Prelude to a Lick – The Editor’s Rant – Column

Prelude to a Lick

by Scott Hefflon
illustration by Mediocre Concepts Unlimited

Yup, we’ve (over)done it again. Not to sound uncharacteristically cheerful (I’m really not perpetually angry, I’m just usually drawn that way), but the last few months have provided so much to rant about (both positive and negative, both verbally and in print, both in long-winded tirades of sweeping generalization and metaphorical whoo-hah and in short, choppy utterances – the rough equivalent of a quick brush on the lips or a well-executed suckerpunch), and Lollipop can barely keep up with it all.

I’ve been accused of being exceedingly self-referential, but sitting in what appears (to a delusional egoist like myself) to be the center of a whirlwind of action and reaction, it’s not unthinkable that one would try to convey all the patterns and forming shapes around himself to the reader. (It’s always made me uncomfortable that “the reader” isn’t pluralized.) Many items in this issue are taken out of sequence, out of context, and long-term readers may wonder what the hell is going on. Um, if I knew, I’d probably tell you. Then again, I probably wouldn’t. There are a few things (the letters, in particular, and my pissy rant on the last page) that probably could use some explanation, but you’ll not get it from me. I simply print stuff to share a few of the many things I see out there that filter their way in here. Put it this way, this is a really wild time to be alive. There’s so much to get excited about and so much to get pissed off about, there’re only a certain number of pages available within which to capture it all. In the last few months, I’ve watched people I thought were stable, crumble before my eyes. I’ve seen young hopefuls burst out of “nowhere,” reminding all of us to always strive to better ourselves – either keep up or get off the ride. People lose their faith and falter, people settle into grooves in which they feel comfortable, and many (these are the people I both like and hate the most) are practically losing their shit because of stimulus-overload. Mental misfires and the wonderful ideas that come about as we try to make sense of and mentally archive all that is going on in the world, in our culture, in our subculture, and in our lives. I talk/listen to too many people from too many backgrounds in too many different parts of the country to write it off to the drinking water, the phase of the moon, or the drug mom was on when she had us. While it’s not a universal freakout, a revolution, or anything nearly that romantic-sounding, there are great shifts in motion, and I’m stoked be a publisher during this time period.

This issue, to my eyes, is the biggest and best yet. There are things here that blow my mind, and I’ve done this 44 times before. I can only imagine what this must look like from the outside. Even my “friends” remark, “164 pages? Are you fuckin’ nuts?!?” Um, yeah, a little. I’d have to be, right? And that leads me to another interesting topic… Lollipop is about to do a 180. Seeing as Lollipop comes out every three months, yet we cram all the work into the last month, and by the time you read this we’ll be almost finished with next issue, I’ve finally decided that time isn’t real. Especially in publishing. Case is point: I wrote 23 reviews during one of the few all-nighters I felt obliged to pull this issue, and those reviews, written in early August, have yet to make their way into your living room/bathroom/wherever it is you’re reading this. Time lags suck, and while I’ve yet to find a wormhole, I’m finally going to make the obvious change I’ve been procrastinating on making for almost a year. It is this: Lollipop is going web-first, magazine second (not in terms of priority, but in term of releasing information). If you’re the type that likes to get information “first,” even if it means staring at a screen with less than overwhelmingly lush layout, than this is for you. If you don’t mind waiting ’til the dead tree edition is printed cuz you hate reading online cuz it gives you a freakin’ headache, the text is too damn small, the presentation is juvenile, and hell, you’ve got to sit in front of a glowing box at work, then come home, microwave dinner, and sit in front of a glowing TV to see what’s happening in the world, and then I have the gall to ask you to fight for a steady Internet connection to stare at yet another glowing box whose download time can’t possibly compete with flipping a page?, well, the next monster issue of Lollipop is due out December 1st. This is not to say in any way, shape, or form that the magazine is going to become secondary to the website. My loyalty is to the printed word, the physical printed word, printed in a very real, very physical format that you can carry around with you – stuck in traffic, on the subway, in the cafeteria, on the can, while waiting for Mr./Mrs. Right to call, while waiting for something less insultingly trite to come on TV (why do you think we make each issue so big?) – you can also swat bugs with it, hail taxis with it, or leave it on your coffee table so your friends’ll think you’re really fuckin’ cool. Another perk of launching material more often, more consistently online is, um, to overcome certain short-comings of overworked writers such as myself. Despite great intentions, I failed to review a single metal CD, a single ‘zine, a single local release, or a single 7″. This in no way means that I don’t care, nor that I’ve found nothing of value in those areas to write about – quite the contrary – it simply means I didn’t get a chance to write the reviews. And for that, I apologize. There’s some damn good stuff I want to mention/fawn over, but time is a mean bitch and doesn’t always give me the opportunity.