Silly academic--zines are for geeks. In particular, they're for geeks who fantasize about being academics but could never handle (or put up with) the social graces. Such is the case, at least, with VeX, a graduate-coarse New Jersey zine dedicated to obsessive-compulsive discourse on "Movies & Whatever."
Here's what it boils down to: Imagine that Tarantino never met the right people, never gave up his job at the local video store, never once thought of transforming himself from freaky referentialist to unlikely auteur du monde. It's this type of pathetic, VCR-addicted prattler that benefits most from VeX and its voracious appetite for subtextual analysis, amateur satire, and armchair sociology.
Whereas issue number one dedicated itself to cataloging and framing theoretically the film career of O.J., number three eschews such fodder in favor of a three-part feature section on "zoophilia"--that's like bestiality, we're told, but with love--and its various manifestations in cinema. After reading a straight-faced appendix on the sexual tension between Jim Belushi and his pooch sidekick in K-9, you pretty much get the idea. Loosely related pieces on the history of monkeys in motion pictures and animal-related porn seem more historically bent, but just as trivial.
Occasionally, this waxing gets genuinely controversial, as when Nation of Islam member Khallid Muhammad delivers a brutal rant against Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, and an alleged Jewish conspiracy in Hollywood. Articles on the James Dean Death Cult and the big-screen ambitions of G. Gordon Liddy are somewhat less stirring. Filled with patchwork theses and passionately colloquial head-scratching, these pages aren't meant to prove anything. Like much of the movie industry itself, these geeks are merely trying to create a little meaning in the process of killing time.