Introduction to Misfit 30
One of the more difficult tasks I have had to face in this time of disease, dysfunction, and distraction is to determine which alternate reality we are living in. The surreal vision of the least Lincoln like president ever holding a, made for TV disinformation event, in the Lincoln Memorial. Apparently, the purpose of the program was to piss and moan about how he has been mistreated even worse than President Lincoln was. The immediate reaction to that particular kind of fantastical statement was, “But Lincoln was assassinated!” Clearly this guy who plays a president on TV, hasn’t been assassinated. Yet. Unless he has an been replaced by an animatronic, wax figure, cyborg like thing and no one noticed. This too is possible now.
Whatever the program was, (Message?) it was about as unconvincing and as wasted an effort as his ludicrous on every level, Fourth of July deluge parade. I didn’t watch either one, so I can’t say from personal experience, what those Special Events were. I did see the view from behind the Plexiglas on the Fourth of July. The view revealed, well, nothing but rain on bullet proof glass, fogged by presidential heavy breathing. Was it farce? A reality show? Or was it a Dada art form, hyper surrealism, at his logical conclusion as a form of expression? Maybe it was something as base as a mere entertainment. Who cares, really?
What is clear, is that the present administration is the logical (illogical?) conclusion of the Reagan era proclamation of not trusting government. It should be noted that after he was shot, Reagan clearly was declined mentally, may have been senile for a good part of the second term. I suppose that would not excuse the fact his administration was as corrupt as any, including the Nixon one, who did not have an Attorney General Cover Up Barr ( as proclaimed by conservative speech writer, language maven William Safire he of the effete corps of intellectual snobs of which I remain a card carrying member) to clean up the mess by pardoning the exposed criminals during his successor’s administration. But I digress.
Remember when we and disaster relief? National health response Teams? Think Tanks not decimated by loyalty oaths? Scientists working for the good of the world, the nation our citizens, who were respected and listened to, as opposed to censored as they are being now? They seem almost quaint, as President Bush’s AG Albert Gonzalez’s notion that the Geneva Convention was quaint. You may recall how that AG was removed from office, not that is likely with the current AG who is way too shrewd for that. But I digress again.
It was clear from the outset of the President’s campaign for office that the emperor had no clothes. Thankfully, that was a metaphorical concept as opposed to a literal one. As the election proceeded, and the unthinkable happened, that he was elected, it was clear we were living in a dystopian world. Classic novels came to mind Brave New World, 1984, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451... Those novels all applied to, “how we live now” and, regrettably, still do. As the administration grew and metastasized, as cancerous growths will, more modern variations on a dystopian theme became applicable, as well. Plagues were popular in California, Stations 11, A Lovely Way to Burn, Death Is a Welcome Guest, Gold Fame Citrus...the list goes on and on until the reviewer in the NYTBR finally summed it up by saying, “we are living in a dystopian novel now.” She was basically saying it was impossible to pass judgment on work of fiction, with dystopia as a topic, when any creative effort paled with the one, we are living in at this very moment.
Regretfully, I am inclined to agree. I have become convinced that our president has stepped through Alice’s mirror and now lives Through the Looking Glass, in a universe where everything is the opposite of what it should be. We have devastating hurricanes in that not-really American possession, Puerto Rico, and we throw them paper towels. Presumably, to soak up the water. While millions go to red state cleanups. We have widespread poverty and unemployment, small business failures by the thousands, and the relief money goes to corporations. We have an epic pandemic and instead of a thoughtful, adult, swift, national response, in Trumplandia, we have fifty-one autonomous regions competing for vital supplies and medicines. These are just selected egregious examples of life on the wrong side of the mirror. It is not a time for fanatasy and science fiction, but calm, rational, sane thinking, instead The Trumpster listens to voices in his head, reacts to his guy feelings. What might be indigestion turns into national policy. Hello, earthlings, had enough yet? There was a time when we dealt with people who listened to voices in their heads. We locked them up, observed them, and tried to affect some kind of mental health cure. Instead we are in danger of re-electing one. The choice is ours.
Which brings us to the real reason for an editor’s note, our thirtieth issue. As usual we have a wide range of poetic voices including a section of “short poems”. Who knows what determines what arrives in the mailbox but this time, for some reason, several very unusual short pieces arrived? So, I added a brief, separate section, devoted to the short form. The contrasts in the work remains stark and diverse. I hope you enjoy this selection of Misfits. As usual the look, feel, and actual presence of Misfit is due to the hard work and vision of Jennifer Lagier and Gene McCormick. Happy reading. Have a good summer and see you in the Fall sometime. And above all, stay well and healthy.