Travel back with me, friends, to New York in the early ‘90s. The inter­net was used for email­ing and alt.something news­groups. (OK, maybe not for you, Al Gore, you were blog­ging or cre­at­ing Ama­zon. Me, I was post­ing to the Pave­ment fan list and email­ing. That’s all.)

Record and comic book and zine stores: a hand­ful. In other words, to stay up on non-mainstream media, you could take a walk around lower Man­hat­tan for a few hours, have a cou­ple con­ver­sa­tions, flip through your pre­ferred pub­li­ca­tions and feel pretty secure in your aware­ness of what was hap­pen­ing via CD, seven inch, etc.

These days? Even alt-biggies like Mike Mills are pro­duc­ing shit I don’t know about any more over here. No one tells me any­thing! I browse around and it dawns on me that there’s a whole world of books I don’t know about. Not in the “Books are being writ­ten by Hun­gar­ian authors in base­ments” sense,  but in the “There’s an entire world of Japan­ese craft books that I was OK with­out but now I am con­vinced I must have to live a com­plete life.” (Ask my mom–I am con­vinced that my entrance to heaven lies in mak­ing ani­mals out of pom-poms. What?) My com­pletist ten­den­cies, the ones that were kept in check with vague igno­rance, are wholly out of con­trol when the inter­net is involved.

(Also, shouldn’t Kim Gor­don like, I don’t know, send me a let­ter when she puts books out? I’m just saying.)