Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Writers, Cartoonists, Poets, Illustrators, Photographers- SUBMIT NOW!

The submission deadline is January 15th for issue #3 of OBSOLETE!

The loose theme of this issue is "Feral Technology"- what happens when technology runs wild? Or escapes from captivity? Can it be a good thing? Does information really want to be free?  The topic is wide open- we are still looking for fiction, essays, poetry and artwork to make this our biggest issue yet.

Want to pitch an idea? drop us a line at


Friday, December 17, 2010

E-xquisite Corpse: You are invited to play.

OBSOLETE! invites you to participate in an electronic version of “exquisite corpse”. We will use this old surrealist parlor game to write a story which will be published on this blog and in a future issue of OBSOLETE!.

Here's how it's going to work:
  1. To participate, send an email with “E-xquisite Corpse” in the subject line to In the body of the message, write how many turns you would like to play (up to 5) and if you would like to be listed as a player or remain anonymous (your email will remain private). You will receive a confirmation email.
  2. When your turn comes, you will receive an email message title E-xquisite Corpse: Your Turn". In the body will be one line of text. This line will be the first line of your paragraph. You may not change the line.
  3. You will complete the paragraph. The length, theme, style and subject are up to you, but there should be a narrative element. It's a story, after all. 
  4. After you finish your paragraph, you will write the first line of the next paragraph.
  5. You will email your completed turn back to within 24 hours. If you don't send in your turn within 24 hours, you will “lose a turn” and it will be sent to the next player- you will get another chance on your next turn. You can also choose to pass by replying to the email with the word “pass” in the subject line. DO NOT share your submission with anyone but ObMag.
  6. We will forward your last sentence to the next player, who will complete the paragraph, start the next and return. 
  7. The process will repeat until all players have played their turns. The last player will be informed that they are writing the closing paragraph.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why I blame Rush (the Band, not Limbaugh) for the Tea Party.

By Rich Dana

I read an article this summer that the Canadian rock band Rush was filing a lawsuit against Kentucky senatorial candidate and Tea Party love-child Rand Paul. The power trio's lawyers alleged that the Paul campaign's use of their song "Spirit of the Radio" constituted copyright infringement.

"Oh, the irony," I thought. The band, who have openly promoted libertarian philosophy through their music, credited Rand Paul's namesake- polemical sci-fi writer Ayn Rand - for the inspiration of several of their records.....


EDITORS NOTE:Check it out exclusively in the December issue of Little Village...pick up a paper copy if you are in the Iowa City area....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Contest: The Julian Assange obsolete pool

With the most recent “dump” of classified government documents, the future of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange becomes more and more tenuous. In an attempt to paint the egotistical and misanthropic freedom-fighter as an evil genius/super-villain, Interpol has added Assange to it's “Most Wanted” list, and serial grand-stander Senator Peter King of Long Island has called the Wikileaks release “worse than a military attack.” Really Pete? Exposing the moronic and unprofessional behavior of our government is worse than a military attack? I'm guessing that there are a lot of fatherless children of dead G.I.s in this country who would take umbrage with that statement... but I digress.

With the U.S. Government squirming under the bucket-load of cold, embarrassing reality and Assange already threatening to release more documents (this time including info on banks) one has to wonder how long Assange can keep it up. We here at the OBSOLETE! office have speculated that there might be a plane crash or car accident in Mr. Assange's not-too-distant future.

It is in that spirit of extreme cynicism that we announce the “Julian Assange obsolete pool”- a contest in which participants send us the method of obsolescence that they think Mr. Assange will experience, and the date on which it will happen. We will compile these entries, and in the unfortunate event that Mr. Assange IS made obsolete, winners will receive a bevy of special prizes- while the rest of the world loses.

Don't wait to enter- this contest itself could become obsolete any day. Send your entry to:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Scanners: The TSA and the false left/right paradigm

The Opt-Out protest “fizzled”. Yes that is the official term for what happened over the holiday at U.S. Airports. A Google search for “TSA protest fizzle” yields about 169,000 results. Interesting that so many journalists came up with the same term. “Fizzled”.

Meanwhile, twitter-ers from airports across the country reported that the TSA had actually turned off many of the scanners in order, presumably, to avoid conflict, head off the protests and claim victory.

The recent brouhaha over the Transportation Safety Administration's newly implemented invasive search regime shined a light on a growing crack in the facade of our two-party government. Civil rights advocates on the left have been put in the uncomfortable position of taking sides with the “freedom” activists of the far right. They are both opposing the Obama administrations adoption of new airline security measures that include full-body scanners and humiliating pat-downs. The debate has become a semantic snake-pit- utterly dislodged from reality- with Democrats and Republicans switching sides on “security” issues in an attempt to take the political high-ground.

Thankfully, the resolve of the Republican critics was not tested by an actual airline attack over the holiday- we can only speculate on the level of spinning that would take place in the event of an actual incident. Instead, the FBI trotted out the “Portland Patsy”, 19 year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who was arrested for attempting to deliver a a fake bomb that was supplied to him by FBI handlers
The cold war between the Democrats and Republicans has become so extreme that they have completely thrown away any pretext of honest debate based in fact. An Orwellian hodge-podge of newspeak (“TSA... ensure(s) freedom of movement for people and commerce.”)and pop catch-phrases (“don't touch my junk”) reduces the discussion to just the type of easily parroted wedge-issue pablum that keeps the independent majority divided and confused.

Can activists at both ends of the spectrum wake up, shake off their thread-bare allegiance to the two wings of the ruling class and work together to protect personal freedom?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Call For Submissions!!

    Issue #3 of OBSOLETE! is going to be our biggest yet. Coming out in February, 2011, the theme of the issue is "Feral Technology". I am looking for essays, fiction, poetry, cartoons, photos and other artwork that relates loosely to the idea of setting technology free, unusual or arcane technology, adaptive technology, non-technology, anti-technology, primitivism...

Definition of FERAL
1: of, relating to, or suggestive of a wild beast
2a: not domesticated or cultivated : wild
2b: having escaped from domestication and become wild

Definition of TECHNOLOGY
1a : the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area : engineering 2
1b : a capability given by the practical application of knowledge
2: a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge
3: the specialized aspects of a particular field of endeavor

So far we have an interview with author and Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow, and I am slated to work on a piece with San Francisco post-industrial folk artist Kal Spelletich. An article on the history of Hoodoo is also in the works. Why not contribute your own ideas?
Deadline: January 15th
Want to pitch an idea? Send me an outline?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Put the "Big O" in National Opt-Out Day!

    Just 6 days left until National Opt-Out Day! On Nov. 24th, indignant holiday flyers across the country will be standing up against the Transportation Safety Administration's latest draconian, rights-smashing policies. Rather than being sent through the new and potentially dangerous "Advanced Imaging Technology" scanners, protesters will be choosing to "opt-out", at which point they will be subjected to "enhanced pat-downs" - a humiliating physical search that includes TSA agents fondling their genital and breasts in a misguided attempt to keep America safe from Terrorists.
    There have been suggestions of ways to go one step further on National Opt-Out Day - Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic suggests going "Braveheart" and wearing a kilt to the airport on the 24th. Better yet, Goldberg suggests going "commando", supposing that flying without pants is probably illegal, but flying without undies probably is not.
    I suggest going one step further- I propose that November 24th be "National O-Face Day", in which flyers not only opt to receive the advanced pat-down, but show the TSA agents and fellow flyers their best fake orgasm. As they search up your legs toward your "crotchal area", give them a little heavy breathing. "Oh... yeah baby, a little higher... higher... HIGHER... OH YEAH!" I mean, street theatre has always been a mainstay of protest, but you certainly aren't going to get through security with a giant puppet, so why not rock a little personal theatrics? Just imagine the security cam footage- a line of cubicles- in one an elderly grandmother, in one a man in a suit and tie, in one a hipster college student- and as the TSA agents in each cubicle disappear from view below the partition, their subjects each throw back their heads and howl in ecstasy... maybe offer them a tip after?
    Okay, a little too much for you? How about reciting the pledge of allegiance or singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic? Reciting the Lords Prayer? "...And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil..."

    For those of you gutsy enough to participate in "National O-Face Day", here is a classic scene from the very 80's romantic comedy, "When Harry Met Sally"- a movie that I first saw, ironically, on a plane.... while being served chicken Kiev and a fresh the smoking section.

And for the fellas- a little reminder of how it's done by the original "O Face" guy...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Free Preview: A Night in the Zone by Jonathan Shaw

Check out Jonathan Shaw's excellent story from OBSOLETE! #2 at his kick-ass blog, SCABVENDOR.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


In the era of Total Information Awareness, representative democracy as we practice it in the U.S. is looking more and more quaint and out-dated. The Obama administration continues the Bush post-911 paranoia with increased surveillance of “we the people”. While the government's ability to collect data on it's people (more than 99.9999% of whom have done absolutely nothing wrong) increases so does the paranoia, creating a feedback loop of diminishing civil rights.
As rights-infringing technology has advanced exponentially, the technology of democracy has not. Our leaders make decisions very much in the same manner that they have for the last two centuries. They travel to a central location and meet in committees. They pound the needs and desires of their campaign contributors into a slurry of semantic abstractions. They ad heaping spoonfuls of pork-fat earmarks, appropriations and amendments, obfuscate the intent with archaic legalese, then force-feed the resulting pablum to the public while claiming victory for their party. With any luck, these franken-laws, stitched together from the putrid flesh of dead ideas, rise to zombie-life in the course of several months- but more likely several years.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

OBMag #2 preview: Review of "Borderland"

Seven Lives. Seven Stories.
As Told by Victims of Human Trafficking.
by Dan Archer and Olga Trusova
published by Archcomix

    In what artist Dan Archer describes as a "comics journalism project", he collaborates with Fulbright Fellow Olga Trusova to tell the stories of seven of the 12.3 million adults and children forced into bonded labor and prostitution around the world.
    Trusova traveled to the Ukraine in 2009 to study human trafficking and returned with stories of the desperate and risky lives of people in a country ravaged by economic collapse. Archer transforms these stories into stark, monochromatic graphics, highlighted in sepia to convey the gray, eastern European atmosphere. At times the drawings almost feel like Soviet Era agit-prop, yet the heroic workers have become grimly ill-defined and the crimson backgrounds has faded to the color of clay, as the hammer and sickle has disappeared from view. The workers paradise has become the workers purgatory.
    The introductions to each of the seven stories convey the hard facts and statistics about the situation in the Ukraine. For instance, over 14% of the victims of trafficking have university level degrees. One story tells of an educated, middle aged woman who, desperate for money, took a construction job in Russia and ended up chained in a shed, forced to milk cows until she was too weak to work.  Luckily, she escaped, and through the kindness of strangers, made it back home.
    Comics have a long tradition as a serious story-telling and news medium in other parts of the world, and Borderland is a fine example of how a serious subject can be addressed in an engaging and graphic format for an English-reading audience.  The stories are tightly packed, with interludes with statistics, references, and links to the websites of NGOs working to stop the abuse.
    Borderlands is a cautionary tale for those of us in countries with our own "dirty little secrets" and stories of worker exploitation. It's an eye-opening read.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Video: Abandoned Six Flags New Orleans Tour

A beautiful and haunting video tour of the abandoned New Orleans Six Flags amusement park by videographer Teddy Smith. The park will be demolished and sold for scrap in January, 2011.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why I blame Rush (the Band, not Limbaugh) for the Tea Party.

By Rich Dana

I read an article this summer that the Canadian rock band Rush was filing a lawsuit against Kentucky senatorial candidate and Tea Party love-child Rand Paul. The power trio's lawyers alleged that the Paul campaign's use of their song "Spirit of the Radio" constituted copyright infringement.

"Oh, the irony," I thought. The band, who have openly promoted libertarian philosophy through their music, credited Rand Paul's namesake- polemical sci-fi writer Ayn Rand - for the inspiration of several of their records.....

The remainder of this article has been removed temporarily, as Little Village Magazine has chosen to publish it.  Check it out exclusively in the December issue of Little Village....  Thanks Everybody!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Issue #2- Intro

Here is another preview of ObMag #2 - this is the introduction to the "What I did on my summer vacation" issue.  I thought it might be a good read for those of you with post-election blues....

What I did on my Summer Vacation

    As I write this introduction, it is fall, 2010. Summer is over. I sit alone in the house of a dead woman, looking out the door toward the Puget Sound. The sun is bright above the thick quilt of fog. I’m waiting for the movers, who missed the ferry.
    Barbara was a journalist, an artist and interior designer; she transformed things and places. Now, her meticulously arranged home is being disassembled- the last pieces carefully packed for their trip to a Seattle auction house.
    It’s fall and school is back in session. If you had to stand at the blackboard on the first day of school, what would you tell the class? What did you do on your summer vacation? Did you have a great adventure? Did you max out your credit card for a few days of blissful escape?  Or did you stay at home and pray the AC kept working and that you might soon find work? Did you fall in love... or did you sit on the couch and watch 24-hour cable news coverage as the US of A declined into a made-for-TV remake of the Weimar Republic?  In the current state of the Union, the idea of a “summer vacation” is disappearing over the societal horizon faster than my Dad’s Country Squire station wagon crossing the Badlands. But we still have “The Holidays” to look forward to, right?
    Barbara understood how things worked. She carefully restored Victorian furniture that she found at Goodwill. She practiced Ikebana, the art of floral arrangement, which she first studied in Tokyo as a G.I. Bride during the Korean War. She understood time.
    She survived a decades-long fight with disease through faith, not in God but in herself. Faith... and just the right amount of denial. She didn’t sweat the small stuff, but she was obsessed with
detail.  I wish I could talk to her. I talk to her.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Table of Contents:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

OBSOLETE! #2 Featured Contributors: Gary & Debra Parky

OBSOLETE! #2 features a photo essay by New Orleans residents Gary and Debra Parky. Their photos vividly capture to impact of the BP oil spill on the social environment of the gulf.

From the intro:
"...In Larose we found an entire side of a building covered with a protest collage (complete with a rendition of Shepard Fairey’s Obama profile); further down Route One we came upon a piece of plywood painted with relevant images that was somewhat reminiscent of R.A. Miller’s work. As we got into Grand Isle it became apparent that this was were we wanted to take this (article), as there was no shortage of homemade, hand painted protests against BP et al that were basically in people’s front yards…"

About Gary & Debra Parky;

"We reside in New Orleans. Every now and then we do something interesting, like the time we had a band that played obscure R&B and Rock & Roll from the late 50s & early 60s, complete with go-go dancers. We called ourselves the SophistiCats and the SophistiKittens, and we released 2 full length CDs and did a lot of cool gigs. Another time we opened up a store on Magazine St called Sputnik Ranch that sold stuff like Western Wear, cowboy boots, designer vinyl toys, lowbrow art and other fun stuff. That was pretty crazy! Sometimes we even ride around the French Quarter on vintage 1950s bikes dressed up like cowboys (the Roy Rogers/Nudie/Manuel suit wearing kind…yes, we have the suits) with our friends. We also like to drive around our neck of the woods and take photos of cool stuff that we’re afraid won’t be around too long. Unfortunately, we’re often right about our choices. Our favorite dogs are Border Collies; we have two. Their names are Bunny and Lux.

Check us out at  &"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Featured Contributor:Marina Deb Ris

Marina Deb Ris has been picking up trash along Westside beaches and creeks for over a dozen years. Her mission began when she moved from Bondi Beach, Australia to LA’s Westside. “In the beginning I would just pick up stacks of Styrofoam cups and bring them to the local 7-11, but I soon realized that this wasn’t really attacking the root problem. I needed a creative way to draw attention to it. The whole idea of making beach detritus into art started just over two years ago from the realization that the waste we create always comes back to haunt us."

Her work has been regularly on display in juried shows in the Los Angeles area and often lends her artistic talents to Sustainable Works, Heal the Bay, Friends of Ballona, Surfriders and other environmental organizations.

Trained as a graphic designer at the Rhode Island School of Design, Marina’s interest in the intersection of art and the environment has been a constant. “My first goal is to provoke viewers into thinking about the consequences of our habits, and how we can change them. My second goal is to get rid of all the garbage in my garage! In a responsible way, of course.”
Marina Deb Ris' website:

Monday, September 20, 2010

OBSOLETE! #2 Featured Contributor: Jonathan Shaw

Jonathan Shaw is a many things; tattoo artist, writer, world traveler and "whorehouse philosopher".  Son of jazzman Artie Shaw and Hollywood starlet Doris Dowling, he has worked as a merchant seaman and a writer at the legendary underground paper, the LA Free Press in the 60's, where he befriended Charles Bukowski. He is the author of several books, including "Narcisa, Our Lady of Ashes" and "Lovesongs to the Dead." His upcoming release is "Scabvendor: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist."

His writing is tough and edgy, sometimes romantic and often brutal. We are proud to be publishing Jonathan's "Night in the Zone" in OBSOLETE #2, due out in October. Until then, check out Jonathan's amazing blog, SCABVENDOR.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

OBSOLETE! #2 Featured Contributor: JD King

Fond Memory: In 1983, I met J.D. King at a release party for STOP! Magazine at the Park Inn. As a fledgeling zinester I was excited to meet him and co-creator John Holmstrom, two of the punk eras great underground cartoonists and godfathers of 'zine culture. I still have that signed copy of STOP! around somewhere....

I have followed J.D.'s work ever since, and it is a huge pleasure and honor to have him as a contributor to OBSOLETE! #2. We are featuring his illustration and short story,  "Just a Mirage".

Check out his website at:

J.D.'s Bio:
J.D. King is a freelance illustrator, active for over two decades. His work has appeared in many national publications (The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Forbes, The Village Voice, New York, The Progressive, Business Week), as well as ad campaigns (Master/Visa Card, Absolut Vodka, Seybold Seminars), and CD and book covers. Previous to illustration, he was an underground cartoonist with work appearing in several titles including R. Crumb's Weirdo magazine. His avocations are experimental music (J.D. King & The Coachmen, two albums on Ecstatic Peace) and writing fiction. A collection of short stories is scheduled for Water Row Books, and a novel is completed and searching for a publisher. He lives in Remsen, NY and his interests include jazz, reading, bicycling, hiking and cats.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Due out in October, issue #2 includes original writing and artwork by JONATHAN SHAW, J.D. KING, JOOLZ DENBY, QOJAK, DEB RIS, GARY AND DEBRA PARKY, ALISSA BADER, WILDGIRL, an interview with sci-fi writer and futurist KARL SCHROEDER and a special tribute to the late great illustrator PETER ASCHWANDEN.

CAN YOU HELP US MAKE THIS HAPPEN? A small contribution will help us give our contributors a modest payment for their work and pay for the printing and mailing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Zero History by William Gibson - T minus 24 hrs.

Book tour dates are available on William Gibson's Website.

photo by Fred Armitage

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Paranoia Magazine now offering FREE Downloads!

The bad news-  Paranoia Magazine has ceased to publish their wonderful conspiracy magazine.
The good news- they are publishing in an expanded "more sustainable" book format. Also,  you can now download pdfs of back issues for free!

Friday, August 20, 2010

F*uck Me, Ray Bradbury! NSFW 90th Birthday Tribute...

Now THAT's what I call a birthday tribute! Ray is 90 on Sunday and word has it, he loves this touching homage......

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Visit our E-Bay store today- Great books DIRT CHEAP!!

Check out our E-bay Bookstore...  We've got a great eclectic mix of used books at low, low prices!

 Proceeds from this sale will go to covering publishing costs for OBSOLETE Magazine, a quarterly tabloid publication in the tradition of the International Times, OZ, The East Village Other, The Berkely Barb, The Chicago Seed, The Whole Earth Catalog, PUNK! and the other great underground rags of days past.... AS a "special thanks" you will receive a complimentary copy of Issue #1 of OBSOLETE Magazine.

It's time to repurpose our culture, hack our technology, and untether our preconceptions- reality is happening- be there!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Download a PDF preview of Obsolete #1! FREE!!!

    For those of you who haven't already ordered your copy of Obsolete #1, we have a SPECIAL OFFER!  For a limited time,  you can download a pdf preview of issue #1 and read the ENTIRE ISSUE for FREE!!
    Great original fiction by Mick Farren and Bart Plantenga, Poetry by Mali Delaney and Todd Colby, Artwork by Amy Digi, Will Grant, Becky Danielson, Tobey Anderson, Blair Gaunt and Don Rock and photos by Alissa Bader and Chris Schipper- all available for you to check out online for FREE.
    But it's a paper magazine, all about the printed word, right? Yes. But mostly it's about YOU taking the time to slow down and spend some time with a format that allows you to enjoy the material, and digest it. No jumps, no hyperlinks, no popups. If you prefer to read it digitally, hey, who are we to object?  If you sample it and like what you see, we hope you will consider ordering a paper copy, or making a small donation through the paypal links on this page. Think of it as a freeware magazine- try it for free, and pay what you can.
    Suggestions? Comments? We want to hear them. Want to support Obsolete with by advertising in the magazine and on the website? We welcome your support. Want to submit and article?  The next deadline is coming up on Sept.1.....

Download Issue #1 HERE:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why the word digital is already obsolete

As technology reaches saturation point, marketing companies are already looking to the 'post- digital' era. Their evolution will be neither easy nor assured

Imagine a world where billboards recognise your face and serve up some precisely targeted advertising for you as you approach. A thrilling prospect for advertisers, if not necessarily for their customers. Well, imagine no longer, because the railway stations of Tokyo are already hosting the first trials of a "digital signage promotion project" that lays the groundwork for just that possibility.

Full Story

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Look for Obsolete at Quimby's!

For folks in Chi-town,  stop by Quimby's and pick up a copy of issue #1!

1854 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Obsolete #2 - Call for Submissions

Issue # 1 out and it's time to start planning for the fall issue!!  The theme is "What I did on my summer vacation", and the deadline for submissions in Sept. 1st, 2010.

Did your band go on tour? Did your neighbor dump several million gallons of garbage in your back yard? Did you work this summer as a road-repair flagman thanks to the Stimulus Bill? Did you spend the summer in a cubicle fantasizing about...anything?

We are looking for fiction, poetry, essays, cartoons and artwork. Check the submission guidelines below for more details.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Robert Anton Wilson - Free your mind.

This is great little video- RAW's Greatest Hits!!

Free Copies of OBSOLETE! to celebrate Robert Anton Wilson Day!!!!!!!!

July 23rd- there is something magical about July 23rd.... It marked the beginning of the high holy days in ancient Egypt- the day the "Dog Star" Sirius ascended from behind the sun. This is the origin of the expression "Dog Days of Summer" and marked the flood season of the Nile River before the construction of the Aswan Dam.

July 23rd is the birthday of Haile Selassie, without whom we would have no Reggae. It was Aleister Crowley's wife's birthday. And, of course, it is the birthday of other great magicians like Pee Wee Reese, Raymond Chandler, Woody Harrelson and Monica Lewinsky.  It marks the deaths of Pancho Villa and Vic Morrow.

Most importantly, it is Robert Anton Wilson Day- so declared by the city of Santa Cruz in 2003, to celebrate the life and work of one of its most beloved residents.

I discovered the writing of RAW in 1980 when Jerry Farnsworth loaned me his copies of the 3 volume Illuminatus! Trilogy. Jerry- I'm sorry I never gave them back- but if you are out there, I still have them..... RAW's writing changed my life- The way I look at the world.

There would be no OBSOLETE! Magazine without Robert Anton Wilson, and for that reason, we are celebrating July 23rd by giving away copies of issue #1- shipped to you mailbox ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE- free of charge!! (Some restrictions may apply, see fine print). Be one of the first 20 sentient beings to send your mailing address to and we will send out your free copy right away!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Very Cool- Copies of Dodgem Logic #1 signed by Alan Moore....

Dodgem Logic- the underground 'zine from the UK started by the Amazing Alan Moore - is getting better and better with each issue. You can get a copy of #1 signed by Alan Moore at the Dodgem website! Such a deal!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Motor City/Maker City Geekstock 2010! Be there!

In two weeks, we are headed to the Maker Faire in the Motor City- it's shaping up to be Geekstock 2010!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Introductory price is coming to an end.....

Hey folks- We are busily shipping out copies of OBMAG #1... unfortunately, we are going to have to start charging a bit more to cover shipping, because paypal is BONING us to the tune of 36 cents on each 2-buck copy!!! Sheesh!

Soooo- if you want to get your copy at the current price, do it this week-  I'm gonna bump it up on the weekend. You can continue to send 2 beans in cash or check, but if you wanna use paypal, it's gonna cost more starting Saturday.  Sorry gang......

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The original "Obsolete Man"

Here is the Twilight Zone Episode that inspired the title of the Magazine...Romney Wordsworth is our patron saint...


The SciFi Network used to run a 4th of July TZ marathon every year, but this year, they changed their network's name to "SYFY" and replaced the TZ marathon with "The Greatest American Hero"... I guess Americans are too stupid to appreciate Serling's genius anymore?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy 90th Birthday, Ray Harryhausen!!

He is the greatest- yes GREATEST- film animator who ever lived... his stop action work from the 60's still has more life and artistry than 99% of the CGI work out there.

The Guardian put it best..."After that it was impossible not to consider how different cinema would be without such an inspiring figure. Just going by the list of acolytes who contributed to the evening alone, we'd have no Star Wars, no Terminator, no Toy Story, no Pan's Labyrinth, no Edward Scissorhands, no Jaws, no Shawshank Redemption, no Wallace and certainly no Gromit. Those are just the collateral damage, without Harryhausen there would be no Jason And The Argonauts, no 7th Voyage Of Sinbad and no 20 Million Miles To Earth. That's not a world I'd want to live in. It wouldn't be much fun."

Order FREE promo copies of OBSOLETE #1 !!

Do you own or operate an independent bookshop, record shop, infoshop or newstand? Do you know someone who does?

Drop me a line and I'll send you a free promo copy of OBSOLETE #1, due out next week!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

OBSOLETE! Preview: Beer Mystic by bart plantenga

 OBSOLETE Magazine #1, which will hit the streets the first week of July,  features an excerpt from bart plantenga's new novel, but you can get a sneak peek right now!

Beer Mystic: A Novel of Inebriation & Light is a unique literary adventure that will take you on the longest, rowdiest literary pub crawl ever. Follow the Beer Mystic’s story around the world through excerpts in a global network of host magazines.
" Furman Pivo believes he [plus beer] may be the cause of a rash of streetlight outages. This sense of empowerment transforms him into the Beer Mystic. He has a mission and a mandate. Or does he? In any case, 1987 NYC will never be the same and the rest is history or myth or delusion...."

Download Beer Mystic excerpt 37-38 (pdf)
Prior BEER MYSTIC Excerpt #35-36: Sensitive Skin
Next BEER MYSTIC Excerpt #39: White Fungus

Illustration by Tobey Anderson

Thursday, June 24, 2010

OBSOLETE #1 goes to Press!

OBSOLETE! Magazine #! is going to press tomorrow.... I am really excited to have such a great group of contributors for the premiere issue.  Look for previews here on the blog starting next week.  You can order your copy now.... hey, It's CHEAP!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Obsolete #2 - Call for Submissions

Issue # 1 is due out in just a few weeks, and it's time to start planning for the fall issue!!  The theme is "What I did on my summer vacation", and the deadline for submissions in Sept. 1st, 2010.

Did your band go on tour? Did your neighbor dump several million gallons of garbage in your back yard? Did you work this summer as a road-repair flagman thanks to the Stimulus Bill? Did you spend the summer in a cubicle fantasizing about...anything?

We are looking for fiction, poetry, essays, cartoons and artwork. Check the submission guidelines below for more details.

Monday, May 31, 2010

OBMag #1 update: Feral Technology An excerpt from the Feral Technology column in issue #1:

The Dymo Label Maker
If you over 25 years old and live in a country that uses the English alphabet, you probably have used a Dymo label maker at some point in your life. The hard plastic embossed labels have adorned everything from file cabinets to sports equipment, lockers to utility panels, notebooks to foreheads, from their invention in 1958 until the advent of digital labelers in the mid 80's. The daisy-wheeled pistol-shaped labelers and their shiny, brightly colored strips with raised white capital letters may not be as popular now as in their heyday, but they are still available, in new, ergonomic designs. The classic models can still be found on ebay, at yard sales and flea markets everywhere.

The peel-and-stick plastic labels still have many advantages over their modern counterparts- they require no electricity to produce, the plastic labels don't fade when exposed to the elements, in fact,  they are virtually indestructible. Not to mention that they just look so damned cool. So cool, in fact,  that the look of the Dymo embossed label has been duplicated in several font designs, like “Punch-label” and “Plastique.” The font suggests a low-tech, retro, DIY attitude-  and we here at OBSOLETE are down with that.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Clothing Company Trademarks Phrases "Locavore" & "Locally Grown". Really?

"Locally Grown Clothing Co LLC" was featured in last weeks Des Moines Business Record. Two friendly- looking guys quit there jobs at Polo-Ralph Lauren and Hubbell Real Estate and started an apparel company featuring organic cotton tees and bags featuring slogans like "Urban Farmer" and  "Locavore". They are selling through farmers markets and hip, environmentally oriented retail outlets. Nice, right? Local guys start a business promoting the local food movement.

What the article also mentions is that the organic cotton tees (their website states "we place a high priority on sourcing and manufacturing our products in the USA") are printed in Oregon (not Des Moines) and that the owners have trademarked the phrases "Locally Grown" and "Locavore".  In the article they refer to it as their "intellectual property."  Really?  Did you guys come up with those phrases on your own?

As far as I can see, there is nothing locally grown about "Locally Grown Clothing Company LLC" - it appears to be two guys trying to cash in on a movement that was built by farmers and foodies while they were busy selling real estate and flogging Polo corporate sweatshop apparel.

Hey little local t-shirt printers making shirts for your local farmers market- your cease and desist letter is in the mail.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

History of Post-Apocalyptic Films Entry #5: The Omega Man

 Before there was "I an Legend",  before there was Will Smith, before there was CGI,  there was Charlton Heston......

Monday, May 17, 2010


The Hypothetical Library  is a wonderful site dedicated to the design of jackets for books that will never be written-  the current installment is by Neil Gaiman, and, as you would expect, he has fun with the idea....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

OBMag #1 update: Feral Technology

An excerpt from the Feral Technology column in issue #1:

"The futurist Ray Kurzweil once commented that; “I'm an inventor. I became interested in long-term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started.” Throughout history, there have been examples of inventions whose usefulness has long out-lived it's inventor. Here are a few examples of 20th Century designs of the highest order..... In this new era, when the “Amerikan Empire” is sliding into decline and the only thing we seem to be able to manufacture are high fructose corn syrup, “financial instruments” and porn, it might be helpful to look more closely at gadgets that really work- and work, and work.....

The 3-speed Bicycle
Before the 1970s explosion of japanese road bikes with derailleur gears, the English-style 3-speed ruled the roads. In fact, the 3 speed roadster accounts for more than ½ of the bicycles ever built. The Raleigh DL-1, with it's fully enclosed chain-case, rod and roller brakes and giant 28 inch wheels made it the perfect all-terrain bike of it's time. Designed in 1913 for the British military, it eventually served across the empire as the bike of choice of police, mailmen, couriers and commuters from Kingston to Shanghai. The first manufacturing facility built in post-imperial India was a bicycle factory, which still produces an exact replica of the DL-1. Across Asia, the English-style roadster is the platform of choice for cargo bikes and pedi-cabs.

At the heart of every English-style 3 speed is the Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub. The fully enclosed hub is nearly impervious to the elements, and extremely rugged. To disassemble and reassemble the planetary gears of a 3 speed hub is a lesson in physics, and some might say a peek into the clockwork of the universe (okay, mostly old hippie bike mechanics say that...). Many variations have been built with up to 7 speeds, and the “DynoHub” includes an AC generator for powering lights. In America, 3-speed bikes built in the UK with Sturmey-Archer hubs were sold up until the late 1970s, labeled as Robin Hood, Sears brand, and even K-Mart. Easily found at second hand stores for $50 or less, these workhorses will still out-ride and out-last any cheap bike bought from Walmart....."

Read more in OBSOLETE Magazine #1 - out July 1st.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Featured Contributor: Mick Farren

Mick Farren is a legendary poet, musician, author, critic, activist, countercultural icon, and one of the last true gonzo journalists. As lead singer and chief anarchist of the legendary Social Deviants, Farren helped blaze the trail for the advent of punk rock. He has co-written songs for the Pink Fairies, Motorhead and Hawkwind, as well as writing over 40 books, including science fiction novels and non-fiction. Farren served as writer and editor of IT, the International Times, one of the UK’s premiere underground newspapers.

His original story "Hard Times at the Ace High" will appear in OBMag #1-  Due out in July. In the mean time, visit Micks amazing Blog, DOC40.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

OBMag #1 update: Medical Marijuana in Denver

OBMag #1 will feature a photo-essay on the Medical Marijuana Clinics of Denver by Alissa Bader. Alissa has documented the growth of the “grass-roots” industry in the city that many call “the Medical Marijuana capitol of America”. Colorado legislators are attempting to clamp down on the growth of the storefront clinics, which now outnumber Starbuck's franchises in Denver by nearly 2-1. For now, local entrepreneurs are showing conservative right-wing policy makers a thing or two about the power of the “Free Market”.

Look for OBMag #1 to hit the streets July 1.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Poem In Your Pocket Day.


Celebrate national Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 29, 2010!
The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends on April 29, 2010.
Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. Create your own Poem In Your Pocket Day event using ideas below or let us know how your plans, projects, and suggestions for Poem In Your Pocket Day by emailing

How about this one?  You can print it out and carry it with you-  maybe share it with a friend?

Beach Attitudes

Blessed is the beach, survivor of tides.

And blessed the litter of crown conchs and pen shells, the dead
blue crab in all its electric raiment.

Blessed the nunneries of skimmers,
scuttering and rising, wheeling and falling and settling, ruffling
their red and black-and-white habits.

And blessed be the pacemakers and the peacemakers,

the slow striders, the arthritic joggers, scarred and bent under
their histories, for they're here at last by the sunlit sea.

Blessed Peoria and Manhattan, Ottawa and Green Bay, Pittsburgh,

And blessed their children.

And blessed the lovers for they shall have one perfect day.

Blessed be the dolphin out beyond the furthest buoy,
slaughtering the bright leapers,
for they shall have full bellies.

Blessed, too, the cormorant and the osprey and the pelican
for they are the cherubim and seraphim and archangel.

And blessed be the gull, open throated, screeching, scolding
me to my face,

for he shall have his own place returned to him.
And the glossy lip of the long wave shall have the last kiss.

"Beach Attitudes" by Robert Dana, from The Other. © Anhinga Press, 2008. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Feature: Free Haiku Classifieds!

OBSOLETE Magazine is happy to announce that we will be featuring FREE classified advertising in our first issue! You may submit as many as you like, but they MUST be in the form of a haiku poem.

Some examples might include:

lonely days, blank screen
un-employed graphic artist
will design for food
-Jenny- 685.555.6666

Nineteen Sixty Nine
Volkswagen for sale to a
hippie with wrenches

please email submissions to

The paper copy of OBSOLETE #1 will hit the street July 1st, but if you have a time-sensitive Haiku Classified Ad,  please indicate the date and I will post it on the blog and  Facebook fan page.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

This morning, I met the devil at the crossroads.....

Out for my morning run, as I approached the point where I turn around to head home, I spotted a mysterious object in the middle of the road. As I got closer, I recognized what it was.... a box of donuts.

How did it get there? Did some bleary-eyed Lutheran leave it on the roof of the car as they hustled the kids into the backseat - in mortal fear of being late for church? Or was it SATAN?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Review of "Zones of Chaos" by Mick Farren

Mick Farren is one of the unsung heroes of the modern "underground" - writer, musician, journalist, anarchist, prankster and unrepentant sinner. A godfather of punk and heavy metal, his bands have shaped the music of two generations - He has worked with The Deviants, The Pink Fairies, Hawkwind, Motorhead and many more. As a writer, his dystopian visions helped lay the groundwork for much of what we now expect of science fiction, yet always with a smirk and sense of humor often missing from most recent books and films.

In "Zones of Chaos", Farren throws down with a collection of prose and poetry (and even cartoons) with titles like "Vinnie wants to sell me Hitler's Brain",  "The Aztec Calendar Just Ran Out" and "Just a Poor Dogpoet Who Finds Himself Locked Out Of The Cathouse".

"Zones" is an outwardly chaotic mixture of lyrical storytelling, but each piece in the book is a gem, strung together on a broken guitar string that changes quickly from a charming necklace to a garrote, and back again.  In" Jailhouse Rock" he tells the tale of spending the Northridge Earthquake locked in the Van Nuys jail. The story, in seven short pages, has it all- drama, humor and biting social commentary. The poem "Anthropomorphism", a eulogy to cartoonist Edward Barker, is full of sweetness and anger, and "Envy" tears apart rock'n'roll idolatry in a mere handful of words.

Farren is unafraid to show his roots and cultural references- reading his work is like watching a great poker player playing an open hand. No tricks, no secrets, no bluffs- just raw talent, well-honed skills and a lifetime of experience that tells him what to throw out, what to keep in, when to fold early, when to go all-in.

The great Michael Moorcock, in the introduction to "Zones" describes Farren's work best - "Mick Farren is an original. Read him and rage. Read him and laugh. Read him and weep. He still has more energy, more life and more creativity than most of those who have come after him. And He's still ahead of his own game. Doing what comes naturally. Cocking a snoot at convention. Telling it like it is. Living in a present made incandescent by his very existence. Showing just how good it is to be alive. "