"EDITOR, n. A person who combines the judicial functions of Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus, but is placable with an obolus; a severely virtuous censor, but so charitable withal that he tolerates the virtues of others and the vices of himself; who flings about him the splintering lightning and sturdy thunders of admonition till he resembles a bunch of firecrackers petulantly uttering his mind at the tail of a dog; then straightway murmurs a mild, melodious lay, soft as the cooing of a donkey intoning its prayer to the evening star. Master of mysteries and lord of law, high-pinnacled upon the throne of thought, his face suffused with the dim splendors of the Transfiguration, his legs intertwisted and his tongue a-cheek, the editor spills his will along the paper and cuts it off in lengths to suit. And at intervals from behind the veil of the temple is heard the voice of the foreman demanding three inches of wit and six lines of religious meditation, or bidding him turn off the wisdom and whack up some pathos."
To set your wisdom (holding not a doubt of it,
Although in truth there's neither bone nor skin to it)
At work upon a book, and so read out of it
The qualities that you have first read into it."
(in "The Devil's Dictionary", by Ambrose Bierce)
To open one of my rare editorials by quoting a profoundly sarcastic
book written from 1881 onwards and published in 1911 may seem an odd
choice, justifiable only by the accurate portrayal contained therein
of CoC's editors, reviewers, or both. Such assumption would be far
from the truth, however: I use Bierce's words in an attempt to
illustrate naught more than the pitfalls and difficulties one faces in
carrying out such tasks -- especially when you have been doing so for
several years whilst juggling personal and professional life as well.
This ambiguously half-ironic wee rambling of mine therefore stems both
from the toils of editing and writing articles alike when you must
often trudge along beneath the weight of other matters and duties. Of
this the reader need not be aware; but the temptation to repeatedly
expose these circumstances of life under a different light every few
years is considerably difficult for editors to resist. One sets
upon himself the task of doing his part to keep a publication alive,
and after a period of about twelve months succumbs to this temptation.
Such is life.
The purpose of all this? Not much, really; perhaps only to serve as a
relatively dense and arguably pointless introduction to the fact that
it has now been one year since Chronicles of Chaos reopened under its
new guise, with an equally renewed engine and the promise of a
brighter future for every excellent being who spends some time with
us, either reading or writing. This point in time seems to present a
fine opportunity, if ever there is one, to mull over another twelve
months of our lives that we shall never get back, and reflect upon
success, failure, and everything in between.
Given the direction (or lack thereof) this editorial has decided to
possess, I shall only state that from my perspective CoC is today a
much healthier beast than it was one or two years ago -- something
that requires the collective effort of a publication's staff. This is
not your usual "we are still committed to doing this" speech: this
means CoC spent a few months down for the count between 2002 and 2003,
dragged itself back up, and has now been standing strong again for one
year -- and what's more, it's back to the regularity of old. To those
who have invested more hours working in this than they would probably
care to count even if they could, all of this is meaningful.
Furthermore, it is my belief that these last twelve months were among
the most important in CoC's nearly nine year history.
May it continue for many more.