Kazoo News: June News

June 25, 2024

Kazoo News: June News

Hello friends,

It has been HOT HOT HOT in Brooklyn, but today there's finally a respite. A summer breeze makes everything seem pleasant. I'm so happy to shoot some of it with you. 

Here's what I've come across so far this month, but first, help us finish our Radio Kazoo fundraiser. We have only ONE DAY left to make it happen. Click here for exclusive rewards.

• I guess I am a Hack? If you're wondering why we took our podcast to Kickstarter, honestly, at this point, so am I. But I think I was inspired by...Hacks? In the HBO show, Deborah Vance took her DVD comedy special directly to her fans via QVC, and it seemed to really work for her. Perhaps I shouldn't take my business inspiration from a comedy, but in all seriousness, our paper, printing, and postage costs have skyrocketed in these past few years, and we thought a new podcast could help offset our expenses. Thanks for enduring my month of pleas. It'll all be over soon (one way or the other). 

• Speaking of Printing: Kazoo's printer Lane Press was honored by the PINE organization (Printing Industries of New England). We won two big awards: a Best Of Show for Best Use of Ink AND a Pinnacle award for Best Overall for our Fun issue #29. You can still pick up Fun here. Not only is the print itself beautiful, this issue has a ton of fun summer things to do, including making these blue-ribbon whoopie pies! 

• Squint Your Eyes and Look Closer: When we decided to launch Kazoo as an ad-free independently published magazine, we wanted to follow in the tradition of feminist 'zines and, of course, indie music. If you're a close reader, you might have noticed that Ani Difranco, the original Righteous Babe, has inspired more than a few of our pages—from the kids wearing the "three oranges and a pear" t-shirts in our Confidence issue #15, to the "car tires and chicken wire" in our DIY issue #20 to the "How to Write a Song" feature with Ani herself in Kazoo's Music issue #5. Now there's a new documentary film about Ani. Watch the trailer for 1-800-On-Her-Own here. 

• Cheap Fakes are Here to Stay: Fake videos go viral so quickly that the fact-checkers don't have time to catch up, so it seems that more Americans think President Joe Biden tried to sit on a nonexistent chair than know the boring truth that there was, in fact, a chair there. We took the "fake news" on with journalist Lisa Ling in our "The Fox's News" story in our Action Issue #10, because it's more important than ever to teach kids media literacy. Come to think of it, it's important to teach our parents media literacy, too, particularly since they did not grow up in a world where it was oh-so-necessary. If your parents send you clips of Biden wandering off, you might need The News Literacy Project's sharable graphics. The lack of critical thinking makes me want to leave civilization. 

• To the Lighthouse! You might remember the comic about the first female lighthouse keeper, Ida Lewis, in our Light issue #7.  Well, following in our footsteps, as they do, the New Yorker recently ran a story about the last lighthouse keeper in America. But fear not, lighthouse lovers: You can buy your own lighthouse and carry on, if you dare. You know, I'm considering this. It's only accessible by boat, two and a half miles off shore. My kids would never make it to school on time, but at least now we'd have a better excuse! 

• Or maybe I'll just stay put. Two years ago today, the day of my daughter's 5th grade graduation, was the day of the Dobbs decision that continues to walk us backwards, as a nation. I don't know what more I can say that I haven't already said. I remain steadfast in this belief: We just keep going, keep working, keep helping, and yes, keep voting. Giving up and being quiet is not an option. Not for any of us. So, I guess no lighthouse-living for me yet.

• Who's happy school's out? Miss Cosgrove sure is. Now she can finally get a little rest.


• Who's even happier school's out for summer? Ms. Dugan! In an effort to understand why my 13yo now tries to call me "bruh," I've looked to the teachers of TikTok. Hope Ms. Dugan has a good summer, too. She deserves it. (BTW, I think I have the pants she's referring to at :48.) 


• Who's ambivalent about summer? Parents. JK, no really, it will be fine. Luckily my girls are past the hide-the-Sharpies stage. (We had a time when The Tiny Editor kept coloring her nose with a red sharpie a la Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.) But working from home while the kids are out of school can be challenging. Still, I love the extra time with them. I'm starting to realize that childhood goes by so fast, and once these years are gone, they're gone.

• What We're Watching: The Teeny Editor is into Powerpuff Girls and Babysitters Club. (Wild to see the way these stories keep reinventing themselves over the years!) And, I can recommend OutlawsThe GentlemanBodkin, Baby Reindeer, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and The Veil.  (WOW WHY are we watching so much TV? This is over a few months, I swear, but I'm still embarrassed.) We've started re-watching Halt & Catch Fire with the 13yo, who loves computer stuff. I'm not really into tech start-ups, but am getting something out of their passionate bootstrapping when the odds are against them.

• What We're Reading: The Teeny Editor keeps re-reading Woe: a Housecat's Story of Despair by friend of Kazoo Lucy Knisley and the Best Friends/Real Friends/Friends Forever series by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham. The Tiny Editor just finished The Hunger Games series, so we can finally watch the movies together. I'm finding inspiration from The Joy of Swimming by Kazoo contributor Lisa Congdon, because I'm attempting a mile-long lake swim this Saturday. (Wish me luck!) And on my summer TBR list: The Spare Room by my friend and former Conde Nast colleague, Andi Bartz, which is coming out in paperback in early July. (She's a Reese's book pick, but don't take Reese's word for it, take mine.)

• Pixar finally hit the sequel!
Run don't walk to Inside Out 2. My whole family loved it, and it seems like everyone else loved it, too. Did you spot Bing Bong? Maybe Riley is the one thing our divided country can unite around this fall. Here's hoping. 

•  What's Scarier than Quicksand? As a child of the 80's, I would say almost NOTHING is scarier than quicksand, except maybe opening Twitter these days. This American Life talked with Yoel Roth, former head of trust and safety at Twitter, with the story on "What I Was Thinking As We Were Sinking" 


• Which is why we're all looking for some screen-free fun. We made this "Summer Bingo" for an early issue of Kazoo, but I pull it out every summer and try to make sure my kids and I check every box. You can find a printable Summer Bingo Card, here


•  New Go-To Dinner Recipe: When it's too hot to cook dinner, we rely on our family's tradional "Mademoiselle" dinner, which is basically a baguette, served with what's already in the fridge (cheese, salami, veggies, fruit, maybe a cornichon, if we're fancy), plated and served with a flourish and french accent. But, this easy bread recipe is a game changer. You will never buy a baguette again


• Happy Pride Month: I celebrated it in Brooklyn with that family 5K in the morning and a side-hug from my favorite Attorney General, Letitia James, who walked in the very sweet Brooklyn Pride Parade. (It's full of scouts troops, elementary schools, and churches and synagogues, alongside some cheerleaders and, you know, like Con Ed or whoever.) We watch the parade every June but I suppose we celebrate pride all year in the most low-key way, much like Tig Notaro and her family.


• One Last Time: We are so close to hitting our fundraising goal, and we just need a few more kind people to help. Get an original Kazoo poster and see other rad rewards here.  

*Ends 6/26/24.

• Thank you for being here.

I'm just now turning towards Kazoo #34, which comes out in September. Thanks to our amazing designers, contributors, and our award-winning printer, I've got the very best help filling these pages with something your kids will love. So, back to it. 

If you come across anything interesting this summer, send it my way. You can always find me at erin@kazoomagazine.com

Kazoo magazine
Founder & Editor-in-Chief