From The Editors
ISSUE FIVE, SUMMER 2018
Your editor has been watching “The Handmaid’s Tale.” As many readers know, it takes place in an imagined future. Its popularity indicates that people lack confidence in the stability of the current order. Of the movies and TV shows speculating on what the future might look like, nearly all depict societies in which reactionary tendencies that are now largely held in check have triumphed, while scarcely a single one depicts a society decent people, that is, most people, might want to live in. In Bernard Shaw’s play John Bull’s Other Island, Father Keegan, a defrocked priest, says, “In my dreams it is a country where the State is the Church and the Church the people: three in one and one in three. It is a commonwealth in which work is play and play is life: three in one and one in three. It is a temple in which the priest is the worshipper and the worshipper the worshipped: three in one and one in three. It is a godhead in which all life is human and all humanity divine: three in one and one in three.” He concludes, “It is, in short, the dream of a madman,” and walks away. Why is every repressive, misogynistic, class-ridden, antihuman, racialist dystopia regarded as a serious possibility, while Father Keegan’s vision is dismissed as the dream of a madman?
Hard Crackers chronicles everyday life, both to demonstrate that a better world is possible and to examine the barriers to it, including the barriers that have been erected by those who must build it. This issue contains stories from Spain and South Africa and from all over the U.S. We call your attention to our website, which contains our blog plus selected articles, a listing of back issues and books for sale and information on how to order copies and send money.