Quail Bell Magazine recently named FLAPPERHOUSE as a “Featured Zine.” To be completely honest, we were not familiar with Quail Bell before they featured us, but we were extremely flattered by their honor, and, once we got a chance to click around their website, we were also very impressed by what they do. You might even say we feel like our two publications are kindred spirits, sisters from different misters. As Exhibit A, we offer Quail Bell‘s Mission Statement:
Quail Bell Magazine is a place for real and unreal stories. Our readers are curious, creative, and compassionate fairy punks who are citizens of the world. All members of The Quail Bell Crew respect and embrace all cultures, excluding only the sexist, racist, homophobic, and otherwise unkind and uncompromising. It is because of this open-mindedness and positivity that Quail Bell Magazine is fortunate enough to publish content by contributors from across the globe. Quail Bell Magazine encourages original thought, open dialogue and community-building through content that explores the relationship between The Real and The Unreal. We value the arts, history, folklore, and other oddities often not mentioned in mainstream magazines. As a woman-run publication, we strive to publish only the highest-quality content that not only challenges readers, but lets them have a little fun and maybe enjoy a little cuteness, too. We are not attempting to produce a magazine that is purely literary or purely journalistic, but, rather, somewhere in between for results that are inspiring and informative. In all that we write, draw, photograph, and otherwise make, The Quail Bell Crew will honor this editorial mission statement.
Also for your consideration: Deniz Zeynep’s article on how Jelalludin Rumi and Coco Chanel “must have swam together in that universal stream of consciousness:”
I discovered these two artists during different stages of my life. Jelalludin Rumi in my early twenties and Mademoiselle Chanel in my early teens. The former being my source of much needed wisdom and comfort during a latent adolescence filled with existential questions (What comes first, love or marriage? What is my calling?) and dark blue cynicism (I have no aura). And Chanel being the epitome of feminine strength that juxtaposed perfectly with my yearning for kohl eyeliner, while continuing to blister my hands and roll my ankles as a tennis player. Flash forward to age 26 and these two artists continue to fill my half-full glass of muse booze.
Over the Fourth of July weekend I came across The Atlantic essay “She’s Still Dying on Facebook” about viewing a dead Facebook friend’s account long after she’s gone. It was heartbreaking, sweet, and very relevant. Death in the digital age creates a whole new set of issues to examine, and it’s unfamiliar territory. I have dealt with it myself.
Last year my grandmother died of cancer. Her Facebook account still exists—both actually, she had two. Her death opened up a sea of complications about online presence, questions of perspective, the wishes of the living versus the dead, and generational differences.
How do you view your Facebook? Do you use it to communicate with your friends or to share your opinions? Is it a tool for self-promotion? A place to stalk crushes? Do you think it’s stupid or fantastic?
If any name carries alongside it the definition of True Love, I doubt anybody would argue the name Disney. They’ve been selling True Love Conquers All since 1937 with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and people around the world have eaten it up just like the Wicked Queen’s poisoned apple. And unfortunately, that’s sort of what the concept has become: poisoned.
Disney films are incredibly influential when it comes to forming children’s ideas about how the world works. These films are simplistic and formulaic, but they try to instill ideas about morality. They teach the things that we can’t really explain, including concepts like forgiveness, loyalty, determination, and love. But for decades, they have really only told one type of story. Disney has defined true love as something inherently romantic, and children really do pick up on that. All the way up from Snow White and Cinderella until more recent films like The Princess and the Frog and Tangled, the plotlines of these movies have all relied heavily on this long-standing sexist, classist, heteronormative “true love” narrative.
…and finally, one of our personal favorite Quail Bell pieces, Christine Stoddard’s poem “Club Velvet,” about a stripper who works at the site where Edgar Allan Poe once edited The Southern Literary Messenger:
Her melons each have a name—Annabel and Lenore.
Round, ripe, ripping through her shredded T-shirt,
one bears a pierced nipple, the other a raven tattoo.