Week Eleven Point Five: The Mark E. Smith Pocket Zine Of Wisdom by Jean McEwan
So last Sunday, the day after writing my spiel on Room To Live, my partner and I hit up Leeds Zine Fest for the second year running. It was held at Wharf Chambers again, Leeds’ premiere co-op bar and venue, pretty much one of my favourite places ever, and it’s always completely rammed when they have zine events, with a really great community vibe. Whoever supplied the playlist slipped in some Algernon Cadwallader while we were there, too, so I was pretty satisfied with the whole experience.
Anyway, one of my purchases was this bad boy. To be honest, I’ve seen it around before – it was on a zine table at an art exhibition that I think I referenced in an earlier week – there was a performance from an underwhelming noise musician and we got drunk at a Wetherspoons in Bradford afterwards – but it was way more expensive there so I couldn’t be doing with it. On this occasion, though, I had a chat to the zinester who put it together, and only had to fork over a pound, so I couldn’t really say no this time. Following the Beacons announcement and my weird fuckin’ Mark E. Smith dream, I’m starting to feel like The Fall are following me around a little bit. Makes sense to go along with it and purchase my own Mark E. Smith Pocket Zine Of Wisdom to carry with me at all times, so I can whip it out when I feel like my surroundings aren’t confusing and repetitive enough.
It’s a micro-zine, if you’re interested in the technical aspects of zineship, which is a little eight page zine made out of one piece of A4 paper, one cut and a bunch of folds, and it contains six Mark E. Smith quotes that can be offer support and counsel in any situation, sort of like a comfort blanket. From Manchester. Jean McEwan, who put the thing together, described it to me as being like The Little Book Of Calm for Fall fans, which kind of makes me want to eat it to see if I turn in to Mark E. Smith, or at least gain the power to ramble incoherently to music. It contains such nuggets of wisdom as “I’m not saying I know what I’m doing all the time. I don’t. But I do believe in what I’m doing. That’s the difference” which provides massive amounts of insight in to The Fall in general, as well as “99.9% of people with a healthy diet will eventually die” which offers no real insight in to anything at all, but did manage to shut a co-worker up today when he was banging on about nutrition and why only ever eating houmous for lunch is an awful idea (it isn’t).
You can check out Jean McEwan’s work at jeanmcewan.com. She told me at the zine fair that she’s working on a project about weird Fall gig experiences and I bet some of you would be in to that. For now, though, The Mark E. Smith Pocket Zine Of Wisdom will accompany me as I make my way through the world, trying to cope with my horrendous life decision to listen to every Fall record in order.