Editorial By Mike White.
I’ve got to move. Maybe not to another state but at least to a different city. A few weeks after the Golden Plate put up their new sign it was replaced...
I’ve got to move. Maybe not to another state but at least to a different city. A few weeks after the Golden Plate put up their new sign it was replaced. Gone was "Dinning" but "Cary-out" was still available. Yes, they’ve got it right now, finally, but it just drove me nuts every time I walked by it. I’m curious to see how many typos I can find on their menu when and if they finally open.
I began writing this editorial around the same time I started working on this issue (immediately following the release of CdC #9). Like the content in CdC #10, this editorial has undergone some radical shifts in focus. Originally, I was going to strive for a more "traditional" editor’s rant—focusing on a subject of major social importance. I was going to title it "The Purple Peril." I'd have gone into my disgust in regards to the rampant racial stereotyping in George Lucas’ The Phantom Menace ; concentrating my ire on the "Ah-So"ing Nemoidian stooges. With their speech mannerisms and badly dubbed voices (looking like they were straight out of a chop sockey flick), the Nemoidians strongly recalled World War II portrayals of the Japanese (especially in their kowtowing to the Hitlerian Senator Palpatine). I even dug up an inflammatory propaganda poster for comparison in physical features.
Luckily, dear reader, you were spared when the odd members of the mainstream media managed to pick up on the racial slurs in The Phantom Menace (though most attention was paid to the shucking and jiving Jar Jar Binks). Rather, I imagine that one story was jotted down somewhere, put on a wire service and copied by unintrepid journalists. Likewise, I withheld the story because I wanted The Phantom Menace to get all the attention it deserved; namely none. In fact, I'd better stop now before I start going off!
After ditching that half-assed story, I decided to focus on the immense changes that CdC has undergone seeing as this issue marks our fifth year of publishing! Ahhh... 1999, a number, another summer, sound of the funky drummer... In September of 1994 as I stood ankle deep in spilled toner in the copy room of Comcast Cable at three in the morning, xeroxing countless copies of my first issue (printed on my crappy daisy-wheeled typewriter/word processor), I didn’t picture myself traveling the continent; going from film festival to film festival and being able to find stores in each locale that carried my oddly monikered magazine. Nope. I was just hoping to prompt some cool folks into writing letters to me. It worked.
In retrospect, the question I most often ask myself is, "shouldn’t I have picked an easier name?" Cashiers du Cinemart does nothing good for one’s tongue. And, sadly, the joke of it is lost on a remarkable number of people. Even the film-savvy crowd at the Toronto International Film Festival were often baffled by it; not picking up on its parody of one of the most influential journals of film criticism in the history of the cinema (Cahier du Cinema). Alas, it’s too late to change CdC to anything else—as long as I run into one or two people who "get it", that makes the unwieldy title worthwhile.
Looking back at my inspiration to start CdC, I need to thank a few folks. I’ve previously discussed the influence of Jeff Zick in CdC #7 and I may have alluded to Leon Chase’s revelation of "Factsheet Five" a defunct catalog of zines. Moreover, I have to tip my hat to Bill Fisher, Pauline Bess, and Becky Gurshaw.
In Junior High and High School I spent an inordinate/inappropriate amount of time writing about Fisher, Bess, and Gurshaw. I felt compelled to chronicle their quirks and faults. In retrospect, Fisher and Bess were inattentive doofuses and easy targets (a burn out and an English teacher). Meanwhile, Becky Gurshaw never merited any of the spite that I heaped upon her. I don’t even recall how she entered my acerbic sights—perhaps it was the attention she garnered when she came to Riverview Community High School as the "new kid in class". The origin of my unflappable anger has faded from memory over the last dozen years. Why I felt compelled to assassinate this poor, unsuspecting girl’s character undoubtedly can be traced to one of my myriad of personality flaws. Most likely (and understandably), she rebuffed my unwanted attention.
I don’t know if Becky remained oblivious to me ever-after. Did she ever catch wind of the sophomoric jibes I'd make about her in the quasi-newsletter I sent around to the few kids who laughed at my inane attempts at humor (and fitting in)? Regardless, the year 2000 is fast upon us. More than computer glitches, doomsday prophecies, and domination of the human race by Apes, my real fear for this year comes in the form of my class reunion.
If all goes well, I'll break out my overly ornate (phat?) thrift store tuxedo (the same one I wore at Honors Night), find Ms. Gurshaw and offer up my most sincere of apologies as well as my appreciation. Without her Cashiers du Cinemart might not exist. Or, at least, if I hadn’t gained the discipline to write on my own and hone my bitterness, CdC would be a much different zine. Thank you, Becky Gurshaw, where ever you are!
Now, let’s get this party started right!
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