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Food Geek Interview | <a href="http://canbaskent.net">Can Başkent</a>

Can Başkent

logic and the rest...

FOOD GEEK INTERVIEW

CAN BAŞKENT - CARRIE

Edited Version

Hi!.. I hope everything is nice in your life. So, let's begin with get to know you.. How would you introduce yourself?
i would introduce myself as carrie. i like to make zines. i have a fascination for food and food related writing. i also draw comics that are about my life.

What was your primer motivation to launch a recipe & food based fanzine, which the scene is not too familiar with its style i guess.
i think a combination of my above fascination with food and food culture. we all need to eat. it's a common unity we all share. plus i think cooking food is very diy. it's creative, it's fun.

On the other hand, you also have a comics zine. Could you please tell us something about it.
the assassin and the whiner it is called. it is an auto-bio comic. it's very personal. i write about everything from noticing my breasts have gotten bigger or some silly thing my cat is doing to my major depression and alcoholism and how i am both suffering through it and trying to deal with it, with an occassional added splash of humor. i am now trying to explore the root issues of those problems, what happened in the past to manifest my depression and alcoholism. it's writing a lot of people can understand. sometimes we need to read things about what people are going through to know that we aren't so alone, or that things aren't so impossible.

"Food Geek" and "the Assasin and the Whinner" are somehow personal zines full of personal, individual extracts. However, are those kinds of zines popular in your scene. Maybe, people do not dare to read the story of a 'nice individual'. Furthermore, how is your popularity there... I gues it is rather good in Europe [but not in Turkey]..
yeah, i would say both of my zines are fairly popular in america. i'm shocked by how many people read them and how many i sell. i think a lot of people that are into zines here are into personal ones. the music zines don't seem to be as prevalent as they once were, which coincidentally was my introduction into the world of zines. when i first got into punk rock then discovered all of the zines. it was like manna for a geek like me that loved to listen to music and read. my zines definately get around europe. thumbs up to flatline and the other european distros that carry them! as for my popularity in turkey, as far as i know you are the only person in that country to have ever seen or read any of my zines.

What's your fave meal?
no question about it - burritos! a burrito is so perfect. the beans, the rice, the salsa and the cheese and lettuce all smushed up in a rolled up tortilla. each bite is heavenly. and there are so many good different burritos. i am blessed to live in los angeles, there are good burrito stands everywhere. is a burrito an official "meal" though? if it had to be a "meal" meal i would pick indian, probably southern indian. a mini masala dosa, two bowls of any type of the many different vegetable curries, dal, naan, raita. yum!

Have you ever tasted any turkish food?
for someone that talks about food like i do i hate to say it, but no. would i like to? YES!

Meanwhile, what is your fave cuisine; Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Mediterranean…
since i was recently in china i have overdosed on chinese food for now. love it. just don't want to see it for awhile. if i had to pick the one cuisine that was to be all i could eat for the rest of my life it would be thai food.

Are you involved in any kind of politics, scene, organization etc.. Particularly do you follow or watch the situation in Near East, Africa and Middle Americas.. It seems that, the situation is rather fatal there. What're your opinions?..
no i'm not involved in any political scene or organization. i definitely follow the news (certainly not the mainstream american news, which is all about news for entertainment, one wouldn't have much of a clue about what was going on in rest of the world). it's hard to say if any of these situations are fatal but it seems to me, no matter how i look at it, it doesn't seem things will get better. it's all like being the big bully. i don't know. it's hard for me to talk politics in a paragraph.

Your works seems very professional, cute and well-done with respect to average fanzine literature. Your comments..
um, well thanks!

What is the question you mostwant to be asked in an interview?
what's your favorite food. for real! i am not joking! and you asked me this question!

Yet, what's your most hated question you never answer?
it's not a particular question but i don't like to answer questions involving politics in a mail interview. i'm all for talking politics, my friends can tell you all about the rants that i go on and just won't shut up. i guess when it comes to things of a political nature i'm more comfortable speaking my thoughts and opinions out loud then in writing them.

Particularly, I kindly appreciate your comics and DIY style. Will you keep on this style..
well thanks again. you make me blush! the answer is yep! i plan to do my comics for a long time. i can't help but think how cool it will be if i'm still doing them when i'm an old lady! only thing i'll probably be doing different in the future is to have my zine printed instead of hand xeroxed by me. i've become so sick of xeroxing my zines.

Do you ever want to visit Turkey? If yes, what attracts you. If no, what is repulsive?
yes, yes! i have always wanted to visit turkey! i actually was planning to go last fall but then 9/11 happened and because i was going to go by myself, and being female, and not being able to speak or understand the language, i felt uncomfortable, mostly about traveling alone (which i have done many times) and being unnerved by 9/11, i decided not to go at that time. i will, someday. i am fascinated by that "east meets west". that there are cultures there i would never experience in the western world and i want to experience that. i love history and being able to visit places that are filled with ancient histories. istanbul looks like such a beautiful city. and i forgot the name right now but there's that place with ancient homes built in these weird rock cones. when i first saw a photo of that place, i think i was 9, i knew i had to visit there one day. and yes, i must visit turkey so i can have some real turkish food! on a completely other note, i have had turkish coffee. good stuff!

Do you keep corresponding to underground'ers as once upon all the folks were doing. We, as much as we can, keep this spirit on. Email sucks, but we still adore pen&pencil too much..
i don't correspond using the good old fashioned pen and paper route as much as i used to or would like. not because i don't want to, but i correspond with so many folks that it has become overwhelming. i definately still write, just not as frequently as i would like and it's more like notes i send now then letters. i love getting mail. email just doesn't have that same vibe. i'm still that same ole kid that ran out to the mailbox everyday and cheered when a letter for me was in it!

Why do you love old cook-books so much.. I guess your "old cook-book colleciton" consists of lots of items. Right?
i have a thing for the illustration styles and the advertising that was used back in the 40's, 50's and 60's. but what really got me into old cookbooks was how horrid most of the recipes are. i found reading them to be incredibly hilarious! and the photos of the actual food - the food looked so disgusting! everything was so bland, barely any seasonings. and all the fat used, a stick of butter here, 1 cup of lard there. part of that was when immigrants came to america they wanted to fit in so they ceased to cook their ethnic dishes and food became homogenized, which turned into what i call midwestern cooking. sort of tasteless and bland. it's a fascinating history.

What changed in your(s) life after 11th September. Sorry to ask; but your opinions are important for us.
well, nothing really. i was already aware that osama bin laden had called for war on america, in 1998 i think, saying that all americans, civilian and military were targets. i was more shocked to realize that so many people didn't know this. and just as shocked that the government knew this but obviously did very little. it has came out recently that the intelligence reports and all were there, but the government is obviously screwed up, it could have been prevented i think, if the proper agencies/actions/etc had been taken. hmmmm....like knowing terrorist suspects are in the country, known to be involved with a group that wants to destroy america, on student visas, and was anyone in the government paying attention to them? obviously not. 9/11 was indeed a huge shock...but it was coming, sooner or later. it finally came.

Are you a straight-edge? Indeed, what do you think about sXe cult?
since i am an alcoholic i'm not straight edge. i do not want to be an alcoholic...but i am. i have been trying to maintain sobriety but it's a very difficult struggle. i'm all for people being straight edge. you just don't know, when you first start to drink or do drugs, if your brain has the wiring to turn you into an alcoholic or addict. and if the wiring is there... as for the sXe cult. i don't believe in dictating to others what or how to live. much of what i see from this following is self righteous. if you choose not to do drugs or drink, fine. but don't demand or expect others to do the same. we all have our beliefs and we need to live in a way where we respect each other, despite our differences.

Any additional words?
no. i'm actually sleepy now. think i'll call it a night.

Carrie McN, PO Box 49403, Los Angeles, CA 90049, U$A