Dear Patient Readers,
It’s been a long year of constant change since Beatdom last made a foray into the public domain. Since then I’ve been doing my best to keep the magazine in the minds and hearts of its fans, but that hasn’t been easy without something for them to read…
It was February 2008 when Issue Two hit the proverbial newsstands, and now we’re in a whole new year. In that time much has happened.
Firstly there was Beatdom’s first ever public display, as we were asked to appear at Scotland’s nation poetry festival, StAnza. In typical form, your humble editor forgot about the event until the night before, when he was playing a gig with a local band, and together, he and the band spent the post-gig night both partying and making posters. We were late to the festival, but still put on a display, selling out our stock and drawing much interest for the magazine and its website.
Ah, the website. www.beatdom.com has kept the magazine alive in the absence of any creative endeavour on the part of the staff. Through our high Google rankings, Beatdom has maintained a strong internet presence that has ensured a steady flow of fan mail and submissions. I can honestly say that without these, Beatdom would have faded into history.
But the reason for this lack of productivity and creativity was the increase of activity in my own life. In Scotland I was unemployed and partially employed, and constantly had time to write. But with no money and no job prospects, I was forced to emigrate to South Korea. I took a job teaching in a small hagwon in Daegu, and have been here ever since.
Life in Korea has been too hectic to facilitate much writing. The hours are long and the alcohol is cheap, and consequently I found myself not sleeping for five months, but instead working from 10am to 8pm, and drinking from 8pm to 5am, six or seven nights a week. No writing, no Beatdom.
When holidays came, I vanished across the seas again – to the Philippines, to Japan, to China. In 2007 I toured American like Kerouac, and in 2008 I hit Asia like Ginsberg and Snyder. Maybe one day I’ll get to Latin America like Burroughs…
Constantly the fan mail and submissions kept rolling in, and I realised that I had a duty to the fanbase I had established with the first two magnificent instalments. The people wanted more, and I had to give it to them. Out went the drinking, and back came the editing.
I started various blogs about life in Asia, uploaded old articles and essays from the first two issues to the website, and created a Beat Generation social network, all to pique the interest of the people. We’d lost too many staff members over the year of absence to rely upon the same contributors. Impatience set in. The distance became a factor. My old artists and illustrators went on to new jobs in Scotland. Eduardo Jones, our bat-shit crazy regular, was killed. Rodney Munch went missing somewhere in the Sea of Japan…
But now we’re back with an issue that takes the Beat out of the fifties and brings it right back into the ugly new millennium, where it’s needed the most. When the world changes too fast, and the hands of the diabolic wander beyond their stations, the spirit of the restless few must rise and seize the day.
8 years ago