[84 pages, digest size, $3.00 or trade >>> redguard, PO Box 1568, New York NY 10276, USA + redguard (at) gmail.com + www.absent-cause.org ]
Absent Cause, notes editor redguard, is all about "underground cultures, hidden histories, feminist and queer sexualities, body image, chosen families and radical politics; vampirism, the gothic, horror and the macabre; surviving abuse, coping with mental illness/dangerous gifts, self-harm and suicide." (In other words, some nice, light reading you'll wanna take to the beach this summer.)
This one is the 'Survival' issue.
I love the cover by Jaimie Hashey (Butt Rag Mag), and she also has a story in here, 'Testing', one of the highlights of the zine. Jaimie's got a really urgent, punk rock kind of writing style, and even though some of the crazy fucked up shit she experienced in childhood and teen years is shocking, her cool black humour ensures it never comes across like, "Boo hoo! Didn't I have an awful hard life! *Blub!*."
There's a fascinating piece by Victoria Hall on the history of wife-beating. "On December 18, 1752, the New York Gazette reported that an "odd Sect of People" had been appearing in New Jersey. Calling themselves the Regulars, they dressed in women's clothes, painted their faces and then visited the homes of reported wife-beaters. They stripped the abusive husbands and flogged them with rods, chanting, "Woe to the men that beat their wives." The article also covers some history of martial arts classes for women (and the origin: "In 1969, members of Women's Liberation group Cell 16 began offering Tae Kwan Do classes for women.")
Editor redguard reveals his love of rape/revenge movies, like Ms. 45 and I Spit On Your Grave, then goes on to discuss a rare Swedish example of the genre, Thriller: A Cruel Picture  which was far more extreme than the formerly mentioned US films, since Thriller... included explicit sex scenes.
Elsewhere, we are treated to some bad poetry by Walaa Quisay:
But once by that desolate tree
You said you would always love me.
And some good poetry by Spanky McSparkleton:
I killed myself today,
just to see who cared.
One thing that bugs me about Absent Cause is the editor's frequent mention of "the struggle", "revolutionary actions", "comrades" and all that jazz. Communism? Pol Pot was a communist and he killed at least 1.7 million Cambodians. Only Adolf Hitler (socialism) racked up more kills. So excuse me if all that communist (and socialist) crap leaves me cold. But aside from that, there's definitely some cool shit in redguard's zine.