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editor's note
"He even went to the length of offering Swann a card of invitation to the Dental Exhibition"

"This will let you in, and anyone you take with you," he explained, "but dogs are not admitted. I'm just warning you, you understand, because some friends of mine went there once without knowing, and bitterly regretted it."

Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past, "Swann's Way"


Obsession with detail. Making sure the rules are known, understood, and reflected in the outcome. Certainly that can be said of the opus which is quoted from above, and why this Proustian reference is cited. But it is the humor reflected through the societal mannerisms, and the obsessive overtures for even the most inane of activities, that makes this moment anachronistic--both at the time of its conception and now. And I would say, that in fact it is this same weird anachronistic obsession in the fourth issue of zingmagazine that makes for its own common denominator. So as you read from the autographed cover to the reviews, look for the obsessive nature of current times. We've just come off the "Trial of the Century," a crime of celebrity passion known the world over. Now pundits lack the same sophistication--much less humor--to make comparisons to the likes of the Railroad Labor dispute that Clarence Darrow settled, or in another of his centennial landmark cases, the argument for Darwinism being taught in American elementary schools, and this omission remains sobering. Our Darrow cover indicates that when these two cases were being argued, the advocate made a note to his editor at the Young Democracy: " if you need to slick it up, do it." Now not really knowing if "the review" in question was indeed "slicked up" provides the magic. The possibility of change, of the obsessive rewriting of one's history or the editing of one's own daily toil, is the dream of any contributor to any magazine. Seeing real heroes of yesteryear converse about it is the contributor/curators' vicarious joyride: people who are artists, writers, lawyers, as they change their minds and edit what they deem publishable. And the squabbles and struggles that one encounters--these little day-to-day often "obsessive" exchanges are what zing strives for, and, oddly enough in this issue, there is plenty of this Darrow "slicking up" but none of it by the editorial staff. It's all just rolling in through the curators and contributors. Call it trivial coincidence.

Another Proustian moment: "The fault I find with our journalism is that it forces us to take interest in some fresh triviality or other every day, whereas only three or four books in a lifetime give us anything that is of real importance." Certainly the selectivity of this statement calls for notice, but its verity overshadows the essence that is its makeup--the momentary infinitesimal. Importance/no importance, good/ bad, in/out. This, of course, is what makes a magazine. The idea of in & out, who's in the know, what's in the loop, where's the in context: context--the end of the millennium, and we are nearly out of it. As if zing was the recipient of the invitation for the Dental Exhibition, paying close attention to the fact that dogs aren't welcome, in order to rebuff any disappointments, bitter or otherwise.

Devon Dikeou
New York City

1997