I set out to do a second issue of Enquirer – this time without all the dot-matrix stuff that was all over the first issue. My dad now had an actual laser printer for the text, and I used a photocopier more than a prehistoric photo-editor to make the graphics. Using a typewriter I wrote “enquirer” in lower case – enlarged it a zillion times on a xerox machine, and then shrunk it down to the size I needed. It made a really cool, grainy, rough-edged effect, so I did the same thing with “inside out” and it stuck as our logo.
Next to the sideways logo on the cover, which was an orange, thicker stock paper, I border-taped a flash-obscured photo of me moshing with a guitar at Che Cafe, below a drawing of Krishna holding a lotus flower while moshing on the hoods of a many-headed dragon. I was never shy to put my pictures and my bands in my zines.
Violence on the Dance Floor was a couchy explanation of how ego is the ultimate root of violence. Equality was a three page article explaining how spirituality generates equality amidst diversity. This one had an inset about Black Power / White Power which always wanted to transform into the lyrics of a song but never quite made it past a demo years later.
Black power / white power
What power is in your black/white skin?
The skin that yellows in the grave.
This was followed by Mantra Six of Īśopaniṣad (with Sanskrit lettering I hand-moused pixel by pixel, dot-matrix style): “He who sees everything in relation to the Supreme Lord, who sees all entities as His parts and parcels, and who sees the Supreme Lord within everything, never hates anything nor any being.”
Towards the end of the zine I also printed this lyrical rap on the subject of equality:
is a reality.
Look within yourself to find the unity you seek.
Not along the edges.
Not in the skin.
It’s at the core of your existence, untouched within.
And share it with the world, ‘cause man we gonna grow in it.
Joe Hardcore: Open Minded Liberal or Biased Rascal Sap? was a half-page rant about how un-punk it was to censor punk, even when the censored subject was traditionally un-punk, like religion. I followed this up with a full-page rant about how straightedge itself was nothing short of a secular religion. On the next page I debated the modern mechanistic theory that consciousness is a property of matter, and printed a conversation between David Shapiro and Śrīla Ācāryadeva on true strength. A Fad? was a two page article saying that, regardless of whether or not Krishna was becoming a hardcore fad, the fact remained that it was an ancient Vedic philosophy deserving serious attention.
In the centerfold was the ISKCON painting of Krishna showing Arjuna his infinite-headed “Universal Form,” with an explanation of Krishna’s statement, “Time I am.” This shared the page with a short sermon entitled Death – which made much of the point that even Atheists have to succumb to a higher power: death.
Stambha dāsa (a favorite of Ray and I) got two full pages devoted to edited transcriptions of his hip and intelligent lectures. Then, I gave three pages to my friends in bands answering the question, “What is the need for a spiritual dimension in life?” Sergio (the bassist of Amenity) said that people should get down the the essential truths common to all religions and use that as a way to change themselves, because all social change begins within. Mike Madrid (the singer of Against the Wall) answered that spirituality is much bigger than hardcore, but most of the best hardcore bands are spiritually motivated. Mike D (the singer from Amenity) answered that there is obviously truth beyond human conception, and human beings ruin themselves when their lives are completely out of touch with that.
The zine closed with a two page article called Spiritual Life: A Cop Out? explaining that religion may or may not always be a cop out, but this doesn’t change the fact that the essential topics of religion are crucial to examine in life. The big inset quote in the article read, “Just because 99% of so-called religion is completely bogus, that doesn’t affect the fact that we have to find out who we are, Why am I here?”
I gave two pages to explaining the lyrics of No Spiritual Surrender and a new Inside Out song called Land of the Lost.
On the last, orange page, was an article entitled The Truth.
“There is no Absolute Truth.”
A breeze barely strong enough to scatter her hair moves the leaves; on the tree as well as the ground. The sunlight quickly makes its way to her face and is again cut off behind racing clouds. She’d heard this countless times before. “There is no Absolute Truth,” the other half of the conversation would tell her; always with that peculiar righteous air, as if, “you poor fool, you’ve been so mislead. The Truth is that there is no Truth.”
– Excerpt of an early draft of
Train-Wrecks and Transcendance:
The Collision of Hardcore and Hare Krishna
by Vraja Kishor dās