Ah, those heady days of youth when my anger at society's wrongs pushed me to develop what we in the the underground parlance call a "'zine," which is derived from a shortening of the word "magaZINE." 'Zines come out of a long tradition that derives from the DIY or "Do-It-Yourself" self-reliance ethic of the punk scene of the eighties, when dedicated fans would often scribble together diatribes on various aspects of the scene, their bands, and the general shitiness of life in general, and steal photocopies from their school, neighborhood copy store, or Kinko's.
Influenced by such 'zines as Giant Robot (Props to Eric Nakamura for first introducing me to the 'zine scene), Dekonstruct (Props to Wendell et al.), A La Brava! (Props to Los Cuates Espinoza), and Bamboo Girl (Props to Sabrina), I developed a short-lived 'zine called The World Is Yours!, which in its debut issue explained how the title was derived simultaneously from a quote by Mao Tse- Tung and a song by Nas (before he completely sold out):
"The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigour and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you. . .The world belongs to you."
-Mao-Tse Tung, "Talk at a meeting with Chinese students and trainees in Moscow"
"Whose world is this? The world is yours! The world is yours!"
-Nas, from the song "The World Is Yours!" from the album Illmatic.
For me, I was inspired by the thought that I would be a part of a generation that would change the world, and by calling the 'zine "The World Is Yours!" I wanted to spread that message to say that yes, the world will change if we, the youth, make it happen.
This 'zine focused on the political arts and cultures of the Asian and Pacific Islander community (API) in Los Angeles and Southern California. It contained rants, poetry, short essays on topical issues, artwork, and cartoons from artists from various API communities. Through various means of appropriation, we produced seven issues, with a circulation of 1,000 copies per issue, that we always passed out for free, mostly to high school and college youth. Click here for the rationale. From its humble beginnings I soon started getting letters from across the country from people asking for issues, much to my surprise. It seemed that APIs across the country were hungry for something that reflected their experiences and understandings of reality.
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