From the Editor
When Nova and I first started Deek, the focal point of our distribution strategy was abuse. We would stand like streetside preachers on Forbes Avenue in Oakland. We would yell vaguely offensive phrases. We would shout fake headlines. We would accost people with nonsensical slogans. And we did it all while handing the magazine to whoever would accept it. Guerilla marketing, I guess you could call it. Or Tourette’s syndrome.
This approach worked, sort of. It afforded us the opportunity to inflict Deek on the general public. But it also presented predictable frustrations: It snows in Pittsburgh, for example. And some people don’t respond positively to unprovoked (hilarious!) cruelty.
I remember one particular instance when things got bad. It was a cold January afternoon. We were circulating our fourth issue, the War Incident. Nova had been yelling something absurd – “Satan’s worms are eating through your consciousness like the termites of Hell! Read it here in Deek Magazine!” – when some dude (we’ll call him “Schtoze”) took a magazine from her and immediately threw it into a garbage can.
This did not make Nova happy. And she’s not a large woman. But when that happened – when that guy literally trashed Deek – the cord that connected her to whatever big tent proselytizer she had been satirizing… well, it snapped. She dropped all the magazines in her hands and ran after Schtoze. She grabbed him by his shirt collar and threw him to the ground. She shouted at him, straddled his chest, pointed in his face.
I don’t remember what she said exactly. But the gist of her spitting rage was: Every day you are exposed to so many uncreative, visually boring, intellectually worthless, money-grubbing media outlets trying to manipulate your time and your thoughts and your cash. You are coerced – by the second – into purchasing, for example, that $40 Abercrombie t-shirt you’re wearing. Or that gel you’re using to spike your ridiculous hair. Or the rings on your fucking fingers. And you accept it gladly. But when provoked, you can’t even give a free, independent publication a chance? You can’t even give us a minute of your time before you offer a closed-minded dismissal?
She was upset. This was an overreaction. And it was totally out of character – not only because Nova’s generally fairly reserved, but also because people had been tossing Deeks into garbage cans all day. But her frustration was understandable. It was the unhinged result of working a full time job, taking classes, and spending all her free time on a project that guaranteed no tangible compensation. It was a representation of what we all felt at the time. And after Jesse, Nate, Houston, Mandy, Ben, Tasha, Ben’s mom, Sancho, Melissa, Doug, Lenny, Mo, Tiffany, Wu and I dragged her off Schtoze, I think we all felt vindicated. When Schtoze stood and apologized, we understood that we had achieved a small victory – something minute, but exhilarating. It was an emotion we hadn’t felt before. It was a feeling we couldn’t clarify. Yet, somehow, it allowed us to take pride in our work, even during those times when no one else seemed to.
Now. Nova’s matured since then. We all have – everyone who works closely with Deek. And while The Brutality Incident is the print result of similar pent-up frustration (more toward parts of our culture than any particular person), it’s also positive. It has the controlled focus of twenty issues’ practice. It offers the rewards of a release we’ve finally experienced. It has the foundation of a group that knows it can’t completely rearrange society, but it can certainly comment with some modicum of understanding.
So, before you check out what we’ve prepared for you – before you read about Snuff films and Charlie Whitman; before you scope our interviews with Chris Cleeve and Anti-Flag and Deerhoof – allow me to kiss Deek’s ass. Just for a moment. Allow me to thank everyone ever even remotely involved with Deek. Allow me to thank those who have helped us grow over two years. Allow me to thank the people reading Deek for the first time. Allow me to raise this huge plastic bottle of vodka in the air as a toast to you – the weird bastards who have helped Deek live far beyond its anticipated lifespan.
Et cetera. We hope you enjoy what we’ve created this month. It’s taken a while to put together, and it’s gone through incarnations beyond any of our expectations. But it’s here now. And we hope you’ll give it a chance…
At least until we finish this bottle.
With love and squalor,