Letter from the Editor, October 2019
We wouldn’t have Halloween without immigrants. I know that gives some national figures that sit in white houses a heart attack, but my goal is to scare as many people as possible. Capitalist branding has reduced a holy vigil with explicit pagan overtones into a fun children’s holiday where ghouls and demons are less scary than spoiled eggs and root canals. Columbia’s competitiveness makes sleeping with vampires and werewolves a safer prospect than interviewing with high-octane suits and frazzled hairdos. Callous brinkmanship has made hexes and curses as effective as inquiries and midterms. It’s almost as if we don’t need October to scare us anymore (unless it’s an election year, which 2019 is not).
So why do we, culturally, place faith in the grim in October? I think it’s a form of escapism. We live in fear 11 other months in the year. We still live in fear in Oc- tober. But those year-long fears are real. No matter how macabre our ketchup-tattered sheets, Frankenstein’s monster is a fictional entity, but unethical scientific or technological advancement gets realer every day. These pages have featured stories that kept their subjects nightmare-ridden for weeks, months on end. How could Freddy Krueger and Hannibal Lecter truly compare to the existential dread of post-graduate employment? Allow me, for a minute, to try.
If you can stomach it, behold the October Issue. Crafted by our darkest fears, wrapped in my pseudo-philosoph- ical musing, it may be indeed the most haunted issue of the volume. Abandon all pretenses of hope if you learn how the sickening sausage comes out of the printer and into your cold, unfeeling hands. And if dawn’s rosy fingers return to your bedroom, pray that they stay an hour longer than they have to stay.
Oh, and make sure to watch the first episode of our new podcast, Blue Jay. Can’t leave without telling you that.