[Marxism] Bruce Anderson's AVA Oregon!

Gilles d'Aymery aymery at ix.netcom.com
Mon Nov 15 14:21:37 MST 2004


Bruce Anderson's AVA Oregon!
by Gilles d'Aymery
November 15, 2004    

"Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe."
—Thomas Jefferson 

(Swans - November 15, 2004)   So, did you get the very first issue of 
Bruce Anderson's new Weekly, the AVA Oregon! in your mailbox 
this week? I did!!! 

Friends, colleagues, comrades, dear readers, if you haven't gotten it, 
then, well, you can't know what you're missing, but, let me tell you, 
you are missing lots of goodies, for sure. 

Now, I suppose that they still have a few copies of the first issue left 
around the office. Don't waste time -- pick-up your phone, call Ling 
at 541-688-4264 and tell her your check is on the way. Then sit 
down and write the darn check for either $22 for a six-month 
subscription or better yet, $40 for a full year -- that's 52 issues, or 77 
cents per week, for cheesesake (it's an insane bargain!) -- and mail it 
to AVA Oregon, P.O. Box 40038, Eugene, OR 97404. You can 
also send an e-mail to arbor at avaoregon.com. 

Come on people, just do it! 

I guess you may wonder why I'm doing this shameless plug for Bruce 
and Ling Anderson's latest venture in the publishing world when I 
cannot even begin to "market" Swans, right? Puzzling indeed! 

Here's the reason, or better, the reasons: 

First I am an idiot and find Bruce good company to keep. See, we get 
into those ventures without thinking much about the logistics. It's like, 
once upon a time, long, long ago, as we were counting florettes to the 
damsels, we understood what Bergson meant when he said, "We 
want to know the reason why we decided and we find that we 
decided without reason, perhaps even against all reason. But that is 
precisely, in certain cases, the best of reasons. For the accomplished 
action answers to the whole of our sentiments, our thoughts, and our 
aspirations." We do it simply because we cannot not do it. Then, we 
wonder how we'll make a go at it -- I mean, financially -- and our 
respective companions, Ling and Jan, cringe at our stupidity (or is it 
infantilism?) and save the day again and again, all the while wondering 
why they chose to live with those kids. So, that's one reason enough. I 
can't sell myself, don't have T-shirts or coffee cups with my name 
inscribed on them like some silly revolutionaries I know, but I sure can 
try to help a friend. 

And help they need. In his first column for the AVA Oregon!, 
"YEWGENE: Off the top," Bruce begins his very first paragraph, 

LEFT UNSAID, in my blustery front page "statement of intentions," is 
the grim fact that this publishing adventure suffers a shocking lack of 
start-up capital. I've got three months to make the paper self-
supporting before I drown in Visa-Master's frigid seas. Check that. 
Given my long history of fiscal miscalculations that probably means 
that I've got two months to make AVA Oregon self-sufficient or 
reconcile myself to spending my golden years selling apples and 
pencils in front of the Eugene Post Office. This paper will either pay its 
bills, or it'll die fast... 

Furthermore, this new paper shines by its absence of ads -- actually 
the bottom half of page 5, in the first issue, is left pretty much blank, 
with a big headline, "This Space For Rent" . . . "(In fact, all pages 
are!)" . . . and an appeal for subscriptions... (Actually, you can get six 
months for just $20...but it would be nice to fork over the $22 all the 
same, and better yet, $40). One call away, people: 541-688-4264. 

Is this a real newspaper, Bruce? "Yes," says the man, "this is a real 
newspaper, dude. So real it does not have horoscopes, teen pages, 
sex ads, big color photos of toddlers romping with puppies, or 
tributes to the local titans of free enterprise. It assumes that people 
can decode what they read without it being filtered by a graduate of a 
journalism school." Here you have it... 541-688-4264. 

Worse still, when Bruce Anderson lived in Mendoland he had 
managed to alienate pretty much all the Dumbocrats in the county -- 
the county went 63.7% for Kerry...that's how dumb they are! (By the 
way, write-in votes were 364, 1.03% -- read Nader -- and 246, 
0.70% for Cobb, wink, wink.) So, his paper then, the Anderson 
Valley Advertiser, suffered the same affliction: few ads. Subscriptions 
from all over the country and beyond and local sales were 
overwhelmingly paying the bills with the added bonus that you got 
more content and less crass-consumerism than in all the other papers 
in the county. 

Once in Eugene, being the unredeemable idiot that he is, Bruce did 
not lose much sleep over his propensity to take on the local 
bureaucracies, commercial parasites, and general vulgarity of city-
USA nowadays. "JUST BECAUSE I got into town five minutes ago 
doesn't mean that I don't have lots of opinions about the place. Stand 
by for your first force feeding," says he. And here he goes again. He 
takes on the local police; the competition ("Inside the [Eugene] 
Weekly's 'Best of Eugene' edition the moronic becomes the cretinous, 
'Nice shoes, wanna fuck?' This witticism is described as Eugene's 
'best pick-up line.'"); City Hall; Barnes and Noble, Eugene; the post-
industrial wilderness and its billboards, the "Great Slide" of the 
American monster ("Eugene's welfare boss said the other day that her 
beleaguered agency received a thousand-plus new referrals of child 
abuse and neglect over the past year, and if that news isn't more 
evidence of a society in free fall, what is?"); and more of the same. 

Way to go Bruce. You had 90,000 dumbasses in Mendoland; now 
you're taking on 300,000 in Eugene. Say ciao to your ad budget, 

Friends, just for his sheer lunacy, the poor fella deserves your 
support. Come on, send him your hard-earned 40 bucks -- AVA 
Oregon, P.O. Box 40038, Eugene, OR 97404. 

Another reason to subscribe to the AVA Oregon, besides a bunch of 
talented contributors, is Bruce Anderson himself. Last June, in "Bye, 
Bye Boonville; Hello Eugene! America's Greatest Editor Moves On," 
Alexander Cockburn wrote in CounterPunch, " I write as a 19-year 
contributor to the AVA and a pal of the Editor, and can therefore 
state with more knowledge than most that as an example of all that is 
seditious, muckraking, contrarian, courageous and uproarious in 
American journalism, Bruce Anderson's AVA has been up there with 
the best of Paine, Twain, Steffens and H.L. Mencken." Want a little 
taste of it? 

[Full: http://www.swans.com/library/art10/ga187.html ]

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