Herding Cats/Dirty Kitsch
I got my copy from the wonderful nature of belated postal zine swaps.
You can write to PO Box 123 Newtown NSW 2042 Australia
A motley assortment of queer raver memories: Share houses in Sydney. Nailing astroturf down hallways because you can. Dragging giant foam turds on to the steps of the church. Anarchy. Glitter. Living on the fringes. Questioning life choices. No regrets. Sharing advice on how to handle pepper spray. Being under surveillance. Dancing in Berlin.
Fave bit: So the zinemaker is setting up an abandoned warehouse for a party and he’s digging around on ‘decoration duty’: “At the back was a giant cylinder shape over a meter wide and about 1.6 metre tall. I thought it was an old hot water heater. I poked it with my finger absently, distracted by a cardboard box of xmas tree baubles…the cyclinder was soft to the touch. I’d found the biggest roll of bubble wrap I’d ever seen…” Seriously is that not the best singular sentence you could ever hope for from a zine: “I’d found the biggest roll of bubble wrap I’d ever seen”. (And you get the impression this guy has seen a lot of industrial bubblewrap in his time). Gold. Lego is a good writer, I was kind of sad there wasn’t more of his writing in here.
Crazy: Lego talks about how a massive piece of foam made its way back into his ownership, having been transformed/sculpted into a giant turd in the meantime (long story). Anyway he puts it to good use and transports it to the church steps to farewell (then) Archbishop (now Cardinal) George Pell. Cardinal Pell is in Rome these days but this was his last sermon in Sydney. His leadership as Melbourne and then Sydney Archibishop has been considered complicit in concealing sex crimes and protecting sexual offenders over TWENTY YEARS or so. He’s since appeared before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse – it’s second hearing– and. Yeah. Kind of makes the church look…indifferent? cold? corrupt?)
Anyway, our street hero is there protesting (because fuck silent Tuesday nights) and it’s Pell’s final Australian sermon. Scene set. It’s not much of a protest, just the enormous foam turd, a bit of media, folks standing around and a few elderly ladies (probably observers from the Royal Commission). A Parishoner scurries past them and there’s a brief exchange. The Parishner tells the ladies they should be ashamed of themselves and the zinemaker’s friend overhears them say “Well name one, name me one pedophile priest”. One of the ladies replies “I can’t, I signed a deed of agreement with the church over my claim for abuse”. Pow. One second you’re laughing about how the turd needed to be transported on a car rack and was bigger than a family-sized two-door fridge. Then the shock of an overheard conversation on the church steps. I was still thinking about this two second overheard exchange long after I put the zine down.
Aesthetic: I call this ‘bedroom punk’. It’s a graffitied/stencilled cover done on A4 computer desktop print outs that form the pages and have been stapled down the side. Its very old skool 90s zine format when everyone thought a zine had to be the same dimensions as a glossy newsagent magazine. Stapling A4 sheets is a crappy format for a zine, but there’s something nostalgic about it. Other friends of Lego have also contributed bits and pieces too which makes it a real shared year schoolbook kind of zine of sharehouses past.
Where it all began: I first discovered Lego through his very super great radical Coughing Up Legomen from the 90s.
Hilarious: I used to think Coughing Up Legomen was a reference to some kind of punk slang for phlegm. Nope, it’s a reference to capitalism and little plastic lego men. I still think ‘legomen’ is a little akin to ‘phlegm’ if you say it fast enough with the accent on the ‘men’.