Growing up, I was a little punk rocker with a bad, green haircut. I got through middle school — e.g. the worst period in any child’s life — thanks to NOFX’s live album, “I Heard They Suck Live”. The first time I slapped that baby into my Discman, it was like everything came into focus. I learned that you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to take everything so seriously. You can do whatever it is you love without anyone else’s permission or approval.
The punk rock ethos — the magic bullet that helped me find self-esteem and stop hating life — extended beyond the musical medium and into print, in the form of the Zine. The do-it-yourself print periodical, usually in the form of half-fold, letter-sized, staple-bound photocopy booklets, was closely aligned with the punk rock scene in those days, although today the format seems to have proliferated far beyond the confines of that subculture and exists anywhere aspiring and resourceful analogue journalists have the initiative (and a job with a well-stocked, poorly-guarded Xerox machine).
Fast forward twenty years, and here I am writing a blog about pencils. Pencils! At first glance, that may not seem very punk rock, and the irony of opining about analogue writing tools in a decidedly non-analogue format is not at all lost on me. Thankfully, fellow pencil lover (and, I’m proud to say, Triple-P reader) Ed has managed to resolve these contradictions by publishing the Pencil of the Week Zine.Continue reading