Best Hoax Zine That Isn't One - 2001
The Nature of Aether
Given San Francisco's rampant cynicism, it's no wonder that a home-produced pamphlet like The Nature of Aether would be treated with a certain amount of scorn. A treatise on the so-called aetheric plane, which can be used by aspiring mentalists to make the world conform to their every whim, sounds like a crock, to be sure. Especially when you see that it is written by Clint Marsh, the mastermind behind Phooka, a four-issue journal of a fictional Welsh croquet club. (Issues included full league rankings, tips to "unraveling the 13-wicket tangle," and the correct course-drinking behavior.) But Marsh swears that the aetheric world is the real deal: "I've been a skeptic my whole life, not trusting in anything I couldn't see and touch, [but] once I let go of my notions of the material world, I found that the exercises actually worked!" Marsh suggests that the exercises he describes -- meditation, visualization, memory stimulation -- can lead to astral projection, clairvoyance, and spirit viewing. As he says at the end of the first issue's order form, "New York and California residents: Add half an ounce of incredulity."