Monday, November 20, 2006

Polemicist online in html

This is flattering ... and a little scary. ;)

The student group UT-Watch has now posted nearly all the issues online from a short-lived (1989-'92) alternative student magazine founded by me and Tom Philpott, Jr. at UT-Austin called Polemicist. The student-written zine focused entirely on investigative reporting (by some very green student-reporters cutting their chops, I should add) about the University of Texas and its environs.

We began publishing just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but for some reason the epigraph on the masthead from Karl Marx, "A journal must have polemic, if it is to struggle," wasn't always taken in the ironic sense it was intended. The real source of the magazine's name wasn't Karl Marx, though, it was actually a George Bernard Shaw quote that I'm sure Tom remembers but I've long since forgotten.

Polemicist was a free handout in central Austin paid for 100% from advertising that maxxed out at around 15,000 circulation. However, it was published before the Internet era, so that means the UT-Watch folks (I think primarily Austin Van Zandt) had to re-type those suckers to get them into html.

Thanks Austin and UT-Watch, that's an amazing compliment that you'd think these old stories were important enough to archive online, even though part of me is a little scared to look and see what in the world I might have written as a student 16-17 years ago - and about whom. God help me ... indeed, God help us all.

UPDATE: Funny to read my collegiate writing again. Among opinions I've backed off of, somewhat, in my more moderate middle age: Against school spirit, a three tiered attack against jingoism in the young.


atrayn said...

The HTML part is just Polemicist entering the 21st century...

I did it to provide something the left has always lacked: continuity. I'm archiving *tons* of shit to the ol' UT Watch site, thanks to my flatbed scanner and pirated software I got in Bangkok (only about one-fourth of it is transcribed). What y'all wrote is very important, and the only people who should think it's scary are those in the damn Tower

There's absolutely nothing ashamed of. The articles that specifically you and Tom wrote were pretty damn awesome and provide context to what student activists are facing today. But shit, I'm embarrassed to go back just a few years to see what I wrote over listservs........

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Well, there's a few things in there I wouldn't have done today, including one or two pieces of art we ran that typically came in at the last minute and had to fill the hole in the page, appropriate or not. Let's just say Polemicist was a learning experience, and I'm glad I' didn't plan to run for office. ;)

Thanks a lot, though, it really is flattering y'all would put it up. Great to see the pre-web zines from UT getting archived. Great work!