Saturday, April 30, 2011

Open Letter To Readers of and Contributors To This Site From the Editor--April 30, 2011

Editor's Note To Readers of this Site:

Today marks my official return to this site after a much needed and appreciated three week hiatus. The past month has been an especially tumultuous, disturbing, and challenging period in the historical life of this often deeply divided and conflicted society, and the increasingly somber and even bizarre events of our time continue to impact not only perceptions of who and what we are as a social and cultural force in the world, but goes to the very core of how we choose to project ourselves and our concerns and values as human beings in a nation whose presence and identity is informed by much more than the infantile, manipulative, and often demagogic "appeals" to our warped sense of "exceptionalism" and crudely self aggrandizing media image in the world.

Thus I return with an even more committed and renewed sense of the fundamental mission and purpose of this online magazine: To advocate, work toward, and promote a nuanced and resolutely critical intellectual and philosophical examination and informed analysis of the complex and ever evolving dynamics and dimensions of our political, cultural, economic, aesthetic, and spiritual lives as reflected in and informed by our individual and collective experiences within the contextual demands and influences of our age. In doing so we expect and insist that the writing, analysis, and commentary that makes up the bulk of what this site has to offer be bold, innovative, and intellectually honest and to openly advance the idea, spirit, and concrete materialist reality of fundamentally radical transformations in every area and aspect of 21st century U.S. culture, political economy, and life. May we proceed in our work as the iconic Italian revolutionary and cultural and social critic Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) powerfully suggested "without illusions and without becoming disillusioned" and to always act upon in word and deed the incisive edict--also advanced by Gramsci--to exercise "pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will." If we can remain true to the spirit and letter of these very insightful and useful words our human and social tasks as writers, critics, and progressive social activists will help us greatly to more fully represent, embody, and advocate the profound changes in our lives and society that we seek. In that spirit let's remember as always that the struggle continues.

Kofi Natambu
Editor and Contributor

P.S. New posts will appear later tonight, April 30, 2011