Chapter 2 – hail to the editor-in-chief
Like most days, I woke at around eleven AM. I was feeling a bit hazy from all the fun I had the night before. The cure, as always: a joint and a cup of coffee, a cigarette and another cup of coffee, some CNN and a joint and another cup of coffee and another cigarette. Repeat. By about twelve-thirty I was running on all cylinders.
That first night I had been up until about seven-thirty in the morning. At about two-thirty I had decided to go for a walk. The early summer air was crisp and silent. The streets belonged to me. I didn’t get home until six.
It takes along time to set up a nativity scene on someone’s front yard using their neighbour’s lawn ornaments; but well worth the effort. There were pink flamingo’s and ceramic frogs for the stable livestock. A cement statue of the virgin Mary, a lawn jockey to represent joseph, three lawn knomes as the wise men, and a Buddha statue as the baby Jesus. It was magnificent.
I could just picture people’s faces as they woke, pulled back their living room curtains to let some early morning sunshine in, and then; POW! There it was. On their neighbour’s yard: this glorious nativity scene, with a lawn knome/ wise-man that looked surprisingly like the one they had outside their front door. Slowly folks would saunter out of their houses and over to this cryptic art installation.
A community brought together. Joining forces in order to uncover the meaning and motive behind this strange creation.
Harmless mind-fucks are always good clean fun.
Once I got home I had a fiendish lust for some booze and dope. It didn’t dissipate until I had a blood concentration of dope so grand it would drop a bear. The ¾ of a 40oz of Olde E didn’t hurt either. All while watching one of my favorite cartoons: Pompei pete.
At around seven-thirty I drifted off to a heavily medicated coma. Just as the rest of the world was springing to life.
Nineteen ninety-nine was a prosperous year for any hard working, hard playing soul with a knack for grabbing life by the soft and wrinkly’s. of which I was one. I was an employee of the SCRC- the Strathvegas Community Resource Centre. That hep coffee house I mentioned earlier. I held several official positions within the organisation, as well as a handful of unofficial ones.
Officially I was admissions/concession attendant for the movie theatre, as well as the projectionist. Being the projectionist of a movie theatre is a rather simple job. About an hour before showtime I’d amble in, red-eyed and bushy tailed. I’d slowly drag myself up the stairs that led to the projection booth. It was a room about twelve feet wide, eighty feet long, and a few inches under six feet high. I was barely able to stand up. From there I ran both the theatre’s in this thriving Cineplex, both seating about two-hundred people. I would have to wind the film from the giant five foot rotating platter it sat on, around a slew of pulley’s spindles and tension pegs, then into the projector, and back out through another set of pulleys, and finally back onto another giant five foot rotating platter. After doing that for both theatres I’d relax on the couch in the booth and smoke a cigarette. If it wasn’t busy, and my help wasn’t needed at the concession stand; I would sit up there, start the movies, lower the theatre lights, roll a joint and snake outside to smoke it.
Some days I would grab some popcorn and a pop, then go and sit in one of the theatres and watch the movie with the rest of the patrons. Some nights I sat in the booth smoking cigarettes, eating mushrooms, dropping acid of chewing up white cross’. to say I had a lot of leeway with the job would be a drastic understatement. As long as the movies ran, nobody ever questioned or worried about where I was or what I was doing.
As well as this job I was also a general employee of the SCRC(herein referred to as “the centre”). what this job entailed was open for debate. But basically my job was to make coffee or tea for customers, answer the phone, assist folks with using the computers, clean and sweep the floor. I was also responsible for giving guided tours of the facility to perspective partners, sponsors, parties interested in establishing similar organizations elsewhere in the province/country/world. I also taught people to use the sound equipment for the radio station as well as how to structure a program based on the desired format.
On top of all that, I had recently been made the editor-in-chief of Ethos Magazine. Ethos was designed to be a monthly “zine” styled magazine; concentrating on the local youth scene’s in art, music, literature, and politics.
The well informed voice of the vivacious Strathvegas counter-culture.
Sounds extremely idealistic and nieve, and perhaps so were the original creators of this post-beat scene zine. Now it was in the hands of a drunk, doped-up, angry firecracker who could care less about high-art, high-culture, or high-comedy. I liked crude humour, blunt honesty, and blue collar gumption. I had no intentions to carry on with the established groove of dancing around the tree of knowledge.
I wanted to seize it by the trunk and shake the shit out of it, just to see how many snakes and rotten apples fell out.
The magazine was going to be a vehicle for all that was honest, true-blue, and politically venomous. Each month, an anarchistic fire stoking. I would search out the sharpest, most insightful young minds the area had to offer and get them to put pen to paper. To contribute to the enlightenment revolution that was gaining momentum; just over the western horizon and thundering this way.
And if no bright young minds could be found, I’d just have to make up some.
One way or the other, it would be fun.