Story of my life: I sit down at my computer hell-bent on completing some academic reading (I’m a grad student, after all!) and next thing I know, it’s 3 hours later, and I discover I’ve
wasted appropriately spent all that time on something INFINITELY BETTER than academic readings. I present, Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts. Published from 1962-1965 and edited by Ed Sanders (yeah, that Ed Sanders) the philosophy behind the literary journal was, “I’ll print anything.”
And so Sanders did. Using a mimeograph. Let’s be clear: this is not literary material for the Literature-lovers out there. The vast majority of the content is poetry and essays about sex and drugs. Also, drawings of penises. Lots and lots of drawings of penises. In one issue, Fuck You even refers to itself as “the magazine of butt-fucking, revulsed freaks, dope dealers and group grope.” But while it might seem trite to some of us now, you’ve got to examine this publication in the context of it’s time. With writings from folks like Joe Brainard, (he is featured in at least one volume!) this is radical content for the complacent, homophobic, nationalistic audiences of the late ’50s and early ’60s.
Fuck You is sort of what I always wanted out of hippies- shamelessness, intellectualism, boldness, and intensity. I guess they’re more beatniks than hippies in that sense, but still, this is pretty transgressive material coming from a peace-loving, weed-smoking, poetry-writing community.
“…one of them was literate… the other didn’t care about books or reading and just wanted to listen to rock and roll and watch movies, stoned.” -Lawerence Ferlinghetti, on the difference between the beatnik and hippie counter-cultures.
Perhaps the best thing about Fuck You is the fact that the good folks at RealityStudio have digitally archived (basically) every issue, making them available for your and my perusal right here. Just don’t click that link if you have shit to do at the moment.