Welcome to Issue 7 of Critical Mass.
This week our editors have been discussing our attitude to swearing in the articles we publish.
This government is enough to make a saint swear. But while there are not many saints here at Critical Mass, we believe that political debate and discussion should not be shouty, sweary or abusive. If you cannot make your point without swearing then perhaps you haven’t got a point worth making. We expect our writers who are reporting or commenting on politics and current affairs to refrain from gratuitous swearing because it detracts from and diminishes their argument.
Art is different. It often tries to shake us out of our complacency and look at the world with fresh eyes. Writers throughout history have pushed the boundaries of language in poems, plays and prose. At Critical Mass we are proud to publish poets and novelists. And sometimes, in their writing, they use strong language.
At Critical Mass we do not agree with censorship on grounds of public decency. The state has used obscenity laws to try and silence some of our finest authors. While CM writers may not be in that league (yet) we are wary of going down the road of censoring poetry and fiction authors for using strong language.
This is by no means the end of this discussion and your views are welcome. Comments are open at the bottom of this page.
And remember, the real obscenity is out there in the boardrooms of the ruling class and in the poverty and suffering that is endemic in a world that puts profit before people and, as COP26 has shown, they are even willing to put profit before the survival of our planet.
Of course many of our writers have their own blogs and websites, podcasts and video channels where they are free to use whatever language they like to express their anger at the system. One of our writers is the Sixty Second Scribe who features In the Spotlight in this issue.
Speaking of podcasts, Critical Mass is now the proud host of the Socialist Hour, presented by Dave Middleton, a mix of chat and music.
In the latest edition, Dave talks to Critical Mass writer, gay activist and filmmaker Ray Woolford about his life, loves, and passion for 1930’s socialist activist Kath Duncan, with music from Tom Robinson, Bette Midler and the Pet Shop Boys.