Sunday, August 29, 2010

Zinecon 2000 video cassette #1

     Zinecon was a gathering/convention/party/sideshow with a focus on zines, chapbooks, and other do it yourself endeavors which included but was not limited to writers, musicians, film makers, comedians, activists, and pranksters.

    This event happened twice in Las Vegas, Nevada.  That being the years 1999-2000.  I'm not sure if it ever happened again but it's definitely something Vegas needed at the time.  It was a great forum for creative types and curious onlookers.  Vegas appears to be taking it's arts community a bit more seriously as I hear there is now a monthly art walk which happens downtown.  Bonus.

    Again I have no excuse for letting this video go unwatched for about 10 years.  But I ain't apologizing for shit.  Just be thankful I fished it out from my boxes of unwatched tapes to share with you.  Just think if I had died you would never have seen these images.

    I try to interview several different people but it's quite apparent I'm not all that great at hard hitting interviews.  And yet it's a good time capsule from 10 years ago.  Seriously 10 years ago.  That's right 10 years ago. 

    Harry Fagin was a fixture on the poetry scene in Vegas in the late 90's which was centered at the Cafe Espresso Roma on Maryland and Harmon.  I used to go there a lot and drink the free water.  I never was much for poetry and it used to be funny to me when on the rare occasion I was at the Cafe during a poetry reading I would occasionally get shooshed from Mr Fagin because I was talking while someone tried to recite their soul.  Actually he never shooshed.  He would get in your face and tell you how "disrespectful" you were being.
    I used to laugh when I'd see him rollerblading around the campus of UNLV with his shirt off.  He told people his name was Rhino.  He was the Poetic Cop and at the risk of being unpopular I have to admit he was not that bad of a guy for being a cop.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers are the biggest sacks of shit to be belched up by humanity on this god for saken planet.  He must have had some balls to stand up and admit that he wrote and enjoyed poetry in front of those pieces of garbage.  It takes guts to be different in a room full of goons.  And in all honesty his poetry is not that bad.

   I have to take a moment to share a story about Mr. Fagin that's not too flattering but will illustrate my point that it's bullshit to generalize.  Not all cops are bad.  It's a safe assumption that Las Vegas cops are 99.9% human shit and they do nothing to dispel that image.  But in truth there were only two cops in all of Vegas who came off as decent people in all the years I lived there.  One was Mr. Fagin the other also worked the beat around the Cafe but I can't for the life of me remember his name.  He was slightly older but super down to earth and approachable.  Once I saw him hanging outside the Cafe sitting in his car talking to the skaters in the parking lot.  He said hi and he asked if I'd like to see what my record was on his car-computer just for kicks.  A friendly guy.  After looking me up on his console it turned out I was clean at the time.  Hopefully that's still the case.

    Fast forward a few years and my brother and I were sitting in the Cafe parking lot waiting for others to show up for a camping trip.  We were at one end of the parking lot when we saw Fagin and the cop I mentioned above come out of the pizza shop.  After a minute we heard the screeching of tires as Fagin comes barreling across the lot slamming on his brakes in front of us.  He gets out furious accusing us of pissing on the handle of the car his partner was driving.  His partner being the great guy I mentioned above.      Eventually we convinced him it was not us who did the deed but I could understand the anger and sympathized because I liked his partner.  He apologized got in his car and drove away.  

    Ordinarily I wouldn't give a shit about those fucking pigs.  I'd be more than happy to piss in their face if I could get away with it.  Just goes to show you can't be too quick to judge.  Fagin is a decent enough guy as well as his partner whose names escapes me.  I'm sure there are more good people who are also police officers in Las Vegas, Nevada but just to be safe I will spend the rest of my life avoiding those fucktards unless they accost me.  Every other interaction I've had with those bastards ends the same.  Fucked up.  Even my parents are afraid of the pigs in Vegas.  That's saying something.    

    Amy Carrelli was pivotal in making Zinecon happen the second year.  She held it together and it came off great.  She also helped me to produce a horrible movie but you can read about that elsewhere.

    The above video is snippets of random images from Zinecon 2000.  Look for your face among the crowd.  This was a pretty cool venue at the time.  They guy who owned/operated this venue seemed a bit shady but aren't all people who own arts/performance spaces?  Overall he seemed like a nice guy.   At least when I dealt with him.  I wonder if this space is still around.  I kinda doubt it since ten years is a long time for a building to remain standing in Las Vegas.

     My Barbra Walters moments captured in the next few clips are somewhat embarassing but I'm glad I took the time to try my hand at it.  Pam Prim is someone I saw regularly at shows or at that shithole the Doubledown.  I didn't realize she was associated with Anti-Racist Action until I saw her at Zinecon.
    The history of skinhead violence is deeply rooted in Las Vegas.  It found it's ultimate tragic ending in the murder of Spit and Dan which had happened a year prior to this interview being filmed.  I often wonder whether those bastards who killed them will ever be served.  I would like to hear more about whether they are in jail or not but news about the wearabouts of those assholes is hard to come by on the internet 10 years after the fact.  A recent google search turned up little in the last 3 years.  
    It is my hope there is still some faction of anti-racist people in Las Vegas.  As for myself I like to fight racism by dating non-white chicks.  Sorry that's as far as I'm willing to go although I will admit I still like seeing racist people get punched in the face whether they are black, white, asian, yeah yeah yeah it's not that funny of a joke.  I hope I never see another person get punched in the face as long as I live.  I'm kidding.  Some of these jokes just don't read well.
    You will notice I was messing with the in camera effects here.    I can't remember if I was trying to be arty or I just forgot and left the text on the screen during the interview.  It looks really stupid in retrospect and I guess I probably owe Pam and apology for stamping that writing on her forehead in this video.

    I don't know the gentlemen in the video below so I can only hope I spelled their names right.  If I didn't please tell me.  They seem super cool.  I hope they are all still pursuing their dreams as they all came across as positive guys filled with creativity.
    I was poor back then, not much has changed, so at the time I could only afford to buy Iceberg Slick's comic.  It was fucking great and I still got it.  I wanted to buy one from Vezun but didn't have the cash.  If you got any info on these guys please share.  

   Below is a short interview with Professor 8000%.  Don't know anything about the guy but I will admit he and his partner are prolific in their own unique style.  Plus I like how I framed their art.  

     The videos posted here are largely unedited but I made a few cuts and superimpositions here and there.
     This was the first minidv cassette I found.  Look for cassettes 2 & 3 sometime in the future.  Unless I die in which case no one will ever see those images.

Zinecon 2000 Tape ONE download links below

Download Harry Fagin Poet Cop
something is missing?
Download Zinecon 2000 Random moments
Download Interview with Pam Prim
Download Interview with ISlick/Mac the Ripper/Vejon
Download Interview with Professor 8000%


  1. YES! I remember that cop! This blog looks great!

  2. They ALL got served, particularly John "Polar Bear" Butler who sits waiting to die:

  3. Just discovered this email from Vezun shown in the video above. Damn I spelled his name wrong. Somehow it got lost in my email account and I didn't find it til today. I've pasted the message below:

    hey there i'm one of the guys in this clip that you posted.
    i also did my part to try and document the zinecon online
    and there are zinecon posts on my the 5th page of my tumblr

    or specifically
    in general i tried to document a lot of las vegas culture. a lot of it is in my tumblr. and my few youtube videos document some las vegas happenings.

    i really appreciate your posts. if you like you can change your post from "vejon" to "Vezun" either or, same diff...

    keep posting...
    Vezun 11

    p.s. specs on my books