Bad Web sites aren't bad, it's the people who make bad Web sites that are bad.
GO, GO PLANET READERS!
I am Editron, a multi-being trapped in a uni-being universe! Or perhaps it's the other way around! Nonetheless I am here to tell you it is no accident that you are reading this editorial! Or perhaps it is! But whether it was Fate or Chaos that brought you here, you have been effectively chosen as a Planet Reader!
So just who is a Planet Reader? Planet Readers are an elite group of mostly teens, old folks, and all other ages, as well as some Immortals, not to mention some non-time-related/otherdimensional creatures, and perhaps some technically living things that are simply uncategorizable, numbering in the tens upon tens, who, despite the unbearable pressure of Planet Magazine's erratic publishing schedule, have banded together to read this very zine you are cyber-holding! To put it simply, Planet Readers are Planet readers! In other circular words, a Planet Reader by any other name is still a Planet reader.
Of course, there is a non-monetary price to pay for being such a brave, strong and handsome or pretty Planet Reader! And that price is this: All Planet Readers MUST obey Three Rules, or forever lose the illusory protection of their Planet Readerness. These Rules are:
1. Never use the power of Planet Magazine for personal gain! (We've never managed to.)
2. Never escalate a battle in the Letters to the Editors column -- unless forced to do so!
3. Never, EVER reveal your secret identity of being a Planet Reader to anyone! (Not to your mom, not to Media Metrix, not even to yourself!).
That's it, Planet Readers! Now get out there and read! And... Good Luck!
In Next Week's Issue: Read all about the dozens of slightly different PlanetMon creatures and their amazing niche powers!
Some Sort of Being Apparently Trapped Somewhere for Some Reason
(as told to Andrew G. McCann, editor
Planet Magazine June 2000)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Dear Editor: I am a long-standing Romanian SF fan and I have discovered and enjoyed your magazine on the Net. I would like, if possible, to receive the early issues of the Planet magazines in PDF format.
[Editor's Note: Thanks. There is no direct link on our Web site, since we felt that the PDF version wasn't quite as good as we wanted. However, you can FTP directly to these hidden PDF versions (which were done for issues 1 through 9/10 only). Using an FTP program or your Web browser, go to: ftp://ftp.etext.org/pub/Zines/Planet/pdf/ ]
Dear Editor: Allies of independent publishing on the internet will gather in San Francisco for an exhibition, forum, and party to celebrate those who create and want to create for the new medium. "We have waited too long to face the evil, and there is no more waiting," declared Webzine 2000 organizer Ryan Junell. "We won't allow dot-com strip malls and passive entertainment the opportunity to come to power." Grassroots organizers created the Webzine event in 1998 to unite creators from the web and other media in an informal environment to discuss the meaning of independent publishing in relation to an ever-growing commercialized Internet. Audience members at Webzine 99 and Webzine 98 included activists, designers, journalists, DJs, Web workers, educators, artists, culture jammers, subversive anarchists, slackers, assholes, academics, and cool kids. Speakers at past Webzine events included Burning Man founder Larry Harvey ("Radical Expression on New Frontiers"), REsearch Publications founder V. Vale ("If the Web Were Punk"), Factsheet Five Publisher Seth Friedman, Andi Zeisler from Bitch Magazine, Amy Francescini of Future Farmers, Mark Pauline from Survival Research Laboratories, Srini Kumar of Unamerican Activities, and 45 other independent media creators. In spite of two previous Webzine events, e-commerce and consumer brainwashing has shown no signs of slowing down. "Webzine 2000 will establish that the Web is a democratic medium for personal, creative and alternative expression." said event organizer Scott Beale. Webzine 2000 stands out as the foremost global event for independent publishing on the Internet. The event will be held on July 22nd from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. at 2050 Bryant Street in San Francisco, California. Experimental digital music works will be performed in the evening by Kid606, Lesser, Terbo Ted, Wobbly, Crispus, D-84 (from Blechtum from Blechdom), and Kill the Robots. The audience is expected to exceed 700 people throughout the course of the day. People 18 and up will be charged $5-10 sliding scale. People under the age of 18 will be admitted free of charge. For more information, contact:
Dear Editor: I'm pandering for reviews of my Spungifeel Web site. Or any comments you might have. This is your chance to rub shoulders with me.... a nobody original. Spungifeel Comics is NOT about superheroes or pretty much anything you would see in the Sunday papers. Spungifeel Comics is about unique (okay...WEIRD) works that, hopefully, excite the reader's mind and fizz their humor juice. I have two daily comics, Salamander Bits and Somedaze, with a third, Soggy Toast, currently in production.
Spungifeel Comics**Salamander Bits**Somedaze Daily
Dear Editor: I am looking for places that might print my work (http://www.microserve.net/~gfenton/). When I work in papier-mache I treat it like clay. The armatures for the sculpture begin with paper and tape. The armature is built with the idea of what the creature is going to look like. The rule for papier-mache is that one layer at a time is to be applied. I like to use several layers of thick papier-mache; that makes the material easier to mold with my hands. Sometimes certain parts of the piece have to be reworked either by sanding or trimming the papier-mache with a knife. The dinosaurs with protruding horns and body armor intrigue me the most, because they give me the greatest opportunity to experiment with texture and color. My influences often come from black and white films of monsters and dinosaurs. These old cinematic images are less than "accurate," but they are dramatic and expressive. The details are left to be filled in by my imagination, combined with the imagination of the viewer. For my next several projects, I am planning to combine dinosaurs and insects into unique life forms. I want the appearance of these creatures to express a sense of humor.
Dear Editor: I don't know if you or your readers might be interested, but I have a free, online space-operatic game at http://www.interstellar-forever.co.uk/ which you can play in a '4' browser (IE or Netscape). Thanks for your time.
Dear Editor: Though I'd love to further pontificate -- as in last issue's letters column -- on the lack of merit of boy bands (or spawn of Satan, as I call them), I'd rather invite your readers to check out Electronic Tales at http://www.electronictales.com. Electronic Tales serializes action, sci-fi, fantasy, western, and weird adventure tales, and ships them out via e-mail five times a week, two pages a day. Subscriptions are available for free by e-mailing email@example.com
Dear Editor: I have recently produced three electronic (PDF format) anthologies of classic cryptofiction (short stories and books concerning mystery animals or cryptozoology), which are available for free downloading from my Web site: http://www.herper.com/ebooks/members.html or: http://www.herper.com/NABR.html Cryptofiction is a fairly narrow category of science fiction, concerning itself with zoological mysteries, but it is gaining some recognition and I hope to continue producing such anthologies.
Dear Editor: [The fake link to the March issue of Planet Magazine was a] cruel, cruel joke... Don't you know that you're a month early for April Fools?
[Editor's Note: April is not in March?!]
Dear Editor: Hey, I was just checking out your site, and I have a similar site that you might be interested in checking out (and perhaps linking to). It's a humour site, and I'm pretty sure that it'll be different from anything you've seen before. The online magazine is entertaining, original, and thought-provoking, and anyone who is onto the whole satire/irony thing will enjoy it. The magazine represents creativity, individualism, and education, and it's intended to be a positive experience for those who check it out. Visit the site: The Neo-Comintern electronic magazine (http://members.home.net/comintern). My hope is that you will enjoy the site. If you do, please help support us by adding a link to us in your links section. Thank you very much for your time and support. And please let me know what you think of the site!
LETTERS TO THE POWER RANGERS
Dear Red Ranger (Jason Version): I believe it's important to know who you are, and not to pretend to be somebody else. Unless, of course, you ARE somebody else! Then you wouldn't be pretending at all! I, for example, am, in fact, not who I am, but am, in fact, someone else entirely!
[What in blazes was THAT letter all about? -- Editor]
[It says precisely what it seems to say. -- N. Fackt]
[Wait a minute, pal! You can't respond to an editor's note! That's MY prerogative, as is my ALL-CAPS style of emphasis. -- Editor]
[Well in fact I CAN respond to an editorial note, because the "someone else" that I actually AM, is, in fact, actually YOU, my "dear" editor! -- N. Fackt]
[Wha-? Oh, OK. I guess that makes sense. But then, who is the someone that you ARE -- as opposed to ACTUALLY are? -- Editor]
[The person who I am, but not ACTUALLY am, would be, in fact, this "N. Fackt" person -- who is the fictional someone who originally wrote in to say they were someone else. In other words, they wrote the letter above. -- N. Fackt]
[Ah. OK. We probably should cut this conversation short. I have to go to lunch. So, I guess, I'll talk to you, I mean, me, later. -- Editor]
[OK, talk to me later! -- N. Fackt]
Dear Red Ranger (Rocky Version): The many Ultimate Frisbee readers among your fans might like to know that the best Frisbee-type disc ever made was the legendary, some say mythological, 180-gram Roswell Widowmaker! Only two were ever made -- both by a rogue CIA chemist who was later found drifting, quite mysteriously dead, in a kayak in the middle of Chesapeake Bay -- and one of these discs, rumor has it, is in a nonpublic basement room of the Smithsonian, right next to the Ark of the Covenant. The other one, they say, belongs to an Ultimate Frisbee drifter called Gort, who shows up mysteriously at tournaments around the country, enters as a ringer, wins the game, then disappears in a flash of light. Some say he actually works for an investment bank, but I don't believe it.
Never Stop Rockin',
Dear Green Ranger (Tommy Version): Have you ever noticed that almost all women are gay? They all like men!
Klaus E. Tedd
Dear White Ranger (Tommy Version): I am a vampire, and just wanted to register my complaints about the usability of computers today. I'm writing to you because I know that the major high-tech companies closely read Planet Magazine. Anyway, what I want to say is that even we Undead need modern processing power -- we've got to keep track of Daylight Savings Time, Victims Killed within a certain geography, Aliases Used, ex-Wives, etc. But what really burns me up (other than direct sunlight) is the reflective screens used on most PDAs, laptops, et al. Since we vampires can't see ourselves in mirrors, we have a hell of a time reading these screens indoors (especially under fluorescent lighting) as well as in moonlight. You Mortals have no problem, since your delicious, blood-filled heads cast shadows that block any annoying reflections on these screens. But for us Garlic-Fearers, forget it! The screens reflect everything from candlelight to streetlights, right through where our heads' shadows should be! So the screens are usually unreadable, except in a pitch-black night, when we can use the built-in backlight. But those are the times when I'm busy a-huntin'! Can't something be done? Hello, 3Com, are you listening?
Dear Yellow Ranger: When I was a kid, I was never super-fantastic enough for my parents. Sure, I was always "wonderful", or "great", or "much loved" -- whatever. But I was never once called "unbelievably fantastic", "super-duper-pooper special", "best-est boy in the whole darn universe", or the like. No wonder I'm still unhappy, even though I'm an Internet millionaire at age 23!
N. Ternett Starr
Dear Pink Ranger: Like that vampire who wrote in to you, I've also got a beef, and I don't think it's rare! My HMO refuses to pay for a motorized wheelchair for me -- I've even offered to go for a walker, crutches, even a cane! But they won't give me a dime. Granted, there is supposedly nothing wrong me, according to my so-called "doctors". But I do have a very serious case of Laziness, that I just can't seem to get over, and I really could use some help. By the way, could you send this letter on to the appropriate person in the government? I can't be bothered with finding out who that is.
Dear Blue Ranger: Now what's all this fuss I hear about the mapping of the Human Genome? For Pete's sake, me 'n' Betty Hollowell mapped out the entire human DNA sequence on one of our specially patterned quilts we made for the Lawrence County Quilting Bee Fest, back in 1967, or thereabouts. Took us weeks! Anyway, it was a lovely blue quilt. Very soft. I remember it was hit by lightning during the second day of the Fair. Why, bless me if that quilt didn't just get up and walk off by itself! Well, I hope it's happy wherever it is.
Hugh-Manne G. Gnome
Dear Black Ranger: This is the second-to-last letter in your letters section. How did I know? All I know is that I just "knew".
Penn L. "Tim" Ette
Dear Editor: We would like to announce that The Organization of Stupid Name (also known as Organization of Stupid Name, without the "The") has changed its name, since its recent membership drive was completely unsuccessful. The new name is now just Organization of Stupid Name. In other words, we have eliminated the "The". However, at the same time, we are adopting a new acronym -- OAS -- and will no longer be using OSN. It's true that OAS doesn't match up well with the actual initials of the group, but, well, so be it. The new changes are subtle, perhaps, and OAS is certainly not known for its subtlety, but we thought that eliminating one of the versions of our group's name would also remove any confusion among potential members, who weren't sure whether the group was called "Organization of Stupid Name" or "THE Organization of Stupid Name". So, that's settled, then. Except, of course, for the problem we introduced with our incorrect acronym. But to sum it all up: We're looking for new members again! Just as a reminder, OAS believes in one thing -- having the stupid name of "Organization of Stupid Name"! That's it! To join, e-mail OSN@planetmag.com.
Biedermeier X. Leeuwenhoek