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THUGWISE CAT

Thugwise Credits: Alison

Thugwise Credits: Alison Ross: ThugETTE-in=Chief Chani Zwibel ;Featured FEmme Felino Soriano: Resident Poet CindY Hochman: RAD-ASS Reviewer Quetzal:Thugwise Cat #1 Soleil: Thugwise Cat #2 2

EDITOR’s SCRATCHING POST: CATATONICALLY SPEAKING- Thugwise/Thug Life Clockwise Cat has been denigrated once or twice for having a rough aesthetic, and for liberally employing memes and clip art. But I’m like, fuck those mofos, cuz memes be dope! And as far as the “look” of CC … well, we never set out to be all sophisticated and shit. We are, first and foremost, a zine. We doctor some imagery, use clip art and memes and uncopyrighted art from the internet and deploy funky fonts and we are PROUD to do so. Of course, we also solicit and publish more professionally done collages, sketchings and paintings, and we love those artists for offering us their eye-treats to adorn our journal. And truth be told, if we had the budget, we’d totally pay a graphic artist to prettify our pages even further and make our magazine look slightly more refined. But we don’t want to yuppify it, and so maybe it’s a good thing we lack funds. It’s the editorial, poetic, and artistic content, anyway, that makes the Cat so great. We believe in an authentic, organic ambiance, something not afraid to show its ass a bit. We own our gritty look and feel and wouldn’t have it any other way. The traditionalists aim to homogenize everything and make the journals into cookie-cutter condos, while we want to splatter graffiti all over the place. The traditionalists, you see, are the authoritarians. Clockwise Cat, on the other hand, is antiauthoritarian. We live by our own code. Clockwise Cat, in short, is an adherent of Thug Life as philosophized by the late, great Tupac Shakur. This is why this issue is called Thugwise Cat. We’re not being ironic hipsters here; we love the compelling contradictions that Tupac embodied; we love him for his rhymes, and we love him for his mind. Thug Life is often misunderstood as being a violent criminal code, when in fact it’s the audacious antithesis. Thug Life is living by your own code, one that is anti-authoritarian but respectful of your own community. It’s “gangsta” in the realest way possible; not nihilistic, but uplifting, and eschewing the stifling hierarchies that oppress. It’s recognizing the tyranny of tradition, and the forces of regressive repression, and overturning them. That’s what the Cat does – we proudly publish the people who subtly or overtly subvert the linguistic and artistic authoritarians. Below, I paste part of 2pac’s Codes of Thug Life. It’s worth noting that just as the Codes of Thug Life are inherently a sense of pride in being black, the Codes of Clockwise Cat are innately a sense of pride in being a black sheep. We don’t want to assimilate to conformist codes like those traditionalist journals with their gentrified aesthetics and generic poetics. We’d rather look like a vibrantly colorful thrift store than an aloof, soulless upscale department store – and we’d rather sell goods like raging invective, scathing satire, and progressive verse over fashion fad poetry that merges with the masses. We’re also about respecting humanity, and Thug Life was very much so about that too. It was about community, not hierarchy. Clockwise Cat vigorously celebrates community. 3

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