Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ring in the New...

Happy 2011 to all.  In 1969, VooDoo went on vacation - for six years.  It was reborn in 1975 with a lot of help from the thursday staff (or maybe from VooDoo contributors who happened to work for thursday as well).  The first issue came out in Spring 1975, which was about the same time I arrived at the thursday doorstep in Walker Hall.
The "resurrection" issue of VooDoo was essentially a compilation of the material they received in the interval when the magazine was not published.  It was soon followed by additional publications - once in the Fall and once in the Spring.  As a thursday contributor, I also became a contributor to VooDoo.

Good taste was not our stock in trade.  We were equal opportunity offenders.  When Gary Gilmore allowed himself to be executed by a Utah firing squad in 1976, thus ushering in the revival of the death penalty in US jurisprudence, VooDoo was ready with a tribute of its own - the Suicide VooDoo, published in the Fall of 1976.  And I contributed my part:
Incidentally, Don Wilson was a baseball pitcher who sealed himself up in his garage and turned on the ignition to his sports car.

Later I would take my talents to the Chaparral, Stanford's humor magazine.  I think I spent more time in the masthead than I did on the pages, but I helped them sell magazines and took tickets at their Orientation Week movies - one of which was Debbie Does Dallas...
Bruce Handy, whose name also appears in the masthead above, went on to a rather successful writing career.  I also ran into Doug Bandow when I was at Stanford, before he went on to a career as a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor to the Wall Street Journal.  He endorsed my candidacy for the Stanford University student body senate, hence my title, "Senator".

As for VooDoo, it went on to merge with the remnants of thursday in 1979.  The newspaper was never the most financially stable of publications, and its life was always at risk in the years that I was a staff member.  We had advertising clients who didn't pay their bills and business managers whose journalistic acumen far outstripped their financial prowess.  Even in the Spring of 1978, when thursday was its zenith, it was a struggle to pay the publisher.  Sometime in 1980, thursday disappeared for good.  In 1990, I received a copy of the latest edition of VooDoo; whether it died and was born again, I have no idea, a quick browse of the Institute's archives indicates VooDoo has been alive and well for quite some time, having published as recently as 2009...

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