Issue 164 | Editor's Letter

by Matthew Bedard

Dear Readers,

How the hell did we arrive at this, The Elemental Issue? What does that even mean? The weather issue? The primary issue? The chemistry issue? More obtuse than ever, guys, and that’s saying a lot for Flaunt!

So let’s back up. We commenced this magazine around the concept of “inclusion”—that of the entertainment construct, that of media’s rigmarole, of the awards circuit speech du jour, that of race, of age, of cis/non-cis, of gluten-free or multi-grain, of Guaidó or Maduro.

We included a subset of esports superstars (pg. 162). We went behind the camera, the curtains, to include a playwright (pg. 102), a production designer (pg. 88), and a composer (pg. 221). We included a dunkelweiss (pg. 325), ghosts (pg. 84), and gelatin (pg. 206).

There’s Yalitza Aparicio from Roma (pg. 226), Julianne Moore channeling obscure painter Leonor Fini (pg. 228), and dashing DQ, Miss Fame, in a Parisian parlor (pg. 302).

All was going according to plan until an essay on agonistic versus antagonistic democracy landed on our desks (pg. 325). In short, agonistic democracy is a socio-political mindset that acknowledges the opposition sans sentiment, that postulates on the positivity that can come from political conflict. Hard to imagine such a disposition with things as they are, we know, but it’s a fruitful exercise nonetheless. Try it.

Now consider agnosticism in a broader context: with planet earth, with molecular likenesses and antecedents, with technology’s increasing influence on, or singularity with, cognitive thought, with the bedroom! It’s a doozy!

In the end, life amounts to a big, confusing ball of contraries, coercions, and contingencies, where water is not quite water without oil, where tears drops are silicon and lipstick (pg. 184), where Switzerland is only neutral in quotation marks (pg. 314). And anyway, the contemporary notion of “inclusion” is lost on an LA-based independent magazine, founded by queers and long dismissing of the fears that tend to bind up the freedom and inclusion we all seek.

Enjoy the Elemental Issue, and amalgamate thyself in 2019 for a better you!


Matthew Bedard