OFF-LINE #15: $1 by mail, free to low-income, 5 ½ X 8 ½, copied, 63 pgs.

Off-line’s a serious political zine that doesn’t shy from a fight in print. Although it borders on self-righteous indignation on occasion, there’s no denying its scholarship, passion, diction, and erudition. This issue has a long piece dissecting an attack on pacifism (going to great detail to separate it from passivism), first-person accounts of the rallies against the School of the Americas, vegan recipes, and lengthy open-forum discussions from people who don’t agree with the main writer, Vincent. What’s further striking is that Vincent is simultaneously a devout metalhead, Catholic, and a heavy duty peacenik activist; a unique melding of influences that all twine to an interesting, engaging perspective. The only off-putting element of the zine are the jabs and asides of condescension to people he disagrees with. Although he’s well-armed with ideas – and is most often right – I think he’d benefit from keeping the soapbox home once in a while. (For example, he’s flabbergasted on why someone would join the Army and not so interested in what keeps the Army such an attractive alternative to so many people. (A great resource that melds both a religious perspective to military life is the book “On Killing,” by Lt. Col. David Grossman)). That all said, I can honestly say I learned more in 63 pages of Off-line than I did in a semester of high school history. -Todd (Claire E. Cocco and Vincent J. Romano, 35 Barker Ave., #4G, White Plains, NY 10601)