What Does the New Year Have to Offer?

     I know this—my editorial considerations about the new year should have been in the January issue.  But I was too busy shooting ass and shouting back then to do anything that could be called learned speculation about the new year.

      Unlike Atlas, I don’t hold up the Earth with what I publish in my magazine. (They say the reincarnate Atlas is a bank robber and he still has numerous banks to go before he’s held up the entire Earth.) Some would say I stall the Earth with how mundane my contents are, and in that way I do hold up the Earth, but a closer look at the magazine will show that my contents are not actually mundane. The people who would say this haven’t read the magazine.

     One thing’s sure, this netzine is the only publication whose editor communes with the Void. I do this in my editorials, which as yet, after lo these fourteen years, has had only the most diminutive and muted response. The silent readership is what constitutes the void.

     Well-embarked upon a new year, with a new President for the country who is certainly a change over what we are familiar with, I continue to expect a great changeover in things as they are and as they currently exist, for “the ball I threw while playing in the park has not yet reached the ground”. (Dylan Thomas)

     What does Surprising have to offer for the new year? Well, some of it was in the last issue, and some more of it is in this, and then our forthcoming “Annish” in September will doubtless have some of the joy of the new year. You’re seeing it, conceivably; evaluate it for yourselves. It’s about the same as it has been in previous years, only different. But as for changing radically over in its policies, it did that in the first issue, its priorly existing policy being not being on the Internet, indeed, not even being in existence. Not that I expected anything Orwellian to exist on the net, such as “forgetting” my contents, but I doubted that the net was a place for a publication, as the interest in it would likely be superseded by rapid browsing or net-surfing; who has time for a static publication with a fast-moving operation like the Net? Anyway, having jumped the shark or whatever and gotten Surprising on the Net, I am comfortable in not changing anything greatly from year to year; the Net itself changes so much  that each issue is apt to be distinguished by its new Net environment…though we do try to keep up with the net by having as much yama-yama as anything else. Hartford Sebrochtigan Himmel---I can’t be running around too much with my zine.

     It may be that there is an unprecedented lack of attention paid to my somewhat innovative, somewhat new zine, but I would count myself to be doing much better than with getting it seen and being timely than the gentleman in Lovecraft’s story “The Mound”, whose journal was read by no one until innumerable decades after his demise, and although he was more or less on hand to witness its discovery, he wasn’t in much shape to have any personal reaction to it. His story was, in fact, related by another journalist, the discoverer of the journal, and still a third writer, Lovecraft himself. Myself, I’m coasting; can’t be bothered with all of that.

     Anyway, I’ll say this of modern times—with things changing as fast as they are, it’s pretty difficult to keep readers surprised. But we try to keep that keynote to our stories anyway. Which puts me in mind that there was a bit of the old hubris involved in the producers and directors of the film MODERN TIMES calling their film that—those times weren’t yet very modern, though I suppose they were referring to the automobiles that were in the film, and the very cameras they were using; yet in reference to those cameras, they had a rather shaky performance, and seemed to be controlled by hand-cranking, with all its irregularity, and Charlie Chaplin came out looking awkward rather than graceful, and the film lacked sound, which had not yet been developed, as it would not have kept pace with the hand-cranking gaffes, and all and all it looked too rickety-tickety to be considered truly modern, modern connoting sophistication and a svelte effect. Okay, modern, unknown and forgotten directors, but your modern and MY modern are two different things, just as we have lived in two different ages.

     It’s hard to be writing in the milieu of the arts without mentioning them. But I don’t really know what a new year has to offer, not being able to predict the future at all. My supposition is only this, that there will be some visible change in things during this year, and that that change will be progressive and for the better. And we can do pretty well without the attitudes of the year just passed. Anything’s better than what that year came to.  Perhaps, for this year…a renaissance? Ja, das wille gutes bier bis’.