The story by Dan Todd is presented here in the original verse format. The book is currently in print in a prose edition published under the pseudonym Lang Gore.
. . . I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
-Revelation 10:9, 1
Bay grimaced. “Fucking bladder is about to burst;
I know there is no way in fucking hell
That I will make it off this goddamn bus
Before I piss my fucking pants;
I will piss my fucking pants before we stop,
I know I will, I know I will,”
He malevolently muttered beneath his breath.
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So I attended the LA Anarchist Book Fair this last weekend (September 8, 2012), and had a pretty good time. The Usual Suspects were there selling books that spanned the range from working class anarchism all the way to the post-left anarchist experiment. A nice mix of folks, old and young, Latino, white and black swirling past the tables picking up this pamphlet and that book. I had a table given to me by the organizers that had belonged to a group who had canceled last minute–if they read this Thanks! You folks did an awesome job. So I sold a few Modern Slavery’s and enjoyed the sun; topped it off with a vegan tamale and left at about four. One striking thing in all this is the level of energy that happens at these events, and the sneaking suspicion that given the chance these folks could, in a heartbeat, make this great sprawling city into a garden, a refuge, a place where poverty had become impossible, and where the measure of life is happiness, and not suffering. I also, for the younger folks, felt a deep sentiment of appreciation and gratitude, when in the late 70s and 80s the world was turning into a global insane asylum a handful of holdouts were stubborn enough to keep a thin black flame burning–and hoping for better days. I count myself as one of those last men and women on the barricade. And better days are here, at last, let’s not waste them. The police fear us–they tell as much in their press releases, the FBI is sure that we’re all putting acid in eggs (LSD?) let’s make that shock and awe stick. Better Dead than Fed! Every night this week a cop should wake up in a cold sweat and feel his sphincter tingle at the thought of a line of anarchists facing him down, or even worse because he’s thinking of joining us because he knows he’s on the wrong side. We have an entire world to take back from our enemies. Lets do it quickly–before they have a chance to try and smother the flame yet again.
So the news is mixed, three of the remaining Cleveland 4 have plead guilty to the charges, the last man is being evaluated for “competency” which is the right to say 2 + 2 = 5, in this twisted society. All four will be sentenced together and it seems the lawyers have said that with a plea in they should get no more that 5 years each, as opposed to over 30 if found guilty. I don’t trust that the judge will go along with the deal and this may all end in long and terrible sentences being handed down–especially with the FBI wanting to look mean–not like J Edgar in a dress–we can only hope. Personally I prefer J Edgar in the dress. More later.
The title of this entry refers to Galleani’s pamphlet on revolutionary military science, available in Italian from the magazine Cronica Sovversiva (Subversive Chronicle) published during the first two decades in the US. The subject of this entry is a quick discussion of the Cleveland 4 (used to be 5 but one of the guys plead guilty and will probably turn on his friends and via slanderous rhetoric sink them into the federal pen for several decades). Anyway these folks were identified and set up by the FBI (Fucking Bureau of Idiots), allegedly sold “explosives” and allegedly tried to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, evidently well traveled by the well-heeled. They face the court on 9/17 with a fast-tracked trial designed to ensure that justice, as usual, is abandoned far from the precinct of the court. Anyway to help the 4 out here are two links to websites: http://www.cleveland5justice.org/ and http://www.indiegogo.com/Cleveland4Justice. I am adding a few bucks and encourage you folks out there to do likewise. These Social War prisoners deserve freedom, and for those of you unconvinced–take a look at the website and ask yourself–How would it be to face decades of imprisonment at the age these young men appear to be? Or at any age for that matter? No one should be in jail ever, for anything. And to our FBI foes, remember We Never Forget–and your time is coming.
Where is the ultimate point to which each of us can apply the most leverage for changing our world?
This question has already been answered in a thousand ways in just about every religion, philosophy and ideology produced in history. However, all of these answers are useful primarily to priests, dogmatists and ideologues rather than to those of us who refuse ideologies. They each require first and foremost that we adopt a necessary ideological standpoint, including its pre-given attitudes and values. And that we simultaneously renounce our own actual standpoint – our attitudes and values, our own selves – as the price of ideological submission.
The physical point from which Archimedes of Syracuse claimed that he would be able to move the Earth off its foundation is obviously mythical. As is the ideal “Archimedean point” from which an observer could be said to obtain a purely objective and therefore complete view of an object. The first is an imaginary point of leverage (application of force using a lever to magnify its effectiveness), the second an imaginary point of view (a perspectiveless perspective like that attributed to an omniscient god). Neither is of much use to those of us who want to actually change our world in our own liberating, non-ideological ways.
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Welcome to Modern Slavery #1. The first full issue of this journal has now taken half a decade to come to fruition. It’s been a struggle on many fronts to turn the original impulse and idea into reality. But from here on there’s no turning back and we refuse to be stopped!
The Modern Slavery project is a direct successor to previous C.A.L. Press projects. These include the magazine Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed (published since 1980, and now produced by an independent collective since 2006), the North American Anarchist Review (published for a few years in the ’80s), the Alternative Press Review (another magazine, published from 1993 well into the 2000s, with a web site that’s still occasionally updated at both www.altpr.org & www.alternativepressreview.org), and the C.A.L. Press book publishing project (with titles including Future Primitive, Anarchy after Leftism and Elements of Refusal).
[pullquote]The original idea for this new journal was to provide a space within the libertarian and anarchist milieu for the publication of some of the really important, critical and creative material that has too often fallen into the cracks between what will fit into the inadequate spaces available in libertarian periodicals and what has been publishable in book form.[/pullquote]
The original idea for this new journal was to provide a space within the libertarian and anarchist milieu for the publication of some of the really important, critical and creative material that has too often fallen into the cracks between what will fit into the inadequate spaces available in libertarian periodicals and what has been publishable in book form. Most of us probably already know that there are far too few libertarian and anarchist periodicals in the first place. Of those that exist most are infrequent, small and undependable. And of those that do publish more than one issue, many have very narrow editorial conceptions, excluding even the possibility of presenting much new, original and creative material – which also tends to result in restricting their availability to tiny circulations of the like-minded. But even for those that are open to publishing the most important and exciting material, the ability to present more than short essays, reviews and other material is lacking due to limitations of format, space and frequency of publication. To make this sad situation even worse, libertarian book publishing is largely in the same situation. A relatively small number of very small publishers exist (like C.A.L. Press itself, with only three titles in print) that usually cater to very narrow editorial niches, along with even fewer larger libertarian publishers. The smaller publishers have perennial problems with funding and distribution, while the larger publishers tend to function as ideological gate-keepers preventing more creative and challenging material from appearing in editions that might get more circulation, in favor of mediocre material that often promotes popular ideologies – often whether or not they have any significant libertarian content, coherence or value. You know this stuff. It’s often, though luckily not always, poorly written, poorly edited and poorly produced. It includes boat-loads of uncreative, uncritical material pushing a full spectrum of left and right-wing ideologies, like social democracy, liberal feminism, identity politics and postmodernism. At best it’s provided with thin libertarian coatings. At worst with heavy-handed ideological pronouncements that can be mistaken as (or occasionally actually are) Leninist, Trotskyist, Stalinist or Maoist in inspiration.
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Modern slavery should need no introduction. Modern slavery already intrudes into every aspect of life, debasing all it touches. It is the underlying organizing principle for all major economic institutions east and west, north and south. Its support and defense are the unspoken but automatically-understood objects of all major – and the vast majority of the minor – social, political and cultural institutions. Its infrastructure and demands extend into the deepest levels of modern consciousness, coloring our dreams as well as our nightmares. Yet modern slavery is largely invisible.
Modern slavery is officially non-existent. It has been tossed down the memory hole. It is not spoken of in polite company. Every institutional and government functionary, from the lowest levels of bureaucratic purgatory to the upper levels of elite power, knows instinctively that any explicit mention of its name as a contemporary reality means instant social death within the hierarchy. It is a rare day when it is acknowledged in any public context, even by the most radical or reckless of iconoclasts.
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