I want to break this blog entry into two parts. The first being a tribute to the success of Thirty West and why I am thankful. The second, my view on the state of this country as of 11/8/16.
1. These past two months have been duly influenced by accomplishments and anxiety. Why, one may ask? Well, to put it simply, I'm graduating. I never thought this day would come, yet it is about a month and a half away. Yes, I have been creating this microcosm that is Thirty West, which is an accomplishment in itself; publishing both novice and professional writers of many disciplines. For the website being about 3.5 months old, the company nearing 1 year, it has brought joy to my heart and stress upon my bones. You would be surprised how hyper-aware I am of managing the utmost pristine website I can offer; sacrificing social time and personal relaxation for the sake of the press. However, I simply do not have the time to perfect it. It is not the time to perfect it. It is but a toddler: walking, yet stumbling; eating, yet making a mess. Patience has raised me akin to my father (and my mother, up until she was called away to the aether before my 9th birthday) throughout my life, and being employed comfortably at an engineering firm has augmented my time management skills, scheduling abilities, and more. As of now, I have four wonderful ladies, both friends before and friends during Thirty West's inception, putting in their own time and efforts to judge and edit all of the 80+ submissions that we have received since Submittable and Duotrope were established. I have an experienced friend and mentor that has been providing feedback on not only my creative work, but with the state of the press and my accomplishments and shortcomings. Hell, I sent copies of chapbooks to a Texas and New York bookstore (currently 1 out of 2), thanks to him. I also have an awesome (in the literal sense) artist that stays awake for days on end to extract the muses from within onto paper. If it wasn't for her acute awareness of the business, I would have been backpedaling months ago. One may say that I am doing quite well, however there are roadblocks, errors, and days where I loathe my existence and question why I even started this press to begin with: the sake of preserving indie art (most recently printing broadsides).
2. With anxiety being the 'part two' of this duality, well one doesn't have to travel far; the TV and Facebook assume the omniscient parent role for us all. It seems that everything is a ruse unless taken by video, and even then, can be manipulated physically to curtail to one's bias. This world is spiraling into a tumultuous state of civic unrest, natural exploitation, and unethical jurisdictions at unsafe driving speeds, and there is bound to be a turn too tight; a stoplight blown...it compounds an instilled frustration within the mind of an artist (now I know how Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and other voices of the 'Lost Generation' felt). Now, we have another 'lost' generation, consisting of different generations with individual beliefs in the realm of politics, society, and morals. Now, less than 24 hours ago, our highly disfavored president elect has been announced. Fingers are being pointed quicker than one says 'Hello'. There is a bogeyman in the room and no-one is sure which face they have to pull off to identify the culprit. Unsettling mania will not save us. Zealous bigotry will not save us. A great divide no matter which way it is cut into our country's heart, will not save us; it is absolutely out of the equation. Emerson once penned an essay before the Civil War about self-reliance and how it is OK to be inconsistent, as long as you are developing yourself. Fast forward nearly 200 years and take a look around. There is inconsistency everywhere, yes, but it is skewed, it is regressive. It is OK to have views that are accepted one day and challenged the next. That is a sturdy premise for personal growth, is it not? Some may require a more forceful approach or the toughest of loves, but without growth comes decay and stagnation. Seems like now is the best time to derive from decay and begin the cycle, as the spring-time air floods the surface of the planet. Not only does our American society need your help, Mother Earth needs it as well. Collectivism shouldn't be predetermined by hatred. I am speaking on the sake of humanity, because isn't that what is the most strung out and lost these days?