I always wait till the very end to write this letter. It started out of pure procrastination, coupled with a busy schedule and maybe a little bit of fear. We've never really followed the rules and guidelines that a more established publication would. For example, we don't start with a solid theme and then make sure all the content is based around that. We have once or twice in the past, but we quickly vacated that approach. The process is more of a huddle, play call, execute, huddle again, repeat. Ultimately we give a loose direction to a variety of creative individuals, then I assess it all, see how it makes me feel, and write this letter. So Spectacle is simply a visual and oral collage of a few handfuls of Los Angeles-based creatives that we love and support, including myself. That's why Spectacle is a spectacle. And usually it's woke.
But this time, my first read through just bummed me out. Not to say it's bad by any stretch of the imagination, it's just mostly negative and depressing. Essentially not woke at all. Which seemed to be the theme of 2016, the year in which this content was visualized and created. Death, poverty, violence, bad politics, national security and everything in between somehow snuck its way into even the most lighthearted of stories within these pages. Just one bummer after another. Like Lori Petty's Black Lives Matter monologue or the McDonald's mass shooting that Michael Townsend's family didn't survive. Typically not words that grace the pages of Spectacle. Depressing, but reality. It's not that this edition is a full blown Debbie Downer. There is a handful of positivity and laughter, mostly provided by Ron Moon's tales of marijuana, fried chicken, and pussy. But nonetheless clear humor after all.
In any case, I'm sure you didn't pick up another copy of this magazine so you can be bummed out. This publication has consistently been bright, airy, and California-y. Spectacle Zine - the West Coast happiness machine curating sunshine and puppies. No one is actually looking for the "truth" from a Southern California sunglass company, right? Borderline journalism to most, at best. I suspect you don't take it as a "real" magazine. That's probably why people always tell me it's a "zine". Which, quite frankly, is offensive. A zine by definition is "a magazine, usually inexpensively produced by amateurs." This publication is neither inexpensive nor produced by amateurs. Below average, maybe. Maybe even terrible. But maybe great. But amateur? Certainly not. At the very least intermediate, possibly semipro. My journalism degree says so.
I guess the message here is that eternal happiness is not a reflection of life anywhere, including California. That's just not reality. Sometimes it doesn't matter what we set out to create; things happen, and you are forced to roll with them, whether they inspire you or not. Sure you can focus outwardly and try to fix the things that you probably can't control. If that makes you happy or fulfills your life, then by all means, proceed. It's my opinion that you're better keeping your focus within and controlling those things you can. In this case, I set out to cover some political topics, and what I got back wasn't exactly what I expected. But whatever, it is what it is. And I love it.
Spectacle Issue 9 - available in GLCO stores and select retailers, March 3