It would be an understatement to say I found out about The Match! a little late in the game – at issue # 109, this zine has been around since 1969 (the year I turned 2!). I’m just glad I discovered it, thanks mainly to a review in Randy Robbins’s Narcolepsy Press Review.
Fred is a printer by trade and prints these up on old printing machines, no computers are used at all. I’ve never seen any print publication like it. Aesthetically, it fucking rules so hard you’ll wanna kill yourself, because you and your punky Xerox zine are not worthy. The Match! outclasses everything else by light years.
But what about the content? Subtitled ‘A Journal of Ethical Anarchism’, it redefined what I thought anarchist publications were all about. Namely that they were created by lazy, glue-sniffing crustoid retards who simply reprinted anti-McDonalds rants ad infinitum, never coming up with anything original of their own, never actually doing anything but being loser fucking douchebags whose main energies seemed to be directed at ranting about cops busting them for shitting on cop car bonnets, or else whining about how their anarchist pals were now former anarchist pals who had this Anarchy thing all fuckin’ wrong and arse backwards, the cunts.
But getting back to The Match! … The feature of this issue is Fred’s report of his active protest against an exhibition from China, called ‘Bodies’. The exhibition featured plastinated bodies of deceased Chinese in various amusing poses. What Fred was protesting about was that some of these bodies were probably those of executed Chinese ‘criminals’. He spent three months out on the corner of the museum and the story of how people, and museum staff, responded to his protest was utterly compelling. There’s a huge letters section—unsurprisingly, since The Match! has been going for so long—but the letters themselves are great reading, from people like librarians and cartoonists (Dennis P. Eichhorn is a regular in these pages).
One regular column is cleverly titled ‘(Who The) Police Beat’ and features reports of police abusing their powers, hurting and sometimes killing ‘civilians’ while getting off scot-free (one frequent example seems to be drunk driving – OK for cops to do, but if you’re not one, all of a sudden the law applies. Haw!).
Another column, ‘Islam: The Religion of Peace At Work’, features reports on such wonderful, progressive movements as the push for Sharia law, and the blowing up of girls schools (like in Pakistan), since women must be kept locked at home as sex slaves and baby-making factories, never let out of the home unless accompanied by a male relative.
It was also cool to read that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a new book out (if you wanna learn more about the ‘value’ of women in Islam just read her book ‘Infidel’).
There’s so much more in here, but all you need to know is that you must get a copy of The Match! Put it at the top of your list. (Posted on 8/13/12)
I can’t resist quoting the entire masthead from this publication: “First published in 1969, this publication exists solely to criticize authoritarian society and religion in order to argue for the many humane advantages of freedom and rationality. We are not affiliated with any groups or organizations. Any publication of this same general orientation may reprint anything herein. DONATIONS: we welcome them and need them. But please: no checks. Just cash or stamps only. No kidding, no checks! Submissions of letters are extremely welcome, and all letters will be considered as being for publication unless you indicate otherwise. We have no telephone, no email, so either write or don’t communicate at all. Typesetting and printing by Editor and Publisher, Fred Woodworth, 2011. No computers are ever used in this production.” I have to admit that the NO CHECKS! kind of fondly reminded me a little of BROOKLYN ’s stance on the same issue. There’s a lot to consider here, and it’s rare to see a zine with the kind of lengthy publishing history that THE MATCH! has (over 40 years!). If you’re interested in ethical anarchism or are interested in reading more about it, THE MATCH! is a publication you’ll want to consider. It’s free, but consider sending along a few bucks or some stamps. This issue included a piece about the Bodies Exhibition that I found especially interesting, but, again, at 80 pages there’s a lot here – including a lengthy letters section, so if you don’t want your letter published, make sure you indicate that in your letter (see above in the masthead). (Posted on 8/12/12)