Last night–that is, Sunday if you aren’t reading this on Monday, specifically Monday, February 2–I clicked “submit” on the Knight Cities Challenge application for Unbox Akron. Then I watched “Transformers 4” and then I wished I hadn’t. It was a bad way to celebrate.
Here’s a good way: The first issue of The Devil Strip comes out March 17. And I need your help. I want to explore what it means to be an Akronite. We’re going about that a few ways–Googling the answer, copying what it says on Wikipedia, changing a few words and taking all the credit then crying when we get caught and are publicly shamed–but the way I want your help is with this “You’re so Akron if…” contest.
“You’re so Akron if… …you put snow tires on your soap box derby car.”
“You’re so Akron if… …you’ve started more than one story with ‘I went to high school with the Black Keys.'”
“You’re so Akron if… …you put ‘Served LeBron a Galley Boy’ on your resume.”
The funniest, most insightful, truest, most delightful and/or interesting submissions will be immortalized in our first issue.
And “issue,” I mean, “in print” and by “in print,” I mean that paper stuff you may remember your parents and grandparents holding in ye olde pre-Interwebs era.
“Wow,” you might be thinking, “What a terrible idea. Print is dead. Egon Spengler said so in 1984. The year, not the book. Egon wasn’t in ‘1984,’ he was in ‘Ghostbusters.’ What are we talking about? Why are you writing down everything I’m thinking? How are you writing down everything I’m thinking?”
Well then, person whose thoughts I can transcribe, having a print magazine (i.e. – a tactile experience) is a way of being in the real world along with most of what is interesting about Akron. Every issue will feature local art on the cover. Just imagine what that’ll look like. When you open it up, there’ll be stories about the people, places, events and other things that make Akron unique. Use it to kill time at the bar, or to explore new ideas, discover hidden gems and find your people.
I love the webs. Honest, I do. But there’s something about sitting with a story for a little while, enjoying it uninterrupted by the 15 other tabs on your browser, notifications from Facebook or your inbox. You can share something in it with a friend you can actually see, one whose face isn’t frozen in a photo. (And isn’t asking you to play Candy Crush.)
While you’ll get a new issue of The Devil Strip every two weeks, the website will start fleshing out to offer more, including a couple partnerships and music whatnot that I’m not quite ready to share yet. And by mid-March, we’ll know whether Unbox Akron is getting funded.
The point is, this thing is just getting started.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is all a terrible idea. Either way, in this first issue, we’re going to explore what it means to be an Akronite. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.
So, how would you complete this sentence: “You’re so Akron if…”