It’s that time of the quarter, again, and I’m expected to write another Editorial. (In truth, Liam will be sending me a scolding reminder e-mail any mene now, but I’m hoping I hit “Send” before he does.) (He actually had 12 hours to spare – L.) But where to start? We have a vast amount of possible topics, not least of which is my recent tradition of featuring specific Dargon authors each month. However, what with the impending Independence Day weekend (for those of us in the United States of America), I feel a more significant theme should emerge. But that would be rather egocentric of an American, wouldn’t it, to impose his or her own celebration of Independence against a former foreign oppressor (who is now one of our greatest allies), while others around the world have no such celebration at this time of year? This would be particularly so, in light of our international representation not only of authors but of readers, who represent a global presence. On the other hand, there are many countries who do have celebrations of independence, whether they are from former great powers, or even minor powers in the world, and several of them celebrate their independence around the same time we Yanks do. (Note: a complete list can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day)
Let me not, then, dedicate this Editorial to the American celebration for independence, but for all countries — and even individuals or groups within countries — who have labored under the yoke of oppression, and have seen their way to fight for their freedom. Most of those fights are bloody. Some excellent few have been peaceful, yet still successful. Martin Luther King, Jr. (for one) was an enigmatic leader who well understood how to protest peacefully, fight against oppression, and win. Mahatma Gandhi was another. But in all cases, and in all times, there comes a moment in history when a group realizes with great clarity that it can no longer stomach the indignity, the humiliation, and the injustice of oppression, and in that time that group must rise up and declare itself unique, unfettered, and willing to fight for equality.
To that end I shall quote directly from the American Declaration of Independence, a passage that strikes to the heart of oppression and speaks not only against insufferable evils, but for the duty to reject those evils, and to establish a form of government in order to secure future happiness for all.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
(Declaration of Independence, United States of America, National Archives)
Now … let us continue on to this quarter’s DargonZine, which could not exist without the inalienable right to the Pursuit of Happiness. The two stories gracing our pages this issue are from writers Pam Atchley and Keith English. Recent readers of DargonZine will know Keith’s name by now: he’s been a regular contributor, and featured in my Editorial last issue. His latest work, Sowing Seeds 3, concludes his trilogy. Pam Atchley, on the other hand, may be a new name to some … but she has been a long-time contributor to DargonZine. Pam’s first story graced our pages back in volume thirteen … some fourteen years ago! She took a few years’ hiatus, but has recently rejoined the group, and is working hard to pick up a few of our old drafts that never made it to print. In this issue, Pam has resuscitated a draft by former author Victor Cardoso, brought it back to life, and completed it under a new title, “What Cannot Be Tempered.” We are honored to present both of these stories to you.