Library Juice 2:18 - May 5, 1999

May is Labor History Month


1. Cinco de Mayo -
2. The Daily Bleed - A Radical Book of Days
3. Literary Calendar (Yasuda University, Japan)
4. "When ideas are capit@l: the knowledge economy"  (Unesco Courier)
5. Ranganathan, Shiyali Ramamrita - web bio
6. "Beyond Bookmarks" - Call for Contributions
7. Historical Cost-of-Living Calculators
8. GENLOC - discussion list for genealogy and local history librarians
9. Subject Gateway on Religions - European consortium project
10. Call for Papers: The Bottom Line
11. Memo to Charles Brown from HCL staffers, Brown's response
12. Jennifer Cram on Power (article excerpt)
13. Powell's Books is now a Union Shop
14. Yesterday (May 4th) in History - From the Daily Bleed
15. Links related to the Haymarket Massacre
16. Name Authority for Monty Cantsin
17. [sic]

Quote for the week:

"When you take 'Personnel Issues in Information
Management,' you learn how to supervise library
employees, not how to be one.  When you take 'Library
Administration,' you would do well to remember that you
are the one who is being administered, at least in the
beginning and probably for a long time.  ...[T]he
program of instruction leads you to believe (in a twist
on the old Huey Long boast, 'Every Man a King'): 'Every
Librarian a Supervisor.'  Now, common sense indicates
that this will not be the case.  Libraries are
hierarchical.  To suggest that eaach new group of
graduates will soon be Supervisors is not based in
reality... So prepare yourself, learn about unions,
'the folks that brought you the weekend'..."

James Danky, "Libraries: They Would Have Been a Good
Idea," a talk given April 17, 1997 at the University of
Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and published in Sanford
Berman and James Danky, eds., _Alternative Library
Literature 1996-97_, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1998


1. Cinco de Mayo -

        This article from Latino Beat discusses and suggests
        several Internet sites to find out information about this
        day that commemorates the victory of the Mexican
        Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862
        and serves as a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism.
        - cl
        Subjects: holidays | mexico

From: Librarians' Index to the Internet

2. The Daily Bleed - A Radical Book of Days

This is a database of significant events in history, accessible from a
calendar on the web.  Labor history and radical art and literature are
well represented.  It makes for extremely interesting reading, and is
loaded with links to potential resources.

If you have a little extra room in your inbox, I recommend getting the
Daily Bleed by email.  It comes in a single daily release of about 15k.
The web version is graphics intensive, while the email is text only.
You can subscribe to it from the website.


3. Literary Calendar (Yasuda University, Japan)

An almanac of literary information.  Click on
the calendar for information and view past and
future months/years for historic events,
literary works, and authors.  E-mail option
and search engine also available.

Submitted by:
R. Tiess

From: ResPool -

4. "When ideas are capit@l: the knowledge economy"  (Unesco Courier)


Hello New Librarians:

An interesting article for those interested in the
importance of knowledge and learning in society.
Article covers present day issues & future predictions.

The Dec 1998 issue of  "The Unesco Courier"
(also called "The Courier") has a special report
entitled: "When ideas are capit@l : the knowledge
economy" (pgs 17-36).

For online version see:

Alistair Kwun

Acquisitions Dept
University of Auckland Library
New Zealand


5. Ranganathan, Shiyali Ramamrita - 1892-1972 -

        A brief discussion of the life and work of the "father of
        library science in India." A link at the bottom of this
        page leads to an American Library Association page
        discussing his Five Laws of Library Science (1931), a
        work which has had world wide influence on
        librarianship. - mg
        Subjects: people | librarians


6. "Beyond Bookmarks" - Call for Contributions


   I am greatly interested in identifying additional Web collections
that have adopted/adapted Library classification schemes or controlled
vocabularies for organizing Web resources for potential inclusion in my Web
clearinghouse _Beyond Bookmarks: Schemes for Organizing the Web_.

   _Beyond Bookmarks_ is available at:

     I am not only interested in the application of international
schemes such as Dewey and Library of Congress, but national and
local library schemes as well. Of particular interest is the application of a
*controlled vocabulary* for organizing or augmenting access to a Web

   In addition to library schemes, I am also interested in the application of
non-library standard schemes of organization to Web resources.

  As Always, Any and All contributions, queries, critiques, comments,
questions, concerns, etc., etc. are Most Welcome.


/Gerry McKiernan
Theoretical Librarian
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50011


   "The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Invent It!"
                              Alan Kay

7. Historical Cost of Living Calculators

Contributions to ResPool -


This site calculates comparable prices back to 1926 so if you know the
current price of a given item you can quickly see what it would have cost
in the past.

Alice Donoghue, Librarian
Barrington Area Library
505 N. Northwest Hwy., Barrington, IL 60010
Phone: 847/382-1300 x258, Fax: 847/382-1261

The views expressed represent my personal opinion and not necessarily the
opinion of the Barrington Area Library.


This site offers a calculator that calculates inflation rates from 1800
to 1998

David Chase


From: "Kelly Currie" <kelly[at]>

This is a fun site in which you can enter a date (e.g. your birthdate) from
1900 to 1997 and find out headlines, prices of basic goods, etc. for that
date in history:


Here are some good inflation calculators:

Hope that's helpful. I had another site bookmarked that actually gave the
price of items, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. Guess I need to
finally organize those bookmarks!

Frank Boyett
The Gleaner

8. GENLOC - discussion list for genealogy and local history librarians

Dear colleagues,

We would like to announce the creation of GENLOC, a new listserv discussion
list on the WWW.  The list is intended to promote international networking
among librarians and other professionals engaged in genealogy and local
history services.

GENLOC provides a medium for exchanging information and experiences, seeking
assistance with difficult reference questions, promoting common professional
interests and concerns, and encouraging cooperation.

GENLOC is mainly an unmoderated list, belonging to the Genealogy and Local
History Discussion Group in the Social Sciences Libraries Section of IFLA.
It is sponsored by IFLANET and the National Library of Canada.

Listowners are: Melvin Thatcher <ThatcherMP[at]>, Jeff Svare
<SvareJM[at]>, and Hans-Christoph Hobohm <hobohm[at]>.

To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail to the following address:


In the body of the message type:

     SUBscribe GENLOC YourFirstname YourLastname

*   IFLA-L is provided by the International Federation of Library     *
* Associations and Institutions (IFLA). For further information about *
*    IFLA activities, including organization or personal affiliate    *
*               information, contact:  IFLA[at]                  *
*                                                                     *
*                      URL:                              *

9. Subject Gateway on Religions

Date:         Mon, 12 Apr 1999 10:56:35 -0400
Reply-To: richard[at]
Sender: "PRT-LIBN   Philosophy, Religion & Theology Librarians List"
From: Philosophy News Service * richard jones
Subject:      [Fwd: European Partnership for Subject Gateway on Religion]

-------- Forwarded Message --------


I'm coordinating a European consortium of institutions who
are aiming at creating a so-called subject gateway on
religion. It will be aimed at all age groups and provide an
online learning space for open and distant learning. A key
element of the gateway will be resource discovery and
metadata encoding based on DublinCore and RDF/XML. We
will propose the project for the IST programme within the
5th Framework for Research and Development in EU, which can
support a project like this up to 100%.

We are now looking for prospective partners within the
library sector. There are a number of issues that needs to
be addressed: Metadata standard, resource discovery, data
storage, design and usability & rights management. And not
at least the creation of a new, browsable subject
classification scheme for online resources on religion (see
below for background).

If you are interested in this please ask for more
information. Or if you know of any other library or
association in Europe that might be interested, please
forward this message. Any other opinion on this matter will
also be welcomed.


Creating a new browsable, multilingual classification system
from scratch might sound terribly ambitious and
resource-draining. Before we outline how it could be done,
let's look at the alternatives: The three most used
universal classification systems are LCC, DDC & UDC. The
problems with them are:

1) They reflect an anachronistic attitude towards religion,
where Christianity occupies a very dominant position, other
religions are not given their proper represantation they
have in "real life" of today, and even some classes within
Christianity are outdated.

2) They are primarily made for physical collections where
one primary class per item is important to find the right
shelf. Online catalogues does not have this limitation, and
can therefore be designed differently.

3) They are not easy to use. This is partly due to the first
point which make them unlogical from a modern users
viewpoint. But they are also very detailed, and classes are
often buried very deep in the system.

One approach to these problems is to combine a hierarchy of
classes with a controlled vocabulary. The hierarchy will
actually be several hierarchies combined. One for
geographical coverage, one for the particular religious
group (Lutheran within Protestant within Christianity) and
one more phenomenological hierarchy with f.i. these top
levels: Historical developments, Doctrines, Expressions,
religion, Relations. These various trees will together
provide flexible, multi-dimensional classifications.

A good principle (from a usability viewpoint) is also too
limit any hierarchy to, say, maximum three levels. Naturaly,
this will in many instances not give the necessary detail
level. Therefore, the hierarchies can be combined with a
flat, controlled vocabulary with all the details needed.

Finally, such a gateway will not be complete without good
options for interoperability with other systems for
information retrieval. A mapping to one or more of the three
systems mentioned initially, will therefore be needed as

For further background reading on the issue, see the
excellent analysis of various systems by Traugott Koch:

For further presentation of the proposal, please contact
sphere-manager[at] for links to The Sphere


      Dag Tjemsland, Faculty of Theology, University of
       Pb 1023 Blindern, N-O315 Oslo, WWWeb:
        Tel./fax: (+47) 22 85 03 00/01; Tel./fax home
office: 22 71 53
        88 \__

Torill Redse
Forstekonsulent Torill Redse
National Office for Research Documentation,
Academic and Special Libraries
P.O.Box 8046 Dep.
N-0030 OSLO

Tlf. +47 23 11 89 00/10
Faks +47 23 11 89 01
e-mail: torill.redse[at]

10. Call for Papers: The Bottom Line

Sent to LIBREF-L

The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances provides librarians, library
trustees, and others concerned with library management, with current
information related to the financial aspects of library operations.  The
journal focuses on cost measurement and containment, fundraising,
development, fiscal policies and procedures, and the financial
implications of technological change.  The journal seeks to provide
current, practical information that can be applied in all types of
libraries.  The Editor welcomes submissions which discuss budgeting,
economic trends affecting libraries, endowments, leasing, outsourcing,
insurance, grantsmanship, resource allocation, cost analysis, funding
technological innovation and alternative sources of revenue.  Authors

Prepare articles that are specific enough for readers to apply to their
local situations
Report on experiences or the results of research
Include facts and pertinent examples
Employ a simple, readable style, even when the subject matter is complex

Article Presentation

Articles should be between 2000 and 4000 words in length, although shorter
communications dealing with more immediate issues, responding to points
raised in articles and raising new issues for discussion will also be
included.  Such items should be up to 1000 words in length.  Articles
should be typed with wide margins and double spacing.  Two copies should
be sent to the Editor together with a brief autobiographical note, 1-6
keywords, an abstract of approximately 150 words and a suggested title.

Submission of articles

All manuscripts and editorial communications should be sent to the Editor:
James H. Walther, The Catholic University of America, School of
Library and Information Science at 202-841-6567 or waltherj[at]

James H. Walther, President
Higher Education Association
The George Washington University
Graduate School of Education and Human Development
2134 G Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20052

11. Memo to Charles Brown from HCL staffers, Brown's response


Date: March 29, 1999
To: Charles Brown (HCL Director -Ed.)
From: _____ and the undersigned staff
Subject: Response to Media Update Memo of 3/11/99

We would like to respond to the Media Update and the
HCL issues which are drawing the attention of the media
and questions from library patrons.  We acknowledge that
changes in cataloging policy and pratice are already
underway and assume that additional changes will
continue to be made.  We are aware that the HCL catalog
has influenced catalogers and cataloging from the
smallest local library to the Library of Congress, but
for HCL Information Desk staff it is the basic tool
that enables our daily work.  We hope that the changes
will allow us to continue to provide the kind of
service that our exceptional catalog has always

We also believe that participation in open and vigorous
discussion of issues is optimal in making the best
possible decisions for the system.  We have taken
seriously HCL administration's continuing invitation to
staff to participate in the decision-making process.  It
seems, however, that the critical thinking skills and
debate that we understood to be welcome in this newly
decentralized Team environment are limited.  In the
case of Sanford Berman, the very person who's most
qualified to engage in high level debate, ask the most
nuanced and difficult questions, and inspire
decision-making of a high order has been reprimanded
for doing so.  It troubles us that a staff member whose
contributions to his field are widely recognised has
been asked not to communicate with professional
colleagues and staff on the subject of his particular

We are uncomfortable with this breach of intellectual
and professional freedom of speech.  We hope that the
prohibition on discussion of issues will be
thoughtfully and carefully reconsidered, and look
forward to an affirmation of the right of library
professionals to engage in candid and robust debate
without fear of reprisal.  We believe that all
libraries should encourage the full and free expression
of views by staff on the crucial issues which face our
profession.Finally we look forward to continuing active
participation in the decision-making process at HCL, as
well as the ability to continue providing the
outstanding public service endorsed by the HCL Board's
Vision statement and reflected in our national
reputation as one of the finest libraries in the

cc: Jack Cole, Library Board President

(HCL employees - signatures not available)


April 22, 1999

Dear ________,

I have received your memo of March 29, 1999.

I am sure you can appreciate, as an employee of this
library system, why HCL will not comment on a complex
personnel issue involving a specific individual.  As a
result of our efforts to protect the privacy of
employees, HCL management has become the target of a
particularly one-sided and unfair public discourse.  It
is unfortunate that unsupported assumptions have been
circulated and treated as fact by HCL staff and others.

Foremost in importance is the assertion that HCL
management is trying to restrict any individual's right
to freely express personal opinions.  The free
expression of ideas is at the heart of the library's
mission.  However, there is a significant difference
between exercising the right to freely express your
opinions and ideas *as an individual*, and using County
resources (staff time, equipment, and material) to do so.

From your memo, and from other related staff
correspondence, it appears that some staff assume
adopting a team-based structure means that HCL
Administration will abrogate management
responsibilities to some sort of minority opinion
rule.  In a team-based organizational structure, a
dissenting opinion does not negate a decision.  In
addition, while staff members from all levels of the
organization are encouraged to express their diverse
perspectives as part of the decision-making process,
those who choose to decline the opportunity to inform
the process will not be heard.  In the end, the
*decision or outcome* remains the prerogative of the
appropriate team or board, a designated staff person or
manager, or the director.  To continue the debate past
the decision-making point, without offering new
information, serves onlyu to communicate disagreement,
not a desire to participate.

It also appears that there is some confusion about the
point at which managerial responsibility supersedes an
individual's professional privilege.  Managers have a
*professional* responsibility to support and implement
organizational decisions.  What a manager says publicly
has an impact on managerial effectiveness.  It is
unrealistic to believe that a manager can provide
effective leadership to staff involved in a major
project while also openly expressing an opinion that
the project is unnecessary, ill advised, or even

Over time, through training, experience and
constructive dialog, I believe our still evolving
team-based approach will become better understood and
accepted as part of our organizational culture.

On a very personal level, it is extremely disappointing
to me that a number of the staff members who signed the
March 29 memo are individuals with whom I have worked
closely over the past five years, often supporting and
encouraging their respective professional endeavors.
The tone of the meo, the unquestionaing support it
provides to an incomplete and misleading interpretation
of events, and the scope of its distribution are all


Charles M. Brown
Library Director


12. Jennifer Cram on Power

"Organisations can be simultaneously attracted and
repelled by the idea of empowerment. Empowering workers
without actually giving them power seems to be what is
desired. The ideal employees, it would seem, would be
energetic, dedicated workers who always seize the
initiative (but only when appropriate), who enjoy
taking risks (but never risky ones), who volunteer
their ideas (but only brilliant ones), who solve
problems on their own (but make no mistakes), who
aren't afraid to speak their minds (but never ruffle
any feathers), who always give their very best to the
organisation (but ask no unpleasant questions about
what the organisation is giving back to them).

Empowerment involves shifting decision-making from a
smaller number of middle or top managers to a much
larger number of lower-level staff and requires that
larger number of staff to have the same information
that their managers had, as well as an equally
comprehensive vision of the organisation's direction,
goals, and objectives.

We talk endlessly about the power of a shared vision,
failing to understand that the power lies not in the
vision but in the sharing. A vision which is not built
up from the common threads of the individual visions of
all concerned, a vision which is handed down from on
high, commands at best only compliance.

The esteem in which we are held, individually or as a
profession, our level of self-esteem, the resources we
command, and the image we project by the way we behave
are inextricably linked with the power we command and
the way we use, misuse, or fail to use that power...

It is personal purpose that puts the passion into the
professional environment. Quite ordinary individuals
with a commitment to a moral purpose can generate
enormous power. Personal purpose is not as private as
it sounds. In moral occupations such as librarianship,
the more one takes the risk to express personal
purpose, the more kindred spirits one will find.
Personal purpose is not just self-centred, it has
social dimensions as well, such as working effectively
with others and providing the means for empowerment of

Personal purpose in librarianship should be pushed
until it makes a connection to social betterment in
society. This is what it is at the one-to-one
librarian-user interaction level. It has greater scope
and meaning, and calls for wider action if we realise
that societal improvement is really what libraries are

If librarians have a problem with power, the problem is
not that they do not have power, but that they do not
fully use the power they do have, and they do not
really believe they deserve to have it, anyway...

While the organisational reality is that we all report
to someone, we also need to believe that we can and
should develop strategy, and plan for the future,
rather than just comply with the plans of others, and
that we can participate in the organisational
decision-making processes, including those concerning
budgetary allocations, as well as having autonomy to
decide where the library money is spent.

from "Manna, Manna, Manner: Power and the Practice of Librarianship,"
Keynote Address, Jennifer Cram, New Zealand Library and Information
Association Conference, Oct. 1993

Jennifer Cram is (past?) President of the Australian Library and
Information Association.

13. Powell's Books is now a Union Shop

You've probably heard by now that employees of Powell's Books, a huge
independent here in Portland (how huge?  Physically, a whole city block,
the flagship store alone . . . in terms of selection, it says something
that Powell's sells a lot of books to last week voted for
representation by the ILWU.  The margin was narrow (161-155) so if any of
y'all do business with Powell's, why not do what I do?  Make a point of
telling the staffer that you're shopping there because you support the
union drive (and because today's Pete Seeger's 80th birthday?)


Bruce Jensen
   PLUS:  Public Libraries Using Spanish


14. Yesterday (May 4th) in History - From the Daily Bleed

1886 - Haymarket Square Bombing. A bomb kills seven Chicago cops as
they attack demonstrators at a rally protesting police brutality
yesterday at McCormick Reaper Works. Eight -- including speakers at
the meeting -- are arrested. Four anarchists (August Spies, Albert
Parsons, Adolph Fischer & George Engel) were subsequently hanged for
murder after a show trial & another (Louis Lingg) killed himself. No
evidence linking them with the bombing has ever been found & the
Chief of police manufactured his own evidence. Illinois governor
John P. Altgeld denounced the trial as a travesty & pardoned some
(knowingly destroying his political career).

'There will come a time when our silence will be more powerful than
the voices you are strangling to-day'

                ---Albert Spies

1886 - In Milwaukee, meanwhile, members of the Polish Assembly of
the Knights of Labor march from St. Stanislaus Church to the
North Chicago Rolling Mills, shutting down factories on their way. The
combined forces of city and county police are unable to stop the
march, and the sheriff requests National Guard troops.

Over 2,000 marchers reach the plant office & present demands for
the 8-hour day & a wage increase. When the Rolling Mills rejects both
demands, employees pour out & join the crowd. As hostility
increases, the National Guard begins firing just above the crowd &
the plant shuts down. Tuesday evening, Central Labor Union leader Paul
Grottkau tries to calm tempers by proposing a citywide union
executive board to bargain with employers. Spoken in German to a
meeting of 1,500 workers, Grottkau's proposal is misinterpreted by
newspaper reporters as an appeal to violence. Today (May 5th), state
militia will shoot into a Milwaukee strikers' march & kill five

1970 - US: Four Kent State University students murdered by Ohio
National Guardsmen at a demonstration protesting the U.S.
incursion into Cambodia (see 30 April).

Despite warnings from advisors that invading Cambodia (Operation
Duck Hook) would lead to domestic bloodshed, Kissinger & Nixon
decided to invade to prove Nixon's toughness. Nixon was boozing
heavily & repeatedly watching “Patton” to bolster himself. Many
staffers worried he'd gone off the deep end mentally. He directed
staffers to take a public hard-line posture toward critics/protestors:

"Having drawn the sword, don't take it out -- stick it in hard."

With the Kent State killings the White House was stunned, more
worried about mushrooming protest than the deaths, which many
blamed on students themselves; J. Edgar Hoover advised that one of the
women killed had been "sleeping around" & was "nothing more than
a whore."  VP Spiro Agnew fulminated about "traitors & thieves &
perverts & irrational & illogical people in our midst." [the
White House? --ed]

America's campuses exploded, finally joined in the streets by
middle America, by workers, & even dissidents within the government

1970 - US: City of Chicago unveils a new monument to policemen
killed in Haymarket Square. Chicago police, with a tradition of
indiscriminately shooting & killing unarmed workers & their
supporters, honored. The statue, oddly enough, keeps getting
knocked over.

1970 - US: 5,000 demonstrate at College Park, Washington, D.C.
450 policemen unable to disperse them, 600 National Guard sent in --
to protect them, right?

(Excerpted from The Daily Bleed, a daily calendar of radical
history, archived on the web:

The Daily Bleed - Sinners & Saints galore
"Better to go hungry than to feast on lies.":


15. Links related to the Haymarket Massacre

Illinois Labor History Society - article on the riot


Haymarket Martyrs Memorial - photographs and history

Haymarket Massacre Internet Memorial
(Note: the server may be messed up, giving a false 404 error)


16. Name Authority for Monty Cantsin

>From the Editor:

While I was enjoying the anarchist book fair in San Francisco
recently I had a conversation with my friend Chuck0 (known as
the Chief Anarchist Librarian) in which he raised an interesting
question about Neoism from the point of view of thecataloger. It's
an interesting issue...

The name "Neoism" is partly a joke, but it stands for a genuine avant
garde art movement that has its origins in Situationism, Fluxus, and
the Mail Art movement.  Librarians who handle art, philosophy, or
cultural studies collections may need to be know how to handle its
products.  Certain features of the movement present a unique problem.

Although the expositions of the Neoism that emerge from it are
frequently extremely difficult to understand (the products are
generally textual manifestos, and the object of criticism or interest
is the concept of Reality itself), certain intentions are clear. One of
them is to challenge the idea of authorship and of ownership.  The
primary way this challenge is repeatedly expressed is through the use
of agreed-upon pseudonyms by anonymous "neoist" and "anti-neoist"
participants.  The first of these pseudonyms in use (at the
time of the original expressions of neoism in 1984) was Monty Cantsin.
Neoist artists, whose true identities might be known to scholars of the
movement, would often simultaneously publish manifestos under this name
or others (such as that of the famous soccer player Luther Bliss).

Much Neoist art will never find its way into libraries, but some of it
must. There is a neoist magazine called SMILE, which has numerous articles
by "Monty Cantsin" and other Neoist identities.  The question arises of
how a cataloger should treat the author.  Should the librarian respect the
intention of the neoist and make authority records based on the name
"Monty Cantsin," or should she discover the real names of the artists and
avoid losing the information? To use the name "Monty Cantsin" would in a
sense be to participate in the Neoism.  On the other hand, it would also
be a lot easier, and in most cases "Monty Cantsin" (or Luther Bliss,
Luther Blissett, Elliot Cantsin or others) would be the only name
available.  In those cases, should the librarian use the actually more
informative name "anonymous" or respect the intention of the artist and
go with the Neoist pseudonym?

Here are some links for some background information on Neoism:

SMILE magazine, the Neoist publication:

Manifesto of Neoist Performance:

Neoism newsgroup:


A Monty Cantsin-related Neoist project:

A bit of background:

[22] The Thing called Monty Cantsin is an explicitly empty
     figure, a name open to occupation by anyone who wishes to
     stand in the stupid guru's place in order to see that it
     doesn't exist.  There is, in fact, no such individual as
     Monty Cantsin; he is a pure alias.  In principle, anyone
     who wishes to adopt this false identity, this identity as
     falsehood, and for whatever motives, whether it be to
     preserve the strictest anonymity or from the most venal
     band-wagon opportunism, can claim to be Cantsin.

        Canadian 'total media artist' Monty Cantsin
        is something  between an enigma and an
        institution.  He is a being around whom a
        vast contemporary mythology has accumulated.
        Nemesis seems to dog his footsteps; retribution
        is incapable of tracking him down.  He is
        voracious of appetite, prolific of explanation,
        eternally on the brink of affluence yet forever
        in the slough of debt.  He is, moreover, a
        prince among parasites, a model of optimism,
        and a master of obtuseness.  He can achieve
        more, and at less cost to himself, than a gypsy.
        He is as ancient as the hills, as genial as the
        sunshine, as cheerful as an expectant relative
        at the death bedside of wealth.  He is unthinkable,
        unforgettable, unejectable, living on [in] all men
        for all time.  Nations die and rise again; Kings
        come and go; Emperors soar and fall ... but Monty
        Cantsin lives on and on.^18^

     The stupid guru is always a locus of exaggeration: a
     "vast mythology" surrounds the leader of even the tiniest
     sect.  Here, the purposely vacuous description could apply
     to any guru, and that is its point: it is offered as a null
     set, and hence as the proper set of the guru himself.  He
     lives on and on because he never existed, just as no guru,
     no king, no pop star has ever existed.  But that is not to
     say that one can ever go beyond him.  In the very act of
     evacuating this figure, his sovereignty is reconfirmed.
     The history of Neoism demonstrates that once one stands in
     his place one can easily forget one is standing nowhere:
     Cantsin becomes a disputed figure, as certain Neoists claim
     to be the real Cantsin in the very act of inviting others
     to partake of Cantsin's persona (a rather messianic offer:
     this is my body), as if mere contact with this name was
     enough to erase the memory that there is nothing at stake
     in the name, that emptiness is all that was ever at stake
     in it.^19^  One is reminded of the wars for possession of
     the term *dada,* equally vacuous and equally invaluable.
     Thus Cantsin is not only an anarchistic be-your-own guru, a
     figure of a *poesie fait par tous,* but both the attempted
     subversion of this structure and the immediate failure of
     that subversion in a proprietary struggle.


                  Stupid Undergrounds


                              Paul Mann

                        Department of English
                            Pomona College

                Postmodern Culture v.5 n.3 (May, 1995)


17. [sic]

This is just to let you know that the official launch of [sic] magazine
took place very quietly in the early morning hours of April 3. [sic] is
a new webzine focusing on concrete and sound poetry along with related
reviews, interviews, recordings, and the like. Of course these are not
stringent guidelines, as our current content proves. Right now we are
featuring an interview with Concrete poet, and editor of Coach House
Press, Darren Wershler-Henry. We also have artwork from Neil Hennessy,
and myself, as well as a few extra's thrown in for good measure. We are
currently accepting submissions for our next few issues (we will always
be "currently" accepting submissions), check the site for details, and
mailing info.

Besides this we are looking to create an online directory of small
presses, and small press publishers. This will include literary presses,
zines, webzines, comix, and everything in-between. Listings will include
contact info, location, type of material published, and samples if
available. Eventually we would like it to be fully searchable and allow
you to order material directly from the presses. Hopefully this can grow
to become a valuable resource for both the small press community, as
well as small press enthusiasts. If you want to become a part of this
project, please get in contact with us right away, there is no cost
involved, and space is unlimited so spread the word.

In fact, please forward this email on to anyone you feel might benefit,
or be interested in [sic]. Right now our marketing plan consists of
three little words: "word of mouth."

I hope you enjoy our first issue. [sic] will continue to expand over the
next few months, so please bookmark us... pretty please.


Lucas Mulder, editor, sic[at]


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