NO ONE online is underground. We’re on a system this instant– the Internet– that was initiated and in large part paid for by the United States Defense Department. An electronic arrangement where every word can be recorded and tracked with a few keyboard clicks.
With our new state-of-the-art print zeens, we at New Pop Lit are partially underground. They’re handmade in-house, and unregistered. No barcodes.
Why is this important? Because print underground literature is an actual alternative– samizdat!— a free space of ideas not subject to self-appointed hall monitors and censors. Breaking the hive mind. No bureaucrats, official or unofficial. In the tradition of Thomas Paine, Davy Crockett, Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane, Robert McAlmon, the Beats– and including Alexander Solzhenitsyn and a host of other international samizdat writers. The genuine article. The authentic American yawp.
THE ANALOG EXPERIENCE
We’ve begun exploring ideas behind new analog culture (vinyl, zines, film) in a newsletter, The Analog Experience. We’ll soon send copies to our “prestige” customers– those who’ve purchased three or more of our zeens. BUT you can subscribe to four issues now at our POP SHOP.
Doing so will keep you abreast of underground happenings, ideas, and debates. Plus in some small way it keeps this project alive.
Consider it a door to another world. A portal to underground culture.
We are watching in real time the conglomerization and monopolization of everything.
The gigantic corporations every day become more gigantic. Amazon WalMart Google Disney Apple Microsoft CVS Facebook growing larger encroaching over more real estate removing privacy small business competition independence options and they decide who’s given a platform is allowed to speak to market to express contrary opinions or ideas.
We’ve all become members of the Herd. Everyone is plugged into the Hive.
HOW do we get out of it? Is there a way to escape?
YES! The escape is in new analog culture. This includes authentically-independent literature, of the kind offered at New Pop Lit‘sPOP SHOP. We’re making plans to move more of our operation offline as we operate under the radar screen of mass A.I.-generated conformity, orthodoxy, and groupthink. To stop having everything monitored and recorded online is the first step toward living once again as free-thinking beings. Our literature, if nowhere else, should be an intellectual refuge free from raging ideological mobs left, right, and center– the blind unthinking stampeding throngs on all sides.
Escape into Art– and freedom.
(The contents of our upcoming analog in-house-produced newsletters as well as our artistic print zeens now on sale are UNavailable in pdf form or any other way on the Internet, except for brief glimpses used for announcement purposes.)
The sale of vinyl records has increased greatly over the past fifteen years– 27.5 million vinyl LPs sold in the U.S. last year according to Forbes magazine– which makes them more than mere collectors items.
A plethora of online music sites explain the resurgence. Ted Goslin with Yamaha Music gives four reasons for it: -that vinyl is tangible -the cool factor -the listening experience, and -the sound quality. Another online site says it’s because vinyl is “warmer, fuller, more authentic,” and credits also the artwork of vinyl records.
One of the more thorough analyses of the phenomenon is this essay by an outfit called Way Back When at Medium:
Additionally, the cover art on albums is displayed in a much better fashion on vinyl records. Don’t believe us, just go to a vinyl record shop and compare the art on your phone compared to having it in the physical. There are so many little details missed within the artwork when it’s on your phone than when you hold the album in a physical version.
Vinyl records are also a sign of someone having an exquisite taste in music.
The question for us at New Pop Lit is whether these same reasons can apply to literary products– such as the zeens we’re selling at our POP SHOP.
Zeens are about the analog reading experience. They’re designed to be viscerally unique, with emphasis on quality of paper, art, and a lot of color, to create a warmer, more tangible presence than any other print publication. More real than digital.
(Can people truly be satisfied spending most of their waking hours in the fake two-dimensional world of electronic screens, when a 3-D alternative is everywhere around us?)
Will the analog revolt extend to the literary field? We hope to find out.