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Distort #32

   
16 pages, A4, $2.50, available from Sticky 
First copy of this punk zine I've seen, although read good things about it elsewhere, so big thanks to Sticky for sending me this one.
This is part one of a look back at the 'best of' Distort - this issue covers Distort #7-13. "Wait a minute", I thought. "#7?" The unnamed (?) editor explains this in his introduction. It started as a "stupid myth" that issues #1-6 were all immediately out of print or short run or mix tapes, but the reality was that he'd been writing hardcore zines since he was 15 (Stop And Think, No Longer Blind, Room 101, and On Fire) but none of them made it to #7, so he figured he would end this curse by starting his new zine at that number.
A highlight - the story about his grandmother (a Latvian refugee), now suffering from dementia ("...she attempts to eat her food with a napkin as a knife. She makes sandwiches using the plate as a top layer, and she loses her way to the bathroom."). He writes (intro to Distort #10) that last week he found out that she was a Nazi sympathizer. The only way he could understand this was through the Nazi's appeal to the herd mentality, and national/racial pride. He relates this to his passion for hardcore/punk - "these offer an anti-herd mentality, a hostility to the crowd." 
Reading some of the band interviews here, the overriding motivation seems to be violence, aggression, nihilism. From interview with Left For Dead band member describing a H-100's set - "They started, the singer threw something really heavy straight ahead of him, not even looking. Someone took out the bouncer, two girls were punching each other's heads in and there were at least three all out fistfights by the first chorus, no joke."  
Another highlight is in the interview with Formaldehyde Junkies, where band member Andy answers a question about their song 'Now Don't Go Start Your Own Band", written because of the overload of shitty hardcore bands. It made me laugh because the zine world too has this problem. It's funny to me, with the often-heard exhortations by some ziners, '"Hey! You too can start your own zine!", to rather say, "Hey! No need to try this yourself! By all means please don't feel compelled to make your own zine!"
[Formaldehyde Junkies (great name!) also have their own wonderfully-named record label, Fashionable Idiots Records]
The editor also has a couple of quirks - one of which is his love of/focus on hardcore/punk bands from Cleveland (the only thing I know about Cleveland is that it's the city Harvey Pekar came from); the other of which is, he often begins an interview with a question about the band's school, work and church (or worship) life.
Distort was a good read. I'll be tracking down the next issue for sure.

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blackguard23
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