I'm sitting in a coffee shop, sleepy eyed, watching some guy DJ really well. I could easily be sitting anywhere, but it's 2:15 in the morning. I should be home working.
I just yawned. I'm at a point now where its difficult for me to plot my next course of action. You see, just the other day, I received an email from someone saying that Devil Shat had, in a nutshell, grown boring.
Normally, this isn't that big of a deal. We get emails every week bitching about how Devil Shat is a piece of crap or "what do trees have to do with christ" or "you sick aryan pig". Although, I respect each opinion, they are quickly moved into a derelict trash bin. Occasionally (but not often), there would be a worthwhile comment included in the negative, and it would be posted or responded too.
Sometimes, the same could be said of the good. We get an equal amount of good comments concerning Devil Shat. Although we always try to respond to everything, most of the time its hard to come up with something worth reading when we only have "good job" to work with... not to dissuade the "good job"s, we still appreciate them.
Someone telling us that we are boring is something we can handle. But the comment comes from one of our oldest readers... someone there from issue one, giving feedback, good faith, and good suggestions.
Which prompted me to come to this coffee shop (which is damn cool) and take some time off and figure out (or try to) what the hell is going wrong. What has made Devil Shat boring to this reader? (We are going to momentarily forget the fact that she is one of a majority... and that we are catering to her needs instead of the all.)
Is it me? When Devil Shat was first released, it was our only flagship. Our website came second, and stemmed from the magazine. Having a website was the least of our concerns at the time and as such, all of our creative effort was devoted to the zine and its articles.
But these are different times. Devil Shat is not the only thing Disobey does, and its hard to keep up with everything. We are too thick-headed to know when to stop, so we are constantly working on new things, and adding to the old, and keeping up with the present. We rarely miss a release date, but we almost always fall behind. Devoting all of our time to Devil Shat is just not plausible anymore. So, is that our problem? One of the main reasons we began running submissions was because it saved us time from writing a complete article itself. That was time we could use on something else.
Is it the articles? What has changed from Issue One to Issue Eighteen? Is our mood or outlook different? What has changed are the ideals and the meaning of Devil Shat... they are largely different than what we set forth with.
At first, it was intended as a throwaway zine, something where we could put our other work... and release whenever the hell we wanted. And that was what it did start out as. Our issues came whenever we felt they were done. We had planned Devil Shat to mean nothing to anyone besides ourselves... we were not doing it for the readers. We were doing it as a sort of catalogue to look back on and match our feelings with a time period.
And then, people started liking it and everything changed. We got kicked off AOL (something bad always seems to happen when things are going good) and we changed to a biweekly release schedule. We began accepting submissions, because people randomly started sending them. Devil Shat grew into a magazine, and not a journal or diary. Now, we have won awards, are going to be included in a Periodical Directory and are getting an ISSN number. It's all very crazy.
I am disappointed that we have grown boring to that one reader. It put everything we have done here into a different perspective, because although we have never met her, nor really gotten to know her, we respect her opinion. And, her opinion furrowed my brow.
I ask for everyone's feelings about Devil Shat. How it is, how it isn't, what is good and what sucks. What we should discuss, what we shouldn't. I can only do what I feel right until I know what feels right to you... both of which might be radically different.
the devil's dump
You know, I think I am beating a dead dog. Or horse, or what have you. But spammers just keep amazing me. Sure, they can get inventive, but now they have gone one step further. Let me explain.
See, a couple of days ago, I got another spam in my box... no big deal. And as most spams do nowadays, it came with removal instructions. Most people are going to try to unsubscribe from the spammer list... it's understandable. I don't, because it is just another extra step in my life that wastes my time. For some strange reason, I decided to humor myself and go to the website that was listed at the bottom of the mail.
I guess I started laughing, I don't really recall. They wanted $4.95 to remove my name from this magical list that gives spammers access to millions of email addresses. Yet, in their little description of this great service they are offering, they tell of how most spammers VERIFY your email address if you reply with "Remove". And now, they want $4.95 along with my request for removal.
It's pretty funny that spammers now control the very way you remove yourself. If you don't want their product, "fine", they say, "we'll just get your money to stop bothering you". Which is, of course, a load of crock, as your name gets added to this magical master list you supposedly have paid to be protected from.
by Ivan S. Graves
It would seem that GeoCities is wholly intent on the destruction of one of the better additions to the world wide web. Their relentless struggle to toss in advertising at the cost of those who have diligently supported their efforts from the start, has grown to proportions that are not only highly intolerable, but downright horrific.
It can be conjectured that the original goals of GeoCities, while appearing on the surface to be that of providing valuable web space to those who either cannot afford, or choose not to fork out hard earned money for a home in which to share their interests, has quite obviously been incorrect.
It is plainly seen of late that their goals are clearly driven by greed. Their first attempt was to front hosted sites with 'stitial' advertising techniques that loaded before the actual website did. The problem was that for most, the stitial inadvertently locked the surfer on that page, leaving the site unvisited.
It is obvious that many voiced their dissatisfaction in regards to this approach, as GeoCities quickly scratched the stitial idea. For a short time the sites were once again returned to their normal caliber, and surfers could enjoy visiting their favorite websites once more.
But the bombardment continues, now with the advent of a separate page that opens simultaneously with the website, causing the website to download at a slower rate, and also causing some browsers to encounter internal errors which force the closing of their browsing software.
This is clearly a desperate attempt by GeoCities to abuse the support of over one million site holders gained due to their prior outstanding business practices.
It has been agreed that advertising fuels the web, and should be encouraged. But we need not, in this process, be bombarded much as we have in the television medium, with advertising. It, in essence, detracts from the entire experience without a doubt, and demoralizes the wonderful advent of technology realized with the introduction to and vastly increasing number of people hopping on for the ride.
It can be stated that advertising is fine when it is behind the scenes and provided to us as a suggestion, but when it is shoved down our throats - it is without a doubt, an intolerable nuisance.
I will pay my respects to GeoCities in advance if this is the direction they have chosen.
Way back in Issue Eight, I wrote a piece entitled, "Your Life is Void" describing these cute little toys called Tamagotchi's. I made the point that with these things representing pets... representing life... that we dummy our lives to the point of a little toy. Something to tool with, something to play. Our life loses meaning because we try to simulate it (poorly) in a small, egg-shaped toy (with optional key chain attachment).
I knew this little phenom would get bigger, cos we're stupid and self-destructive, so they made this thing called Neko Unjatta. In Japanese it means "I produced a cat". Well, according to this press release, these things can mate with other Nekos to make Neko Babies. The process is called "love-love communication" but it comes with a non-politically correct error. See, Takara (the company who makes 'em) says that "you have to be careful, because you cannot 'communicate' two males or two females together". Does it teach your kid anything? Hmm... having sex is easy, your baby can have sex within 10 days, and that males and males can't love each other, as the same with females.
That's not very nice... I'm waiting for the Lesbian Alliance to start raising a fuss. This could cause a repeat of the same social issues from years ago, when we first started worrying about homosexuality. Should there be gay Neko Unjattas?
But the neat thing of these little toys is the fact that in ten days, the little babies can start mating too! These things are like rabbits! But, they don't experience the pain, or the love like humans do. The next advance they need to make should be some sort of pain button. If your Neko Coolatta is in to much pain, you can feed him some sort of drug which makes it like a sweet, dreamy, sea breeze.
Other updates in virtual life include talking. Yeah, some other company has implemented the ability for your little pet to talk to you. If it is hungry, it whines to you, like a modern-day Seymour. When you feed it, of course, being all polite, it thanks you. I doubt it will teach your kids anything besides maybe being more rude ("Feed me!") although it might teach them to be polite ("Thank you").
send us an email
Spam, although utterly irritating, is sometimes hilariously funny! The Spammers try to trick you into reading the spam by making belevable subject headings, like: I got your E-mail, or My new Screen Name, or I can't believe he said that. The best one ever though, I laughed outloud when I saw it, accually said "not spam" right in the subject box! The nerve!
I dont know who you are but keep going Hard Core - THis is one world and where here to survive at all costs - Kill or be Killed
i guess whoever said that devil shat is getting boring.. well they have a point. I miss awaiting the release of a hate-filled zine in the mail.. lately it's just been updates and info on spam mail. well first of all. we all deal with spam mail. it's not very controversial when everyone hates it equally. now if you started complaining about something that will REALLY upset someone... like the government, or religion, just something else.
do me a big favor, drink heavily, watch a bunch of no doubt videos and get good and pissed off.. then watch cbs or msnbc.. and write down all kinds of badness about the most intresting subject!!!
OK. what I like is the DS is it's thought provoking. The usual problem with zines where a lot of the material is written by the editor(s)is that they are mostly vanity publishing (one of the reasons I don't put a lot of my own writing in TAF). This is where the internet obviously excels, giving anyone with a computer/modem/ISP a soapbox to reach potentially thousands they would never reach otherwise. DS doesn't fall into this trap simply because the articles/critiques / rants/whatever stand up on their own (otherwise I wouldn't want to publish Are We A Culture in TAF). And they're usually enjoyable as hell to read.
What sucks about DS? I can't honestly think of anything that I would say sucks.
The direction you have been and are going in, as a sarcastic/pissed-off/interested/informed and most importantly (to me anyways) intelligent social commentary/critic works fine for this reader.
Hey now. Not knowing in depth the actual reader invovled, I don't feel that I can really analyze the situation, so instead, I will give you this general caution: Devil Shat is great.
How the heck is that a caution? Well, if you're online presence was merely good, you could toil at it day and night, and get little recognition for it. You wouldn't get an onslaught of mail (postivie OR negative), and you wouldn't get any of those pesky awards. Unfortunately, you are producing something that is truly great, and with that unfortunately comes success. So you either have to come to grips with your success or start to suck. Life is hard.
Assuming you decide to keep up the quality, you will inevitably get some people who will jump ship. My suspicion is that the loyal reader who is bored is one of these people. They probably loved Devil Shat when it was small, when it mas more of a close knit circle of insiders who read it, when it wasn't known.
It's like when you hear a rumor that Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy) is going to make a Fletch sequel. It doesn't make their original work any different, but your perceptions change. You now see Kevin Smith as a bigtime sellout, and you cringe when you see people you loath renting Clerks at Blockbuster. And then the next time you see one of his movies, it will appear boring. You'll wonder why you ever liked them in the first place. The movie is the same, but the writer's success has changed your perceptionof it.
As Devil Shat becomes successfull, it will also lose its underground mystique. Some people will be mature enough to realize that the quality is the same as always, and others will condemn you forever for becoming popular. Either way, it doesn't change the fact that Devil Shat is great...
Hola. I just read your newest issue of Devil Shat. Don't sweat it too hard that a reader is growing bored with it. Metamorphisis of being always leaves a little behind as it consumes what lies ahead, and of course the creature grows. It is impossible for a creative personality to stay in one place for long. It sucks to have a disgruntled reader who, until recently, had apparently been a steadfast supporter...But it happens. Don't let it discourage you from doing whatever it is you're going to do, and congrats on all the awards.