WIRED Archive 2.10 Oct. 94
Street Cred Voices from Planet Duplex
By Betsy Brazy

When David Greenberger became the activities director at Boston's Duplex Nursing Home in 1979, he wanted a way to get all the cylinders running in the minds of the seniors living there. Shuffleboard just wasn't going to do the trick; instead Greenberger created a 'zine called Duplex Planet and began asking the residents all sorts of goofy questions, such as, "Which is better, coffee or meat?" He put their answers (such as, "Can't chew, so it'll have to be coffee") in his 'zine.

Duplex Planet was an underground success, and has since grown to include a weekly radio show, a CD, a comic book, and a set of trading cards. Now there's a book called Duplex Planet: Everybody's Asking Who I Was that features the best of his 'zine.

The 'zine has spawned an eclectic mix of admirers - filmmaker Jonathan Demme, illusionists Penn & Teller, musician Lou Reed. It's easy to see why. These interviews are witty, silly, intriguing. While they don't necessarily illustrate the wisdom of years, it's a kicky reminder that it's OK to be outrageous at any age.

Duplex Planet: Everybody's Asking Who I Was , by David Greenberger, US$14.95. Distributed by Cornell University Press: (800) 666 2211, +1 (607) 277 2211.