For October’s issue of Steel Toe Review, we haven’t gone out of our way to be Halloween-scary, though things sometimes just turn out that way.
In New York hordes of protesters continue to occupy Wall Street, and my own mind, recently re-immersed in Academia, is occupied with a search for some overarching narrative I can apply to everything that’s floating around in the zeitgeist. From here in Birmingham it feels like maybe something important is happening but we aren’t quite sure what it is yet, if we’re for it, against it, or indifferent to it. Though there is apparently a local group supporting the occupy movement, I still personally feel mostly disconnected from what’s happening. It’s easy to write it off as a group of people making the statement, “We are making a statement.”
I know there’s real substance to the feeling of oppression feeding the political movement, and at the same time, I suspect there are members of the movement that aren’t as oppressed as maybe they’d like to think they are. The feeling of disconnectedness that informs this dissonance is why I started Steel Toe Review in the first place. Birmingham is extremely disconnected from the literary and artistic community at large, and I hoped to enact some change there. The literary and the political are often intertwined, though (ideally) that connection is seldom overt. The piles of academic reading related to my graduate studies remind me that power structures are inherent in every aspect of life, and that the actions of everyday life, including reading and writing literature, are no less than tactics for navigating our way through the power structures that, by their nature, prevent us from ever being truly free.
Is that scary enough for you?
-M. David Hornbuckle, editor