Getting Our Ass Beat in the Age of Saturn

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

withyermind

“Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.”
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“What denies you is an illusion… A curse put upon you by the heartless… You knew from the very beginning… And yet, you cowered in fear… Will you die as you are told…? Who will you obey…? Cursed words spat out by a seething illusion? Or the truth within your own soul? Contract… I am thou, thou art I… The forbidden wisdom has been revealed. No mysteries… No illusions shall deceive you any longer.” –Persona 5

It’s 5am as the darkness pervades, and with it the unwelcome chill of death. Ice is building up on palm fronds. Manatees have hidden deep within the springs. Streets are empty of raccoons, possums, and all manner of nightlife. It is so cold iguanas are literally falling out of trees and turtles are washing up dead. Only the frosted beams of souls off to work exist to light the way, comfortable in warm cars.

On the sidewalk shuffles a shadow, bundled up in a trenchcoat and black hat, struggling to stay warm. He holds a small beat up radio in one ungloved hand, the only companion for a long and arduous journey. Under the flickering street lights you can see his eyes are tired, tear ducts swollen yet undisturbed. He watches the cars go by, very aware he is in another world; he smells the dogshit, the open sewers, while they cannot. He appears like a ghost, flicking into reality with each vehicle passing by.

He’s on his way to pick up his car from a parking lot. He has chosen to do so at 5am and with the temps at 30 degrees in the hopes it won’t light on fire and kill him when he attempts to drive it home. The car is toast, the engine victim to a failure the mechanic “never seen before.”

“The amount of pressure must have been incredible” he had said, shaking his bearded head to note the horror, “normally you gotta hammer the freeze plug in. We figured okay, maybe a radiator leak or something, but that bitch was GONE. Your fluid drained out and the engine overheated. Not only that but ya heads blew.”  He pauses for a moment, as if to hammer home just how much he cares. “I’m sorry to tell you this but at this kind of mileage you’re going to need a whole new engine.”

“And how much would that cost?”

“About $4,500 dollars.”

The jeep cost $3,000. It sounds like bullshit. Has to be. I laughed because all I could do was laugh.

The laugh of rent increases, firings, or deadly diseases caught at emergency rooms when you have no insurance; the chuckle you get when you watch dreams die. To be poor is to know it well, to carry it in your pocket. It usually grows like a callous right over your heart to match the ones on your hands.

And my hands were calloused.

Christmas brought news about my mother-in-law’s disability case. My wife has cared for her mother since she was sixteen, her high school years spent in apartments with no electricity and having to beg for sanitary necessities. Her mother didn’t work. She did at one time but the PTSD of having her husband kick her down the stairs and beat her within an inch of her life makes crowds impossible. Since we started dating, almost ten years, we’ve payed every bill and effectively spent the same amount of money supporting her as if we had a child. My wife has lost her entire childhood. She’s never woken up to an empty house, never sang a song simply to herself; she’s spent every waking moment worrying about someone in the other room. If that thump on the floor was someone hanging themselves or a cat knocking something over. You can see it in the darting of the eyes, the restless and frustrated sighs.

The hope was both parties might have what they call a normal life.

The judge’s decision came in an envelope that was beaten to shit. Her mother would get enough from the State to pay the light bill, some food, and that was about it. She couldn’t afford to live on her own. My wife and I had planned and imagined what life might be like, just the two of us. Holding the letter, hands shaking, it became suddenly clear those dreams would never, ever happen.

My wife cried for three days, inconsolable, her one chance at her own life gone forever. She worries we’ll never have children now. How can we afford it? She cries and cries and all I can do is hide my own anger and rage.

The two weekends later, dazed out of her wits on anti-psychotic meds, my mother in law walked into the bathroom and proceeded to eject half a gallon of liquid shit in the closet. On our clothes. She then passed out on the floor, hitting her head. We had planned to spend that Saturday night out with a friends, the same as any other twenty-something couple does. We instead spent it cleaning her off, mopping and scrubbing the floor, gagging and retching from the smell. Out of towels at one point, my wife decided to use an old t-shirt.

Life is good it says, with a big smiley covered in human feces.

She can’t help but laugh. “The irony is not lost on me.”

After adjusting we dreamed new dreams: maybe take the plunge into debt and get a house. After all, we’d never be on our own so me might as well own something that was ours. Apply for that first-time home owner’s loan. Paint it how we wanted, plant those banana trees I had read about, stop paying rent and at least craft a warm place for us to die. We had a new city picked out and were set to start hunting Thursday morning. Somewhere calm and peaceful farther down south, away from the highways and tourists. I made plans for turning the Florida Room into a writer’s den and hoped to find something next to a forest; she began picking themes to direct our painting and decorating. We could make it work. Our lives may not be the ones we wanted but we would make it work.

My wife lost her job on the 3rd. The car was pronounced dead the same day. Crossing the street, clouds of breath escaping from my collar, I laugh even now. A freak accident. By Wednesday that week every step forward for the year previous had been undone. Every dream, every hope, ripped away. My insides felt as cold as the air scraping against my throat, hurt in ways they don’t make words for.

The lot is open, and I walk over to the jeep, allowing my fingers to trail along the door of a nearby luxury vehicle. I attempt to scrape the ice off my windshield but succeed in only wiping free a small hole about the size of my palm. This will be my only visual for about two miles at fifty-five miles per hour, a desperate race to get home before the engine starts shooting out flames. There’s no coolant and the damn thing wouldn’t hold any even if I had some.  As I adjust my seat I reach into my pocket, pulling out a small flask of Sailor Jerry’s. Three sips, 93 proof each, enough to warm my stomach and agitate the blood. One last ride, windows down, and loose enough to enjoy it.

What have I got to fucking lose?

Read more here….

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Survive the Fascist Apocalypse with This ONE WEIRD TRICK

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

withyermind

“The members of the great criminal gangs have mutual relations that are strongly marked with communism. If they represent a survival from a prior age, we can also consider them as the precursors of a better age in the future. In all cities they know where to address themselves so they’ll be received and hidden. Up to a certain point they show themselves to be generous and prodigal towards those of their milieu. If they consider the rich as their natural enemies, as a legitimate prey – a point of view quite difficult to contradict – a large number of them are animated by the spirit of Robin Hood; when it comes to the poor many thieves show themselves to have a good heart.” – Edward Carpenter, Civilization, its Cause and Cure

“The difference between the student radicals and the Hells Angels is that the students are rebelling against the past, while the Angels are fighting the future.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

She walks through crumbling streets and decaying buildings, neon lights reflected in dirty puddles made dark by ash. Thunder rumbles in the distance, and the smell of yet another wildfire runs across her nose. The street fills with a shadow and she ducks into a doorway. Above her a drone projects ads onto the dim and dirty clouds.

“\(◎o◎)/!マブダチ! Sell plasma & organs for BTC/$$$! Contact Versa Labs today! (*^▽^*)”

“Service. Trust. Belonging. Don’t you want a life off-world? Indentured Employment Awaits… scan this ad for immediate referral…”

“PACIFICATION OFFICERS ON CANAL STREET. RECORDING IS A CRIME. OBSTRUCTION IS A CRIME. LETHAL FORCE WILL BE INITIATED.”

The last projection summons up a hail of gunfire from some distant location. The drone goes down and she can hear cheers.

She waits though she doesn’t know why. She’s safe. The cops don’t come out here, the few businesses all know who runs these streets. The drone is just an adtek, and though it can record conversations it’s highly unlikely to do so. The sheer fact it came out here must mean it was wildly off course. Magnetic wave? Solar storm? Perhaps it was piloted? She thinks for a minute perhaps the air feels different, but her AppleBR locket faithfully reads the air is just as dirty here as anywhere else. What’s different? What’s changed?

As she continues on she begins to notice the posters. Recruitment, statements of importance, warnings to enemies to leave or face the consequences. Homemade solar panels and ragtag assortments of Oniwire spread out like spider webs. She knows they put them up, because the Safe Zones have to have special permission to mess with the network. All at a cost. Here she’s not so sure if they pay anything…

A few eyes stare out at her, surprisingly calm. They’re well fed and for a moment she’s embarrassed of her sullen cheeks. They know why she’s here. The checkpoints she passed earlier told her they’d alert the territory so she could pass by freely. She’d proven she was clear after a month-long investigation. Now here she was, ready to join the revolution.

Ready to fight. Ready to live. Ready to escape the endless nothingness promised to her by the crumbling governments of the orbiting stations where Google, Tesla, and Amazon all lived. She was free, finally, and she would make the world pay dearly for her slavery.

She sees a familiar face, the contact she’d run into at King Bao. An elfen little thing with green hair, tall boots, and a rifle slung around her back that looked as natural as the bangs hanging across her face. A far cry from the little mouse she’d first noticed singing “sunglasses at nite” on top of a bar counter.

A flag hangs above the doorway she stands in… what is it?

Is there a swastika on it? Red and black triangles? The skull and crossbones of an Egoist Union?

Are the people there all white? Multiracial? Do nooses hang from lampposts or do fruit trees grow over prisons? Is the territory an ethno-enclave, a node in an international union, or the nearest front in a riot that runs across continents? Do the people worship the God of No God or do full moons bring chants and sacrifice, ancient beings summoned from depths and dimensions we can barely fathom?

The conditions for all those things to be possible are on their way. They are manifesting as we speak. Which possibility becomes reality will be decided by who wins.

Because we are in a very special time.

And it is either the greatest of gifts or the bleakest of curses.

It’s All Over But the Crying

moshed_2017-11-12_21.10.39

The American government knows it’s on its last legs. From deeming the dystopian cities of the future “ungovernable” to the super rich buying bunkers and private armies everybody seems very aware that all is not well in “the land of the free.”

Everyone outside a small fetish scene consisting of Rachel Maddow and blue donkeys is well aware there never was a recovery after the Great Recession94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the “alternative work category” and defined as “generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits.” Over 60% was due to the rise of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.” In other words, nearly all of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional nine-to-five employment. Our economy has been completely restructured, as if by design, resulting in a captive population living on the edge and willing to undergo any hardship to stay alive.

This new serf-dom is still too little too late. We have reached a tipping point where technology is now destroying more jobs than it creates.

“In fact, some 47% of present jobs in the US could be computerized in the next 10 to 20 years, according to an Oxford University study published in 2013.

‘When people no longer receive the money from wages they need to support their families, it is hard to know what they will do, but in the past and in other countries this has been thought of as a situation ripe for a revolution,’ Wallach said.

Wallach would later add that this “dire response” can be avoided through “welfare reforms or job subsidies” and “redistributing some of the capital growth.”

Which of course is exactly the OPPOSITE of what the US is doing.

Trump’s tax plan is not yet law, but only has one more vote in both the House and Senate on what’s called “the conference report.” Since the House and Senate passed different versions of it, Republicans have to merge them into one version which is then voted on by both.

We aren’t sure what the final thing will look like, but if it bares any resemblance to what it does now the American people are FUCKED.

It has massive tax cuts to the rich and corporations, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, along with $1 trillion ADDED to the deficit which will force deep cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security in the not too distant future.

But perhaps most shocking of all is the total elimination of the estate tax, better known as the tax on inheritances. With its absence the United States would become the most heavily armed enclave for the wealthy in the world, a mountain-dew soaked version of Brazil where the majority live in absolute poverty while the upper crust hide trillions in houses, land, and shell corporations.

Essentially every dollar that goes up to the bourgeoisie will never be coming back down again.

If revolution was a mere possibility before it’s practically guaranteed now. The only question is whose revolution will it be?

Read more here…

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New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day and the people are lining up at Macy’s. Eight on one entrance, six on another, 5 on yet another. Every entrance surrounded like a SWAT team ready to kill an innocent person. Waiting for the doors to open. Waiting to buy things.

New Year’s Day and the machine rolls on. Any half-way decent country, in the wake of a national holiday, might declare a national day of rest. Of recovery. But the machine rooooooooolls on.

As it rolls on we must awaken to fulfill our roles for the machine. Up at 5am. Late. Running to work across wet grass. Opening boxes. Stocking shelves.

“How many pallets we got coming in?” The truck driver won’t answer. He asks again. “How many we got coming in?”
“Eighteen.”
“E-eighteen? Son of a BITCH.” Eyes above dark bags, half-sunken and half-asleep buck at the load. “And we don’t have more people?”
“This is all we got.”

So it goes.

The night before  Kim Jung Un warns the President of the United States that a “nuclear button” was always resting on his desk, ready to strike North America at any moment. Top US officials say a nuclear war with North Korea is “closer than ever” and that they cannot see any diplomatic solution to the crisis. That it could have popped off last night.

New Year’s Eve. In the middle of our drunken revelries, totally unaware, our lives could have been wiped off the face of the fucking planet and nobody would’ve been the wiser; the officers in every hotel along 7th Avenue, leading to 42nd Street in Manhattan, placed specifically for rooftop or hotel room shooters would be powerless to save us. They tried I suppose. Umbrellas, backpacks and duffel bags were prohibited. But the raging hot oblivion would still have reduced us to ashes.

And we’d have no say in it.

Our material safety, our security, our very existences are in the hands of people who we have no influence over, who we don’t know, and who can decide whether we live or die on a whim. Internationally there is a gigantic game of chicken being waged between two assholes and we are completely dependent on them.

Our lives aren’t our own.

Even with the threat of radioactive fire peeling the atoms from our bones the machine goes on. The stores must open up. The trucks keep coming in, the boxes MUST be opened. Put on the shelf. So that other people might buy them with money they’ve earned from the machine.

We aren’t in control of our lives. We aren’t even in control of our own deaths. Shuttled around from place to place.

“When the time comes,” I say to my co-worker, “when someone comes in and shoots us all you have to promise me something.”

She looks puzzled. “And what’s that?”

“Please don’t let me die in my uniform. Take my workshirt off and let me bleed out in my undershirt. Tell my wife I love her. Drag me out of the building if you can and let me die near a palmetto rather than on this shitty-ass floor.”

She laughs, thinks I’m kidding. She gets serious. “As long as you promise to do the same for me.”

I saw a bag of cereal today, a quick meal for the worker on his way to the machine. It was nothing more than popcorn sweetened and sold for $2.24 a bag. Corn, a type of grass. Funny isn’t? The same diet we feed to domesticated animals sold to weary eyes and hungry faces. Grass. Millions of people running around and doing as their told, herded from pen to pen; waiting blankly, munching contentedly, as one shepard argues with another.

Line up. Don’t want to miss a sale. Forget the lives of all those people far away our leaders plan on killing.

Amazing. If North Korea were ever to strike the United States with any kind of nuclear weapon…what’s to gain exactly? The United States would wage a war of extermination. There may very well not be any kind of Korea left. The United States wouldn’t bat an eye and not a single person outside that Macy’s would give a shit. The most abject and naked brutality could be indiscriminately hoisted upon an entire population and these motherfuckers wouldn’t lose a single wink of sleep.

I stand here, stealing my owner’s time, wondering if the North Koreans don’t feel the same; that even if they died, even if everything they loved got wiped off the fucking map, would they at least be vaporized contentedly knowing they had inflicted some measure of pain on us? That they’d hurt us?

What kind of world is this where all we can hope for is some modicum of revenge? Where the only thing that counts as victory are small droplets of blood drawn by a hand only vaguely associated with you? Whose actions spelled your own death?

What kind of world are we living in? That we’ve created? What kind of existence is this?

The television and internet are ablaze with images of other people like us, humans who think and feel. We parade their corpses around like elephant tusks. We play show after show filled with mugshots and chained bodies on grey plantations as a threat to those on the outside. Follow the rules, don’t make a ruckus, and you’ll be alright.

Unless of course you aren’t. Unless of course those same rules send your entire family into a nuclear hellscape, unless of course you watch the flesh peel off small children, eyeballs dangling down their cheeks because their still attached to optic nerves. Unless of course the smell of vomit and piss and shit and rotting corpses fills every place you once thought beautiful.

But today’s a holiday, so we don’t worry, leaving such thoughts to the voices of the horrified. It’s New Years Day and the people are lining up at Macy’s.

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Meet the Hellbeast that Owns Your Future

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

trumpflagThere we were, standing on the edge of everything.

We were about a mile and a half from the asphalt of State Highway 192, a long and winding stretch of road originally built in 1918 and running to what was then bunch of orange groves called Kissimmee. Much has changed since then, the fishers and farmers gone; now a life is made by hawking theme park tickets or designing death machines for Harris and Northrop-Grumman.

Huddled, herded, people everywhere in a rush to hurry up and wait. Going nowhere in particular, really doing nothing, no time to be anything but what the clock demanded.

Our camp might have well existed on another planet, miles and miles of nothing but marshland and pine trees fencing us in like fort walls from that deary world. Given a temporary reprieve of “progress” this territory was as wild today as it appeared to the Ais and the Jaega who were all wiped out over 250 years ago. In these untouched places you can still get a sense of what Florida is really about, what lies beneath all the concrete and neon signs. For now anyway. The hotels march ever inward, the suburbs continue to grow, and one day perhaps not a single orange grove will be left in a state that was known for them. That or we’ll drown.

But as long as these places remain so too will all the weirdness associated with them. It is said by the country folk that traverse these waters and forests many an odd beast still stalks and swims the hinterlands just like this, things that don’t quite fit the mold of “modern living:” Skunk Ape, two-headed birds, super hogs that stood as tall as a grown man’s shoulder and could rip his guts out in less than a second, all rumored to lie just beyond the edge of my fire.

I wasn’t worried. I doubt they were as deadly or dangerous as the beast I’d been tracking.
The one that was waiting at the pavement and would not leave me alone.

I could feel its eyes on me, even now, as I threw another palm frond on to the burning coffee branches and patted the .357 resting snugly in my pocket. Twilight was approaching and above the pine trees I could still hear the whisper of the highway and the anonymous souls traversing it. I tried to focus on anything at that point: the sound of the wind running through the pines, the hum of dragonflies and the treading of nearby deer. I thought about joining my wife in the camping hammock, resting under the blue tarp and swaying in the breeze. Out here so much of the what was “important” drifted away.

But every time I tried to lose myself, drifting into Things As They Were, the… thing… would make a noise, snapping my head back to the road where I could make out its hairy shadow. Yes, it was out there, prowling and sniffing at the trail head where our jeep was parked, buzzing like a hive of angry bees.

“Look.” I regained focus to find my wife now out of our hanging home and pointing to the edge where tree met sky. “All that light pollution. That’s coming from town.” I stood, brushing the dirt onto my pants and nervously popped in a toothpick.

“Really? This far? That’s… Jesus, what? 20 miles?”

“No wonder you can never see the stars.” I nodded, torn away from thoughts of doom to marvel at the symbol we’d become. Behind us was nothing but inky darkness, the jungle and pines now claimed by bobcats, mosquitos, and bull gators; in front of us the mechanized world of human society, its masks, roles, and social engineering. Here we were, creatures torn between two poles of evolution, making camp between the atavistic shadows of animal instinct and the bee-hive techhell of light and sophistication.

“The border,” I whispered, “that’s all I want; the frontier between the two.”

“Hm? What’d you say babe?”

“N-nothing. Nothing.” My gaze once again drawn towards the highway. From a distance I could pick up the sound of metallic teeth gnawing on the tires of my jeep, a dull grind I had heard echo in schools and prisons.

I patted the revolver, wishing I had packed silver bullets, but even then I knew I stood no chance. I made my peace with my ancestors and made a promise to go down defiant till the end.

Things that Bite

The world is much more savage than Sunday school would lead you to believe. It is filled with killers, liars, hustlers, pimps, and that’s just the folks that make the laws. Beyond the seeing eye, invisible save for the sensitives, lie the swarms and packs of negative entities.

Legends abound as to what and why these creatures are. No one can say for sure, though the magical record shows human beings have been cleansing, warding, and blessing everything in an attempt to keep them at bay. For better or worse they are a simple fact of life and, if shades questioned under full moons are to be believed, they might even hound beyond the grave.

These creatures range from hostile gluttons who hunger for suffering to mere bundles of blind motivations, but through it all the breed can be immediately recognized for its parasitic existence. The living must suffer for them to live.

The blessed can sense these creatures when a thought unlike their own takes up residence in the aura while the doomed seem oblivious to the constant sound of burrowing and munching.

“I had no idea what came over me,” says one woman. “I just kept thinking god wanted me to kill my son until finally I had to do it.”

“The house, it was always the house,” says another, “whenever we went inside we just felt sad and depressed. I kept drinking and smoking and crying but I couldn’t shake it. I knew I had to die.”

Stock and trade for the average Conjurer is chasing out evil spirits or breaking their bones; fevered words stained with Rue Water and sage smoke increase the spiritual heat until nothing negative can remain. Old school practitioners used to pop red pepper, cayenne, and sulfur in a glowing cast iron skillet to really lay the heat on thick, carrying the pan and its toxic plumes of smoke from room to room until no spirit or person could stand it any longer. You can’t kill the things of course, only chase them away and build fences to keep them out.

But how can you ward against the future?

Weird shakings had been reported near the Gods & Radicals Astral Office and as chief correspondent of the Cataclysmic Affairs section it was my job to lead an inquiry into what the fuck was going on. Reports were sketchy, rushed and hazy: some new creature had been seen grappling with the probability clouds that bring manifestation to The Ten Billion Things, a sure sign that whatever it was would soon rewrite our own plane of existence. It was big, ugly, and overwhelmingly negative; witnesses reported it had tentacles in almost every home in America and was soaking small children in ectoplasm. As the resident Hoodooman my assignment was to track the beast for a bit, to study its maneuvers and habits in the hope that it might better be killed. On the advice of my editors I made a living will in case I died during the course of my investigation.

If I die, the legally-binding scrap of napkin began, in the journalistic service of Gods & Radicals, or barring that in some low-down Reporter of Fortune capacity that walks the fine line between investigation and criminal activity, I desire that my body be left near enough to the Everglades to be feasted upon by the wild critters therein. My bones however, stripped and cleaned, are to be kept and passed to my kin and comrades as tools for summoning. My skull and hands, mask and jacket, are to be incased in some secret shrine where those seeking necromantic aid might petition favor and spectral assistance to insurrectionary activities with Sailor Jerry’s, bullets, and alligator jerky. Also please riot.

Legally secure I set out to track a creature that had no name, could change shapes, and would no doubt eviscerate what most of humanity thought “the future” was going to look like.

What I found was ghastly, horrid, and made me seriously question the idea of bringing kids into the world…

Read more here…

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Tripping Balls and Learning to Work with The Patron Saint of Criminals

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

trumpflag

“The revolutionary knows that in the very depths of his being, not only in words but also in deeds, he has broken all the bonds which tie him to the social order and the civilized world with all its laws, moralities, and customs, and with all its generally accepted conventions. He is their implacable enemy, and if he continues to live with them it is only in order to destroy them more speedily.” – Sergey Genadievich Nechayev, Catechism of a Revolutionary

“The State’s behavior is violence, and it calls its violence ‘law’; that of the individual, ‘crime’… .only by crime does he overcome the State’s violence when he thinks that the State is not above him, but he is above the State.” – Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own

“The illegalist milieu also illuminates a singular aspect of utopia, specifically that when the anarchist society is realized it will not be as a result of some esoteric will-to-liberty, or a Freudian erotic demiurge, nor as the result and sum of a labored economic equation, rather utopia will arise as a function of necessity, as banal as breakfast and as certain as summer heat.” – Paul Z. Simons, “Illegalism: Why Pay for a Revolution on the Installment Plan… When You Can Steal One?”

I am heaving now, clumsily reaching for a bucket as vomit flies out of my mouth at high speeds. All my wife can do is look on in horror, my eyes moving wildly as small whimpers creep from my disjointed jaw.

The drugs. Something is wrong with the drugs.

Sweat is not supposed to be dripping from my head. My legs and arms keep curling and I’m losing muscle control. I try to go back in my head, try to recall exactly what I took but I can’t. Everything is going black. My kidneys feel like they’re on fire. In between vomiting I can feel my body seizing and shaking, as my soul screams to be released from the pain lighting up my nerves. Blood is pouring from my mouth. A hallucination? I gasp for air, waves of pure dread emanating from my aura.

My wife scoots closer and grips my hand. She is saying something. I can’t make out the words. I can barely recognize her face. My hearing has stopped. Now I’m shaking. Something has gone wrong, very wrong.

All this for a simple question: “Who is Jesus Malverde?”

¡Que Malverde es Milagroso!

Turpentine_workers_in_Florida(Court Case Work with Jesus Malverde)

Who is Jesus Malverde?

Much like any question regarding Anarchism, Communism, or if a revolver is a valid choice for everyday carry, the answers depend on who you ask.

To cops he’s a symbol of criminal activity, his image “suspicious” enough to cause your car to be searched; to the Catholic Church he’s a foreign and pagan invader, a “narco saint” dressing up murder and drug-dealing in the guise of religion; to the working class of Mexico he is a hero, a loving soul that blesses border crossings, protects from corrupt police, and ensures the faithful never starve.

Perhaps he is all these things and more. My own dealings with the Saint seemed to suggest as such. I had been introduced to Jesus Malverde through a Conjure Woman by the name of Mama Micki. She had worked with him for many years, petitioning him for help with her job and gambling, and after reading a few articles of mine knew we’d be a good fit. “I thought you would be interested in Jesus Malverde because he was more interested in helping people than supporting an unjust system,” she told me. “He robbed the rich and gave to the poor.”

Well, I thought, who better for an Anarchist advocating violence, theft, and violence than a Saint who knew that route all too well?

The results were incredible.

My first act was simple enough: printing out two images of him, taping them to two white novena candles, offering water and tequila and asking for a sign he’d be interested in helping me. A taxi driver recognized me on a walk that day out of the blue and gave me a free ride. Keeping this simple set up that ran me about $10 I asked his aid for a hopeless court case I had fallen victim to, one where “guilt” was a very grey term.

I can remember that petition, paying fervently and promising that if Malverde aided me I’d build him a permanent altar in my home and send money to a children’s charity in Mexico. I watched in amazement as I felt a vaguely human shape sit upfrom the altar, say the word’s “okay, let’s go,” throw on a mask and disappear to the East.

Not only did Malverde make the whole thing go my way he made sure my insurance rates miraculously never went up. He brought me total victory and in return all he asked was that I make a donation to the poor.

This was a power the Weird Left had to know, a champion of the oppressed. Who better for the magical Anarchist to have as a patron than someone who gives fuck-all about the law and instead focuses on what’s right?

According to the legend Jesus Malverde was born in Culiacán, Sinoloa in the late 1800’s. Like the majority of the proletariat of Mexico he was destined to a life of starvation and poverty like his working-class parents, and by all accounts he lived a normal life. That changed when his parents died due to malnutrition in a land of plenty. Jesus, incensed and determined not to suffer the same fate, decided to make a change.

He became a criminal.

Jesus began robbing carriages at gunpoint, quickly gaining notoriety for his bravery and cunning in liberating the wealthy from their ill-gotten gains. As his exploits became renowned Jesus upgraded his methods, learning to pick locks, plan raids, and become a master of stealth; he became a burglar, ran a gang, and gathered intelligence to ensure every job supplied him with greater and greater loot.

Jesus Malverde never kept his prizes and instead shared them among the poor. Clothes, jewelry, and priceless antiques were fenced to buy medicine, cancel debts, and even bury the dead. No one went hungry and to the people all over the state of Sinaloa Jesus became known as “The Angel of the Poor” or “The Generous Bandit.”

The wealthy were afraid. Through guile, strength, and sheer guts he lifted the peasantry out of squalor. He exploits were dangerous enough, and quickly becoming the stuff of legend. The governor of Sinaloa, Francisco Cañedo, had even had his home broken into by the bandit. What if word spread farther across Mexico and imitators no doubt followed? Something had to be done.

Malverde was eventually betrayed by a member of his gang for a 10,000 peso reward. On May 3rd 1909 he was sentenced to death by hanging, and it is said his final words were “do not forget my people.”

Governor Cañedo, wanting to warn those of the gang who survived and intimidate the peasantry, demanded Malverde’s corpse be left to rot on a mesquite tree and promised a swift death to any who cut him down.

For a nation of Catholics this was a particularly cruel punishment, and implied Malverde would never know peace in the afterlife. And maybe it worked. Three days after Malverde died the betrayer was caught and murdered. Governor Cañedo died 33 days later.

The police intended to keep Malverde in torment, even with the Governor dead. The threat of execution still loomed. Gang members and peasants, in an attempt to right the state’s wrong, began to toss stones at the corpse’s feet whenever they passed it, eventually covering the body up and building a makeshift tomb.

It was from this tomb Malverde would perform his first miracle. A man was traveling near the body one night with mules who were loaded down with gold, a very uncommon thing for a “law-abiding citizen.” The mules ran off and took the man’s fortune with it. In total desperation, and quite possibly fearing reprisal for his bad luck, the man prayed for Malverde’s aid from beyond the grave.

Quickly, even as the man finished his prayer, the donkey’s returned as if lead by an unseen hand. The man cut down the corpse in gratitude and buried it in a secret place, a place still unknown to this day. The stones remained as a monument and word quickly spread:

Jesus Malverde had not forgotten his people. A Saint had been born.

The Responsible Thing to Do

Turpentine_workers_in_Florida(Source: GRNlive)

So the history was intriguing: murder, robbery, and a steadfast dedication to the exploited. Yes, this was my fucking man! The people had to know! But how to tell them?

The Weird Left deserved more than a mere listicle. I wanted to really get to know my new patron, a Saint both my wife and I had grown to love, while at the same time making him available to the masses; a sort of keenly subjective assault on altered reality in search of the gnosis of Jesus Malverde, the unutterable fullness behind the image, not just who he is or what he’s about but what he means.

If he’d been alive I’d have bought him a stream of drinks, recorded our conversation, and mused deeply on its implications.

This avenue was unavailable due to Malverde being dead, so I figured I’d do what any responsible journalist would: load up on hallucinogens and fervently call to the Saint beyond the veil, praying direct knowledge permeate my being on a cellular level.

And after that?

whatever happens happens on Tumblr

As of this writing my kidneys still hurt and the vomit won’t wash out of the carpet. Perhaps I should have made a better statement of intent.

Read the rest here….

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“She Is An American Worker And Her Life is Not Her Own”

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

I talked to her because I knew her experience was shared by many, including myself, and would unfortunately continue to be shared long after the both of us were dead and buried.

You’ve probably seen Tara Johnson before. She’s a young black woman in her early 30’s, always smiling, and eager to help customers at the grocery store she works at. Since 2001 she’s helped maintain the store’s “friendly” image, a cheerful employee who gets up every day before the sun does, like a machine. Behind her smile lies a hidden story, one that seeps out in the tired way she walks or the exasperated way she speaks.

She is an American worker and her life is not her own.

“4 to 2’oclock. 4 am to 2pm, let’s say that.” That’s Tara’s everyday schedule, a week she describes as “extremely rough.” When she gets home she either passes out due to exhaustion or lingers on to pick up her girlfriend’s daughter and do homework.

Like most Americans, Tara spends the majority of her time in service to someone else. Americans work longer hours than anyone else in the world: 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers, all without any of the usual benefits the working class is allotted elsewhere; totally alien concepts like setting the maximum length of the work week, the global average of 20 paid vacation days, or even a parental leave benefit seem more like fairy tales than a possible political priority. Tara’s girlfriend still can’t afford healthcare, why waste the time and tears imagining a vacation?

Most people in the United States can’t imagine anything beyond work, a full 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females in America putting in more than 40 hours per week. Many do so across multiple jobs, barring them from overtime pay and leaving little time for anything beyond the bottom rungs of Maslow’s pyramid. Tara’s girlfriend works about the same hours she does, scrubbing apartments on top of cooking, cleaning, and raising a child. “She definitely got two jobs,”says Tara. “No doubt.”

Even with all this work, all this time devoted to anything other than themselves, half of non-retired adults (49%) said they were not confident they’d be financially secure enough to retire.

“A lot more people working similar hours and struggling,” she said.  “I can easily count out 10 right now, and that’s me not even thinking about it. Majority have kids.” She describes the life of the average American as one where you “do enough so you can pay ya’ bills and then die.”

Numbers do little to capture this reality. Facts and figures can’t accurately portray the sadness that drips from the faces I see, the shoulders perpetually bowed and wearied. I watch young people at the height of their health spend lightless days inside buildings, running from one workplace to the next all just to break even.

Scarcely fifty years ago Tara might have owned her own house, participated in a political organization, or even studied necromancy and how to awaken the Dead. Her life would have been far from ideal, especially as a woman of color, but certain benefits like time would have at least been around. Rough jobs with long hours have always existed, but they usually pay better because they’ve never been the norm.

Today even time has become a luxury under the American workload; “living” means little when you’re too tired to get off the couch. Tara and her girlfriend struggle to carry out a normal relationship, to make time for one another as a couple and as individuals.

She sees the problem everywhere. “Everybody’s too tired to do anything nowadays.” She’s crouched on the floor, opening boxes. “Work so many damn hours. Plus if you have children.”

20171019_081333

“Do you have any time to do anything for yourself?” I asked her. She paused for a while, greeting a customer as they walked by.

“Not at all. Maybe… maybe take a shower.” she says. “Watch a few tv channels, that’s it. Sleep, go home, go to work.” Once a month, if she’s very lucky, she tries to play basketball, a sport she once loved as a child, “but who has time for that?” Tara looks at me with eyes that ache, resignation pouring off her body. “Now you gotta pay bills so you gotta work.”

For nearly two-thirds of the U.S. labor force this is the only world they’ll ever know.

And by the gods, I’m one of them….

(Read the rest here)

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CNN Thinks Concern About Police Brutality Nothing More Than Russian ‘Meddling’

In what surely might go down as the penultimate symbol of everything vile about the Capitalist press CNN has alleged that concern for black lives harmed by police brutality is nothing more than a Russian psyop.

In a sputtering report that Donie O’Sullivan and Dylan Byer actually got paid to write, the “journalists” allege that “One Russian-linked campaign posing as part of the Black Lives Matter movement used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Pokémon Go and even contacted some reporters in an effort to exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans”

Of course! The ole’ highlight-actual-problems-that-people-are-being-killed-for bit, how dastardly! I mean if the police, you know, weren’t wantonly killing black people on a daily basis maybe this international subterfuge wouldn’t be an issue, but that’s not the narrative being pushed here.

Dare I ask what evidence CNN has to back up the outlandish tale that Russians were “meddling” in American affairs through a video game?

“CNN has not found any evidence that any Pokémon Go users attempted to enter the contest, or whether any of the Amazon Gift Cards that were promised were ever awarded — or, indeed, whether the people who designed the contest ever had any intention of awarding the prizes.”

Even dismissing the idiotic Pokemon go theory, what is CNN alleging? The big crime, indeed the whole theme of the investigation, is that the Russians are trying to “exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans.”

That’s right folks. Those damn Ruskies have the NERVE to point at the gross system of white supremacy that kills people, the same system that’s already gained international attention and caused other countries to issue advisories to people traveling here:

“Roughly 90% of Bahamas’ population is black — and young men were singled out to take special caution.

‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration has taken a note of the recent tensions in some American cities over shootings of young black males by police officers…In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police.”

And of course CNN seems to have forgotten the 117 countries who “meddled” in American affairs when the UN Human Rights Council chastised the US over its epidemic of racially based executions in May of 2015, a story that made international headlines yet failed to get any play by the “impartial” and “objective” American media.

Funnily enough these same reporters never seem to call any investigation and publication THEY DO as “meddling.” No no, that’s simply good journalism, and if Saudi Arabia deemed an American piece on its terrible human rights record as “the work of internet trolls” we’d all double over with laughter.

This trash by CNN is the perfect highlight of what American “journalism” really is. We’re confronted with the outlines of a wholly subjective and military-minded press corps, a broad ecosystem of talentless hacks parroting whatever narratives get handed down from the White House in exchange for access and continued privileges. CNN will never turn against the wealthy or their pet politicians because it needs them to survive; it will sit quietly when Trump beats them like a mangy dog because it doesn’t dare stray too far from the “accepted standards” of American journalism, a code word for never probing too far or asking too many questions as long as your subject has an American flag on their lapel.

CNN, just like every other capitalist mouthpiece, is not in the business of printing the truth. It is in the business of making money, and to do so it will swallow the hot load of anyone in power. Today CNN labels attempts to draw attention to our system of white supremacy as “meddling” because it serves the capitalists in power, tomorrow with the flick of a keyboard and a thumbs up from the White House they’ll refer to people seeking to end that system as “extremists” and “terrorists.”

When CNN got caught allowing officers from the army’s psychological operations division to write news stories where was the “outrage” over “meddling?” Where was the integrity to The Truth while CNN’s chief news executive systematically covered up stories of Iraqi atrocities for a decade, all to maintain CNN’s Baghdad bureau?

There is something ghastly and terrible about the idea that far away in some corporate office someone is sitting down for another workday, knowing full well they are being paid to lie and deceive on a massive scale. They drive a car better than you and I, they eat better than you and I, and as they gaze up at a journalism degree their parents paid for they can kick back with the top-shelf alcohol of their choice and feel absolutely nothing.

“You mean Russians were trying to draw attention to police violence? Black children bleeding to death on dirty streets?” He uncorks the twelve -year old Glenlivet. “Sounds like a damn good angle for an anti-Kremlin piece. Really push that ‘fake-news’ bit. Get me 1,000 words and be ready for video by 4pm. By the way, when are you taking your vacation?”

We peons sweat and die in the gutter, doomed to lives of “service” and personality amputation, while full-blown liars fit only to have their teeth bashed in with wrenches collect a hefty salary.

If that doesn’t make you a revolutionary, I don’t know what will.


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Rise of the Radical Reporter

(Originally published at Specter Rouge)

Anarchists have a long and bloody road through human history, filled with broken barricades and squats with busted windows; we fought a war in the 30’s, struck fear into governments, and created invisible networks of accomplices across continents. But times have changed, and Anarchists are only now beginning to adapt to a battlefield full of orbiting satellites, fascists blending memes with occult techniques, and a presidential twitter that determines foreign policy.

Take for instance the morning of October 2’nd, where the conservative media began spreading rumors that an “antifa chapter” was responsible for the largest mass shooting in American history.[1] As soon as the attack had been made, indeed before the bullet-ridden corpses began to cool, a constellation of fake facebooks, twitters, and “journalists” began to use the tragedy however they could to frame a simple argument: clearly this shooting at a country music concert is the work of leftist terrorists, and if it isn’t they sure do wish it was.

Ridiculous. Stupid. Yet it worked. Paul Joseph Watson, the man who honest to god thinks conservatism is “the new counterculture,” was quick to write an article about one individual on twitter who hoped “only Trump supporters got shot.” The title? “LEFTISTS CELEBRATE ‘WHITE TRUMP SUPPORTERS’ BEING KILLED IN LAS VEGAS MASSACRE“[2]. To the thousands of willing, voting, and probably armed Americans it didn’t matter that these posts meant literally nothing in the grand scheme of things. They saw a headline that told them Leftists were cruel, evil monsters that wanted them dead. That emotional reaction and mental signature will remain in their head every time they see that word or a person who bears the title. 4chan would join the effort, and exhort channers to “push the shooter was a commie on all social media.”[3]

Consider a headline put out by CNN, as Spanish cops who had been seen doing fascist salutes beat elderly people with impunity at the Catalonian vote for independence. Reporters described it as “clashes”[4] between protesters and cops, no doubt hinting to those digesting the story that clearly the two sides had been fighting each other. We don’t call the rape of a woman a “clash” between her and the perpetrator, yet in an uneven tone the article hints not to trust our lying eyes; that there must be some reason, some good cause, as to why that policeman in riot gear is throwing an old lady down a flight of stairs.

The list goes on. A nazi rally that beats the piss out of black people is a “peaceful march” while a kicked over trash can  is a “dangerous riot.” “Good people,” versus “sons of bitches.”

These headlines and articles all serve an important function: the viewer, seeking to understand what is happening around them, ingests not just a story but the framing and narrative of the story. Even something as bland as the BBC has an agenda, and every time that article is shared or read that agenda flashes in the skull of those ingesting it.

You may not be able to convince people to read the “truth” of your choice, but you sure as shit can get them to read the macabre and horrifying tale of for-profit prisons. And when you slip in lines like this:

Dehumanization is the point of it all, both for the entrapped and the onlooker. Shrieks ring out from Human Factory Farms, wailing people trapped in cages and gnawing on one another in between working for pennies. Long enough and they become lost, twisted and mangled living corpses who’ve internalized the system that devoured them. Their cries mix with the howls of cops roaming the streets, rabid bloodhounds hunting for families that escaped the end of slavery only to suffer it again. They kill with impunity and the people are powerless, shielded behind the idea that so much evil is needed. Natural. Always been this way, always had. Humans becoming cattle, individuals becoming dollars.”[5]

you can be damn sure the details of your particular ideology, if only for a moment, was successfully ingested and imagined by the reader.

The world is at war. We have the bodies, we are building organizations, and by the gods we are getting militant. What we don’t have is an Anarchist press capable of singing their praises, eulogizing their heroes, or pointing out just how goddamn awful the world is their trying to destroy.

We need a new front in the global insurrection. We need Radical Reporters.

The Future Was Yesterday. 

The revolution in media has gone largely unnoticed by the average anarchist. The established newshouses, whose words were once believed to be the gold standard for “the truth” are falling apart. The New York Times is renting out floors in a building it can barely afford[6] while Breitbart News, an agency almost 100% online and whose editor actually held office in Trump’s White House, reaches millions and was read daily by the president himself[7]; Occupy Democrats, with a reach of 300 million a week, claim they “want to give people the ammunition to engage in meme warfare” in an age where 45% of Americans get their news from Facebook[8].

40 years ago what we believed to be true came from someone in an office, at a desk, and with a salary. Now it’s whoever has the means, the style, and the time.

Think about that for a moment. I mean really, stop and think about. For the first time the state doesn’t have a monopoly on interpreting reality. White Supremacists, rogue Democrats, and tea party hopefuls have seized the opportunity by the kidneys and shotgunned their message and their reach.

Where’s the Anarchist equivalent?

Presently I’m writing this article from a beat-up leather chair missing an arm, a guest in a local tattoo shop. The artist, bearded and telling us about his hurricane experiences, changes subject and jokes about Special K. I have no degree and am guided by only a crude criminal instinct and books like Storycraft by Jack Hart.[9] The field is wide open and the people are hungry. I aim to write, as Novatore described, not as a demagogue, but as a inciting element, not as an apostle, but as a living, effective, destructive force…”[10]

Ole’ Bonsey will be spitting venom from the madhouse of Florida until the cops take me or break me. There’s no reason you can’t either.

I suppose the field isn’t completely vacant. We have a few sites discussing Anarchist “news” but it’s mostly about what we do rather than the world we’re combating; combine that with the acres of treatises on Anarchist sewer systems or idealized societies and you’ll quickly realize we’re woefully outgunned in an information-equivalent of an Old West shoot out:

The camera zooms in on the white nationalist press, firing shell after shell into the tottering body of mainstream conservatism. A club wielded by a “civic nationalist” smashes his skull and sprays brain-matter everywhere. The nationalist, who claims to not be racist yet sure as hell supports the killing of black people by police, picks up the rifle and begins labeling anything outside Peronism as “liberal” and “for cucks.” Across the street establishment Democrats and Huffington Post columnists use flamethrowers to smear anything beyond a “Chelsea Clinton 2020” campaign as “crazy” or “Alt Left.” As the camera pans down from the flames we’re taken deep into the sewers where spies dressed as fake Antifa accounts, throw grenades at anything sure to cause carnage, gleefully hoping their disguise inspires the troops they themselves cheer for to greater acts of brutality.

Above it all a zeppelin drops bombs of doubt on the idea of climate change, making sure all those fighting below ignore the fact the planet itself will boil them alive.

Magic Words That Bend Reality

Is it any wonder they won’t let me so much as sniff around a newspaper office? But that’s okay, because I’m not here to sell adspace in the Hometown News or do stories of cat parades and bake sales. If Anarchists are truly prepared for a revolutionary opportunity, if they really want an actual revolution and not activism, they would do well to pay attention to the thousands of American soldiers employed in Psychological Operations, the well-paid journalists capitalists keep on the payroll, or the fact that the forces in Rojava actually have soldiers dedicated to making memes.[11]

Hunter S. Thompson saw much the same purpose in gonzo journalism:

There are a lot of ways to practice the art of journalism, and one of them is to use your art like a hammer to destroy the right people — who are almost always your enemies, for one reason or another, and who usually deserve to be crippled, because they are wrong. This is a dangerous notion, and very few professional journalists will endorse it — calling it ‘vengeful’ and ‘primitive’ and ‘perverse’ regardless of how often they might do the same thing themselves. ‘That kind of stuff is opinion,’ they say, ‘and the reader is cheated if it’s not labelled as opinion.’ Well, maybe so. Maybe Tom Paine cheated his readers and Mark Twain was a devious fraud with no morals at all who used journalism for his own foul ends….In my case, using what politely might be called ‘advocacy journalism,’ I’ve used reporting as a weapon to affect political situations that bear down on my environment.”[12]

Writing, reporting, journalism, all these aren’t just “things” but literal weapons we need to employ to ensure the field of affinity expands. Every moment of existence experienced by humanity is being broadcast 24 hours a day on devices most people always have at arm’s reach. I want those people to hear about something and reach for an Anarchist experience of it because if it isn’t, you can sure as shit bet it’s somebody else’s.

Journalists determine, in one flick of a keyboard, who the “hero” was, who the “bad guys” are, and what’s going on under the surface. They determine whether a riot is seen as the work of “thugs” and “outside agitators” or the justified uprising of an oppressed and exploited people. Describing someone as “idealistic,” “level-headed,” or “dirty with yellow-stained teeth” will either shut down or build-up an audience even before they know what was said.

That’s incredible power we can’t afford to give away.

Who will take the reins? The enemy? The white nationalists and militant forces of state ideology already lie about us. We are not here to impress or sway the individuals who would spend their free time hunting and persecuting us. But what of the common folk, the ones who gather around water coolers and talk about what they’ve heard on the news?

“You hear about those kids in California?”

The moustached man shakes his head. “Yeah, everybody has. So what do you think?”

“Well,” says the reader, pushing her fingers through her hair. “I think the world’s gone nuts.”

“Oh yeah.”

“But I can’t say these people don’t have an argument.”

“You too?”

“You’ve seen the news!”

“Yes! Quiet! Jesus, somebody’s going to hear you. I’ve been reading some of their stuff.”

“And?”

“And…well. I..I think they have the right idea. You know my cousin…:”

Whether you’re an individualist or socially-oriented such a situation holds extreme opportunity. For the daring a fertile field to swim in, a warm pool of sympathy and resources to further their own madcap existences; for the wider world the probability, on an almost mathematical level, that revolution increases in likelihood.

Where our philosophies may differ the field we wish them to operate in is the same. That’s about as much goddamn “left unity” you’re going to get in the real world. Why not roll with it?

Journalism doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t have to be dry. We won’t ever get the office or the nice chair so we might as well do things our way. The doors and dreams we were fed as children are closed to us. Do what you can with what you have, and even if you’re writing one article a month because you’ve been worked to the bone you’re still doing something. Good reporting doesn’t need to be about triangle leads, naked facts, or sentences that sound like two pieces of dried wood rubbing up against each other. It can be fast and loud, big and mean, inspiring and warming and something that sounds like the bright song you’ve carried in your heart.

What did that sunrise coming over the horizon feel like? What did it mean?

What grim horror did you see in her eyes?

When he said he’d “never smelled anything like it” how did his body move?

Is the victim a lifelong gambler or a puritan? Is this unexpected? Par for the course? Why?

Details, life, everything and everything. If we can’t get the money and we can barely get the time we can at least put out stories more beautiful, more powerful, and all the more effective than the mainstream media or the psyops officer fresh from vacation.

If we lose, and make no mistake victory is far from assured, these tender and caustic thoughts may be all that’s left of us. As the planet changes and capitalism rises into space with machines for every purpose, those left coughing on the global desert will at least leave artifacts for the next civilization after our own.

We tried, reads a broken message on a rusty computer, and even with the best intentions it wasn’t enough. Never take the world that’s in your head for the world around you, and for god’s sake never put on a uniform!

So there it is, an open invitation. I’m too deep in a word addiction to ever let go. I’m going to continue to spit and howl at every injustice this world throws in my face as long as I’m wandering about in the World of the Living.

Hope to see you on the road.


 

[1]https://twitter.com/Ole_Bonsey/status/914853322393358337. Accessed 10/3

[2]https://www.infowars.com/leftist-teacher-celebrates-white-trump-supporters-being-killed-in-las-vegas-massacre/. Accessed 10/3

[3]https://twitter.com/broderick/status/914813878982332416. Accessed 10/3

[4]http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/10/01/spain-catalonia-referendum-vote-riot-police-soares.cnn. Accessed 10/3

[5]https://godsandradicals.org/2017/05/30/banish-the-police-and-burn-the-prisons/. Accessed 10/4

[6]https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-16/new-york-times-to-sublease-headquarters-space-in-revenue-search. Accessed 10/4/17

[7]http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37109970. Accessed 10/3

[8]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-jarvis/from-media-to-memes-lesso_b_11363938.html. Accessed 10/3

[9]Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Non-fiction by Jack Hart. University Of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (October 12, 2012)

[10]http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/renzo-novatore-anarchist-individualism-in-the-social-revolution. Accessed 10/4

[11]https://theoutline.com/post/2052/making-memes-in-a-warzone. Accessed 10/3

[12]Better than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie by Hunter S Thompson. Ballantine Books (August 22, 1995)

 

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Catalonia is a Weapon

withyermind

(Originally Published at Gods & Radicals)

“We do not only participate in insurrections led by anarchists but also in all the other insurrections that have the characteristics of the people in revolt, even if for some reason it is our future enemies, the Stalinists, that are leading them….

The revolutionary struggle is like a stormy sea against which to struggle would be vain folly, it is necessary to adapt ourselves to the direction of the waves, to swim sometimes strongly and sometimes lightly, to grasp the impetus of life which the sea hides within it to reach the desired goal.” – Alfredo M. Bonanno,“Why Insurrection”

The hour is 12:00am on a warm and windless Florida night, as I pace the room and chew on toothpicks. 4,636 miles away in Catalonia an uneasy calm hangs in the balance. Catalonia, rather than declare independence, has asked Spain to give it to her. Spain, ever prideful, calls this blackmail and “will not allow it.” The fight is far from over and now we wait, a spaceship with an unknown trajectory hurtling towards a future as yet undecided; swirling tendrils of quantum possibility slowly solidifying into manifested reality even as I type these words. Is nobody else kept up by standing hairs as the spirits whisper of chaos and madness?

No, perhaps it’s just me… perhaps the only way to truly understand the potential of Catalonia is with a Wizard’s eye.

History Doesn’t Repeat Itself But It Does Tend to RhymeTurpentine_workers_in_Florida

The Occultist views time very differently from your average meat-popsicle, and tends to drift to an alien, perhaps even cosmic, view on the nearby effects of distant actions. Take the time I’d lit a candle to soothe red-hot tensions between my wife and her mother, swaying and chanting as I felt “something” literally crawl down the air and hit the fire like an atom bomb.

“Dear GOD!” I shouted, falling over and shaking with sweat, unsure how but knowing on a cellular level the spell had already worked. The candle was barely lit, I had planned two more rounds of prayers, but none of that seemed to matter; out there in the distance of the future, a place right next-door if it wasn’t for my three-dimensional limitations, I could feelthe success leak back to me.

A few moments later things begin to crack. Viscous words, slammed doors. Had I been wrong? After an hour of war they sit down and talk, the earlier screams forcing long ignored issues to the surface. Discussion, agreement, peace. The spell had worked far beyond my expectations.

I knew it would, I just didn’t know the how. I keep my eye on the big picture and let reality design the details. Catalonia yearning for a boss in Barcelona is a finger pointing at the bigger picture.

A common mistake observers have made is believing Catalonia has been seeking independence only recently, that autonomy is nothing more than a shiny new prize for the drooling bourgeois in Barcelona. While there is no doubt independence offers lucrative financial opportunities, Catalonia has been hungry for self-rule since 1640, when the region first revolted against Spain and placed itself under the protection of Louis XIII of France. Since then Catalonia has long desired to be under its own command and militantly rebelled. This historic trend will continue regardless of how the events in Spain play out.

Let us be clear however: this is by no means a leftist or Anarchist revolution. While anarchist unions took a leading role in the General Strike on Oct 3rd and the Catalan parliament seems intent on passing progressive laws, this is far from a radical movement. Catalonia desires a republic, a dog-and-pony show where the local wealthy can fully call the shots without an honest-to-god King butting in. If anything this is a move to a more comfortable status quo: people will be free from the police of Madrid so long as they swear to obey the ones in Barcelona.

Even if Catalan elections were swept by the ghost of Marx no elected power could challenge the Masters of the Eurozone. Have we forgotten the horrible horsewhipping that was Syriza?

“In a nationwide referendum just last Sunday, nearly 62 per cent of voters rejected an austerity deal that had been offered by the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

There were scenes of wild jubilation across the country…

Fast forward just a few days, however, and Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, did the unthinkable… They will now have to accept a package that is even harsher than the one that was rejected in the referendum, to the tune of about €4 billion…

‘I feel like a slave. They do what they want, and we can’t participate.’”

Nothing Says “Democracy” Quite Like Riot Cops

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So the “freedom” of Catalonia is out. What then? Is there anything here Anarchists can support or decry?

The massive police response to the vote for independence should be duly noted and filtered into propaganda without delay: Spanish cops beat more than 900 prospective voters for daring to voice an opinion. Does this not prove that the edicts of the government are more important to the dogs in uniform than the will of the people? Is there anything quite as vile as declaring an opinion “illegal” while invoking “the Law” to dropkick women and children?

When I see cops beating workers I don’t need to wonder which side I’m on; like an armadillo and a six-lane highway any cop and I are keenly opposed to one another. The entire policing institution is the most brutal expression of state-enforced dehumanization. Everything about it reeks of slavery. Again this is what States do regardless of size or shape; if the Catalan Republic decides its interests are at stake there is no question they’d do the same. The borders of nationhood are merely a fence for the human cattle who exist at the whim of capital and the politicians that represent them.

What of the EU, the enlightened and rational government that everyone insists must not be dissolved? Have they stopped the violence? Do they support the “popular will” or vision of the actual human beings the Spanish state claims to represent? If there were any lingering questions to how thoroughly un-democratic the EU actually is, just remember they are siding with a monarch who fails to see the irony in calling the independence vote “a mockery of democracy.”

 

 

 

(Read the rest here)

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Interview with Revolutionary Left Radio on the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) & Insurrectionary Political Violence

Content Warning: Descriptions of violence and sexual assault. Please be advised.

NSA Disclaimer: Revolutionary Left Radio and Dr. Bones do not advocate the use of political terrorism, the initiation of violence, or the breaking of any laws. This is a scholarly, journalistic approach to the theory and history of the FAI, not advocacy of them or their methodology.

Now that that’s out of the way please enjoy the wonderful discussion I had with Brett regarding the FAI (the Informal Anarchist Federation), the planets most die-hard and dangerous Anarchists. We discuss both the theories and ideas that motivate them, as well as some Direct Action they’ve committed.

Topics Include: Political terrorism, Propaganda of the Deed, Antifa, the history of insurrectionary anarchism, Red Brigades, Nihilism, Cell Structure, and much more.

The new outro music is “Red and Black” by The String-Bo String Duo which you can find here: https://tsbsd.bandcamp.com/album/smash-the-state-distribute-bread

Their FB: https://www.facebook.com/thestringbostringduo/

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