Looking Back to Look Forward.

Happy 2017. I know a lot of us put a pillow over our head and howled during 2016…but after that, I sincerely hope, we decorously put the pillow aside, ran fingers through our collective hair, and got up, determined to move forward as kindly and creatively as our collective DNA allows.

So with that in mind, we present: Ta Ta! THE PAST. Because we here at EAP are really tired of continual predictions of the future which scorn our collective past, which treat it as something old grandpa did in his tired old way. The past—our past—is a treasure house of stored values, human values, that we need to take out and refresh with a loving look from time to time…if our future life is to have real human value.

Beware, beware, oh beware the pundit who tells you that there are no such thing as ‘human’ values, that we’re ‘post-humanity’, that we’re all becoming immortal cyborgs just as soon as…well, as soon as we get the bugs worked out.

Immortal cyborgs? Are they kidding? Anyone stood out in the rain swallowing rain drops lately? Been walking in the woods on a winter’s day on crackling snow? Sat in a sunny window? You telling me we’re giving up that?

And on Mars no less. Thanks a lot.

Anyway, EAPers have looked at the past in this issue, and they like what they see, as the past transmutes itself, as in a fairy story, into the future. We have a lot of poets weighing in on various aspects of the whole—Simon Widdop, Marissa Bell Toffoli, Guinotte Wise, and perennial EAP favorite Charles S. Kraszewski. And why not? They don’t call it poetic vision for nothing. In other visions, Casey Orr looks at how cutting edge young fashion in the north of England builds on a time that was pretty cutting edge itself when it came to preserving human values. Boff Whalley looks at music from the same direction, and as a founding member of the punk band Chumbawamba, he can be said to know what he’s talking about. Josh Sutton’s passion is a future overhaul of our food distribution system, and his looking back at the past shows some surprising ways forward for the future. Brian Griffith wants to know why people don’t see the strength of Iranian women is nothing new, but old as time. And Bruce E. R. Thompson, a new contributor to EAP, says you really ought to go see a puppet show, you adults out there. His explanation of why is one of my favorites this issue, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from him on similar subjects in the future.

A good future. We can all agree on that as a goal. My own feeling is that there is no good future without a good understanding and sharing of the past. And that it always, every time, has got to be rooted in the deepest values that we share as human beings.

Remember the Arcadian motto: “Looking Back to Look Forward.”

What do you think?

Welcome back.

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