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The Future Generation: The Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends & Others Paperback – 15 Apr 2007

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5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews from Amazon.com

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Paperback, 15 Apr 2007
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pioneer of mama-zine genre makes for an amazing book! 5 Dec. 2007
By D. Marin - Published on Amazon.com
In this zine-book, China Martens, pioneer of the mama-zine genre, collects "the best" of her zine, The Future Generation, from its first issue in 1990 (when her daughter had just turned two years old) to the present - representing 16 years spanning China's parenting life. The chosen selections in this anthology focus on China's personal writings, not the contributions, and do an exemplary job of capturing not only China's changing interests over the years, but also her journey as a woman, mother, writer and activist.
Becoming a mother just shy of her 22nd birthday in 1988 when "most punks weren't parents and most parents weren't punks," China started The Future Generation as a way to find and connect with other subcultural parents. In the subculture where she'd lived actively for years, China felt disconnected and easily recognized a void in her peer's consciousness in terms of child-related issues. She didn't know then that her cutting edge drive to put those new mama feelings and observations into zine form would years later inspire an entire new generation of subcultural parents and mama zinesters, even if her "squat daycare revolution" wasn't ever realized.
A full decade after the first issue of The Future Generation came out in April 1990, I was a new mama myself when I discovered China's The Future Generation writings in her regular Slug & Lettuce column. Because her writing is warm, accessible, and the kind of raw that's full of emotion and honesty, I felt an immediate need to get in touch with her to thank her for helping me feel less alone in my new mama life.
When the next issue of The Future Generation zine came out (issue #11), I ordered one right away. When it came in the mail, I knew I was going to love it from the cover alone. No Baby Gap modeling here, the toddler on the cover looked real - adorably tousled from outdoor fun. In the background, the parents hanging out at an outdoor punk show racked up immediate points too. The same kind of real life, rough around the edges parent and kid imagery is captured again here in the zine-book - pregnant synchronized swimmers in bikinis, naked baby buns running down an empty road, mama bands, mom and daughter photo booth strips, tattooed parents, demonstrations, collages, and breastfeeding babies.
When I started reading that issue #11, I loved it even more. From the introduction where I felt like my new mama life had been captured (I read I wasn't the only mama who had trouble getting out of the house and managing baby fussiness in public) to the excellent first-hand experience-based advice I'd need years down the road ("The Angst of Being The Parent of a Young Teen"), I became a loyal fan. No mainstream parenting magazine tripe here - nothing insinuating how inadequate a mama I'd be for not doing things the status quo way - no generic checklists for juggling baby and housework. I never missed an issue after that.
Now having this zine-book, where I can read the best of the issues I'd missed, is like finally understanding a complete conversation after only having come in at the tale end. Because parenting is a journey full of change and self-exploration, just like or kid's childhoods, the zine-book captures China's journey - and then some.
There are numerous pieces on the desire to network with other anarchist/punk/subcultural parents as well as essays on being on welfare, tuning into kid's physical and emotional needs, fostering freedom and responsibility in children, going after hopes and dreams, nurturing children with respect, anarchist child raising, struggling, when motherhood sucks, single dads, violence, sexuality, schooling, non-punitive discipline, class-conscience children's liberation, breastfeeding, politics, resistance, and family history - all of it written through China's single mama lens while she focuses on raising her daughter, the both of them surviving, living and growing together and in their communities.
Without a doubt, this book will go down as a parenting classic for the future generations.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is the antidote to alterna-parenting schlock 25 April 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
China is an incredible writer: unpretentious, witty, smart & incisive. I wish I had read her zine when I was starting to parent 9 years ago, but I'm glad I can read it now. Unlike authors of so called "alternative" or "punk" (ex: Alternadad or Mamarama) parenting books, China has walked the walk.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Amazing 20 Nov. 2008
By Claire Lussier - Published on Amazon.com
China is incredible. I dont have children but her ideas of community are timelessly needed. This gave me a new appreciation for the parents around me and helped me be a better helper to friends, family and people I encounter with children in the world. Really helped open my eyes to the complexity of the struggles our society is inflicting on its self in regards to parenting as a community. I would suggest this book to anyone with children or not, just awesome.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a kind. 21 Oct. 2008
By Alyssa - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Very raw and thoughtful. I very much enjoyed this unique look at child rearing. Very inspirational at times. If only there were more books written in this vein.
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