi Nguyen of Worse Than Queer.

Universities and colleges are a means by which information is transferred 
between generations.  A college professor has direct contact with hundreds 
of students.  People who are not teachers or professors or librarians have 
much more limited contact with younger people.  With non-institutionalized 
knowledge like we have, there are much fewer opportunities to transmit 
what we know.

I do try to make mix CDs and copy zines for younger friends and relatives. 
But the impact compared to someone involved in academia is fairly small.


More information about the TypicalGirls mailing list