THROWING DOWN THE GAUNTLET

By: Joseph P. Cunningham


Freedom of speech is one of the most written about human rights in the known universe, and you'd think that writers would run out of things to say, or that people would eventually lose interest. Most topics only have just so much mileage in them. But as long as there are people who want to tell others to "shut up," this issue will continue to be one of the biggest fish in the cultural pond.

With censorship on the rise, GAUNTLET was only a matter of time. Finally someone had the nuts to devote an entire magazine to debating and exploring the limits of free expression. Luckily, it was someone who could do it well. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Barry Hoffman has been somehow managing to put together one brilliant issue per year with only a teacher's salary backing up the endeavor.

Gauntlet #3 is the politically (in) correct issue, and at a whopping 339 pages, it's well worth the cover price. There's a lot of material to sink your mind into. It's only flaw: tampering with the forces of nature. Even though it weighs about 2 tons, it is easy to pick up. Putting it down, however, requires hydraulic equipment.

The 60 page long politically (in) correct section does what Gauntlet is best know for: it dives at the topic from a bewildering number of angles. There's incisive analysis of PC as a thought control system doomed to fail, unrepentant PC rebuttals, politically incorrect cartoons and jokes, the top 10 PC media mouths, dissections of PC contradictions, rantings against PC newspeak (quit fucking with my language!!), a PC to-its-logical-extreme scenario and even a handy dictionary from Rex Miller, which (finally!) gives us a gender-neutral term for the word clergyman: Godster.

And after all of that, there's still about 280 pages left, including 80 pages of short fiction from authors like Ramsey Campbell, Richard Christian Matheson, Steve Rasni Tem, Elizabeth Massie, and Brian Hodge. There's Lenny Bruce stuff, Gulf War stuff, 2 Live Crew stuff, Wildmon/AFA stuff, 50 Ways to Fight Censorship author Dave Marsh dukes it out with a N.W.A. censor, and gobs more. Hell, there's even an article in there from me.

This is a must have for anyone who's interested in the Free Speech debate. But be warned, Gauntlet is not for the timid. It chock full of censorable material (was that cheering I just heard?) Gauntlet is available through independent bookstores nationwide, or you can order it straight from the publisher:

GAUNTLET #1 (premier issue) $8.95. GAUNTLET #2 (Stephen King special) $8.95. GAUNTLET #3 (Politically (in) correct issue) $12.95. (Add $2.00 each for Postage & Handling, foreign orders add $4.00) Send check or money order to GAUNTLET, Dept. ROC-92, 309 Powell Rd., Springfield, PA 19064.

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