“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” The Merchant of Venice, Act V, scene I.
It is doubtful that the Brummie Bard had the slightest notion when he wrote those words some 415 years ago that his works would reach Wolverhampton never mind the sandiest corner of a mobile library on Vanuatu. It’s also debatable if the world now is any more or any less ‘naughty’ than in Shakey’s day. However, it is also indisputable that today, the weakest glow from the smallest kindness can be beamed like a searchlight into the hearts of those living the farthest from civilisation. Whether you live in the Chilean Andes or Anchorage, Antarctica or France, even the most isolated, primitive backwater* can receive and be informed by your every word.
So it is, then, with our own modest offering to the planet, your effervescent, ever-dissident, ever-cogent and now ever-present Inconsequential!
It is a sobering, nay humbling experience recalling those first dozen or so issues that were placed furtively with trembling hands onto the coffee tables of an insignificant banking institution in the North East of England a mere 407(ish) years after Mr S‘s somewhat sceptical quote was coined. The fingers of one hand could be used to punch playfully on the shoulder those who read that first edition. Indeed, just two hands and half a foot were needed to tot up the number of pages!
Today, you would need to be in the shower displaying a multitude of extremities to calculate the countries into which your favourite satirical magazine has been invited; a frat house full of exhibitionists would have to be in there to count our readers.
Yes, we’ve come a long way since those early tentative steps. We are now a truly worldwide publication and, we’re proud to say, the world is beginning to accept our invitation to climb aboard. Readers of our last issue will have seen a thought-provoking poem from Andrew McDonough. You’ll find another piece from the US student inside, together with excellent initial contributions from Pat McConnell, an Irish ex-pat living in Australia and Canadian student Sarah Gagliano. Our own Suzanne Phoenix and Colin Duck are here, too, regaling us with tales of their trips to New York and Japan respectively.
So, what are you waiting for? The world has beaten a path to your door. Put the kettle on, break out the sponge fingers and let them (the world, not the sponge fingers) educate, inform and, above all, entertain you.
*Will require a PC running at 2.2GHz, with 250GB hard drive, 3GB RAM and a suitable internet connection.