At Amherst's Food for Thought Bookstore today they had a meeting of Zinesters.
Zines were underground publications that arose in the late '80s early 90's around the then new word processing technology that allowed for cheap "desktop publishing." It opened a whole new world of publishing possibilities that were previously too expensive using the traditional printing press. This was before there was widespread internet access and it was exciting because suddenly everyone could print anything in their own home! Once the internet exploded in the late 1990's most zines migrated online. But in its brief heyday our Valley was a pioneering area for the zine scene, with lots of music zines coming out of the Northampton punk music culture. There was also a subversive little political zine called The Baystate Objectivist, edited by yours truly, which probably had the largest single audience of any of the Valley zines.
But the rise of websites and then blogs killed the zines, or so it seemed, yet as this afternoon's zine revival in Amherst showed the zine is still very much alive among the most extreme publishers. Here's one of them, Katie Omberg.
But the biggest event of the day was the annual Extravaganja rally for the legalization of marijuana, a patriotic event calling for freedom for all astronauts of inner space.
All the usual suspects were there, such as UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition adviser Terry Franklin.
Counterculture comedian Norman Bie, who once counted among his fans Jerry Garcia, was there in full regalia.
Mainstream politicos were also represented.
And then of course there was the stoner music by such bands as Orange Television.
A good time was had by all.