Zine Review: Operations Manual

ZINES_OperationManual

Artzine, Marx Aviano, vol. XI, Pioneers Press, godblessgenerica@gmail.com, pioneerspress.com, $3 (US)

What’s your first mental image of a sharp-tongued anarchist intellectual? Whatever it is, Marx Aviano is probably the counterexample. Operations Manual confounds categories with a mix of bitingly sarcastic anarchistic political commentary (a sardonic peak is met in Aviano’s appropriation of Bill Keene’s Family Circus comic: Circus Family by Keen Bill) and disorienting randomness (a Martian counting table, grim internet memes, etc.). The heady, absurdist humor is first sketched out in a series of pieces that riff on the issue’s number. Being the 11th volume, the numerical jokes include an 11-fingered smiley-faced man, a volume knob cranked to 11, an exposition of the so-called 11:11 phenomenon and a likely
pilfered text on polydactylism (that is, having extra fingers or toes). Other non-11-related appropriated texts include an explanation of dangers for Christians using the internet (the
content is extreme and the danger is immediate, in case you didn’t know). Operations Manual appropriates freely and mockingly, including by clipping and pasting from others’ and its own Facebook pages (under the name God Bless Generica) in which Marx baits and skewers the unsuspecting. This is all in keeping with the zine’s prevalent jesterly disdain for all things conventional, Christian and capitalist. Recommended for the self-satisfied anarchist intellectual in need of a laugh. (Joshua Barton)

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