From the Editor
For those who don’t know, it’s 2011: Twenty-eleven. That’s the fastest way to say it, and now more than ever, speed rules. People are falling ever faster into the crushing gravity of society’s breakneck pace, blitzing through life and missing out on many of its pleasures due to a lack of introspective thought or reflection, all in the name of haste.
“Literature takes too long!” The average consumer scoffs as he or she whizzes through the McDonald’s drive-thru stocking up on Big Macs while checking his or her twitter feeds for the latest worldly insights from yet another member of the Kardashian family. Who has time to read more than 140 characters when they are busy worshipping the imprudent lord of impatience? This inclination towards instant gratification, combined with the anonymity of the internet, has left people with the impression that the World Wide Web is a wasteland, nearly devoid of refined thought.
Beside the Point aims to shatter this perception with content that surpasses the supposed standard of the internet. Unlike much of what you read online, the works in Beside the Point were not belched forth in a brief, thoughtless spasm. The authors and poets poured hours, days, weeks, even years of their time into the process of writing and re-writing before submitting their work for publication. Only the best submissions were selected, and even then, they passed through several edits and a final polish before they were ready for print. The result of this process is a finely tuned international collection of artistic expression. This fourth issue of Beside the Point, the second print edition ever, is our most wide-reaching one to date. Within these pages, you will find fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, drama, and artwork from all walks of creative life. A poem by a photographer. A painting by a poet. A Scandinavian epic by Science student. A story about food and how it can bring us together or drive us apart. Stories by accountants, and restaurateurs, and teachers, from the mists of the Cowichan Valley to arid Colorado. They are all works created by people who want to share their imaginative vision with others.
When reading this issue you will be treated to the works of real artists, not anonymous avatars and screen names spouting off their uninformed opinions with all the speed and accuracy of a machine gun. A great way to take your time and really enjoy these works is to pick up the print version and enjoy the old-timey feel of the paper in your hands. Your grandparents could suggest several classic scenarios in which you might enjoy reading this magazine: laid out on a towel at the beach is a popular option; another is under a shady tree in the fresh air. A racier octogenarian may suggest reading it aloud to a significant other in the bath tub. Furthermore, nine out of ten foodies agree, Beside the Point pairs well with a Waldorf salad and apple juice.
If nothing else, Beside the Point is not a Big Mac.
By Mark Macdonald, for the Beside The Point editorial team