Alternative Incite Zine
Joe3, 40 pgs, Butter Lamb Press, butter-lamb.com, $3
Few positives have emerged from this pandemic, but surely if there’s any, the creation of spare time is a front runner. Writer, editor, and publisher Joe3 birthed this inaugural issue of Alternative Incite while “Trapped indoors (thanks coronavirus!)” at home in Maryland. He counts himself as one of those rare Americans who recognizes that ridiculous behaviour is exacerbating the spread of COVID-19. The essays in Alternative Incite — the majority written by Joe3 — range from superficial gripes about the overdub in a cable TV broadcast of The Matrix (“Jesus Christ” became “jeepers creepers”) to deep self-reflection. Joe3 examines his own inability to act in light of the zine’s mandate, which encourages readers to “exercise their right to be bizarre, different,” and reflects on the projection of a “new normal,” after COVID-19, by now ubiquitous.
How can there be a new normal when there was no normal before COVID? Everything was already changing, constantly, and rapidly. One of Alternative Incite’s more memorable revelations is that Joe3 is a collector of specialized dictionaries. The zine pivots to become an endearing ode to reference materials, ending on a good note.