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Introduction: We Mean It

A brief response to some of the ways the first issue of Bad Subjects was received.
Annalee Newitz and Joe Sartelle

Issue #2, October 1992

We would like to respond briefly to some of the ways the first issue of Bad Subjects was received. While most of the feedback we got was largely positive and encouraging, we were surprised that some people asked us if we were joking. The implication was that we were producing some sort of parody. Let us make ourselves perfectly clear: Bad Subjects is no joke. Yes, there is a certain degree of self-conscious irony in our logo (i.e., in our use of the handgun graphics), but on the other hand the articles were written in earnest. We at Bad Subjects have found that one of the most debilitating limitations the left faces, at least in our experience at UC Berkeley, is an inability to take itself seriously. We understand this to be a function of the left's relative powerlessness; it's hard to take yourself seriously when you don't believe you can accomplish anything to begin with. Consequently, we have to wonder whether the urge to understand Bad Subjects as some kind of joke tells us more about the people who have responded that way than about the publication itself. Bad Subjects is looking for contributions from people who take their leftist commitments seriously, because at Bad Subjects, we mean it.

We also encountered some dismay among prospective contributors who felt that some of the articles in the first issue were so long as to be daunting as examples. We really are looking for short pieces, along the lines of the articles in this issue. Our simple excuse for the length of last month's essays is that we had all summer to work on them. In the future, long pieces will definitely be the exception, not the rule. We hope this will encourage more of you to contribute, since we truly need your help. It is our fond dream as editors that eventually we will be able to produce issues for which neither of us has had to write articles.

We would like to thank everyone who has provided support and encouragement. We'd also like to give special thanks to Steven Rubio for being the first person to submit an article after the first issue became available and the call for essays went out. Lastly, the next two issues have no special theme or topic — so write about whatever you find politically interesting and important.

Copyright © 1992 by Annalee Newitz and Joe Sartelle. All rights reserved.