Mad Hatters' Review

Editor's Rave - Issue 3

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the editor are not necessarily the same as those held by the editor. Indeed, when pressed, the editor is likely to deny any opinions whatsoever.

Welcome to the rustling Fall (Upover) and chirping Spring (Downunder) issue of the Mad Hatters' Review. As Hatters, we're always touched by the ravages of these arduous times, discombobulated by toxic psychosocial fallout, compelled to rage, exuberate, pontificate, move, swoon, decry, denounce, elucidate, amuse and entertain. There are dangerous ideologues and crusaders in proliferation, idiot leaders who recklessly and callously disregard life, greed-crazed multimillionaires committing myriad nefarious acts as the planet grows moodier and moldier.

And now there are the American government's recklessly callous acts against its own people to further distress and mortify us Hatters, as well. We are so very sorry for the unnecessary suffering of the Katrina victims, so many of whom are poor and "black", but then again, there's nothing new about the abject treatment of poverty-stricken Americans—all of the poor. Very recently, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that "the poverty rate rose again last year, with 1.1 million more Americans living in poverty in 2004 than a year earlier. After declining sharply under Bill Clinton, the number of poor people has now risen 17 percent under Mr. Bush... .[In addition,] the national infant mortality rate has risen for the first time since 1958. The U.S. ranks 43rd in the world in infant mortality, according to the C.I.A.'s World Factbook; if we could reach the level of Singapore, ranked No. 1, we would save 18,900 children's lives each year... . [L]ong after the horrors have left TV screens, about 50 of the 77 babies who die each day, on average, will die needlessly, because of poverty. That's the larger hurricane of poverty that shames our land. "¹ Has anyone heard a chorus of major media outlets screaming about this, on their front pages and television news hours? Rhetorical question.

Carol Novack, Publisher & Editor

The outrageous inaction of this government by and for elitists should be a wake-up call to all Americans. Are we a nation that can brush off Queen Grandmother Barbara Bush's "let them eat cake" comments concerning thousands of impoverished evacuees lodged uncomfortably in Houston's Superdome? "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas," she was quoted as saying on National Public Radio. "Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality," Barbara Bush continued. "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."²

Of course, we Hatters (not all Americans) see the world as an asylum in which absurdity speaks to the truth, surrealism to reality, chaos to order, and nonsense to sense. We believe that "[t]he reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." (George Bernard Shaw)

Despite the reign of Dementia, we are again at least attempting to cavort beside ourselves on our croquet court on the Gulf Coast. We're laughing and drowning and weeping with hyperbolic glee mixed with ethyl alcohol (of course) and poisonous waters full of snakes, relishing the amazing features of our child's third-born issue. As usual, we are offering an aromatic and colorful bouquet of wise, whimsical and passionate wits and lyricists, accompanied by a most sublime and ridiculous spray of musicians, recording performers and artists, including our most humble editorial selves.

Our third issue is full of delightful surprises: a gaggle of poems from the absurd to the lyrically divine—sufficient to give our readers goose-bumps, of course; offbeat, mostly edgy, beautifully crafted fiction and whatnots by a colorful flock of cerebral prose writers; a collection of very smart poems by two collaborators; four darkly surreal and droll short films; a glorious gallery exhibit by a gifted abstract expressionist; and a slideshow of this issue's fantastic art. We've also published the three winning entries in our DADA JUNK contest. Congratulations to Cathy, Anna, and Ryan!

As the sky falls down, along with Henny Penny, we're ecstatic about the rave review from and happy to welcome new Working Stiffs into our creased fold. Welcome to our new Associate Art Editor Marjorie Kaye and our fourth Music Editor (also a visual artist) Brian Hutzell; welcome to our talented literary editors Matthew W. Maxwell, Liesl Jobson, and Marc Lowe. We're still tickled pink to have our very own book reviewer and now also author interviewer on staff, editor C.B. Smith. Special thanks to our wonderful art editor Tantra for amassing an army of exciting artists. And our musicians are simply out of their minds. Woops, I meant out of this world. We will be going from quarterly to tri-annual to give everyone a chance to bask in the tropics in between issues.

As I said in my inaugural rave, we hope to offer intoxicating tastings from all corners (as if this planet had corners). We aspire to become no less than addictive. And we aspire to pay contributors and even one day offer an annual print edition, when we can afford the costs of a beautifully illustrated journal, accompanied by a CD containing music and recorded recitations. So send millionaires our way, please! Most pieces in Issue 3 are accompanied by custom-composed music or recorded recitations by the authors (check out Mike Graves's readings of his hysterical and perceptive "Blatnoy" poems—Blatnoy's in many ways the old Russian equivalent of Archie Bunker). All writings come with striking custom-made visuals. In this sense, Mad Hatters' Review is a collaborative project.

How did we come to be, at least in our current carnation? Way back in summer, 2004, I decided that the Internets [sic] didn't have enough exciting multimedia "literary" magazines, not to mention edgy ones. I envisioned something real flashy and eccentric, experimental, collaborative, multicultural, playful and even meaningful, in the social change/progressive sense. I had recently acquired a Masters Degree in Social Work (community organizing) and decided to do little with it immediately so I could concentrate on writing.

Slowly, I gathered a little community of exceptionally talented and similarly crazed cohorts from the offices of the online writers' workshop at, including my sister of the maculate heart from Missoura by way of Ukraine, Associate Editor Alla Michelle Watson. We finally got the first issue out with the help of our unbelievably patient and gifted Canadian webmaestress [sic] and fellow Mad Hatter Shirley Harshenin (nutheadproductions).

So okay, when you frantically sort through all the works of genius those mainstream zines have rejected, or decide to follow rabbits and see where your uncollected unconscious leads you, you'll know that you may find a home here, where we delight in the very finest of bipolar, schizoid, and borderline creations.

None of us can predict where our child will go or how many of us will stick around to send the kid to college. Maybe this Editor will be carted off to a torture chamber for fans of the U.S. Constitution. But hey, we're going to enjoy the ride while it lasts and we sincerely hope that you'll join us in spirit, if not in deed.

The Official
a Mad Editor-in-Top Hat concoction

Carol Novack,

¹ (Ed Op of Nicholas D. Kristof), The New York Times 9/6/05.

²,1,6154573.column?coll=chi-news-nav&ctrack=1&cset=true (op of John Kass), Chicago Tribune, 9/7/05

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