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Thanks for Oh Five

December 24, 2005

When we at Guernica made our wish lists earlier this year, we found our staff had been driving toward some pretty lofty and–considering our newness and small staff–seemingly unattainable goals.

In addition to what Howard Zinn called our “extraordinary bouquet of stories, poems, social commentary, and art” we also wanted to start covering music and film—and now we do.

With two interviews by our stellar managing editor, Taya Mueller, of Grammy winner Oscar Hernandez and Brit folk-rock bad girl, Thea Gilmore, our music coverage widens the conversation–and the virtual utopia–that is Guernica. Later this month, Taya interviews Mexican-American musician, Lila Downs (whose music you may have heard in the movie Frida).

Our film coverage began with a fall interview of Oscar-winning writer/director Sally Potter on her 2005 film, Yes. And this month we present our fall interview with the beautiful and talented Indian actress, Nandana Sen.

We also hoped to have more in-depth investigation, and with the second part of Jake Whitney’s “Pharmaceutical Sales 101″ we do just that. Not always known for our brevity, it is especially with articles like these we hope you will consider our “print version” feature so you can read this important piece when you have the time and quiet to consider it thoroughly.

Next on our list was to start a conversation not just about the Bush administration, but with them–even if that conversation verged at times on debate. Previously we interviewed the lawyer of alleged terrorist Jose Padilla and were told that Bush’s policies in the war on terror were wrong. This month, we talk to one of the Bush administration’s own lawyers directly–former assistant deputy attorney general John Yoo. In the interview Yoo defends his position on vast presidential powers, and his controversial legal determination that the president need not apply the Geneva Conventions since the enemy in the war on terror is not a state.

We wanted to be noted for our “striking originality”–which we answer with new features like our Writers’ Rooms column where guest writers talk about how space influences their writing–a highbrow MTV Cribs crossed with the New York Times’ “Writers at Work.” In the debut column, Chilean poet Marjorie Agosin offers her unique view on writing in exile.

We wanted to be a “coat made of many kinds of cloths,” a hope for variety I think everything in this editorial note speaks to–and especially with online exhibits with some of the most innovative artists of the day.

More generally, we wanted to move toward non-profit status (which we have), to be read widely (which we are–up to 65 countries at least, according to our stats page, and November’s readership triples the average from previous months); and to be part of the debate that shapes history (which, in however miniscule a way, we know we have too).

So it is no wonder that we approach 2006 in a spirit of celebration and gratitude to you, our readers–who make this all possible.

Sincerely,

The Editors

Readers like you make Guernica possible. Please show your support.

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