I have been thinking too much about binary code: states of
being; 0s, 1s, ons, offs; openings, endings, gambits; the fact
that you can't just go around apologizing; the time surrounding
creation, rapture and regret; what we owe each other; the way
some people use the word love as a signature; the sound a voice
makes when it says good-bye forever; mistakes, turns, obligations,
changes, lies, respect, friendship, doubts, absolution, recovery,
getting over, leaving behind and doubt again; the horror of
a perfect memory; the burden of a splendid imagination; the
weight of talent; the bunk search for greatness; and, of course,
I have been thinking about Forget: the future, the past
and my place in it; evolutions; 0s and 1s; ons and offs; acts
of desperation; lowering your expectations; falling love; the
way so many people settle for a fate; the way words spoken sometimes
can hang in the air for an eternity; the amount of trust that
can fit in a room; the way the driven ones never want to sleep;
the way skin feels against the truth; communicating with someone
by words and not websites: actually trying to be close.
All of which leads me to say, I am often embarrassed by the
things I read, write and publish here, or at least by all the
mistakes I make during the process. This for example:
NOTES ON GETTING OLD. I like the title, and about
seven sentences, but, who wrote that? Someone happy with the
anniversary of his magazine, or someone lost in something without
a name? Who needs to be backed into a corner by a notion, a
pose, a stance, a preemptive fuck-you to those who might get
near? I won't take it down, break the link or alter it at all,
but for the nine of you still paying attention, I hereby disown
Actually, I just read it again, maybe for the first time since
I wrote it, and shit, I thought, I'd better get out of here.
So I went out walking around. Breathing in the air. Breathing
in the air. It's a suddenly optimistic suburban dawn.
And it occurred to me, I could just do it again. Who could stop
me or, if you will, hold me down?KJB.
What A Drag It Isn't Getting Old
by Kent Bruyneel
The 100 best things about being the editor of Forget
1. You can show it to girls.
2. The so many strange and beautiful things you get to read.
3. That Lecky makes the pictures.
4. The mistakes.
5. That you get to publish things like this:
6. That it's way better than being an accountant.
7. That it has a history now, a feel.
8. That it got you into graduate school almost for free.
9. That it makes you want to defend the colour orange.
10. That it has given you, for the first time in your life,
a favourite colour: orange.
11. That you get email from semi-famous, and very fucking famous
people saying attaboy.
12. That you get to publish things like this: LOVE.
13. Sparky, M-Do, Miki, Shy-Dog.
14. That because of it someone compared your piss and vinegar
to the piss and vinegar of Jack McClelland.
15. That it began in PEI, moved to Vancouver, and is soon headed
for Toronto, Iceland, Ireland, and maybe even Saskatoon.
16. That it has a soul.
17. That you get to publish things like this: FIRST
18. That you can ask any writer you meet to consider writing
for it. Confidently.
19. That it occasionally impresses your hero.
20. That the book from the first two years will soon arrive.
21. That people write to say thank you.
22. That it is free.
23. That someone is reading this right now.
24. The medium itself: you love you some Internet.
25. That occasionally you get weird messages on the Forget
phone line, songs mostly.
26. That you occasionally get weird mail to the Forget
27. That you wouldn't trade places with any other editor of
any other magazine. Anywhere.
28. That you published this entire series, which is definitive
and bulletproof: THE
29. That you have no idea what the "traffic" is.
30. That the traffic is loud near the windows here.
31. That there is a very real possibility you will be sued by
32. That because of something you said once in a note, a woman
in Joggins, Nova Scotia, your mother's hometown, wrote to tell
you the history of your great grandfather. For who(m) you were
33. That she sent you a picture of your great grandfather.
34. That you get to publish things like this: SANTA.
35. That you once got an email from a reader with the subject
line "awful, awful, just awful" that ended with the
salutation "a disgusted and disappointed Internet user".
36. That you get to publish things like this: SAN
37. That it eases your fear of electricity.
38. That it is Canadian.
39. That it fits on a laptop.
40. That it is made by hand.
41. That it is better than you ever thought it could be.
42. That the windows in here are filling up with frost.
43. That it makes you smoke less.
44. That it helped you understand you don't necessarily need
to get over things, or put them in the past: you can, and should,
use those things.
45. And fuck the risks, the exposure, the embarrassment, the
vulnerability, the desire to erase all vestiges of times and
people and relationships gone by.
46. That this is all your life, so fuck it.
47. That you got to judge a two day novella contest.
48. That you never once considered taking advertising.
49. That advertising has been offered.
50. That you get to publish things like this: BECAUSE
51. That there is a very real possibility you will be sued
by Kelly Gruber.
52. That it gives you something to do.
53. That you have failed so spectacularly at it and come back.
54. That you are still here.
55. That two guys you knew as a kid wrote to say they read it.
56. That it takes your mind of other things.
57. That it is a forum for all types of writing.
58. That it raises your expectations.
59. That when the story and the image are perfect and you know
it can't be done any better in this medium, you feel ten feet
60. That you get to publish things like this: THE
2002 GREY CUP.
61. That it gives you something to believe in.
62. That you get to publish things like this: XSPIDERMANX.
63. That it gives you a non-human place for all that intensity.
64. That making it calms you down.
65. That from it you can chronicle your (love) life.
66. That you can remember almost every update: where you were,
who you were with, how you felt.
67. That it has been made from a minimum of forty different
68. That it is big in Japan.
69. That you did not publish things.
70. That it has made you a better editor.
71. That all you have ever wanted, since you were a child, was
to make things for people to read, and now you can whenever
72. That people read it.
73. That you get to publish things like this:
THE NIKE REPRESANTATIVE.
74. That the guy you started this with is now less your
partner, alter ego or co-designer, and more your kid brother.
75. That your father reads it.
76. That it is not called Traffic Magazine, which, I
swear, it almost was. Thank God for Michael Douglas.
77. That you are the link between Lee Henderson and Craig Battle.
78. That you are in charge.
79. That you are surrounded by people you trust.
80. That this is your MASTHEAD.
81. That some day someone else will be the editor.
82. That you get to publish things like this: BRIEFLY,
83. That you no longer have to write the tag lines.
84. That it will always be more famous than you.
85. That it has not been mentioned on TV.
86. That it is not about you.
87. That it is about you.
88. That someone called it the Canadian McSweeney's.
89. That it is all finally coming back. Proper.
90. That the submissions get consistently better and more diverse.
91. That this variety of submissions is exactly what you wanted
when you wrote the submission guidelines.
92. That you have published writers and artists who vary in
age from 5 to 65.
93. That people still check to see if it has been updated.
94. That you get to read the poetry of Matthew Dorrell before
95. That occasionally people are put off by the idea of Forget
96. That it has made you a better writer.
97. That the bridges you have burnt seem to be lighting the
98. That she is lying beside you, and it is so late, and she
says, "can you sleep?" then wakes up and maybe sees
your hands racing madly across the keyboard, maybe sees a picture
flipped upside down, then maybe just slowly rubs your back and
leaves you to it.
99. That, maybe now, she understands what it all means to you:
that it is the only thing you are certain you love.
100. That you can't possibly sleep right now.
Bruyneel is probably asleep right now.