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November 13, 1998
P.O. BOX 8722
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55408
UNITED $TATE$ OF AMERIKA
TELEPHONE 612-813-1216 Dear friends and Supporters of the Profane Existence Collective,
On October 11th, the workers/members of the collective made a decision to
cease operations of activities under the name Profane Existence. This action
will go into effect immediately and will result in cessation of most
collective functions within the next six months, including the end of Profane
Existence Magazine, our wholesale and mailorder distributions, and all new
releases on Profane Existence Records.
Dear friends and Supporters of the Profane Existence Collective,
On October 11th, the workers/members of the collective made a decision to cease operations of activities under the name Profane Existence. This action will go into effect immediately and will result in cessation of most collective functions within the next six months, including the end of Profane Existence Magazine, our wholesale and mailorder distributions, and all new releases on Profane Existence Records.
This decision has been a long time coming, with serious talk of ending Profane Existence going on for the past year. Some longtime collective members had already begun phasing out their level of commitment earlier this year. By totally ending the collective now, we are hoping to do so on a high point, not wait until it totally collapses in on itself in a huge mess.
There are numerous reasons behind ending PE and we feel that they should be fully explained. This letter is not an attempt to lay blame for the demise of Profane Existence, but to explain why we made this decision for ourselves, and what our immediate plans are to wrap up all of the lose ends.
Profane Existence has always been a very all-consuming undertaking for those who have chosen to take on the task. Long, stress-filled hours and often thankless shitwork have always taken their toll on our collective members, our current staff not excluded. We have lost several of our most productive workers through burnout over the years and it is a thing we still face every day at PE.
Over the past two years we tried to alleviate some of this overwhelming work load and stress by scaling back the activities of the collective. We eliminated our screen printing operation, cut back the number of records and books we distribute, and moved PE to a smaller space. However, all of this effort did little to alleviate the problem because there are always new projects, problems and emergencies that need our attention. We've tried to scale it back to a more manageable level, but there is just so small we can make the collective and still call it PE.
Balancing commitments to PE has also meant making huge sacrifices in our personal lives. We have missed countless beautiful days outdoors because of our commitments to PE kept us working inside. We have missed an equal amount of good nights' sleep due to overwhelming stress we bring home with us at night. We have missed weeks and months of our lives that could have been spent with friends and loved ones. While we harbor some (perhaps foolish) ideas of putting the revolution first, in reality it is our families, friends and loved ones whom we would rather give the bulk of our attention to. While we still want to be active, the level of commitment needed to maintain the PE collective pretty much has excluded having any time or energy for anything else at all.
We would also be liars to ignore the financial reasons for ending the collective. We believe in the DIY ethic that our products should be self- produced on a grassroots level and as cheaply andpossible. However, we also believe that a fair day's work deserves a fair day's wage!
Profane Existence has a history of just barely being able to keep on going, being stuck in an endless cycle of debts and bills that has always plagued the DIY punk movement. Money to pay collective workers' wages has always come secondary to payments for the distribution inventory and for PE projects. When wages could be paid at all, they were often late, and far less than comparable pay in "regular" jobs.
In the past it has been possible for PE workers to get by with money from outside sources (i.e. part time "real" jobs or other creative means) or else just barely expect enough money for basic necessities. The reality we are facing is that two of the current collective members now have children whom they must also support. The little wages paid by PE just aren't enough and these collective members must move on to better paying jobs. We will not be irresponsible parents, no matter how important our work.
While the Profane Existence collective is made up of only four full-time members, the overall impact of our activities is truly worldwide. Decisions made here in Minneapolis affect people all over the world and it will take time to fully put PE to rest. We have made up a basic outline of our future plans for the main areas of Profane Existence and a rough timetable for events.
We are currently finishing up construction of Profane Existence #37, which we have decided to be our last issue. Our original plan was to have this at the printer by now, but have decided to delay the publication date until some time in November. Since this will be our last issue, we want extra time to make it the best that we possibly can and make a lasting impression. Those people who have subscriptions will be issued credit slips for their remaining copies from PE Mailorder Distribution (see below for credit slip deadlines).
If we are on your mailing list for review copies of records, zines, etc. please remove us now. We will not review or pay to send back promo copies received after October of 1998!
We have just completed mailorder catalog #27 which will be good through the end of 1998. Our plans are to publish a final mailorder catalog (#28) during December which should be good through the end of February 1999. After this date, all mailorder distribution for non-Profane Existence releases will cease and all unreturned credit slips will be declared VOID. Profane Existence Records will still be available directly as long as we can keep titles in print.
Our current plans for wholesale distribution are to cease all consignment sales immediately and send returns to respective labels. Liquidation of remaining stocks will hopefully be completed by December 31, 1998. Profane Existence Records will still be available directly as long as we can keep titles in print.
Profane Existence Records currently has several releases in the works. Of these, only the A//Political 7" and Decrepit 12" will come out on PE Records in 1998 (or early 1999). We have chosen these two because they are both new releases from bands currently going today. All other previously forthcoming projects will be scrapped or released on other labels.
Of the back catalog titles from Profane Existence Records, many will be allowed to go out of print as we deplete our stocks. However, we will continue to repress some of the more recent and popular titles well after the rest of PE ceases to exist. This is to be in fairness to bands as well as to combat the ridiculously hyper-inflated prices in the collectors' market.
Bands on Profane Existence Records will continue to receive royalties for any further represses of their works and any outstanding previous royalties will be paid. Publishing rights for Profane Existence Records will remain with the label and the bands and will not be sold to a third party without consent to all parties. In other words, we are not interested in selling any of our back catalog releases to other labels.
We have not ruled out the possibility of future CD reissues of back catalog items for continued availability at the lowest possible price.
On paper, Profane Existence is doing just fine. The amount of money we owe to record labels is less than our combined inventory and bills owed to us. However, PE has lost over $40,000 to flaky or just plain rip-off distributors over the past ten years, and we're not optimistic that we will get paid all that we are owed. Even still, it is likely to take a long time to collect money from our distributors and will be 6 months to a year (or ever longer) before we can pay off all of our debts.
We will be conducting a sale/auction of record, CDs, books from the PE library as well as test-pressings of PE releases to help repay our debts as soon as possible. The auction list will be available on our web site (www.profaneexistence.com), or by emailing us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to our P.O. Box address. We hope to have the auction completed by December 31st of this year.
To the labels we owe money; we will send payments as money comes back from stores, distributors, etc. If you are able to sell stuff in your area, we are also giving the option of taking PE Releases in immediate trade. This could be your quickest way to get paid since we will otherwise be waiting for other people to pay us before we can pay you. If you are interested in trading, we encourage you to hurry your requests because most stocks are likely to dwindle fast upon this announcement. In any case, we do not want to rip anyone off and will pay out of our own pockets if we have to.
To the people who owe us money; please pay us NOW, especially if you've owed us for a long time! It is not fair that we have to cover your debts and would like to pay our own as soon as possible. Some time down the road we will publish a list of all of those who have ripped us off or otherwise flaked out over the years. Now is your chance to redeem yourselves before we go public with your shame!
In the 10 years that Profane Existence has been publishing, distributing, propagandizing and agitating, it would be hard to say that we don't all feel much more enriched with the experiences and knowledge we have gained. By quitting Profane Existence, we are not giving up on our politics or beliefs in the truly underground DIY punk ethics. We are extremely hopeful that we have been able to inspire and educate through our efforts and that the movement will flourish after PE is gone. All of us at Profane Existence will still be actively involved within the movement and will probably collaborate on similar, but much smaller, projects in the future. For all of those who have supported us financially, emotionally, or otherwise, we send out our heartfelt thanks. We also want to thank all of those who have worked with the PE collective in a cooperative fashion, be they bands, distributors, record labels, magazines, and other generally outstanding individuals. However, the most gratitude of all goes for those who have risen above and beyond the call of coolness for donating their time and money to make the prisoner sub fund work, as well as help the other benefit projects initiated by Profane Existence: you are the greatest! If there was a way to thank everyone individually, we certainly would, but we don't want to make a list because of fear we would leave someone out.
Until we cross our paths again, thank you and .... UP THE FUCKIN' PUNX!!!
Profane Existence Collective
Minneapolis, October 12, 1998
506th anniversary of the beginning of Native genocide in the Americas.
AD INFO FOR PE 37 (FINAL ISSUE)
We are currently working on the final issue of Profane Existence Magazine. To assure we can accommodate everyone in this momentous final issue we have decided to extend the deadline until November 15th, with publication shortly afterwards. This will be the FINAL issue and we plan to print extra quantities to assure availability well into 1999.
Ad copy should be camera-ready (laser prints are best) and should look exactly like you want them to appear in print. Please do not send ads on film or computer disk.
Payment should accompany all ads, or else they will not be printed. If we owe you money for distribution stock, we would be happy to trade ads against our debt.
1/3 page (5" x 5" or 2 1/2" x 10") = $60
1/6 page (2 1/2" x 5") = $30
1/12 page (2 1/2" x 2 1/2" = $15
Limit one ad per label, zine, etc.
Feel free to call ahead to assure space.
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