Iíve never met anybody who liked the sound of their own voice more than you. Strange and wonderful then to see you so successfully committed to compiling the voices of other writers on ForgetMagazine.com. Happy birthday. It seems ages ago (not possibly a year) that you wrote me about starting a daily e-zine featuring Canadian cultural content. At the time I didnít know of any other venue, aside from the well-funded major dailies that were attempting anything so audacious. But I had confidence in you because Iíve experienced first hand your tireless commitment to having your own voice heard. One year later and I have run the emotional gambit reading (and occasionally writing for) Forget. It has at one time or another inspired and enraged me. Fitting since my relationship with you has followed much the same pattern.
Itís an eternity since we hovered in yellow smoke and begun spinning tales of life, the universe and everything. For a while those carefree days of sonic youth seemed long gone, but I assure you we have only just begun. Remember when I was searching and your wrote me this:
"For me, I want to make beautiful things. Things that have legs. Things that people will look out down the long-road and realize there was an attempt to Contribute, rather than just takeÖ.. I want to be like that guy who published his little zine on his own his entire life (you know the guy they made a doc. out of, we have spoken of him many times). I want to make lasting, beautiful, expressive things. Free from the restraints of business and commerce. Culture is unbelievably important to me. So are words. I can't think of anything I love more."
Youíve told me Iíve been one of the biggest influences on your life Kent, and I would be hard pressed not to admit the same of you. Now we are reading Kafka, Eliot, Ovid, Cohen, Huxley, Jonson, Purdy, Pound and Plato. We are creating more than ever before. Not just the jargon of some prescribed program, but mixing our own medicine. Soon we will break them all free and the truth is, as it always was, we can not be stopped. We are a movement, but wonít rest until we are a legion.
I wonder how many people really know why you started Forget and the reasoning behind the name? In truth, you havenít ever told me. But I know. I have seen dark slashes on blue walls, blood-red tears, and whale bones rolling across white sand. I know that it is possible to baptize yourself. I know that if late at night one was to drive down Highway 1, past the Riverview mental hospital, through the roads that make up the ink blot of the Vancouver suburbs, toward the western end of the Port Mann bridge, they, no matter the hour, would find a yellow light on in the basement of one of the many uniformed houses, but different, with yellow smoke pouring out from underneath the aging venetian blinds and through the half-cracked sliding door. I know. I know that now youíre back in Vancouver, Vancouver is a different place. I know that what you said in the passage from the letter above is a rare truth, and that your commitment has grown exponentially in recent years. And I choose to believe you and believe in you as I always have. You are a pioneer, doing what no else has the guts to try. For that I salute you and wish Forget every continued success. I am proud of you like a brother and I know that should you want it Forget will become much, much more. Believe it.
An Outside Influence
Miguel Strother is a fine example of engineering .