Good evening friends,
Welcome to this humble little publication that we call the Lonely Outlet. Whether you’re reading this online, or in print, we appreciate you taking the time and giving us a chance. I would also like to thank Evelyn Waugh-sorry Wane for translating our content and even making this opportunity possible. Durénnmørk is a small, tiny little town and the magazine has never received any sort of exposure outside. I’m very happy that more people will be able to experience our silly ramblings than ever before.
Generally speaking, I’ve always felt that the introductory ‘editorial’ found at the beginning of most magazines is the best part. They usually offer insight into the editor as a person, something which is rarely done elsewhere in the issue. While the Lonely Outlet has largely taken that idea and expanded it into a whole publication, I still wanted to begin each new issue with an honest heart-to-heart. At least one story about my, or the magazine’s past, or what I feel, are some particularly important events that have transpired.
Today, being the release of the new English edition, I felt it apt to talk a little about why I decided to start this magazine in the first place…
I created the Lonely Outlet, along with my girlfriend-come-wife Agnes in 1986. This was a couple of years after I finished highschool, but prior to starting college. Feeling somewhat angry and disillusioned upon completing my final exams, I decided to take “Lückiår” (roughly translated as “time off”) – what you would probably call a “gap year”. My single gap year ended up extending into two. Lückiår is not very common here. After school, most people either enter straight into the work force, or continue their studies at one of two universities in the surrounding area. In fact, Lückiår is usually frowned upon… Like, what sort of loser does that?! But, I felt that it was the best option for me. I needed that time to decompress (or, perhaps – decompose, even if only slightly). I had originally intended on travelling, seeing other parts of the world. But, alas, it never eventuated. I always felt lonely and isolated during my school days, but this gap period probably ended up being the loneliest of my life. I sought escape primarily through magazines. All types – gaming, music, movies, current affairs and everything in between. I liked to stay informed. Naturally, no one has the sheer amount of time required to actually play, listen, watch or read “everything”, so I always felt that magazines were a good middle ground. I could consume what I wanted, and at least be ‘aware’ of the rest by reading about them in the mags. I enjoyed the relatively informal nature – I especially enjoyed the pieces that revealed titbits about the author’s own life and experiences. I guess, when one is lonely, they latch onto whatever – or more specifically – whoever they can. Even though I had never actually met any of these writers, I felt like I did. Every week, month, year, I eagerly awaited their next piece, as though I was meeting up with an old friend. This feeling was always something that I wanted to capture in my own writing – and still strive for today…
Now, upon rereading my previous paragraph, the natural question, or at least my natural question is, what about Agnes? Surely, she was of some comfort, during this supposedly solitary period? Well, yes and no… The thing that you need to understand about the people of Durénnmørk, is that we are generally fairly cold and aloof. Quiet and reserved. Even between those who are friends… who have known each other for many years – there is still a feeling of… distance. The people of Durénnmørk may “like” others, they may “love” others, but often, they don’t really understand them. I guess the same was the case for Agnes and I. She was certainly less cold than most, but that layer of detachment was still there. To be fair, I was… and am not, much better. It’s funny, thinking about all of this, writing about it, in a way that I probably haven’t done in years. Why, when I was aware of the fact, did I not do something about it? Why did I not at least attempt to be a little warmer, especially when it is something that I always wanted from others? For me, it’s rather inexplicable. It’s just not something that is done here… And despite what I may say, it’s significantly harder to entirely change how you act as a person – to effectively change your upbringing- than one may initially think. I feel as though I’ve improved in this regard over the years, but I suppose that is something I can’t really be the judge of.
But, perhaps I’m digressing a little, no? Throughout those two years between school and college, I achieved very little. How did almost two whole years, almost 730 days go by, with so little to show for it? What the hell was I doing?! I didn’t work, I did minimal study, and probably spent the majority of my days, either with Agnes, or reading/playing/watching. But, I suppose, things worked out in the end. In the last couple of months, I decided that I needed to do something. I was determined to at least try. The result was the first issue of the Lonely Outlet.
It was a very rough issue (admittedly, I still think the magazine is a bit rough around the edges, but that’s what gives it charm, baby!) – a short, slapped together, hand written, black and white Xeroxed A5 book. Hardly “professional” in quality, at all. But I had done something. Something! My biggest problem in life, I think, has always been my general lack of confidence. I just don’t think that I’m very good… nor do I think much of my work. Whenever I start something, I feel as though I must read and reread every sentence, every word, till it is deemed “perfect”. But as a result, nothing ever gets done. With the Outlet, I originally did minimal editing (beyond spelling and grammar, of course). I just let the words flow, even if the result was not always as eloquent and refined as I’d hoped.
In many ways, I think this is what lead to the magazines signature style. It’s conversational, often, if not usually a tangential stream of consciousness… It reminds me of a quote from the Catcher in the Rye:
“The trouble with me is, I like it when somebody digresses. It’s more interesting and all. …lots of time you don’t know what interests you most till you start talking about something that doesn’t interest you most. …I like it when somebody gets excited about something.”Holden Caulfield, from ‘the Catcher in the Rye’ (by J.D. Salinger), 1951
So that there, dear friends is, in a rather roundabout way, an incredibly abridged version of how the first issue, and the Lonely Outlet as a whole came to be. It’s been 34 years since its inception, let’s hope this new English version will last as long (assuming that I do). Thanks for being here, hopefully you’ll stick around awhile.