- Issue 2
Welcome to the hot and feisty summer issue of the Mad Hatters' Review. As Hatters, we're touched by the ravages of these arduous times, discombobulated by toxic psychosocial fallout, compelled to rage, exuberate, pontificate, move, swoon, decry, denounce, elucidate, amuse and entertain. There are dangerous ideologues and crusaders in proliferation, idiot leaders who recklessly and callously disregard life, greed-crazed multimillionaires committing myriad nefarious acts as the planet grows moodier and moldier.
As Hatters, we see the world as an asylum in which absurdity speaks to the truth, surrealism to reality, chaos to order, and nonsense to sense. We believe that "[t]he reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." (George Bernard Shaw)
Despite bloodcurdling atrocities and escalating assaults on human rights, we Hatters are cavorting beside ourselves on our deluxe croquet court on Guantanamo Bay . We're laughing and weeping with hyperbolic glee mixed with ethyl alcohol (of course), relishing the amazing features of our child's second-born issue. 'Tis an aromatic and colorful bouquet of demented, whimsical and passionate wits and lyricists, accompanied by a most sublime and ridiculous spray of musicians, recording performers and artists, including our most humble editorial selves.
Although we were sad to see some wonderful working stiffs leave (Julie, Marcel, Bob, and Stan), we're happy to welcome our new Art Editor Tantra Bensko and our third Music Editor Christopher Aitken, along with our talented poetry and prose editors Marja Hagborg, and the famous editor Tim Ljunggren. We're also pleased to have our very own book reviewer on staff, editor C.B. Smith. Special thanks to our passionate Tantra for amassing an army of exciting artists and dropping everything to get the issue out and to Christopher for creating last-minute compositions, at the drop of a Hat.
We're all very excited about this issue, which includes three edgy flashes, one lyrical flash, and seven brilliant, mind-bending whatnots. In time, the whatnots will multiply like Volkswagons to take over the prosaic SUVs of the planet. Mad Hatters love prose that sings, lines that challenge and surprise, pieces that take us on roller-coaster rides and that's what we have, lucky us! We're also happy to present an eclectic collection of very fine poems. It's difficult to believe that one of our poets, Danielle Hanna, has never before been published! We're pleased to present a little play drenched in black humor and a book review of one of our poets, Richard Levine, by one of our favorite poets, Daniela Gioseffi. And we now have a gallery, this quarter featuring a lyrical sculpture by Reuben Margolin. All this, plus three awful rejection letters drafted by contest winners, parodies by the famous Tony Baloney Juliano, mini-movies by two video artistes, cartoons by our very own cartoonist, Marja, a philosophical column by the infamous Duncastle, and C.B. Smith's column, Jabberwocky Webb. More columns are forthcoming, as they're writ.
As I said in my inaugural rave, we hope to offer intoxicating tastings from all corners (as if this planet had corners). We aspire to become no less than addictive. And we aspire to pay contributors and even one day offer an annual print edition, when we can afford the costs of a beautifully illustrated journal, accompanied by a CD containing music and recorded recitations. Most pieces in Issue Two are accompanied by recorded recitations or custom-composed music; all of them come with custom-made visuals. In this sense, Mad Hatters' Review is a collaborative project. Send millionaires our way, please!
How did we come to be, at least in our current carnation? Way back in summer, 2004, I decided that the Internets [sic] didn't have enough exciting multimedia "literary" magazines, not to mention edgy ones. I envisioned something real flashy and eccentric, experimental, collaborative, multicultural, playful and even meaningful, in the social change/progressive sense. I had recently acquired a Masters Degree in Social Work (community organizing) and decided to do little with it immediately so I could concentrate on writing.
Slowly, I gathered a little community of exceptionally talented and similarly crazed cohorts from the offices of the online writers' workshop at zoetrope.com, including my sister of the maculate heart from Missoura by way of old Russia, Associate Editor Alla Michelle Watson. We finally got the first issue out with the help of our unbelievably patient and talented Canadian webmaestress [sic] and fellow Mad Hatter Shirley (nutheadproductions).
So okay, when you frantically sort through all the works of genius those mainstream zines have rejected, or decide to follow rabbits and see where your uncollected unconscious leads you, you'll know that you may find a home here, where we delight in the very finest of bipolar, schizoid, and borderline creations.
None of us can predict where our child will go or how many of us will stick around to send the kid to college. Maybe this Editor will be carted off to a torture chamber for fans of the U.S. Constitution. But hey, we're going to enjoy the ride while it lasts and we sincerely hope that you'll join us in spirit, if not in deed.