This week I received hateful comments on Facebook from rape apologists who fiercely maintained that a woman’s choice of clothing is instrumental to her getting sexually violated when I suggested otherwise; that rape, as a crime, should have nothing to do with the victim but the rapist. As though that was not enough, it came to light that the U.S women soccer team earn a fraction of what their male counterparts earn in their respective leagues. More shocking is that it appears the women’s team pull in more revenue, sell more merchandise, and draw in more people. Yet the world in its characteristic unfairness deals them a bad hand.
Also, queer individuals are in 2019 still victims of hate, discrimination, and physical assaults the world over. Animals, land, sea, and air are turning up dead on the sole account of plastic. Whales have their bellies lined with them, wildlings have their parts stuck to them, and a great area of the seas are littered with these infernal eyesores. Nature is crying and humans are deaf!
In the light of all these, with the many upheavals in the political world all over, it nearly seems as if the persons voted into public office apparently do nothing. Because getting voted in and getting re-voted seems to be a politician’s primary preoccupation. Nothing else.
In my home country where cattle is supposedly given national importance over humans owing to the president’s ethnic attachment to cattle and his kinsmen’s business interest being catered for, a friend sent me a message expressing his fear over the looming of another civil war when we are yet to recover from the first even after decades of supposed reconciliation.
World politics on the other hand isn’t exactly leaving us under bright skies. With Iran, North Korea, trying to outdo themselves with threats against the west, and the west’s imperialism coming back to bite them in the arse, one begins to wonder if truly world peace is what it is at best: an idea.
China is in other news, bailing financially distressed countries out with predatory loans. Loans which when in the end are not paid, in lieu of payment, an annexing of the country’s resources and affairs becomes the new deal.
Has the world ever known complete peace? Is peace as a concept much more difficult than it is imagined?
It appears perhaps the only space of sanity are still books. In literature. In books we build worlds and live them. So whenever the despair of the present animal world confuses us we at least have solace in a world we can access through reading. This brings me to the quote by George R.R Martin: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… the man who never reads lives one.”
This is the stark truth of the present being. This is the feasible alternative of ideal existence. This is what issue 28 offers-prose from Mather Schnider, Nicola Bourne, Joseph Regan; poetry from Joy Priest, Lauren Camp, Mather Schneider, Adura Ojo, and non-fiction by Elonge Kwoh.