Thursday, April 22, 2004

A conversation with zinester Vlorbik

Vlorbik is pretty well known around the zine world for his short-n-sweet Ten Page news. He's also runs one of the most concise zine directories on the web. Check the link out for more information (it's on the sidebar).

1. You have an extremely wide range of interests which is reflected the
topics that you cover in your zine, The Ten Page News. You cover everything
from math to movies and everything in between including underground comics, literature and teaching. Is there anything you're not interested in? How and when did this facination with just about everything begin?

Thanks . . . I do sort of pride myself on the breadth of my interests.
Within the world of reading and writing, that is: I'm pretty hopeless
in most "practical" areas. Even here -- all I have to do is go into
a bookstore and look around at all the sections I have little-to-no
interest in to remind myself that I'm a long way from a truly
omnivorous reader.

Changing the subject frequently in the TPN is essentially just a trick:
I try to get in and out of a given topic before anybody has a chance
to lose interest in whatever I'm saying. Devoting a zine to any one topic
strikes me as sort of scary since readers already bring certain baggage
to the situation and could decide they're not interested without even
having to look first and find out. Of course I quite admire zines like
_Infiltration_ that stick to a single topic and do it well; I'm just not
inclined to try such a thing myself.

How and when it began? Beats me. My whole family read voraciously.

2. I think that it was in one of your zines, although I can't be sure,
where I heard it, where you said that a goal of yours was to make your life
a work of art. What does this mean to you? How does someone go about
making their lives a work of art?

That was in "Saying__Meaning__Doing"; issue #22 (8/98).
I admitted there that there's an element of exaggeration
in any claim to've ever tried to live this way . . . but the
attitude is something along the lines of "always imagine
that somebody's watching and judging your behavior
on esthetic criteria" mixed in with some "if you can talk,
you can sing; if you can walk, you can dance".

3. Speaking of art, do you consider mathematics an art?

Oh, yeah. The most liberating of the liberal arts.

4. What is the best way for folks like me, who are intimidated by
mathematics to get rid of "math anxiety?"

Human contact seems to be the most important thing here: most
such anxiety seems to arise from certain unpleasant interactions
(quite often with bullying teachers but also with peer group stuff)
and can probably best be dealt with by somehow arranging certain
much more pleasant ones. Good teachers are of course hard to find
(and the industry is set up to drive us out in a hell of a hurry;
but that's another rant).

5. Been reading/watching anything cool that you'd like to recomend?

Try my blog!

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