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eNewsletter #2, February 2000

eNewsletter #2, February 2000



In the current book business climate, it is up to the consumer to be educated and aware. It is better for your future and worth the effort to order direct and buy books from the independents–bookstores, publishers and websites alike. By patronizing Borders and Barnes & Noble, among others, you are literally censoring your future reading choices. Read on.

We are trying to find ways around doing business with corporate companies like Barnes & Noble and Borders, which are directly responsible for a LARGE portion of our financial losses (as they make it a business practice to drive smaller book companies to bankruptcy every day; in their own stores they stock our books in out-of-the-way, hard-to-find shelves, then send them back to us when they have become too shopworn to sell; etc.).

“It’s important also to consider the new purchasing and returns biorhythm in the corporate book business,� points out Vale (RE/Search’s founder). “They (B&N, Borders, B Dalton, Waldenbooks, etc.) have 90 days to pay for books they order. Then they don’t pay, and they don’t provide us with reliable contact information, so we have to spend a lot of time chasing someone down and trying to force them to pay. They don’t care about paying a small company $100 or $200, which is money that we DO care about getting. Then once we finally get them to pay, they return some huge percentage of our books currently in their stock, which we then have to try to resell to used bookstores. Then, a day later, they make a big order for another load of books which they will try not to pay for and will eventually return.”

It is common knowledge in the book business that a B&N policy is to plant themselves next door to or across the street from a smaller, usually independent bookstore and wipe them out within a matter of months. “Oh yeah,” one text- and science-book store owner in Atlanta, GA, reports (five years ago her store was a general-subject book store); “every independent book store in Atlanta has had to either specialize or close down. There are virtually no independent general-subject book stores left in Atlanta.” The story is the same in cities across the country. Most people have heard of the evils of corporate book companies, but fewer people know the damage caused to small companies by and–surprise–the internet in general. For example, most search engines will point a potential book buyer to or another internet-based book seller instead of to the book’s publisher’s own website, and trying to navigate the ocean of search engine website ranking processes is a job that takes weeks and a lot of effort, many stops and starts and plenty of patience. We’re working on it!

If you have any advice or information for us about anything mentioned here, feel free to email it in (

ManWoman survives HEART ATTACK!

ManWoman came over for a visit last week, in town from Canada. He had suffered a heart attack in early December and is recovering well, thank goodness. He is still working with publisher Phoenix & Arabeth to put out his new book, “Gentle Swastika” (keep an eye out for it). You’ll remember ManWoman from our book RE/Search 12: Modern Primitives; he’s covered with swastika tattoos as part of his life’s work, to educate people about the true, pre-Nazi meaning of the swastika, as a multi-cultural symbol of positive energy whose meaning was perverted when it was appropriated as a symbol of Nazi aggression.

Here is an excerpt from an email ManWoman sent recently in which he describes his recent near-death experience:

Dad’s Gift

Friday, December 3rd, 1999, I went to my father’s grave, because of a dream I’d had. I needed a shift in my life. I asked the Father for a sign and put a little phallic stone on the headstone. I had a moment of resentment as my mother is buried on top of my father and I had to penetrate down through her to get to him. The Mother has loomed large in my life and I’m ready to emerge onto the world stage.

After midnight, I was making love to Dale and I had a heart attack. The pain was fierce. I was lying in Emergency and my life was flashing before me and I said Damn, that Phoenix never got my swastika book done. That was my big regret–that I wouldn’t see it finished.

The room was filled with unusual light and I felt like I was taking my leave of the world. Then all the people in the room, doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, etc., started to look extra beautiful, angelic, and I felt forgiveness flood into me. I thought I was a goner for sure as the edges of me were melting away. I said to Dale, “I’m seeing through all my judgements.” I said “We’re all beautiful beings doing our best with the limited awareness we have inherited” and I forgave everyone. The duty doctor is a right-wing Christian who normally sees me as the enemy. He looked beautiful too which amazed me. I put my hand on his arm and internally forgave myself and him for our judgements against each other. I smiled at him as if he were my father. This was not a drug-induced illusion as thus far I had been given nothing for my pain.

The feeling pulling me towards the right (all the people were on my left) was love and forgiveness and peace. I felt the scales tipping back and forth as I weighed the reasons to go into the beaconing [sic] peace or to stay in the world of pain and finish my work. Dale was holding my feet–the only one in the room giving me eye contact. She looked extra beautiful. I thanked her for the love we have.

Ever since getting out of the hospital everyone I meet looks extra beautiful. Fortunately my doctor says the heart attack was minor with little damage to my heart so I’m still with you. Don’t know if I made the right decision.

I guess I’ll know better next time I think of asking for a sign.

You can contact ManWoman to find out more and to buy a Smiley Swastika pin for $12.00 (includes postage). Each pin comes mounted on a card with information about the swastika’s origins and meanings, etc. To order, email ManWoman at, visit his website at, or send him mail at 221 Eleventh Ave. S., Cranbrook, BC, Canada, V1C 2P6.

Thanks, ManWoman, for letting us reprint that segment of your writing. We’re really happy you’re alive and well.


We have a new feature on our website (http://www. Sally Randy is hosting an advice column to answer all your sex and relationship questions! Following are the first three questions Sally has answered. To have YOUR sex or relationship question answered by Sally Randy, email it in to, that’s right,; write “sally” in the subject line. Selected questions will be posted with answers on our website next month.

Sally’s column’s first three questions:

Q: I have just moved to San Francisco and am having trouble meeting anyone- dates, friends, anything! What should I do?–Lonely in SF

Q: I want to buy a vibrator but I’m too embarrassed and I don’t really know what kind to get.–Rachel, MI

Q: I’ve just moved to Montana and my girlfriend still lives in Maine where we’re both from. She’s not moving out here and I’m not moving back. Do you think that if two people stop seeing each other, it’s healthier to officially break up or is it okay to remain friends and not officially redefine the relationship?–Pamela in Montana

Visit our website to read Sally’s answers!

Our columnist Sally Randy got her name from Sally Rand, famous for her nude fan dance which led to her arrest for indecent exposure at the 1933 “Century of Progress” World’s Fair in Chicago. She was a silent movie actress, appearing in, among others, 1924’s “The Dressmaker from Paris,” “Getting Gertie’s Garter” in 1927 and Cecil B. De Mille’s “King of Kings.” She credits De Mille with giving her her name, Sally Rand (she was born Harriet Helen Gould Beck in 1904).

In 1939, Sally hosted Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch at the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco. One of many “flesh shows” in the Treasure Island Amusement Zone (which was also known as the “Gayway”), the show was held at a night spot called The Music Box and featured women wearing only cowboy hats, gunbelts and boots.


Visit our website and read the Sally Randy column for a chance at a special 20% discount off your next order!


Our first newsletter discussed, among other things, our December 1999 book release party for “PUNK ’77” at The Lab in San Francisco. If you missed the newsletter and would like to read it, just send an email to, and write “subscribe back issues” in the subject line.


How do you like the new additions to this newsletter? We always appreciate feedback. Tell us what you think: email us at and write “subscribe feedback” in the subject line.


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Thanks for reading!

Email newsletter #2 written by:

Catherine Avril Morris

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