Issue #1 of “Clearinghouse Publishers” was this old classic, accompanied by a letter:
Welcome to your first issue from Clearinghouse Publishers! Our mission is to bring you the finest collation of various papers marked with various writing implements and inks, sent in divers envelopes, all of which are occupying otherwise valuable square footage in our offices. The family of Clearinghouse magazines is proud to be both America’s finest dispersal device for stacks and boxes of papers taking up space on the shelves and in the closets of our contributors, as well as an indispensable guide to the culture of our age.
We are celebrating, one year ahead of the occasion, our first year anniversary! You have been pre-selected to be one of just 14 subscribers, an exclusive cadre of those who, by genetic lottery and Ptolemeian roulette, happen to be “our kind of people.” As one of the few, you’ll receive such titles as:
•Making Things Worse: a Journal of the Arts
as well as newer, more cutting-edge titles like “Up Yours: a Patriotic Poetry Quarterly,” whose editorial stance is directed as much at you as the general public, despite your position of distinction in the world. If you wish to continue receiving our publications,
Act Now and Pay Nothing.
Or if you wish to halt your subscription or believe your subscription has been in error,
Unlike the intellectual luminaries at Adbusters and Harper’s, who would have you replace the dominant ideology with their own middle-class menu, or those fiddling Neroes over at the New Yorker, vying to have the last pithy word in their orchestra seats at the latest performance of The Burning of New Rome on Ice, we at Clearinghouse publish our family of magazines as touchstones that use and misuse modes of speech and materials to spark a discussion. If the sum total of subjectivities is objectivity, as we believe, then together, through these publications, we can reach a reality that is not relative: realativity.
Since they are first and foremost objects, should you receive a particularly thick and sturdy issue, and need to hang a picture on the salon wall, we urge you to consider using that issue to drive the nail, rather than a hammer. Or, after measuring the thickness of the latest issue, you should find it to be the perfect thing to keep a chair from wobbling, then consider it useful.
Dan Nelson, editor”