Hey seven readers of Cultist!
Can you believe it’s already February? Can you believe we say that at the beginning of every month and have for many years now? Do you know that we do this because we’re old? Do you remember being shocked at the arrival of any day when you were nine? No. When you were nine, the time between February 1st and February 14th was inexplicably fifty-eight excruciatingly long days. When you were nine, you looked FORWARD to Valentine’s Day, because it had not yet become awash in some combination of bitterness/annoyance/disappointment/expectation/self-loathing perpetuated by movies and TV (fine I watched that ensemble cast disaster of a movie but it was only because I was REALLY bored) and womens magazines (no, Glamour just because I am single doesn’t mean I need a “Valentine’s Day Survival Guide”; it is not nuclear holocaust or melanoma or a world war). When you were nine, Valentine’s Day wasn’t all about other-ing sad, sad, singletons who better stock up on vats of Ben & Jerry’s to gorge on in order to deal with the hole of despair they MUST be in, or an evening where those in relationships were forced to try to live up to each other’s unrealistic expectations while blowing money on stupid shit like over-priced flowers and mangy stuffed animals and prix-fixe dinner in an overcrowded, underwhelming restaurant. When you were nine, this day was mostly about fun cards with punny jokes on them that you gave to all your friends (and yes, you carefully chose one that was not TOO romantic but still a bit flirty for your class crush) and eating candy ’til you puked (okay some of us still do that part from time to time). Time flew and minor holidays were awesome because back then, we were still really excited about things. We were four foot vessels of HOPE.
So, remaining four readers who haven’t abandoned this meandering mess of a letter, what I am trying to say in as many words as possible, is that the theme of Cultist Zine this month is Hope. Not the kind of blind, wide-eyed hope we had back then, because let’s be serious, we know too much now to ever go back to that happy place (and as the ever-sunny Albert Camus said, “He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool”). But the kind of hope that every now and again we need to temper our well-honed cynicism, to make the days different, and to keep us making stuff. And yeah, maybe the kind that lets you imagine good things happening once in a while (but don’t abuse it like some starry-eyed hippie who says things like “just ask the universe!” and constantly misuses the word “cosmic”). For my part, I hope you guys keep reading this little old site (if only so Jane isn’t musing about vaginas to an empty room).