I like to think we come out of our mothers’ wombs undefined masses of clay and, as life hits us, as our hearts are broken and circumstances unfold, we’re chipped and sculpted into whatever we become, never a smooth surface, perpetually flawed but that’s what makes the metamorphosis so beautiful. The sculpture is cut abnormally short by death. It could be argued that death is the best muse for creation – that to understand, one must lose and lose completely what has been loved completely. Loss i.e. the absence of makes the presence of so much dearer.
The above paragraph is an odd segue for an issue devoted to art and the social politics it often represents. Politics is a curious word – it derives from the Greek politikos meaning “of, for, or relating to citizens”, though I much prefer “people” to citizens, stripping them of geographical limitations. It seems like a perfectly innocuous word, “politics”, but it’s come to represent humanity’s dirty underbelly in Pakistan and in other parts of the world, where politicians are synonymous with “corruption”. The thing about politics which holds true for just about any ideology involving people, is that there can never be any one “true” interpretation of the concept, because the group it serves is made up of various specimens of humanity.
Traditionally, The Missing Slate has emphasized reduced focus on the conventional interpretation of politics in its pages. This has always been because many other publications do political coverage much better, and an arts magazine has no business with it. However, though an argument could be made for politics playing no role here, it would be a weak one, because politikos is concerned with people, and the political really is personal. So while we will stay away from current affairs, we will continue to steep ourselves in social affairs, toeing the line of the politically (or apolitically) correct.
Let me be perfectly clear: The Missing Slate is not in the business of discussing absolutes – the magazine has always been at its best when observing the gray areas and this issue is no different. Our tenth (which also happens to be our third anniversary) issue does for the first, but not the last time, pay tribute to one half of our identity.