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To Our Readers: From the Editor
June 16 is Bloomsday. This may not mean anything to you, but it’s the day James Joyce’s masterwork “Ulysses,” which documents the fictional exploits of Leopold Bloom and his journey through Dublin takes place. The cities that celebrate Bloomsday engage in readings, street festivals, the quaffing of a pint or two, and possibly some dramatic interpretations. It’s a nice sentiment, but listening to other people read passages from a book (and it’s a doosey, folks) isn’t my idea of a great time at the theater. However, celebrating the day for what the book has come to represent, is a worthwhile endeavor. What this book says to me is that there is so much more artistic expression in our daily lives than we generally appreciate, let alone acknowledge. Watching a movie, reading a well-crafted book or story, picking up a new album and giving it a solid listen — these are all the things we generally relegate to the artistic sphere. But it’s the art you encounter in the day-to-day happenings that should get some well-deserved attention. The last time you got your hair cut by the steady, deft hands of a stylist was an artistic venture. There’s even an art to properly pouring a beer. Getting that tilt just right so the body has a slender foamy head on top takes the hand of a practiced artisan. I say there is even an art to maintain the steady flow of traffic. Crassly, it’s stay out of the left lane unless you’re passing. But more succinctly, I put it: Get from A to B as quickly as you feel safe while staying out of the way of others.
I can at times think of myself as more capable an “artist” than I am. When my bathtub began leaking last month, I discovered the surrounding caulking had rotted out. No big deal I thought, just go to the hardware store, pick some up a fresh tube and apply. By the end of my ordeal, there was caulk everywhere, and the clean, albeit rotten lines that once outlined my tub were caked in a wide moonscape of peaks and craters that nobody would be proud of and doubtfully sealed much at all. Using a razorblade, I scrapped off all my “handiwork” and hired someone with a more practiced hand to take care of the task. When he was done, the well-sealed tub was a masterpiece, and a testament to the thought that art — in all its forms — is all too often overlooked in our day-to-day lives.
All the best,
Matt Makowski, Managing Editor