I first got into Shining Light Press when they anthologized the crucial fanzine Hardware a few years back, full of commentary and attitude aplenty. In this anthology, we get the collected issues of New York City’s Bullshit Monthly, written by Mike Bullshit of SFA and Go! between 1984 and 1991. I had always heard about this one, but only in retrospect, so I was psyched to check it out.
And friends, this shit delivers. It’s fascinating to watch Bullshit Monthly evolve from a single side of a handwritten sheet of paper into a more substantial offering by the end of its run. Mike doesn’t pull any punches in his appraisal of bands or records, but despite his honesty—or his affection for bands like Agnostic Front and Warzone—he never falls into tough guy tropes. His omnivorous musical appetite adds to the appeal, giving equal time to Nausea, The Dickies, and Sick Of It All. It’s worth mentioning, too, that Mike was one of the first punks in the hardcore scene to come out as an openly gay person, and started booking shows at ABC No Rio as a reaction to the growing intolerance at CBGB matinees.
There is a ton to read here. It’s a little tough sometimes because of Mike’s chicken scratch, but worth the effort—especially because each nine-by-fourteen page provides so much candid insight, humor, and, more than anything, positive energy. Bullshit Monthly was—and is—an invitation to join the larger conversation. Its inclusive, candid spirit still rings true today. –Michael T. Fournier (Shining Life)