You Know Better: Issue Eight

February 2015. Zines are the anti-depression. It's sort of impossible to feel numb and dumb while holding such a uniquely creative, independently published labor of love. And the act of making one - of dreaming up the topics and subjects and images and ideas will comprise it, of drafting, editing, printing, drawing, collaging, cutting, pasting, organizing, mocking-up, copying, binding, and distributing - by its very nature shakes that detachment and hopelessness to its core. You've got to care about what you're making otherwise you wouldn't be making it; you've got to see it from its inception all the way through to its completion, and you can't help but work at it, and try, and fine-tune, and give a little more than you expected.

Read on for a taste of this issue. To get a copy, stop by Bluestockings or email isabel at isabelsparkle dot com.


Did you know women's hearts give out first? my father says from his armchair. When they have heart attacks, they die more often than men do. He quotes a statistic that's somewhere around fifty percent.

Why do you think that is? my brother calls from the kitchen. What's the science behind it? There's got to be a reason.

I don't know, my father replies. I just read that somewhere, that more than half the time men recover from heart attacks and women don't.

My brother looks thoughtful as he brings in plastic bowls full of snacks. Well, I'm sure they had evidence to support their research. I mean, and here he glances in my direction, conciliatory but convinced, say what you want, I'm sorry, but men are just stronger than women. I know not everyone wants to believe that but... He trails off, begins to arrange the bowls on the table.

Everyone is quiet. I can hear birds outside. It's time to say something. Even if that is true, I speak up, controlling my voice so it comes out easy and even, it probably has nothing to do with physical strength. I bet women's hearts just give out faster because they're so worn out from dealing with everything else all the time.

No shit, my sister-in-law replies, suddenly and under her breath. When I look over she's bouncing her one-year-old daughter on her lap, pointedly avoiding my gaze and not elaborating further, but the door's been opened.

I smile to myself. The men say nothing.