Blats Magazine

   Blats was a satire magazine at Connecticut College.  The magazine dates back to 1986 and as legend has it the name Blats and its moto “It does the job for cheap” are inspired by Blatz beer http://www.blatzbeer.com/.  Looking back ten years now for myself, sifting through old copies that I had thoughtfully stashed away after college.  Lots of good memories of bad times.  It’s interesting to think how just ten years ago I was typing half this shit up on word processors and saving it to floppy disks to print out in the computer lab.  Pre Y2K, Pre 9-11, Pre GWB II.  Good times!  Here are a few of my little creative turds from back in the day (1998-99) (photos in the works): Enjoy….

“It is an Interesting time in which we live.” – Bill Clinton 1/8/99 to the economic club of Detroit.

“May you live in interesting times” – an Ancient Chinese curse.

Past Editors: Marc Martin (1986-87), Dave Axtel and Tim Binzen (1987-88), John Maggiore (1988-89), N. Jansen Calamita (1989-90), Matt Haggett & Melkon Khosrovian (1990-91), Jeanette McCulloch (1991-92), Chuck Jones (1991-93), Barbara Shine (1993), Andy Thompson & Fitz Gitler (1994-95), Fitz Gitler (1995-96), Randy Smith (1996-97), Danny Spurr (1997-99)…

 

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The Year was 1998-1999.  It was… The year of the Challenge.   (Vol. 13 No. 2 December 1998)

The 2000 Bug is like an alien in my chest

I can feel it growing.

Someone tear this tapeworm from

My throat.

 

Everything must die.  Whole civilizations

Come and go.

Technology will rescue me,

Stuck inside a memory

Which runs on electricity.

 

   It was still a few months away in coming and no-one paid any particular attention, but by the time the frost began to lift that spring people began talking.  I remember joking about it.  The way the idea arose was as if it were a subject so seriously frightening that reassurance in laughter kept us going.  Others (and for a good while, quite to the end) maintained a staunchly oblivious point of view.  It was like the whole country was distracted, still trying to shake off the memory of a nightmare the night before.  Something that I remember I didn’t fear in my dream:  I sat atop a hill, and in the distance I could see the ground falling away; and as the world closed in on me I could feel myself getting bigger, until finally it were as if I could sense objects on, no… as if I were part of this shrinking space, inflating somehow macroscopically.

   The dream was beginning to arrive consciously among people.  By April it was too late for those who had not begun to fix the problem in their own software.  By August a fever began to run through America as suddenly everyone began to get words of great restraint and calm from official sources in the media.  As if the light had been turned on, suddenly it seemed everyone; everywhere was aimed at solving this crisis.  The last days sped away.  Blindly we went onward… It seems insane, but the cowardly master in each adolescent primate proved to be the same super-human greed and beastly fear.  Those whose instincts or luck had them sense enough to survive will flourish eventually in its wake.  In death, from death, comes life.  Those that know death well cling most severely toward the destruction of their enemies.  By the end I was with my family on our land still preparing to fight for survival.

   Even to the last day the government held gruesomely adrift as would some awful grandfather feeding his grandchildren into a furnace.  But long ago, it seemed, the children had escaped, leaving the old man to tear at the skin boiling from his withered smile.

   Things might be different now.  That’s why I’ve got my head straight.  Now it’s my job to find those children.  Things have got to be put right this time.  That’s why I’m going hunting.

 . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Whither, Conn?  (Vol. 13 No. 2 December 1998)

   Department chairs are elected.  The “centers” are a result of upstart jockeying for positions of power and mobility to advance to higher paying salaries.  But who can blame an employee of Conn for going over and above the call of duty in their service to the community?  After all, some of the school’s best professors made the sacrifice for the good of the community and retired early.  Even greater numbers of young professors join our winning team; increasing the number of professorships with PhDs and balancing the faculty-to-student ratio, while receiving assistant or visiting professor status with lesser opportunities for a tenure track.  Then there are the umpa-loompas who blend beautifully into the beautiful scenery here at beautiful Connecticut College; so beautifully, that hardly a soul will notice a woman bent and scrubbing putrid vomit clean.  This section of the community is the foundation of our institution.  Many of them so extraordinary that in addition to their service here they strive in attaining a second job!  I guess with early retirement, part time labor, understaffing, an absence of unionization, and rising tuition; community service is pretty sweet!  Keep it up Conn, I like where this is headed.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

(Vol. 13 No. 3 March 1999)

   So all you Ritalin child vegan warrior princesses with your holier than thou attitudes can eat your mommies catholic wafers still so fuck the doomed we used to say laughing, naughty thoughts like baby Jesus fucked by pimped out add execs in Santa suits as America breeds and feeds in front of TV swilling horseshit lies of satisfaction and goodwill from weathermen to ADM who give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and who fuck us from birth like some 21st century madonnas immaculately reamed by capitalism’s giant greenback cock into giving birth to a global economy.

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(Vol. 13 No. 3 March 1999)

With a face of flawed imperfection

I realized the corruption

Of life comes to even the deformed

Of body

Who mistake a real affection

For something they can’t accept

So she putrefies her soul

With the same plastic remedies which

Cover and hide the feelingless flesh

Which is nature and part of her person

Entirely.

 

With a face of flawed imperfection

She wounded me

With words obscuring alienation

Imperfection is a perfect thing

Flawed in its tight wound grasp

On the throat of honesty.

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The Alpha and the Omega (Vol. 13 No. 3 March 1999)

   It is generally supposed that we have a process, a working process which should preclude any recourse to protest and dissent.  There is no doubt that such a process is in place.  The question is… to what end?

   We have a president at Connecticut College.  One whose title does not fit her role.  We have a president who talks of democracy, but we have never voted; One whose term in office has extended far beyond any possible consent of the governed.  One who shared our supposed ideals of freedom and liberty, but who buys and sells inclusion into the process as a commodity.  Equality.  What a funny word, equality.

   Since the process cannot refute the will of the president as it stands, the process cannot exist as we generally suppose it does.  Dissent and protest are our rights under the law!

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 Democracy is Despotism too (Vol. 13 No. 3 March 1999)

   Do we fully understand the consequences of an attempt to institutionalize the idea of consensus?  It seems to me an unjustified assumption that dialogue (whatever that means) as well as democracy serve as the means for a working relationship among citizens, let alone among employees too afraid for their job to open their mouths.  I mean if this were Microsoft, I could understand the corporate attitude, but this used to be a small New England liberal arts college, which makes it all the more ridiculous for our president to talk of democracy while Bill Gates occupies a prominent place as a citizen-leader (whatever that means) of our time.

   For instance, the idea that Bill Clinton should be tried at the Hague for crimes against humanity as a liar and murderer must necessarily be labeled as extreme.  I certainly agree that such an opinion does not represent some generally held point of view on the subject.  But what precludes such an opinion from being taken seriously in the mainstream (whatever that means) is not the content of the idea, but rather, the form which an opinion must take in order to satisfy the implicit rules of discourse.  That which cannot compromise towards a moderation of belief, or at least a modicum of frustrated muteness, to an acceptable level of alacrity and inclusiveness is then not able to penetrate the walls of Jericho so to speak which surround the discussion which functions as an elaboration of what is already held at the center of a consensus of opinion.

   What then is the purpose of regarding consensus as both the inarticulate starting point and explicit goal of discussion?  Well, for one thing an acceptable view (and in this sense people’s beliefs and in the end the people themselves (excluding of course the “mediators” (whatever that means) of the discussion) are reduced to a view within the larger context of this “democratic” process) must not challenge the economic and social institutions which provide for “free” debate  (Even if those institutions have been built on inequality and exclusionary practices).  A view within such a discussion must also take as authoritative the necessity for a near endpoint in which a decision is reached and the problem is solved, at least provisionally (e.g. Dayton Peace Accords).  In such a discussion, if the participants do not recognize the authority of the centrality of consensus then the result is that those who initially agreed with the validity of the process will enter, while those who disagreed either from the start or through attempts at real discussion will leave.

   Does it make sense then to conclude that Connecticut College and the democratic process in America have been and continue to be shaped through the exclusion of those citizens who cannot be fairly represented because of either the content of their beliefs or the voice given to their opinions?  It would seem so if we consider the relatively high number of professors retiring early and the level of ignorance among the students as to the actual insidious misuses of power practiced here in the name of the common good.  At large, the shrinking size of the actual participants in representative democracy signs the decadence of an institution whose image is at hypocritical odds with its actual character.  In this case a consensus can be representative only of those involved in a conspiracy to agree and those people still sadly dedicated to the notion of equitable representative democracy.

   Is it absurd to suppose then that the greatest contribution that can be made toward the creation of a real democracy is the critical and, if necessary, revolutionary character of thought and action ascribed to those both within and from the outside of the institution of American democracy looking in.

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Mr. DJ (Vol. 13 No. 4 March 1999)

   She said time was a photo opportunity.  I agreed.  Photographing bodies in motion sometimes rhythmically bound together in waves.  Moments when an ocean of rolling eyes and sweat hugged tees take on a groove, real tight.  When sex is motion and we can feel the heat in our hearts.  Occasionally a green wet stalk of steamy jungle beats will grow like vines across the room weaving in and out of the empty eye sockets of timeless zombie souls.  The vegetation of our release together is fed by every funked out head.  Cocaine noses sniff out the wide and wild eyes attached to metabolizing motion.  Meanwhile the vines grow thicker as we grow in mossy forest togetherness.  Their tendrils seek out sweat like life thirsty tongues of tender boundless anticipation, the bodies moving faster, dancing harder.  The motion of music is growing still, our brains vibrate in evolution and the matter of our separate bodies weave in waves of energy called dance.

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3 responses to “Blats Magazine

  1. I too recall Blats being one of the best features of my indenture at conncoll.edu. Send me a mail so we can coordinate a post-mortem.

  2. I am stunned. A Blats presence on the Web. Good Lord. What will they think of next?

    Press on regardless/

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