Cynical Soul

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Cynical Soul is a zine by Victoria Crowder Payne.

It began in 1996 as a response to the suicide death of Victoria's good friend and UMKC debater David MacDonald, aka David Mac. He was a gifted speaker, deep thinker, innovative musician, and true friend. As an homage to David's zine Envy the Dead, Victoria launched Cynical Soul (poetry, fiction, humor, and reviews) and began teaching zine making as creative writing at UMKC. This led to zine distro at Recycled Sounds (Anne Winter's now deceased music store) and the conception of the Midwest Underground Media Symposium (MUMS) to give zinersters a venue for moving and shaking. With the sponsorship of the Free Speech Coalition and its tireless members, Cynical Soul helped begin what was an era of vitality in Kansas City's alternative culture. The first annual MUMS brought stars like R. Seth Friedman (Factsheet Five), Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), V Vale (VSearch/ReSearch and Search and Destroy), and Jeremy McConnell (Flavorpak) together for real discussion and community building. Subsequent guests included William "Billy" Upski (Bomb the Suburbs, No More Prisons), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), and many many more. (more historical info at As of Fall, 2007, Victoria still teaches zining, though it's mutated into "Writing Without a Net" and appears in the Pre College Art Lab each summer at the Kansas City Art Institute (2007 is the 8th year running). WWN and its intro to zines via Cynical Soul has spawned many ziners and projects in its own right, but class will always begin with the story of how one ziner couldn't find a way to get the darkness OUT, and his suicide led to Victoria's campaign to free ALL ziners in both thought and publishing. Carpe Testator!