2 – Introduction to Slingshot issue 138

Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988.

While making this issue, we’ve been weighed down with the psychological strain of world events — particularly the genocide in Gaza but also all the other uglies of discouraging climate news, racial and economic inequality, gentrification, homeless sweeps, attacks on trans people and immigrants, so many nasty power grabs… Awareness of the rising tide of suffering and danger lays down a floating sense of dread and stress like a wet blanket on our souls. Is it just us or is everyone reading this zine feeling this shit? It’s like when you have a lingering cold that makes it harder to get stuff done, get through the day or just feel okay. 

And yet there are big protests popping up all over — almost every day around the Bay Area and around the world. And there’s also a lot of life-affirming weird art and counter culture — so there can be an alternative narrative if you put down your screen. While we were making the issue we missed an anti-APEC march, a rally for Palestine liberation, a protest to keep the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge open to bikes, the annual anarchist BASTARD conference — and also zany stuff like a tweed bike ride, the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Elmwood theater, Andrea Pritchard at the Freight… 

Slingshot started publishing in the 1980s before cell phones were invented — if you turn the fucking thing off for a few hours or even a few days you may notice the pace and mood lift. You won’t get all those texts and updates that interrupt your consciousness, so perhaps your mind can wander. Without scrolling, you’re left with contemplating the sky, hearing the birds, studying moss, noticing those around you. You won’t have a map and reviews to find a restaurant so you’re left to wander, look in windows and release yourself to serendipity.

Making this issue started with a big meeting, so it seemed like there would be plenty of volunteers and the zine could get put together easily. It takes 2-3 months from the first meeting until all 23,000 copies are mailed out — the collective editing process requires a lot of meetings and painstaking decision making about articles. The first pile of submissions gets sorted, sent back to revisions, then the group reads the revisions, culminating in a so-called all-night meeting to pick what to publish. Different people work with different authors. The paper copies in the binder fill with scribbled comments, suggestions and corrections. While a lot of people were at meetings for one stage of the issue or another, very few folks followed through with the whole process — which can make it hard for the group to be cohesive. There were many moments when it was uncertain if the issue could get finished. Various balls got dropped — articles we liked but the authors didn’t reply to an email about a suggested revision.

The whole issue comes together with a two day, 14 hour a day art party — and as we write this, it’s been feast or famine. Yesterday hardly anyone came by all day and then all at once at the end of the day a big crowd of artists arrived within a 30 minute period. Next time it would be much less chaotic if a few artists came by during daylight hours so the art could cook slowly like stew. 

Right before this issue, FP Press the employee-owned printing press we have been using since 1988 told us they were going out of business. We’re going to miss them — they always treated our odd-ball projects respectfully. We’re hopeful about our new printing press 15 miles from here. 

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers and distributors.  Even if you feel you are not an essayist, illustrator or whistleblower you may know someone who is.  If you send an article, please be open to its editing. We are a collective, but not all the articles reflect the opinions of all collective members. We welcome debate and constructive criticism.

Thanks to the people who made this: Antonio, Becky, Chris, Daniel, eggplant, Finn, Gerald, Harry, Imani, Ingrid, Jack, Jake, Jesse, Josephine, Josh, Lola, Lucie, Mateo, Natalia, Robin, Ruby, Samiha, Sean, Taylor & all the authors and artists! 

Slingshot Article Submission Info

We’re not going to set a deadline for the next issue. We encourage you to submit articles for the next Slingshot anytime you want. We’ll make another issue when we feel like we’re ready. Please check the Slingshot website, indybay, instagram and facebook for deadline info. We also have an internal email list that will announce the next deadline so please contact us if you want to be added to the list. If you want to work on the 2025 organizer, work will happen starting in March — reach out if you want to draw art or do stuff. 

Volume 1, Number 138, Circulation 23,000

Printed November 17, 2023

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA 94705*

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

510-540-0751 slingshotcollective@protonmail.com 

slingshotcollective.org • twitter @slingshotnews

instagram/ facebook @slingshotcollective

* Our office may be torn down in 2024 so check before you visit or you may just find a pile of rubble

Circulation information

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income folks, or anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or are $1 per issue donation. International $3 per issue. Outside the Bay Area we’ll mail you a free stack of copies if you give them out for free. Say how many copies and how long you’ll be at your address. In the Bay Area pick up copies at Long Haul and Bound Together books, SF.

Slingshot free stuff

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues for the cost of postage. Send $4 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. slingshotcollective.org