LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

photo © Adrienne Battistella 2016
Published  December 2016

Seventy-some years ago my grandparents, Albert and Honoré, got married under the shadow of World War II. An engineer in the army, Albert was set to deploy to the Pacific Theater, so he and Honoré had to hastily put a ceremony together. The only available date happened to fall on Tisha B’av which, like most other Jewish holidays, commemorates the destruction of temples and overall bad times for the Hebrews. Custom dictated that such a somber day be free of celebration or happiness. But my grandfather was more patriotic than religious; and anyway, there was no rescheduling with Uncle Sam. So they got married on that fateful day in August and soon after, he shipped out. My grandparents’ nuptials were considered scandalous, their marriage doomed. Whispers from the local Jewish community followed them for years. But despite superstition and global warfare, they stayed married—happily—for over 60 years, honoring those “til death…” vows quite literally.

This story was of great comfort to me as I suited up for my own wedding this past month, marrying at long-last my awesome partner and friend (and your ANTIGRAVITY photo editor!) Adrienne. While we weren’t treading upon any ominous holidays that we were aware of, we still had to get married only a week after that cruel and predatory conman, Donald Trump, had eked out an election win. Admittedly, after that it was hard to find joy in the days leading up to our ceremony.

But I remembered my grandparents, ol’ Hony and Albert, and the conditions under which they exchanged vows those many years ago, and how my grandfather—a freshly minted-husband—was immediately shipped thousands of miles to fight fascist imperialism. At least, I thought, considering these latest political winds, I won’t have to travel as far.

I know in this age of hyperbole it’s easy to dismiss the cries of doom and despair coming from so many people in the wake of this election. But growing up Jewish, it’s easy to become a default historian of oppression—as it is with any besieged group licked by the flames of genocide. One thing you come to understand is that the creep towards mass-scale human extermination starts slowly and methodically. Gas chambers and prisons don’t pop up overnight, and they don’t get constructed without the support of a docile public, who empower tyrants simply by their inaction. The incoming Trump administration, in my humble view, is a deadly combination of corporate greed and a toxic strain of Christianity that directly threatens entire communities of Americans—our brothers and sisters of color, queer friends and lovers, immigrant and Muslim neighbors, journalists, women, and so on. That list, alas, stretches beyond what this space will allow.

Because of these fresh hostilities, it just didn’t feel right to bring you our “normal” programming this month, pretending as if a national tragedy hadn’t just unfolded before us. For anyone who tuned in for band interviews or sassy takes on choice noms—don’t worry, we’ll get back to that in 2017. There is, after all, still plenty of joy and passion to squeeze from this cold world. But for this issue, I left it up to the AG staff to provide some resources and thoughts to help prepare us all for the struggles ahead. There are many ways to fight and find comfort, as you’ll find in the following pages. You can stock up on birth control, cook a huge bowl of pasta for your fellow revolutionaries, grow a garden, call your local representatives, or—as our resident anarcho-scoundrel Jules Bentley puts it—find something more “creative” to do.

The challenge before us remains the same no matter who sits atop the American throne. I know putting this issue together, I was inspired by each and every resource submitted, and the network of caring, compassionate people behind them. I truly believe that ultimately, kindness, love, and peace will carry the day. —Dan Fox

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