» Went to the Spring Open House at the Toronto Zine Library last night. I don’t know what it is about Toronto, but people don’t know how to throw socials and mixers. Though, to be honest, if I didn’t know key people at Blackball and &Loan events, would it have been any different? It’s probably a mild xenophobia that afflicts art-nerds everywhere.
Anyway, I arrived and the organizers and one of their friends were watching TV. Granted it was a DVD of a TV show about a girl who makes a zine (Our Hero), but I felt like I was intruding in their rec-room. I wasn’t exactly “greeted” at this meet’n’greet. This carried on, as people trickled in, ungreeted for the most part, for two episodes. Finally, they shut that down and I actually had a conversation with someone (a girl who made a documentary about the Halifax zine library they were going to show later). It was actually a very awkward conversation in which I made the quip, “I expected this to be a collection of very shy, painfully awkward people… and I was right.” This was after a lull in our own conversation where I noticed there were about 20 people in the room, not talking. Which would have been fine if more than a third were actually reading the zines and not just looking at the floor or fiddling with their shoelaces.
Things got more animated when the girl with the guitar (the “mystery musical guest”) started playing her set and broke a string in the first song. This really brought things together for the group as they went into problem-solving mode. Unfortunately, they found a string before I could make my exit and couldn’t get away until in the middle of her really quite awkward set when everyone suddenly raided the snacks table like ravenous sharks. Quite an evening.