BEHIND THE WHEEL: THE THIN CHECKERED LINE #4, $7, 8½” x 11”, offset, 36 pgs.

Jul 20, 2022

Kelly Dessaint has always been the kind of writer everyone should aspire to be and every zine writer has no excuse not to be. Bold. Uncompromising, Unflinching. Passionate. His is the ugly, grizzled, raw voice of the underclass whether he’s writing a memoir about his godawful childhood or going on an alcoholic tear as young man in New Orleans. So when Dessaint began his Behind the Wheel series as an Uber driver, I had to read it. I had to read it because I’ve been a cab driver for twenty years. We hate Uber drivers, but I knew Dessaint would be on the right team. He was. He started driving an Uber so he could cover how the tech industry gentrified, sterilized, and made it completely unlivable for anybody but maggot tech slime. And this he makes clear while at the same time, talking about and exposing the anti-labor cruelty of Uber. By issue three, he quit Uber to drive a taxi, a job he enjoys and covets, in spite of it being low-paying, grueling work. Why? Why would you jump full-on into a dying industry? Because fuck these pampered bastards. That’s why. And that’s, precisely, the tone of the stories he tells of entitled, rich snobs (or S.H.I.T.S, as he calls them: “Smartphone. Hailed. Illegal. Taxi. Services.”) or destitute fare-runners, stories alternating between desultory spite or a deep, hard-retained, humanity that fits perfectly into the canon of American iconoclast letters. –Craven Rock (