Sunday, May 15, 2011

Zine Review: The Gadfly Spring 2011

The Gadfly Volume 1.2 Spring 2011 is a publication created by students from Middlebury College in my neighboring state of Vermont. I am extremely grateful to have been gifted with a hardcover copy of this zine, it is a work of beauty. Students at Middlebury have been thinking about big issues and it shows in the articulate and passionate writing within The Gadfly. This issue ranges from musings on the nature of corporate educational control to food insecurities, dealing with the cops, resisting labels and questioning capitalism. I’m older and jaded and have wondered: where are the alternative thinkers on campuses today? They’re reading The Gadfly. I found myself nodding while reading all of the articles – for example how corporations cash in on the green “movement” and seem cool, hip and caring. How corporations do the easy thing that contributes to their profits. The latest “50 things you can do to be green” list will not save the planet, but it will make you feel better however temporarily, until the pain of climate change, deforestation, polluted water and nuclear radiation, etc hit home.


In this ultra conservative culture, people are called “radical” just for talking about creating an adequate health care system, ending homelessness, supporting liberty and personal rights or even suggesting that corporations should be held responsible for their actions and the damages they create to the environment and society. In reality, the “radicals” are people who think all social, economic and cultural difficulties can be remedied through “private ownership” of all resources, natural and capital. We are a long way from justice for all in this culture - it used to be a value, now its just some words we mouth at the end of an empty pledge. Ask any person who lives on the streets, or who lives in poverty, or lives with a disability and can not get even basic needs met how much liberty there is in Amerika.

One minor shortcoming of the writing in this journal is it is written from a highly intellectual perspective (what would one expect from academia?) However, when these thoughts translate into heart and action, this is how the world changes.

Print copies of The Gadfly are limited buy you can download them (and read new blog postings) from

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