A big thank you to Pee-wee Herman, who gave Rusty’s Electric Dreams a shoutout on his blog!
Hello, and welcome to the website for Rusty’s Electric Dreams, my inbox zine.
About me and my inbox zine:
My name is Rusty Blazenhoff. Yes, that’s my real name! Nope, I wasn’t born with it. After using it for over 20+ years, I decided to legally became my online persona. Zero regrets!
I’m a Pop Culture Activist (yes, I made this up too), and an artist, maven, zinester, and blogger of alt-culture.
When I was 23, I sold everything I owned and moved –sight unseen– to the San Francisco Bay Area from my homeplace of Cape Cod to chase my own “electric dreams.” It was the mid-1990s and I had heard about the early online communities based there. A computer geek from a young age, I knew I had to be part of the rapidly emerging scene. Two weeks and a one-way ticket later, I had landed in California.
Shortly after arriving, I not only got online but was asked to go “desert camping.” In August 1995, I went on that trip, which was Burning Man. A deeply transformative experience, it opened me to the infinite possibilities of the universe. Then I went again, and then again, and for two years, I held the Black Rock Gazette editor’s desk. Around the same time, I became heavily involved with the San Francisco Cacophony Society, a “randomly gathered network of free spirits united in the pursuit of experiences beyond the pale of mainstream society.” I found my tribe in those early days of the Internet, Burning Man, and Cacophony Society.
I’ve been described as the ‘punk rock June Cleaver’ which references the beautiful dichotomy of who I am: both sweet and subversive. I’ve gone through life thinking ‘I look like everyone else’ but, like many of us, feeling quite different on the inside.
Now I’ve made it my job to celebrate those opposing differences that exist in all of us. That’s why I started Rusty’s Electric Dreams (RED for short).
When you subscribe, you will get sent personally-curated missives to your inbox every Wednesday for free. I think of them as beacons to signal and celebrate the global tribe of weird, wonderful, and “different” people.
It’s kind of hard to tell what you’ll get exactly each week because I often don’t know what’s going in each one until the 11th hour. I’m an arts and culture geek, so it’s quirky and eclectic and points to interesting events, pop culture, and whatever other delightfully strange things I can dig up.
It’s a window into my unusual life. I’m observant, and speak from the heart, and will often share my informed observations with my readers. But, it’s not all about me and my experience. This isn’t a one-way street. I look to my greater community, and the world, for inspiration and lessons every single day.
Why am I calling this an inbox zine?
Well, I used to publish a paper zine back in the 1990s and decided that I wanted to create a fun and personal digital zine that would land in people’s inboxes. Hence, “inbox zine.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa… What is this “Electric Dreams” business? I don’t get it.
It’s simply a nod to Electric Dreams, a film which was quite influential to the young me. Its story is based on a love triangle between a man, a woman, and a COMPUTER. I KNOW, RIGHT? Look it up. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.
Wait, where have I heard your name before?
You may remember me from when I was Managing Editor at Laughing Squid, or when I was a blogger for Dangerous Minds, CNET, Neatorama, GeekDad and/or Fest300. If you live in my neck of the woods, maybe you know me as “SJ’s mom,” as my daughter’s classmates call me.
I’ve also been involved with projects with Adobe, Manifold experiential agency, New Creatures, General Motors, artists Michael Wertz and Allee Willis,. My work has appeared on influential websites such as Huffington Post, Archie McPhee’s Endless Geyser of Awesome, Incredible Things, Gizmodo, Gawker, and Boing Boing, and in the book titled Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results.
Perhaps you learned about me through my work with Paul Reubens, AKA Pee-wee Herman (!).
Or maybe you’ve just met me at Dent, the creative retreat I attend in Sun Valley, Idaho, or through my recent work in the cannabis industry. Whatever it is, I’m so glad you’re here. Welcome.
Ready to give this whole inbox zine a go? No need to scroll all the way back up there, subscribe right here: