The Burn Collector: Collected Stories from One through Nine

Another great collection of zines into a book, courtesy of Green Apple. Burian the madman, careening about Providence Rhode Island, Portland Oregon, and Durham NC. The bare bones of good writing that with editing could be turned wonderous. Burian warns us in the prologue that you get what you wish for, and he signs it from Berlin, as if he is trapped by his own fame now in the land of the Deutsch.
Memorable bits– his Greyhound ride from NYC to Portland, 3 days of insanity. Growing up in Durham NC. Temp jobs in Portland. Using sleep deprivation as a drug. High fiving himself for slouching on a porch step drinking malt liquor out of a bag before noon. Drinking lots of coffee. Jobs at a copy shop to get free copies of his zine.

What are my morality and ethics, anyway? They seem so malleable and subject to the dictates of the situation. The only real consistents seem to be appreciation for a good bargain and a vague hatred of anyone who seems to be keeping me from getting one.

But you get what you pay for, and I am, in paying the eighty dollar special fare to get from New York City to Portland, Oregon, also receiving, as a fringe benefit, a three-day safari into the realm of the damned, a suck at the teat of the dankest, most sordid American cultural underbelly you might ever willingly end up subjecting yourself to. Welcome aboard the hound. I’m the guy at the back of the bus, smirking and uncomfortable;

Experience can be approached in two ways: you can put things on a moral/qualitative scale, where, say, on a scale of one to ten, one represents “a really bad time” and ten represents “a totally kick-ass time,” and then go about the business of trying to have all your experiences be, if not tens, at least in the four or five range. Alternatively, you can put experience on the same scale they try to allude to with those little drawings of thermometers on the side of jars of salsa, where low-thermometer equals mild and bland, and high-thermometer equals spicy and delicious. According to this rating system, traditional dichotomies of “bad” and “good” experience merely fall under the umbrella category of “spicy.” The main thing to be avoided are not the “one” experiences but that low-thermometer “mild” salsa, because really, if you like mild salsa, just face it, you don’t like salsa. You like tomatoes. That’s fine for you, but I myself am a spicy condiment individual and under my thermometer rating scheme your acceptable four and five scale experiences become my unacceptable mild salsa experiences.