An interview with
(aka) Miss Oblivious
now in Portland, WA, USA
by Elke Zobl and Haydeé Jiménez
"Leading us into a whirlwind of still images, tales and passion
for true underground mishaps at carnivals, musty basements,
seasides and condemned Sake' houses. It is a known fact that these
little gems go like nickel pints at a whorehouse!"
Talbot, review in
Can you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself?
How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you
I am 33 years old and l originated from southern California, til I
was 3. Then [I] lived in SF bay area until April 2006 in which I
moved to Seattle, WA. A day in the life is I wake up and get the
kiddies ready, drink coffee (it’s my fuel), go for a walk, check
my computer for messages (I admit to being a full addict to
MYSPACE), draw/read [and] play with my son, do some house
cleaning, work on dolls/zine [and] make dinner. Well, to be quite
honest, my husband comes home from work and does a lot of the
cooking a cleaning.
Do you do anything else other than your zine, rag doll
creations and being a mother of two (as if that were not enough)?
I am currently I writer/contributor for
a photographer, I paint, have been a wig stylist, earned a degree
in graphic arts and go to belly dancing/yoga class (not as often
as I should)… I am a mother of two children (Sailor Hank 3
years-old, Darby Jane 9 years -old), a devoted wife, and a thrift
store junky. Sewing, painting and zine-ing take up all of my spare
time. When I had just my daughter I worked full time as a
wig-stylist, had a band for 5 years called “NAG” and did a
quarterly zine. When I had my son I decided to stay home with him.
Instead of obsessing about a sparkle clean house, I started
focusing on art in my spare time and it took off; it started with
friends commissioning me to do a doll or painting and has evolved
into a full exposure career. I still have a long way to go, but am
on the right track.
Can you please tell our readers what your zine
Oblivious Nation is about?
In 1999 I started a band called "NAG" with my now husband (yeah my
2nd marriage) Cap’n Oblivious; thus, Miss Oblivious was erected. I
decided to hang up Cunt Fear and start Oblivious
Nation; basically, I explain it as a self-absorbed mess
including art, music and insecure social scenes.
What topics do you discuss in your zines most often?
Myself (haha), whatever band is making me excited at the time.
Such regulars are and have been Dame Darcy, Veronica Lip gloss &
the evil eyes, Butt Trumpet, Corey Parks, Keith Morris, Yard dogs
road show, Gorilla Angreb, Ginger Coyote, Master Moth. Basically,
I am documenting my life, my mishaps and my emotions.
You used to do another zine called Cunt Fear,
which later became Oblivious Nation. How did the zine
change (besides the name)? Are there different themes, or other
things you focus on?
Yes, I started making zines in 1994. [The first one] was titled
Cunt Fear under the name "Star Whore". At that time, I
was with a girl for 3.5 years and it focused on me being queer in
the punk scene, which wasn’t as happening as it is now. I was
lucky enough to be up close and personal with some of the most
influential and revolutionary woman at that time, such as Lynn
Breedlove, Courtney Love, GB Jones, Ana Joy, Bikini Kill and Stone
Fox…plus all the amazing spectators as myself. Well, I did the
zine periodically even as I started dating boys and then I had a
child (Darby Jane/ circa 1997). It was distributed in Europe, US &
Canada. As usual, I was bored and wanted a new title.
Now I am a proud breeder, married to a man and am pretty obsessed
with the 20’s and 30‘s era of music, fashion and lifestyle, and
queer electronic punk messes. The difference between Cunt Fear
and Oblivious Nation [is] just a maturity level from my
writing and expression. I was 19 then and now am 33. So, of course
topics vary but are just not expressed with “fucken” and “shit” as
Twelve years of zine making is a lot. How many issues of
your zine have you published?
Well, only about 8 or so of Cunt Fear but since March
2005 I have done a zine faithfully every month, a few bi-monthly.
I keep it a priority, if nothing else for my children, to see who
I was and my experiences, in the future for them to pass on to
theirs. All together I have made 22 zines and am currently working
Where is your zine
Ug, through me mainly. I am so bad about the distro. I fund it all
on my own and have so much on my platter, that I should look into
getting a willing soul to help me. I always have them on me so
when I am shopping or at shows, I sell ‘em.
In Seattle, you can go to Sonic Boom in Ballard, Singles Spin
Steady. Also, I am at IHEARTRUMMAGE the first Sunday of the month
which is located at The Crocodile Café, also in Seattle. I
sometimes have ‘em at Streetlight Records in San Jose, CA. I was
sending ‘em to LA. Then, that store changed into a motorcycle part
shop. There are a handful of subscribers and regulars.
Are your rag dolls’ fans the same as your zine’s fans?
What kind of responses do you get from your zine’s readers?
I have surprisingly received such an enormous response from my
dolls, that some of my readers have bought the dolls from seeing
them in the zine. Both mediums draw a unique crowd and collector.
I make dolls that are demented and of underground icons which I
have sewn dolls in the likeness of Exene, Thom Bone, Keith Morris,
Duane peters/Corey Parks, Ginger Coyote, Darby Crash, Hellin
Killer, Alice Bag, Dinah Cancer, Twin Peaks Characters, Geishas
and salty sea creatures. If you go to my website you can see
photos of these and the icons with their creations.
What made you decide to start your zine? How did you come
up with the idea Cunt Fear and Oblivious Nation
I was in the middle of the bay area revolution in the early 90’s
were all of us girls wanted to be heard, to be independent and
pro-active. I had always wanted to be in a band, yet it wasn’t
working out for me in 91-92. So, I took photographs of everything
and felt it was a great way of sharing them with everyone. At the
time I started Cunt Fear (which name derives from a CRASS
song), most lesbians hung out strictly with lesbians, regardless
of there personal interest in fashion, music and views. I was
rebelling against that in a way. Yet, [I was] angry when I felt
like the token queer friend to some in the straight world…which I
was also rebelling against.
When you were still using Cunt Fear as a name for
your zine, did you have a more female focus for your zine? Has
I have always had an equal amount of each. Of course, all the
grrrls loved it and then those punk rock boys that were extreme
loved it. All of my subscribers at this time are males.
How did you become introduced to the culture of zines?
I was at a bookstore in The Castro and picked up one of GB
Jones Zines (which we became pen pals for over 5 years
after), and I fell head over heels. [I] thought to myself “hey, I
could do this”. Then, just being in the middle of SF in the early
90’s had a lot to do with it. Courtney Love was by far my biggest
influence and remains to this day. I met her first in ’92 when
Hole opened for Lemonheads and I had to acquire a fake ID to get
in and she flirted with me before and after the show. It was
another time in my life that I thought “wow anything is possible”,
and I was hanging out and meeting a lot of staple people in that
What do you love and find challenging about
I sometimes feel “does anyone really care about this mess”, which
is the most challenging. Other than that, it does sometimes get in
the way of my family time (which is my top priority). So, I have a
calendar next to the computer now and figure out which event or
show is most important for me to cover and which I will have the
most fun at. What I love most is when you’ll get an email, phone
call or a conversation and the person is telling you how great you
are, or how the zine relates to how they are feeling or have felt,
or you inspire someone to start their own revolution. Then that
first thought passes and you are inspired for the next issue to be
cut and pasted.
All the persons on the cover of each issue are personal friends
that I feel are beautiful and should be on the cover of at least
one publication in their life. I photograph them and show off
their pretty images.
What are some zines you have read
lately that you would recommend to someone learning about the zine-making/reading
By far, my favorite zine the last few years has been Tight
Pants. There are so many out there, it’s hard to choose just
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start
Get some scissors, glue and typewriter/computer/pen and go for it.
Don’t think about whom to please except yourself with your zine
and it will keep it original. Don’t do ads, don’t do too many
reviews. I give recommendations instead of dissecting someone
else’s creation. No matter what, cut, paste and zerox, even if you
only do 50 copies. To me, that gives zines their magic. I have
recently considered adding my zine online as well as keep printing
on paper. We will see.
What does the zine scene
look like in Washington? Do you feel part of a (grrrl or general)
zine community or network and what does it mean to you?
I am such a contradiction. I am a social butterfly and yet I am so
protective of my work that I think that is why I haven’t distro’d
in stores- because I want to see whom is reading my life. Yet I
want the whole world to know me? If that makes any sense to you?
Moving to Washington is the
best thing I have ever done. The zine community is thriving. I just
discovered the Hugo House which holds a zine library. There is
Portland a short 3 hour drive, which is zine Mecca, and if that were
not enough, the art scene has been very welcoming with my work.
April/ May 2006 issue #16
January 2006 issue- Sweet Hamhocks
Do you consider yourself as feminist?
I really dislike titles for myself since I am such a
contradiction, I would mostly describe myself as a pro- active in
all realms, but yeah I could say a feminist with a pervy, shocking
sense of humour.
What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily
life (as a woman/feminist/…)?
My biggest challenge right now is keeping the house clean…haha.
But seriously being a GOOD mommy and wife. The wife part is
challenging at times since a lot of my attention goes into my
personal challenges, obstacles and mishaps. I meet a lot of new
people and not that there is any type of infidelity issues; it’s
more of me dividing my social and personal life- which I feel in
the last year, I have really worked hard at. Since I have always
been a “’fuck you’ I do what I want and am not changing for anyone
anything”, I have to stop myself and realize there are other
people caring about me in my life and I need to respect them. My
mind is always going, going, and I think of all these things that
need to be done but I cannot stop sewing, writing or photographing
things. I am 33 and have been in the punk scene since I was 12
years old and feel “okay I am staying on this DIY path for over 20
years. I am responsible yet still am very youthful in thought and
play”. Dividing being a mommy and Miss Oblivious is never a hard
thing since I am first and foremost a mommy! ...which I feel has
kept me going and living for the future. Setting an example that I
can look a certain way and be a good parent and productive
What do you think about feminism today? How would you
explain what feminism is to someone who has no idea what it is?
A female that is a pro-thinker, pro-active and does what SHE
needs/wants, and educates herself is a feminist to me. To be
comfortable in her own skin, which can mean anything from being a
stay-at-home mom, a welder or a teacher. Standing up for what you
believe in and not losing yourself with age or experience. I feel
it is easy to be a feminist when you are young; there is so much
to be angry about. The older you get, you will see a lot of your
friends slack off from many things, and get comfortable with
day-to-day routine, and I think that is why I do stand out from a
lot from my age group because I am not jaded or kicking back
talking about what I USED to do or what I was. I still am me, the
older I get, just in a more sensible way. Keeping myself from
becoming the stereotypical soccer mom. eeewww!
What would a “grrrl”-friendly society look like in your
view? How do you think society might be re-thought and transformed
to come closer to an “ideal” world for women, grrrls and queer
folks? Do you have any suggestions for the development of women/grrrl/queer-friendly
I see it evolving from just 10 years ago. On television, in the
media and in day-to-day(real) life. There is still along way to go
but what would life be without obstacles and controversy. I think
just keeping your choices and lifestyle out in the open helps
instead of hiding your preferences because they are taboo in the
general population. This is what has opened alot of the doors in
the last decade- people not keeping their tastes and lifestyles in
the closet. Lynn Breedlove, topless at shows making the cute lil'
punk rock boys suck her rubber schlong, really helped all the
grrls throw their fist in the air and say "hell ya, now that is an
ideal world!" As I said above, other than any violence or hate, a
lil’ controversy keeps the new generations going. When things are
perfect or oh so pretty, what is there to change? Then things
would be boring! An ideal world is being able to make your own
choices for your future. Since abortions, education, and voting
have been a freedom of choice for females, things are most
definatley evolving for us in the last fifty years.
If I had one wish to change the world we live in, it would be to
get rid of all the violence and hate that ends in abuse or death.
What are some of your personal
wishes/visions/ideas/plans for the future, if you like to share
More money and education for the low-income
communities, more diversity in the rich schools and to keep
art/music in the public school system.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Stay true to yourself; don’t let
anyone get in your way. Stand your ground in all situations but
with an open mind to differences in lifestyle, views & opinions.
The "Oblivious" Family
paynecreations [AT] yahoo.com
Miss Oblivious fan club:
P.O. Box 111
San Martin , CA 95046 USA
$4.00 an issue or $20.00 a year subscription
(dolls and more info on Miss Oblivious and
Payne creation dolls)
to read more of my mishaps that appear in
to see the life and times of Miss Oblivious
Miss Oblivious is currently showing dolls at:
December 2 :
Monkey House toys in Silverlake(LA) from 4-8p.m.
The Hive Gallery in downtown LA from 8p.m.-midnight (I will be at
both locations personally) December 17 th
IHEARTRUMMAGE in Seattle on 2 nd st at The Crocodile
café’ noon-4 p.m.
December 18 th
On KSCU 103.3 fm guest DJ 6-7 p.m.
December 20 th
Live on air KFJC 89.3 fm 5-6 p.m.
The Shanghaied Geisha Dolls, art & zines by: Miss Oblivious
The Balazo 18 Gallery in SF (the Mission dist)
8 p.m. – Midnight with live music and performances.
June/July 2006 issue- Majenta & Corey Parks
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