The Zombie Stance of the Technological Idiot
by S. Mintz
Published by JackPine Press
Review by Toby A. Welch
$20.00 ISBN 9781927035412
What a fascinating gem this book is!
JackPine Press, the publisher, explains this book as “a lyrical probe into contemporary media, with focus on the inextricability of media from culture. Its playful, challenging, and satirizing verses throw comical punches, while the book’s analog zine design juxtaposes themes of the work with ideas about communication and alternative media in a pre-internet world.” Huh? I’ll be honest – I had no idea what any of that meant. That is until I got my hands on a copy of the 30 page book. More a piece of funky art in parts than a book, this soft cover read is short but awesome!
When you crack into the book, the preface explains Mintz’s thinking behind this dive into post-internet art, lyrics in the technological age, internet authority, the post-internet self, and numerous other issues. Once through the preface, you are treated to an assortment of drawings, poetry, and lyrics. It’s a delight for all of your senses.
My favourite work in the book is News of Them. The poem shares the story of someone sitting in a tub full of water (that constantly needs a blast of hot water when it gets cold.) Without Mintz spelling it out, I deduce that the person is checking out two people online. The person in the tub eventually gets out of the bath and makes coffee while continuing to creep the people. The online duo are posting pictures of beach trips, tagging each other, and doing things that internet savvy couples do. It’s a powerful piece.
The title of this book came from a 1969 interview with Marshall McLuhan for Playboy magazine. McLuhan used the term to explain what he considered the numbing effects of new media where media is an extension of man.
This limited edition chapbook (which is what Saskatoon-based JackPine Press mainly publishes) comes with a bookmark with anaglyph glasses built into it. The old school 3-D glasses with one blue lens and one red lens enable you to look at the pictures that appear randomly in the book in three dimensions. Attached to the bookmark is a pin with ‘COOL’ in caps on it. These accessories make the chapbook extra fun.
The book’s creator, S. Mintz, has a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Regina with a specialization in creative writing. And creative Mintz is! This book started in a poetry class at the University of Regina. I am thrilled that Mintz continued the project so us readers can reap the benefit. It’s a masterful, mind-blowing work. For anyone interested in getting their hands on something thought-provoking that is not a mainstream book, pick up a copy of The Zombie Stance of the Technological Idiot.
THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR FROM WWW.SKBOOKS.COM