El Afghano reviewed
A Reading Prophet of Hugi
Name: El Afghano
Issues released so far: 3
Main editor: Mohammed Napoleon
Co-editors: Afghanbashi, Arturo Ui, Monteverdi
Available at: scene.org
Afghanistan is a beautiful country, I thought, with its mountaineous landscape, with its aesthetic missile launchers placed in the center of bare planes, with its women covered in veils, hiding everything that could lead to an immoral persuasion, with its many languages forming a beautiful melange of sounds when spoken simultaneously, and with its ancient temples and mosques in Kabul, Kandahar and other towns with pleasantly sounding names. But a law of nature seems to be that the truth does not always correspond with one's romantic-idealistic views. Afghanistan has been in a brutal civil war for two decades, basic human rights are neglected - and on top of that there is now a really decadent electronic magazine from Afghanistan. At least it claims to be so. When I look at its name, I, however, get rather reminded of Latin countries than of the Central-Asian mountains: "El Afghano", doesn't it sound Spanish? Right, says Dario Phong, these "are the words that are used in spanish to refer to someone from afghanistan". So maybe someone from Spain or South America made the mag in reality. I've not totally lost my hope that the Afghans are not as immoral as they appear in that magazine...
What makes El Afghano so worthy to disdain? It's the obvious lack of culture among the staff members. They openly show their conflicts in the magazine, even censor and modify each other's articles. If such things become obvious in the mag, how must the atmosphere among them be? Very bad, I suppose. Hopefully they don't make use of physical violence...
Some of them apparently have anti-democratic tendencies, while others such as Monteverdi seem to be perfect liberal democrats. Their main editor, Mohammed Napoleon, for example wants to become "president of the e-mag scene" and asks everybody to cross his name in the included votesheet. Hey man, who says that these are legitimate elections? They should be held by an independent voting commission, not by a magazine. Moreover, I personally feel the title "president of the e-mag scene" should rather belong to me than to a nobody who released just three issues of an unimportant and unimpressive small ascii-based magazine. Well, okay, I'm already the king, no need to become president then (I'd now insert a smiley or a "*lol*" if I were on IRC)! But this arrogance of the El Afghano guys is a real shame. If the mag was only of a high quality! Unfortunately, this isn't the case. It is a bunch of sloppily edited, sloppily formatted and short texts on random topics, some of them of pseudo-philosophical, others of pseudo-political nature, and we even have some very superficial diskmag reviews.
On the other hand, you could regard El Afghano as a satirical magazine. As a mag that mocks at the situation in the diskmag scene as well as world politics.
All in all let's say: If you have some time and are a real diskmag freak, check it out.
Adok/Hugi - 26 Apr 2000