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FondLigne____ issue #1

Dropping O ut what it’s like Essays, Photographs, Art, Cartoons, Poetry, Reviews, Recipes, Naked Pictures ‌ And So Much More. (naked pictures not included) (but feel free to submit them)


reSelling this for money would be totally uncool, man.

Occupy Wall Street



Full gallery at



Cover 2-3 5 6 7 8 12 13 14 16 18 19

Photo by Ben Hiller Photo Failure to Launch


What is This?


Drawing Dropping Out


Poem Op-Ed by an Outraged Citizen



Review: HBO’s Girls Recipe



Mazel tov cocktail



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What is This? I

f you are among those asking: What is this? Why am I reading it? Who made it? or saying, “1990 called and zines are already uncool,” well, 2000 called and saying something called is already out of style. I digress. Allow me to answer your questions anyway. Fond Ligne is the new, super-exciting, totally-rad, Westfield-based zine created by Evan Hiller—me.

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2)

(I know, I know, that’s not the exact quote. Sue me.) If anyone else I know embarked on a creative endeavour such as this, I know that I would certainly be interested in picking up a copy (and disparaging it mercilessly). But since that hasn’t happened (as far as I’m aware), I did it. Conversely, there is another passage from Matthew 7 which would seemingly be at odds with the creation of this zine:

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)

That’s the bible. A pretty well known book. That passage is one of the main reasons for the creation of this zine. You see, many people read that passage I think the reader can figure out how and think it means to live free of judgthis zine flies in the face of that passage. ment. Not I. Not only would that But don’t let that incongrube no fun, it would be impossible. ity worry you; I won’t be taking any On top of that, it’s probably not further cues from Scripture. I mean, even the intended meaning. The just read this passage which is also from way I take it (admittedly even Matthew 7: more self-serving than those who think it means to simply not “A good tree cannot judge) is that if I allow othbring forth evil fruit, Artist’s rendering of you, right now. ers to judge me very harshneither can a corly—for, say, my earnest attempt at creating rupt tree bring forth good a zine—I can judge them equally harshly for fruit.” (Matthew 7:18) anything at all. Which I shall. Some more religious text, this time from a That is total gibberish and also seriously calls more kvetch-inclined people, that was influinto question the whole story about the Garential in the abiogenesis of this zine is: den of Eden. But I digress again. So read, enjoy, perhaps even learn, but “If not me, who? If not now, when?” most importantly: judge harshly—so that I may.


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Dropping out what it’s like and why

Photograph inspired by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s “Study of Perspective.”

WHY ou failed a quarter of gym last year, so we’re going to need to schedule you a second gym class this year.” Believe it or not, that was the last straw. That made me decide that high school was just not worth it anymore. It was certainly not the worst aspect of high school or my high school experience, and I know it’s petty, but two gym classes is two too many. I was upset then, but looking back now I’d like to take this chance to thank all of the circumstances that materialized concurrently at the beginning of my senior year of high school that caused me to take my chances and drop out. When I decided to drop out it was one of those moments where I felt exceptionally clear-headed and as if I had just risen to a new plateau. No more would I have to try to find a way to make school work for me when I could just leave the building. Exceptional!



That feeling never faded and I stand by my decision. Throughout all my time in schools I was told that if I didn’t think something was worthwhile or useful I should try to intelligently explain why and change it. This strategy was not very successful in elementary school as I don’t think teachers enjoy having a seven-year-old try to tell them what to do. Failing that, I was taught to just do it—not that I ever actually did. In the fifth grade I gave private school a try. Private school, or at least that private school, was no better than public school. All through this time I was told that the next thing would be better. Third grade is where it gets serious. No, Fourth. No, private school. Middle school is better. No, middle school’s just preparation for how great high school is. Well, there I was: the final year of high school. The next thing was, as I had al-

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ways known, illusory. Also illusory was the notion of changing one aspect of school to make it better as a whole. There’s no single aspect or group of aspects that I find undesirable about school; it’s school that I find undesirable. Do not confuse this with finding education undesirable. The American education system is antiquated. Nudging the edges and tinkering with a couple things here and there does not make it better, but only helps to perpetuate the illusion that it can be modernized. It cannot. We need not be trapped in the 19th century, but we are. So, when given the choice between a senior year with two gym classes or making the statement I’d been born to make, the choice was easy: DROP OUT! TAKING THE GED o now i was a dropout, but the world was not my oyster yet—I needed my GED. I looked up the addresses of GED testing centers in New Jersey. Upon a quick Google Maps search of a number of these centers it appeared that GED administration was a popular cover business for crack dens. I settled on the testing center with


with me. We first went to the testing center sometime in late September to register for the exam. The first human activity we saw there was two octogenarian women sitting in wheelchairs outside smoking; just the type of hooligan you’d expect to be taking the GED. Inside there was a sad assortment of the senescent milling about. Some were amputees; others had glazed eyes and didn’t seem to know where they were. It’s a good thing I wasn’t alone, otherwise at this point I might have just turned around and gone back to high school on my knees begging to be let back in. We asked at the desk to make sure that this was the GED testing center. It turns out that the “Community Learning Center” is in the same building as “Roosevelt Care Center” long-term care and hospice. The reception lady told us to go to the third floor for the GED. On the third floor we passed by tiny, noisy rooms being used for GED prep classes. The fact that there was anything complex enough on the GED to necessitate teaching worried me, so I made a mental note to learn

One such crack-den testing center.

the most respectable façade: “Community Learning Center” in Edison. Just in case this center turned out to be as derelict in real life as the others appeared to be on Google Maps, I had my mom come

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to convert cups to bushels. Just in case. The women who taught the GED prep classes and ran the testing center were two retired teachers. They looked like the type of kind old teacher I had always imagined


that looked a little like jocks and a middle aged woman. Some groups of people talked about their past attempts at the GED and how close they were, while others (not me, I swear) talked about how relieved they were to be out of high school and how they should have done this years ago. I was surprised and a little worried about how many of these people were repeat takers. I went to use the bathroom and, although not unisex, there was a young man and woman in the same stall making moaning noises—what could they have been doing in there? Relieved, I mused to myself: “If these people A drawing I made while seething in Mr. Jacobsen’s class. can’t even figure out singleI would have had in elementary school, but sex bathrooms, it’s no wonder they failed the never did. They seemed to have been at least GED.” mildly used to having dropouts like me, who The test began. The first couple of quesweren’t dumb or impoverished, come take tions were easy. “The first questions are always the GED to skirt the system, although they easy,” I thought to myself, “don’t get cocky were still surprised that I had dropped out of yet.” Well, it turns out I could have gotten Westfield High School. cocky weeks earlier; the test never got much In the days leading up to the test I took more difficult. Overall, it was much easier many practice GED tests online and I perthan even the HSPA. There was one quesformed only slightly above average. I began tion where I thought I would be able to use to worry a little that maybe the real GED my new skill of converting cups to bushwould be harder or could have been recently els: “If you have two cups of oats and three updated to become more difficult. bushels of barley,” OK, think Evan, you got On the day of the test I arrived 20 minutes this. “how many cups of oats do you have?” early. I took the elevator up to the room and Wait, what? Two. watched the other test-takers filter into the classroom: first, an apparently frequent GED taker who had not registered for this exam date and was turned away, then some urban 20-somethings followed by a couple of guys


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_______engilAndold-timey noF phone booth in the nursing home where I took my GED exam.


Poem I know that poems belong in my zine But let’s be honest most of them are shit and people just want to look at all of the enjambement So here’s this nonsense to fulfill that need I hope that you find it pleasing to the eyes even if it does not please the heart


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bama’s gall never fails to amaze And let’s be honest, who among us would me, but recently I believe that he not have done the same had we been in the crossed the line. He’s been strutting around same position? Yes, of course. Provided taking credit for that I had the instrangling Osama telligence to know Bin Laden with his that Bin Laden was bare hands. Unin Pakistan and believable! To take the resources to go credit for something there (and the will that he himself did. to take the risk of The effrontery! being wrong and Just today my wife just violating their asked me if I had sovereignty, leaving gotten the groceries, me in a world of as she had requested shit) and the furI do, and I replied: tiveness to sneak “No, I didn’t get the into Bin Laden’s groceries. The farmer compound and the who grew them and strength to squeeze the truck driver who the life out of Bin drove them to the Laden I would have store and the stockdone it myself. Hey, Grandstander-in-chief ist who put them on I might as well take the shelf and the cashier who I paid got the credit for killing Bin Laden now. groceries. I can’t believe that you would have This type of thing really makes me long the nerve to ask if I got the groceries.” for the days of George W. Bush. Now there The fact that Obama did not once give was a guy who knew how to give credit any credit to his personal trainer for the rewhere it’s due. Never once did he take full cent increased focus on hand strengthening credit for even things that he was fully reexercises or to Sony for providing the headsponsible for. Even nowadays Republicans mounted camcorder that Obama used to are gracious enough to give full credit to film the act or to Bin Laden for his notoriBarack Obama for two failed wars and the uously brittle trachea just reveals how much recession. of a grandstanding show-off Obama really is.

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Occupy Wall Street



Full gallery at


would like to pose an honest question to any female reader: do you frequently have heart-to-hearts with your female friends and acquaintances in the bathroom (and I’m not talking about a multiple stall bathroom with barriers, I’m talking about a single stall bathroom with eye-to-eye conversation)? If yes (hopefully no, though), is one of the interlocuters ever actually pissing during this conversation? If yes again, have you ever handed her toilet paper to wipe with in the middle of the conversation? One last question: during this course of events, which I sincerely hope is not one you have ever encountered, have you ever thought to yourself, “hey, this would make great honest television!” If you answered yes to all four of those questions, chances are you’re Lena Dunham, creator of Girls. After seeing the glowing reviews for Girls, I decided to set aside my annoyance over the cancellation of Bored to Death and give its replacement series a fair chance. I regret that very much. If they had only advertised Girls as a “hip” Sex and the City for a lower age bracket—on The Colbert Report, Lena Dunham said of Sex and the City: “[Girls] definitely owes a debt to Sex and the City ‘cause Sex and the City kind of busted the system from the inside in talking about women’s issues.” which alone is a ridiculous thing to say about Sex and the City of all shows—I would have been able to skip over this entire debacle without a second thought.


Now, Girls starts off with Hannah, the main character (played by the creator of the show, Lena Dunham), being cut off financially by her parents. Hannah protests and tells her parents that they should be thankful that she’s not addicted to drugs like so many her age. Her parents explain that they just can’t afford to give her any more money on their professor salaries. Hannah, visibly upset, tells her parents that she does not want to see them the next day as she will be “busy becoming who [she is].” Later, in an attempt to get a paying job like her parents want her to, Hannah tries to turn her unpaid internship into a paying job, but instead just loses her internship. This loss of everything that Hannah had been taking for granted upsets her so much that, before you know it, she is off to the apartment of her ugly and shirtless semiboyfriend, Adam. They have embarrassing and depressing—excuse me, honest—sex. Throughout this encounter, Hannah and Adam both say insufferably stupid shit like, “never be anybody’s fucking slaaave.” The bulk of the first episode is just laying the groundwork for future episodes, but since I only watched—and only plan on having ever watched—the first episode, I’ll skip over that stuff, except to say that Hannah drinks some opium poppy tea. At the end, Hannah goes to her parents’ hotel room to make one last, desperate plea for some financial help. Her parents refuse.

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Just look at these idiots.

The shock from the denial of what she considered a meager request for money and the opium poppy tea cause her to faint. The irony of her earlier non-drug-addict protestations did not get past me, but still did not amuse me. For a show supposedly about a bunch of middle-class kids scraping by in the city which, even if authentic, would probably be derided as inconsequential and whiney, all of the lead cast members’ parents have their own wikipedia pages: Lena Dunham’s parents are Laurie Simmons, a photographer, and Carrol Dunham, a painter; Allison Williams’ father is Brian Williams, the news anchor; Zosia Mamet’s parents are David Mamet, a director, and Lindsay Crouse, an actress; and Jemima Kirke’s father Simon Kirke was the drummer in the band Free. That is ridiculous. A striking characteristic of this show is that it’s not only Sex and the City for a younger demographic, it’s Sex and the City with the comedic sensibilities of Judd Apatow. An awful combination. In fact, one of the first things that I noticed is the number of similarities between Lena Dunham and Seth Rogen: they’re both mildy overweight, they have almost identical facial structures

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and teeth, their voices have a very similar nasal quality which frequently trails off into vocal fry (all of the characters on this show speak almost entirely in vocal fry. If you didn’t look at the screen you’d think it was a show about talking frogs—it’s worse than a Noam Chomsky speech), clearly both have had their careers jump-started by Judd Apatow and, most importantly, neither of them are very funny. What this show is is really just another Seth Rogen vehicle (with Lena Dunham being Seth Rogen) masquerading as some kind of indie quirk-fest. Proponents of this show will argue that it preempts many of my complaints; that many of the problems that the characters themselves treat as world-ending and lifecrushing other characters recognize as insignificant. My rebuttal is that recognizing flaws does not rectify them. Especially in a show as flawed as Girls. The names of the main characters, I shit you not, are: Hannah Horvath, Marnie Michaels, Jess Johansson and Shoshanna Shapiro. That is apparently what you get out of a creative writing degree from Oberlin. Fuck, I hated this show.


Recipe: Cooking with Weed (as a vegan)


ne of the most common misconceptions concerning veganism is that a vegan can never know the joy of cooking with marijuana. I know firsthand that this is, as I said, a misconception. This mistake stems from the belief that fatty dairy products are necessary to extract cannabinoids, when really simple canola oil works wonderfully.

The Ratio: 1 GRAM of BUD for every 2 TABLESPOONS of OIL Or: Or:

1 OUNCE just

we’re (make


not sure

of BUD for every








3.5 CUPS



fucking weed




of OIL


bud here! ground)

1. Heat up your oil in a saucepan, but do not let it boil. 2. Add in all of your stuff. 3. Keep the oil hot, but not boiling, for about two hours. Stir frequently.

by the way, this is going to stink up your house and entire property should i have mentioned that earlier?

4. Strain through a mesh strainer. Throw out the weed or sell it to some middle schoolers, I don’t care.

Store in a dark place. A closet will suffice.

Now whenever a FondLigne_ recipe mentions canola oil you know what to use


nd believe me, this stuff is just as good as any non-vegan cannabis concoction. In a single-blind study, done by me, a number of people said that they got the highest they’d ever been. Although, honestly, people say that all the time.


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Recommendations Have a smartphone? Just scan the corresponding QR code and enjoy.

Listening Judith and Holofernes ?artist=judith%20and%20holofernes Sharpie Crows

Viewing Two or Three Things I Know About Her (2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle) 1333-2-or-3-things-i-know-about-her The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie) 310-the-discreet-charm-of-the-bourgeoisie

Reading Ian svenonius The Psychic Soviet the-psychic-soviet (also available on Amazon) Michael Kammen People of Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Origins of American Civilization People-Paradox-Concerning-CivilizationPaperbacks/dp/0801497558

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First issue of Fond Ligne. May 2012.