Cashiers du Cinemart 1
- "Tale of the Tape (Part One)" - The Saga Begins
- "The Sad State Of Detroit Radio"
- "A Freeform Poem On Ethan Hawke"
- "Sonic Youth: Your Taste Is In Your Ass"
- "I'm Sick Of The Doe-Eyed Thing, Okay?" - by Mike Barnett
- "On Discrimination" - I Was A Teenage Reverend
- "Wyandotte Misses The Boat" - Dissing Downriver
- "Show Them No Mercy"
Cashiers du Cinemart #1 was first released in September of 1994. I had graduated college in April of '94 and didn't know what to do to keep my nimble typing fingers busy. After completing four years of college I had grown used to typing out a paper a week, usually dissecting one film or another, and had grown almost fond of it.
I think producing a zine had been a natural progression for me. Back in 9th grade (or, grade nine, as Canadians would say), I would write and send out long letters and stories to people in my English class. I really don't know why I did it, I didn't even really like most of the people on my limited mailing list.
Then in 12th grade I discovered my first "zine." It was Prototype, a BMX bike publication produced by Jeff Zick, a kid in my computer class. Since I wasn't into free-styling, I couldn't really relate to much of it, but the concept intrigued me. Especially when I learned that Jeff sent Prototype all around the country and got responses from it.
Mail, glorious mail. I have a real love of the United States Postal System. I'm constantly amazed by it and always elated whenever I get a piece of mail. And, in retrospect, that's one of the biggest motivating factors behind the creation of Cashier du Cinemart.
The idea for the content of the zine came partially from my love of pontificating about films, and from the endless ribald tales I could tell about my job as a movie theater usher. While working I felt a great irony in that I not only developed an opinion about the films I would watch but the manner in which they were presented and the patrons certain films would attract.
One sunny matinee-shift I stood in the lobby, writing ideas on the backs of "Superbucket Combo" coupons and had an epiphany about the state of theater workers everywhere. I felt a sudden kinship as I imagined other kids standing in their box offices, dreading the next customers who might come up and ask for "THOSE SUSPICIOUS CHARACTERS" instead of THE USUAL SUSPECTS. I wanted to talk to those ushers, box office workers, concessionaires, and projectionists. I wanted to let them know that they were not alone in the world. My brothers and sisters needed to feel their worth and to have a good laugh at the expense of the Great Unwashed. What we needed was a newsletter relating hilarious theater stories!
Thus, Cashiers du Cinemart was born.
It took three years to finally put out a single issue and by then I wasn't even working at the movie theater any longer. I had moved on to the wild world of video stores. But the idea still crept into my mind quite often.
Through a combination of a boring night at home, being moved to the night shift at my second job, gaining access to the postage meter at the video store, and finding an issue of Factsheet Five, Cashiers became a reality.
The first issue is really nothing to look at. I did it all on the noisy and slow Smith Corona word processor my Mom bought me for college. I typed out the articles and formatted the margins to be half a page wide. Then I went to work with the scissors and scotch tape. The entire thing was 14 full pages (counting front and back). I hadn't even thought about using a smaller font since my typewriter only produced one via its daisy wheel.
Articles included a slam of Detroit radio stations, a rip on my small-minded hometown, an indepth review of an S& M video, a story about my entry into a "Make Sonic Youth's Video" contest, a recollection about being an ordained minister and the grief I caused my high school counsellors/principal, et cetera, a free-form "poem" about Ethan Hawke, an attack on Wynona Ryder (can you tell I watched REALITY BITES while writing this issue?), and, what I was to become known for: "The Tale of the Tape," a continuing feature about a documentary I made about Quentin Tarantino. Despite my grand ideas about making Cashiers a magazine for theater-workers (the theme of my editorial), I didn't have one theater story in the entire zine and wouldn't until Issue #4.
I xeroxed the magazine at my night job and mailed issues to zines I read about in Factsheet Five. Anyone who was willing to trade got a copy, and thank goodness a few took pity on my retarded looking first issue with a home-made cover featuring tabloid-style headlines (which were made with the "enlarge" feature of the copier) over a picture of Quentin Tarantino with a gun to his head saying, "I can't face another day living a lie." The copies and postage were free, courtesy of work, and the response I got was better than anything I could have ever hoped for.