“A photograph of a forearm tattoo, in black ink with the words ‘This Machine Kills Fascists’ above a fountain pen.“

Feb 23, 2017 | essay

This Machine Kills Fascists

Welcome to the resistance.

Let’s face it, the world is terrifying these days. Donald Trump. Brexit. Marine Le Pen and a hundred other racist far-right populists riding a wave of fear toward power and destruction. Our families, our neighbors, and our values are under assault by cowards who puff themselves up by screeching hate and lies and rancid ideas.

We can’t let this darkness take hold.

Fireside relaunched this week with a new website, but most importantly, a new reason for being. Yes, we’re still going to be telling great stories from all genres and all communities. But we’re going to be resisting, too.

I got the tattoo at the top of this post on January 3. It was the first one my artist did in the new year, and she said it felt right to start 2017 that way. The words on my arm are the ones Woody Guthrie wrote on his guitars and banjos. Art is a weapon. There is power in writing, in words, in music and painting and photography. The power to inspire. To teach. To give hope and comfort and joy. Fireside is going to be looking for stories and essays that help anchor us to the world that we deserve, not to the one these sons of bitches are trying to sell us while they steal our futures.

Is every story going to be political? Too late. Every story has ALWAYS been political. Some, like Andrea Phillips The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike, will be more explicitly so than others. We’ll work to make you laugh and cry and to give you the strength to fight, on the streets, on the phones, on the Internet and in your homes and schools and places of worship.

We’ll be there with you. We will fight. And we will win.

About the author

Brian J. White is the editor and publisher of Fireside.

© 2017 Brian J. White

About the author

Brian J. White

Brian White started Fireside in 2012 with a Kickstarter and a whole lot of love. Over the next five years as editor and publisher – with the help of his amazing team and of Lauren, his wife and partner in crime – he expanded Fireside from a one-off magazine to a monthly publication to its current form, a site with weekly fiction and occasional nonfiction. Fireside published 150 stories under his tenure, as well as five novels and one novella. He is deeply proud to have had a part in bringing those stories into the world. He was gratified to have proved that writers can be paid more for their work than the industry accepted, and perhaps most proud of the #BlackSpecFic report that Fireside published in 2016. He stepped down as editor and publisher in the summer of 2017, but he remains an equity partner in the company.