Episode One of Anarchy Bang is filled with surprises. One is that the audio was a real challenge. Hopefully we will have that ironed out by next week. Two was connectivity was also an issue. I assume that was because it is raining in CA which seriously is a thing.
A Foolish Consistency – Anarchy Bang editorial #1
As I begin this new project and make the attempt to use this new format to make new friends and new connections I reflect on the tradition I see myself a part of. It is not the tradition of Eugene Debs, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, or even Emma Goldman. As honorable as their stories are they also were part of movements that do not exist today. Theirs are stories of single minded dedication to causes they barely nudged forward in their lifetime. I am not criticizing these figures, I am criticizing my own lack of faith, dedication to purpose, and frankly serious commitment to the task at hand.
Yes, I agree that this existing order needs a transformation. But there isn’t a change large enough to stop for instance global warming that our leaders, and followers, will let come to pass. There isn’t a simple message that says enough about the inhumanity of our alienated lives to convince anyone who isn’t already convinced. Activism, the little engine that could, is at least as much of the problem as it would solve. The serious folk of social change are largely moralizing, inexperienced, self-rightous little turds and it breaks my heart.
In days of yore there was a social role that could speak these truths and not be immediately dismissed as a grump, a nay-sayer, or old man. I offer you that this show will attempt to honor these Fools by example and by emulation. As our interest is in anarchist politics we will often talk about the stomping of feet and yelling at an indifferent world. We will laugh, not at the yearning towards making a difference or even wanting to make an physical impact, but at the indifferent world and our hubris at thinking we can change it. And our humor is black, as our flag, and as we are in a tradition, of Breton, of Carlin, and of the crucified criminals in The Life of Brian who sang together “Always look on the Bright Side of Life”.
It is worth reflecting on humor, and even the cruelty of humor against good hearted people at this early stage of the show because, in my experience, the number one reason that I am despised by those who do is because of the confusion between how pure warriors of light against the existing order think they should be treated, and how I do treat them. I have long since stopped believing that because someone says they are for an egalitarian world of ibus and zeks that they are. More importantly I have stopped believing that just because someone smashes a window that they can bake a cake, or even show up on time. This dissapointment does not mean that I have turned my back to the dreamers and charlatans of anarchyland, it means that I will choose the social role of the Fool, even though that has meant social isolation, rather than be confused with the muddleheadedness of Yet Another Black Bloc that starts late, ends too soon, and means hundreds of my friends have to put their lives on hold while they hope and wait for legal aid and then call it a victory.
Anarchy Bang is intended to introduce The Beautiful Idea, the idea that people can live non-coercively and free of power-over them, steering free of politics, which is the process by which things get done in mass society. I don’t care if anything gets done. My intention is to then try to listen to every caller in the spirit the caller intends. If a caller has a question about one of the myriad of anarchies that I publish or talk about then I hope to answer the question, even if critical, fully and fairly. If a caller just wants to start shit or troll I’ll reply in kind. This may look like just hanging up or by actually responding to their misunderstanding on my terms.
If this goes well we will grow The Idea, have some laughs together, and perhaps defeat the lonliness for just a little while. For this episode our theme is What are your anarchist goal in 2019 and would love to hear from you, the audience, about what you are going to do for anarchy in 2019 and what anarchy is going to do for you? Do you have a particular smashy, theoretical, or social project you’d like to do this year? And for goodness sake keep your own safety in mind since the NSA and their friends will probably be tracking every word, nuance, inflection, and identity shared on this show. We are that dangerous!