NOW OR NEVER/TAO OR NEVER #19: £ 2.50, 8 ¾” x 11 ¾”, offset, 46 pgs.

Nov 22, 2011

What we get is a balance of satire and political insight in this British anarcho medley zine. It starts out with a dull humor piece on Colonel Gaddafi and how fashionable he is. Unfortunately, it didn’t work at all. Following this was an article about an agent that had been infiltrating U.K. activist circles since 2003. He had been so accepted into these radical communities that he was having intimate relationships within them with no one suspecting. Scary shit, really. There’s something in here about the gentrification of Stratford—a London neighborhood—for the upcoming Olympics. A piece in here on sexual consent is probably the most in-depth and descriptive articles on the subject that I’ve read. It broke consent down into five groups. Group 1: enthusiastic consent. Group 5: “verbal ‘no’ given.” The cover essay is about the author’s obsession with extreme, bloody American wrestling, how it compares to current world politics and works as an outlet for the writer’s frustrations. It was interesting, but could have been way shorter. Then there was a light-hearted piece called “Gay Shame,” where a gay writer apologizes for some of the cheesier trends in queer culture. As a yank, this article completely perplexed me. I confused it with the radical queer group in San Francisco called Gay Shame that fights corporate assimilation of the queer community. By the time I figured out they were talking about something else entirely, I had all but finished the article, so its humor was lost on me. No one’s fault. Besides that, there was more political writing as well as some record and book reviews (one of which was of a book in the bible, which was kind of funny). The flipside, Tao Or Never, isn’t really the other half of a split at all. It’s just them making a fake hippie, New Age satire mag. There’s a lot in here and, overall, it’s pretty good. It’s offset and really slick, which brings me to some of my complaints. With the effort they put into making a quality-looking product, they could just as easily have done a better job of editing. Some of these articles are way too long and become a slog by the time they get to their point. The sentences are often poorly constructed and pack in too many words, getting in the way of my reading and enjoyment. It greatly hinders the quality of the zine and often sent me into autopilot reading. Overall, it’s pretty good, though. –Craven Rock (PO Box 487, Thorpe Road Mail Centre, Norwich, NR5 8WE, 07528 655941, [email protected])