July 24, 2005


I woke up thinking about it and then Andy M, our host from Pittsburgh, sent this link, about some social-ideas in motion: traffic anarchy at work in The Netherlands . Al is reading a book about Anarchy, and I was telling him, one of thing that surprised me most about the reading tour is how many of the kids/people that we are meeting and hanging out and staying with are anarchists***. And they are awesome, and they are funny, and they liked and are in good bands, and making art - not just patches and pamphlets -- so I have been surprised, really. I know, reallly dick way to out myself, but excuse me for this, as when I was growing up in MN, the only anarchists I knew were my school bus driver and the Profane Existence affiliates.

They - across the board - were so grimly dogmatic there was no social grease to them. No laughing at jokes. Serious and judgemental, glaring flatly at you in kitchens at parties like you had kicked their bandana-wearing dog. But at 15-16-17, I still barely had the map - and where I was going was being charted by 7"s - and the anarchist bands (classic and local) were barbaristic and all sounded like pigfuckery gone Varuckers and I was not feeling the so-furiouso D-beat . If the anarchists had given me tapes of The Ex or Dog Faced Hermans instead of Antischism, and not, perhaps, harshed on me for being too-bougie at fifteen ** -- I might never have stopped drawing the big A on my notebooks and shoes at such an early age.

Al and I were discussing this, and I mentioned that I felt like I needed hope beyond hope, and to suspend my cynical disbelief, in order to get there with Anarchy - that it was too much wishful thinking, and I wanted something closer, I wanted something that seemed more pragmatic in the interim . Al pointed out that, at this point, all left political social theory is wishful thinking. Al, was, as he put it "big into communism" for a long time, but now is more interested in some sort of Chomsky-enthused Communism-lite (do not kick my ass for saying that, I am paraphrasing him, not dismissing). I could not tell Al how I was political identifying these days (is angry and disspirited enough of an angle?), but it's somewhere around Social Democrat -- though I wish Social Democrat had a more exciting name like "German Shepherd" - which has always sounded like a political party to me.

(** admittedly, at 15, my politcal-life consisted of doing a riot girl zine, hitting Anti-racist Action meetings, laying down on freeway on ramps for various causes and smoking ditch weed with skinhead boys. I was collecting allowance from my parents and would not let the anarchists steal from the record store where i worked, so I suppose I was, technically, totes bougie .
*** though, John Bowmen, whom we are staying with right now, is not an anarchist, but described himself as "a survivalist.")

Posted by Jessica at July 24, 2005 11:37 AM | TrackBack