Boundlessness

On Playing Out the Game Without a Reason

“Nevertheless human life was thus image-graced and image-cursed; it could comprehend itself only through images, the images were not to be banished, they had been with us since the herd-beginning, they were anterior to and mightier than our thinking, they were timeless, containing past and future, they were a twofold dream-memory and they were more powerful than we: an image to himself was he who lay there, and steering toward the most real reality, borne on invisible waves, dipping into them, the image of the ship was his own image emerging from darkness, heading toward darkness sinking into darkness, he himself was the boundless ship that at the same time was boundlessness; and he himself was the flight that was aiming toward this boundlessness…” read more

Spooky Thoughts on Why Cannibalism is Better than Sex

The moon is missing from the sky. It’s dark. You’re running through the woods, as fast as you can, willing yourself more than anything not to trip. Don’t fall, don’t stop, don’t take that split second to look and see if it’s still behind you – it is. You’re being chased. It wants you.

Would you rather be eaten alive or fucked to death?

A contrast between the erotic horror of being devoured, or the soullessness of being used as a piece of meat.

Or, imagine you’re the chaser – that you want someone so terribly, you’re willing to consume someone in their entirety, literally destroying them so the only thing they’ll ever think of again is you. Thanks to you, nothing bad will happen to them ever again. No one else can ever have them, or hurt them. Maybe no one needs to be chased at all – maybe the end of their life arouses them; maybe someone is willing to sacrifice their very body to another person, an act of care unmatched. The romance of the redback spider, laying down their physical being for another to use as they see fit.

Someone out there loves you enough to flay themselves for your pleasure. [Raw (2017)]

Cannibalism is a direct, brutally honest functioning of the way so much, if not all, sex (or any kind of power exchange – and to be clear, ALL sex plays with power, but not all of it playfully) plays out: someone takes, and someone gives. At least in the case of eating someone, one person benefits; whereas with sex, on a purely physical level, puts both bodies at risk for disease and/or pregnancy.

The process of eating is a necessity. Sex is not. Eating another person incorporates them into the basic, most everyday practice of staying alive, which may or may not be the most meaningful physical relationship possible – depending on how you feel about life. You’re taking someone inside of you in a process that makes penetration seem pale.  By offering flesh you’re offering part of yourself as nourishment and survival.

Or, maybe you’re coercively taking from your enemy their ability to exist entirely – a feat of competition, strength, and joy that ensures your ability to continue in more ways than one. (What benefit does forced sex actually provide for the rapist? What do you actually lose as a victim?)

Consensual sex is the real horror of It Follows (2014).

Murder is an intimacy we have been denied.

The love that goes into the act of knowing you’ll hold someone’s last moments! Of trusting someone with your life so dearly, you’ll gladly let them take it. Or, if not love, power as a form of intimacy – the raging hard on of knowing you control this person’s life so totally, you decide whether they’ll ever get to breathe again. The wet cunt of knowing you’ve been totally, completely owned and you deserve everything that’s about to happen to you.

And for those who are crying, “Oh, cannibalism is so dangerous and violent!”, let’s not forget that sex very commonly also leads to death! The only reason you lack a healthy fear of penetration is because modern civilized society has sanitized the process with all manner of contraceptives and preventatives (condoms, dams, gloves, spermicide, birth control all at your fingertips – clearly, society wants you to fuck, which is as good of a reason as any not to do so) for all the bacteria, viruses, parasites or sperm waiting to crawl into your genitals. And if you somehow manage to survive the agonizing process of giving birth or even just being pregnant, your body is irrevocably changed in ways that are unpredictable, internal, and life-altering. A small consolation from having your flesh eaten: at least a scar from a bite or a missing limb you can see, understand, or predict… and maybe it’s even a change you lusted after.

There’s really no denying that this is a good look. (Bad Batch (2016)]

Eating your own kind is perfectly normal outside human society. The more closely related your meal is to you, the more closely its nutrient profile will match your needs – making human flesh the healthiest meal you can eat. This also is why so many people fear diseases spreading through cannibalism – however, it might be true that cannibalism actually reduces chances of infection, by directly killing parasites in infected victims and by reducing the number of susceptible hosts. Hence, why most mammals continue the practice despite so many claims that it’s faded for an evolutionary advantage. Cannibalism is as much a function of reproduction as sex: the mothers of rodents, fish, amphibians, bears, cats, dogs, primates, and more eat extra or weak babies they cannot care for; a  newborn caecilian’s first meal is its parents’ flesh.

Really, the only thing sex has going for it is that you can do it more than once. Being entirely eaten alive is a one time thing – truly a moment to be treasured.

What’s more romantic than sharing a meal you hunted and made yourselves? [Hannibal (2014)]

AJODA: Anarchism within Capitalism

Free Radical Radio is back after a brief unplanned break. Today we bring you four recordings of essays out of Anarchy: A Journal Of Desire, Armed issue #64, released at the end of 2007. That and some of my thoughts around it here.

These four essays were the reading for one week of the Berkeley Anarchist Study Group, which meets every Tuesday, 8pm at The Long Haul in Berkeley (come!). Most of us here at Free Radical Radio have gone to the group a number of times, picking fights and making friends.

The four essays are:

  • To Dance With The Devil – Aragorn

  • Capitalism means never having to say you’re sorry – Dot Matrix
  • Thinking from the Outside: Avoiding Recuperation – Andy Robinson
  • Proudhon’s Ghost: petit-bourgeois anarchism, anarchist businesses, and the politics of effectiveness – Lawrence Jarach
    read more

  • A John Zerzan Feature!

    Today we bring two pieces of audio relating to John Zerzan!

    First, a recording of his essay Second-Best Life: Real Virtuality.

    Second, a clip of one of Free Radical Radio’s favorite moments in John Zerzan’s weekly radio show Anarchy Radio: a caller named Greg.

    John was kind enough to advertise our ITS Communique series on his show (20:30 start) after an email exchange he had with Dirtroll. After hearing what he said about the conversation, I thought it’d be nice to publish the friendly conversation here to let everyone see what great points he makes and how wonderful his comprehension and ability to engage with ideas is. I asked for his consent to publish it, but he sadly stopped responding at that point.

    Why he would talk about this conversation on the air but not have the guts to back it up? I don’t know why this is sealed information or something, but I guess I can’t say anymore about it anyways. That’s, uh … I ain’t happy about that, and I’m really appalled that some people seem to get off on this drama stuff. Is that where primitivism goes? Is that an aberration or kinda the logic of it? You tell me.

    Plagiarism

    a Free Radical Radio original writing.

    The marketplace of ideas, like any marketplace, is fit only for looting.

    “Intellectual Property”

    We have all been taught from our youth that “there is nothing new under the sun.” Whenever a child has an exciting idea, an older person is quick to point out either that this idea has been tried before and didn’t work, or that someone else not only has already had the idea but also has developed and expounded upon it to greater lengths than the child ever could. “Learn and choose from the ideas and beliefs already in circulation, rather than seeking to develop and arrange your own,” seems to be the message, and this message is sent clearly by the methods of “instruction” used in both public and private schools throughout the West.

    Despite this common attitude, or perhaps because of it, we are very possessive of our ideas. The concept of “intellectual property” is ingrained in the collective psychosis much deeper than the concept of material property. Plenty of thinkers have appeared who have asserted that “property is theft” in regard to real estate and other physical capital, but few have dared to make similar statements about their own ideas. Even the most notoriously “radical” thinkers have still proudly claimed their ideas as, first and foremost, their ideas.

    Consequently, little distinction is made between the thinkers and their thoughts. Students of philosophy will study the philosophy of Descartes, students of economics will study Marx-ism, students of art will study the paintings of Dali. At worst, the cult of personality that develops around famous thinkers prevents any useful consideration of their ideas or artwork; hero-worshipping partisans will swear allegiance to a thinker and all his thoughts, while others who have some justified or unjustified objection to the conceiver of the ideas will generally have a difficult time not being prejudiced against the ideas themselves. At best, this emphasis upon the “author-owner” in the consideration of propositions or artwork is merely irrelevant to the worth of the actual propositions or artwork, even if the stories about the individual in question are interesting and can encourage creative thinking by themselves.

    The very assumptions behind the concept of “intellectual property” require more attention than we have given them. The factors that affect the words and deeds of an individual are many and varied, not the least of them being her social-cultural climate and the input of other individuals. To say that any idea has its sole origins in the being of one individual man or woman is to grossly oversimplify. But we are so accustomed to claiming items and objects for ourselves, and to being forced to accept similar claims from others, in the cutthroat competition to acquire and dominate (before we are acquired and dominated) that is life in a market economy, that it seems natural to do the same with ideas. Certainly there must be other ways of thinking about the origins and ownership of ideas that warrant consideration. . . for our present approach does more than merely distract from the ideas.

    Our tradition of recognizing “intellectual property rights” is dangerous in that it results in the deification of the publicly recognized “thinker” and “artist” at the expense of everyone else. When ideas are always associated with proper names (and always the same proper names, in point of fact), this suggests that thinking and creating are special skills that belong to a select few individuals. For example, the glorification of the “artist” in our culture, which includes the stereotyping of artists as eccentric “visionaries” who exist at the edge (the “avant garde”) of society, encourages people to believe that artists are significantly and fundamentally different from other human beings. Actually, anyone can be an artist, and everyone is, to some extent; being able to act creatively is a crucial element of human happiness. But when we are led to believe that being creative and thinking critically are talents which only a few individuals possess, those of us who are not fortunate enough to be christened “artists” or “philosophers” by our communities will not make much effort to develop these abilities. Consequently we will be dependent upon others for many of our ideas, and will have to be content as spectators of the creative work of others—and we will feel alienated and unsatisfied.

    Another incidental drawback of our association of ideas with specific individuals is that it promotes the acceptance of these ideas in their original form. The students who learn the philosophy of Descartes are encouraged to learn it in its orthodox form, rather than learning the parts which they find relevant to their own lives and interests and combining these parts with ideas from other sources. Out of deference to the original thinker, deified as he is in our tradition, his texts and theories are to be preserved as-is, without ever being put into new forms or contexts which might reveal new insights. Mummified as they are, many theories become completely irrelevant to modern existence, when they could have been given a new lease on life by being treated with a little less reverence.

    So we can see that our acceptance of the tradition of “intellectual property” has negative effects upon our endeavors to think critically and learn from our artistic and philosophical heritage. What can we do to address this problem? One of the possible solutions is plagiarism.

    Plagiarism and the Modern Anarchist

    Plagiarism is an especially effective method of appropriating and reorganizing ideas, and as such it can be a useful tool for a young man or woman looking to encourage new and exciting thinking in others. And it is a method that is anarchist in that it does not recognize “intellectual property” rights but rather strikes out against them and all of the negative effects that recognizing them can have.

    Plagiarism focuses attention on content and away from incidental issues, by making the genuine origins of the material impossible to ascertain. Besides, as suggested above, it could be argued that the genuine origins of the contents of most inspirations and propositions are impossible to determine anyway. By signing a new name, or no name at all, to a text, the plagiarizer puts the material in an entirely new context, and this may generate new perspectives and new thinking about the subject that have not appeared before. Plagiarism also makes it possible to combine the best or most relevant parts of a number of texts, thus creating a new text with many of the virtues of the older ones—and some new virtues, as well, since the combination of material from different sources is bound to result in unforeseeable effects and might well result in the unlocking of hidden meanings or possibilities that have been dormant in the texts for years. Finally, above all, plagiarism is the reappropriation of ideas: when an individual plagiarizes a text which those who believe in intellectual property would have held “sacred,” she denies that there is a difference in rank between herself and the thinker she takes from. She takes the thinker’s ideas for herself, to express them as she sees fit, rather than treating the thinker as an authority whose work she is duty-bound to preserve as he intended. She denies, in fact, that there is a fundamental difference between the thinker and the rest of humanity, by appropriating the thinker’s material as the property of humanity.

    After all, a good idea should be available to everyone—should belong to everyone—if it really is a good idea. In a society organized with human happiness as the objective, copyright infringement laws and similar restrictions would not hinder the distribution and recombination of ideas. These impediments only make it more difficult for individuals who are looking for challenging and inspiring material to come upon it and share it with others.

    So, if there truly is “nothing new under the sun,” take them at their word, and act accordingly. Take what seems relevant to your life and your needs from the theories and doctrines prepared by those who came before you. Don’t be afraid to reproduce word for word those texts which seem perfect to you, so you can share them with others who might also benefit from them. And at the same time, don’t be afraid to plunder ideas from different sources and rearrange them in ways that you find more useful and exciting, more relevant to your own needs and experiences. Seek to create a personally constructed body of critical and creative thought, with elements gathered from as many sources as possible, rather than choosing from one of the prefabricated ideologies that are offered to you. After all, do we have ideas, or do they have us?

    We Are Back!

    After a year of hiatus, Free Radical Radio is returning in a new iteration.  We are a group of anarchists, nihilists, label-haters, readers, but above all we find joy and passion in the sharing and discussion of ideas.  We intend to use this project as an outlet to share audio recordings we have created that challenged us, interested us, or made us laugh so hard that we cried.  There is possibility that podcasts will happen again, but only if we are inspired and driven by our own desires to make them happen.

    In the past we have produced recordings of fiction authors ranging from Sam Delany to Octavia Butler, and anarchist and nihilists ranging from Kaneko Fumiko to Bruno Filipi.  One of our main goals is to make the shit we love more easily accessed in hopes that if we ever talk to you in person we can passionately discuss some of these ideas.  Some of the texts we record are readily available, but do not exist in audio form.  Some of these texts are rare and hard to find books, that we have secured with our greedy little hands because we believe they deserve a larger audience.

    We invite you to listen, discuss, and critique anything we offer up here.  We also invite you to email us or submit recordings or ideas of your own and if we find them interesting we will be happy to host them, and perhaps we will even desire to help with sound production and editing.

    So with that, we are back!

    On Hiatus, The Sea, and Anarchy

    In case you hadn’t noticed, FRR has been on hiatus for the last several months.  The TLDR for this goes as follows:   One co-host moved, another co-host moved, and I(rydra) moved and lost the recording studio that friends and I built with our own hands in our own warehouse, and some problems with the anarchist milieu and anarchy as it works socially and projectually for a variety of reasons.  Now, for the long version.

    My journey to anarchy happened in a significantly different way than my journey through anarchy.  I came to anarchy alone, at the best time of my life.  I was in Hawaii, with heaps of good friends, all social outcasts, but nobody who really considered themselves an anarchist.  I was living on a tropical island, surfing, with a cushy high paying part time job, non-stop social engagements, single, and with plenty of time to explore ideas.  The only downside was that there wasn’t really anybody to push me, anybody to tell me my ideas were basic, that I was missing something, or that things were more complex than the way I saw them.  After reading the Dispossessed I went to a local bookstore and picked up what seemed to me to be the most radical and extreme book I could find.  This book happened to be “Elements of Refusal” by John Zerzan.  I read this, declared to myself that I was an anarchist and against civilization which was the root problem of the shit world I was born into.  For several more years years I hung out in Hawaii, surfing, developing deep personal relationships, and continuing to be the only anarchist that I knew.  I looked longingly at the mainland and the rest of the world.  I admired all the anarchists chaining themselves down, protesting, “doing shit.”  So at the height of my personal happiness and enjoyment of daily life, I moved to California.  I wasn’t ready to leave the ocean, so after an 8 month road trip across the states I moved a block away from the beach in San Francisco, a city in which I didn’t know a soul.

    My entry into anarchy was painful and slow.  Each week I committed to showing up to one anarchist event, talk, protest, whatever.  I went a long times in the city without making an anarchist friend or involving myself in a project.  I felt people were cold, distant, and couldn’t see a way in.  Eventually I moved to a collective house in Oakland and things changed.  Nearly immediately I was hanging out in the queer anarchist subculture, going to a reading group at the Holdout, and a core member of East Bay Solidarity Network.  I was going to the dance parties, hanging out with the anarchists, living the life I had dreamed for myself for years and years.  There was only one problem, it wasn’t what I expected.  The politics and internal dynamics were painful, rigid, and far too simple for the way I had cultivated ideas.  Luckily, the first and closest friend I made was Bellamy who was on this journey with me.  In a lot of ways, Free Radical Radio can be seen as the journey of two boys(who don’t care to be seen as such) through the world we call anarchyland.

    Bellamy and I were both living together, doing the parties, the scene, and East Bay Sol together.  Fuck, we were even dating the same person for several months.  Suffice to say our live were about as intertwined as possible for two people who aren’t fucking(much to the surprise and disappointment of many).  I can only speak for myself, but my relationship with Bellamy, whatever it is now or in the future, will be one of the most important of my life.  Doing FRR with him was a source of joy and growth and change, and he inspired and challenged me as much as any one other human being ever has.  I am extremely grateful to him for this relationship, and for the space and time we had to develop so nearly to one another.  Surely we have gone in different directions, aesthetic choices, with Bellamy doing his land project and thoughts on egoism and myself using nihilism as a critique and longing for the sea once again.  If you listen chronologically to the episodes you will see immense changes in both of us, in the ways we think and to what we hold dear.  I am proud of these things.  I have been made fun of for being invested in Ralph Nader as a teenager, and for reading Ayn Rand at 22 and declaring myself a capitalist for 3 months without a hint of irony.  I am still given a hard time for being an anarcho-primitivst when we started the show.  I am proud of all these things, they are all part of me.  If you don’t believe in linear time, then you are a being existing across time and space.  That is what I am, something existing in more than just the moment, or perhaps all those moments are happening simultaneously, but to continue down this road would be to get lost in big questions I have no answer for.

    Eventually, things with Bellamy and I were no longer working.  We had both left the scene we inhabited behind with our share of drama(most of it involving me as I tend to be the far more confrontational of the two, I’m sure there are other adjective that other people would insert here) and moved to a different place.  Right now my relationship with anarchy as a whole is much different than it has ever been.  I found most of the people/activists I had admired from a distance in Hawaii to be something other than what I had expected.  In my least kind analysis, I would call them socialists and people-managers who don’t challenge themselves and help enforce the rules of anarchyland and often act like a shitty high school clique.  In my kindest analysis, I would say they care deeply about the life they live on this world and that social change and transformation and making the world a better place are of the utmost importance to them and that in this desire for action, thought is sometimes left secondary.  What I found in these scenes though was a group-think that is possibly a part of being human being, but even so, one that I don’t love or admire.  I found a narrowness of ideas, a rigid morality, a lack of humor, and a poverty of thought.  I have long believed that if you can’t laugh at something that it owns you and that if you can’t play with something then it also owns you.  To a large extent(though not completely) I feel that identity politics and rigid morality permeate through anarchyland here in the bay.

    When I talk about identity politics I am referring to a tendency and positioning.  Obviously, humans are different, but there is a type of thought that invades and weakens ideas.  So, when I say Identity Politics, what I mean is a prioritization over the way one is born and an oversimplification of things.  So, for instance, obviously the material conditions of the world are racist, and I mostly agree with Frank Wilderson in this regard about anti-blackness.  I also agree with him that the world must be destroyed and not reformed.  The problem with this is that while I do not see the world as we see it being destroyed as an impossibility, I see it as highly unlikely.  I don’t believe in revolution, which is to say that I believe it is possible, and obviously happens, but that I don’t see it as a desirable outcome for the kind of anarchy I desire.  Back to the point, I see identity politicians and most anarchists in anarchyland adhering to a set of ideas that fit within the confines of what I would describe as reform.  I am fundamentally against the commodity as it is, so why would I want to redistribute the commodities among those who are deemed oppressed.  This represents an ultimately reformist attitude and politix which I believe is embedded in the long held ideal of progress.  These are the ideas of people like Pinker, who believe, that over time humans have become less violent and developed as a society.  These ideas are held by people who believe the civil rights movement and the gay marriage movement made the changes “we” want to see in the world, that they progressed us to a better place.  I don’t believe we are in a better place.  If pressed I would say we are regressing, that things are getting worse for the average human, each second, of each day, but a more reasonable response would be to say that I think things are still just as shitty, racist, patriarchal, whatever ist you wanna insert here, just in a different way.  I want to move beyond this discourse to something more complicated.  I want to move on beyond people thinking white people are the only people who conquer and have slaves.  I can recognize(though obviously not understand completely or even closely) what it means to be black or a woman, without rewriting history or saying that every problem needs to be reformed and that small changes are helpful.  Some call this callous, or racist, or fascist, or whatever pejorative fits, but what I call it is a more honest assessment of the situation.  For me, the word is fucked, and the worst part is that there is little in the way of space to run to, but that doesn’t mean that I believe reform/protest/consciousness-raising/organizing/insurrection are going to bring me or anyone I care about any closer to what I feel as anarchy.

     

    So where does this put me?  I find myself either at odds or indifferent to most of the current anarchist projects. Any affiliation with leftist projects is a turn off to me, full stop.  This is not to say that there is nothing that inspires me.  Even if I don’t believe that propaganda or direct action(hello margarine and buzz words) have a tangible effect on geo-politics and social transformation, there are still actions and groups and people who inspire and challenge me.  The group to do this most recently for me is RS(wild reaction).  Do I completely agree with them? No.  Do I agree with their positing of a wild nature? no.  Do I appreciate that there are people out there doing what they can to exact some revenge, with as little compromise as possible? Fuck yes I do.  The general reaction of the anarchist milieu to deem them fascist misunderstands them completely and renders the word fascism meaningless.  Fascism attempts to control.  RS is not searching out control, but using terrorism as a way to gain freedom, even if that freedom is just a little less cognitive dissonance between their ideas and actions.  So-called anarchists in Oakland will talk a big game all day about killing cops and bankers, but somehow go completely bananas when a terrorist group in Mexico offs some of the top technocrats and scientists and says that there might be collateral damage.  These are the same people who talk of revolution and insurrection.  Do they imagine some peaceful Jose Sepulveda uplifting of consciousness where we all walk away from work and society and fuck in the wildflowers?  I wish they did.  Instead they talk of revolution while pretending that it can happen without thousands(millions) of their beloved innocents falling victim.

    The idea of innocence and a people to fight over is my main disagreement with anarchists today.  There is a slogan that says “everyone is an anarchist.”  I don’t buy it.  I don’t think everyone is an anarchist and this is getting really close to an essential truth about people, and this is something I used to believe and even at one point wore the patch on my super cool jacket.  I don’t believe that everyone is anything anymore.  Many believe that there are an innocent and uneducated masses who need to be educated or inspired by some action in the streets.  These people will tell you that with more information and knowledge shared we will get closer to the world we want.  It should be obvious that this attitude is elitist and condescending at best and vanguardist at worst.  I believe people are just people, some like to self determine their lives, some like to follow, and the worst kind like to determine the lives of others.  Sadly, lots of anarchists today are taking on the role of people managers.  This is not a beautiful idea to me.  This is boring and uninspiring.  With that said, there are printing projects, podcasts, actions, and friendships and relationships that continue to inspire me.

    So for the last several months I have been an anarchist without a project.  I have been on hiatus because I was unsure what it meant to do a radio show that advertised mainly to other anarchists.  I have been lucky to make several close friends through the radio.  I’ve been lucky enough to realize I had dumb ideas more times than I can remember through conversations both on the air and with people I met through the radio.  And, it was fucking fun.  So, I am left wanting more.  Logistically, all my roommates and I were forced to move from our warehouse and with that move I lost the studio.  I am in the process of finding a space I want to occupy for a decent amount of time and a space to record consistently, but until that happens the show will likely remain on hiatus(with the caveat that we will likely still record audiobooks at our pleasure and leisure).  Bellamy is gone, and unlikely to be a consistent contributor to the show again.  While I thank and will always appreciate Doug’s contributions to the show, he will not return to the project.  Squee ended up fucking up his leg and moved out of state.  And the reality is that not a lot of people are comfortable airing their deeply held ideas to the public.  This is for good reason, most of those who have done this have either developed a cult of personality or have been ridiculed and attacked relentlessly.  Despite this, I am still open to the show continuing in a similar fashion, or a new fashion, but only if I find other people willing to engage in the way that interests me.

    To bring all of this to a close is to acknowledge that it is OK to be an anarchist without a project.  Most anarchists don’t have a project in the way that it is commonly seen.  I personally still believe that the most important parts of my life are my relationships.  I seek to develop and deepen my interpersonal relationships and my relationship with the ocean and world around me, because those are the things that bring me the greatest challenge and ecstasy.   I have relieved myself of the guilt that used to come with not having a project, which came after relieving myself of the guilt I felt when not trying to make the world a better place.  I don’t believe in making the world a better place.  I don’t believe in global communities, masses, or that humanity is one whole.  I call myself a nihilist casually now, and what I  mean when I say this is:  there are no objective values or absolute truth in the world(or if there are I cannot divine them), so I am left to create all my own values and judgements.  This means that my life is a series of aesthetic choices.  I don’t like to see cities so I am opposed to them.  I don’t like to see slavery so I am opposed to it.  This continues ad infinitum, but what it also does is free me up to create a life for myself in the way that I want without having to measure up to some imaginary set of values held before me or given to me by someone else.  All I really know is that if I don’t feel challenged and like I am having some fun along the way, I won’t be interested and I really really fucking love being interested.  So here is to being interesting, playing with our ideas and each other, and having some fucking fun along the way.

    Rydra Wrong

     

    P.S.  feel free to email me if you like at free radical radio at riseup dot net because I still check the email

     

     

     

    Prison Society: An account of the 2016 New Year’s Noise Demonstration Mass Arrest at Schiphol-Oost Detention Centre by Xander

    Detention centerYesterday I was held hostage, formally arrested and then held in a migrant detention center by military police in the Netherlands. I was processed at the military police headquarters and dragged from holding cell to holding cell, eventually arriving to a long-term prison cell that to my surprise was nicer than most university dorm rooms I had ever visited and lived in. Standing in the cell and looking out the window, an airport draped the background of stylistically impressed fortified walls that enclosed an orderly grass square, ATM and a playground surrounded by surveillance cameras and barbwire. This place was just a gated community or a housing estate with more fortification, guards and a life explicitly regimented to totalitarian control. These niceties do not change the fact that it is a prison, but the order and architecture of the prison saturates everything, everywhere in(modern) society—transforming and homogenizing the environments that people inhabit.

    Now might be a time to start from the beginning. After just moving to the Netherlands, by chance I ran into someone who I met a year ago. That night they told me about a New Year’s Eve noise demonstration at a migrant detention center outside Schiphol airport—the Schiphol-Oost Detention Centre—that can theoretically hold migrants indefinitely with people talking about sentences of up to a year and a half for not having state approved paper work. After the noise demonstration, there would supposedly be an after party at an industrial plant turned into a squat that has existed for seventeen years. This sounded fun and less boring than the normal New Year’s Eve party routine by bringing a little bit of party to the captive refugees.

    Sure enough, as the story goes, I went to the meet up point, here a well-prepared legal support collective handed out information, phone number for a lawyer, and collected contract information in case something happened. This surprised me as there is always the possibility of arrest at a noise demo, but I thought it was overkill and that they were indirectly preaching the gospel of law, but I was wrong because it would prove to come in handy. Eventually three buses and an assortment of cars headed to the detention center. We arrived in a suburban layout designed for spatial legibility and control; socially engineered to be inhospitable to life, with entry and exit choke-points for authorities to easily control the area.  Nevertheless people remained undeterred to humbly show their care. Around 150 people arrive with a portable stereo, drinks, fireworks and a general disdain for prisons. From Discharge’s State Violence, State Control to Keny Arkana’s La Rage among others blaring, people began shooting fireworks, chanting and waving to people in the prison, who would yell back flicking their lights on and off.  With a military police vehicle arriving and keeping its distance, we marched around the prison screaming—‘No borders, no nations, no deportations’—we came to the parking lot where dancing, drinking, and speeches to the prisoners ensued. After standing in the parking lot for 30 minutes or so, it was not long before people started writing messages on cars and getting more aggressive towards the enormous concrete gated community style walls, complete with a wavy cut crescent edge. Eventually we go back to the bus slowly around 12:40, concerned about the safety of the undocumented migrants at the demonstration. Then right as one bus pulled out to leave more police cars arrived to block the exiting buses.

    The police received reports of graffiti on cars and wanted the culprits. People kept their distance, instead of confronting the police, while a negotiating standoff in the cold took place for an hour in half,. The police deployed devise tactics trying to separate the group by ‘only wanting the people who wrote on the cars’—attempting to separate the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’ protesters. This stressed people out because of the presence of undocumented migrants. People debated about the next steps to be taken, soon many would volunteer to turn themselves in as the culprits to help the undocumented people, but then the police declined, saying they will not believe them and that they wanted to ID everyone on all the buses. The police lesion told them that it was pointless and a waste of resources as many people have already left by car, among other points.  Eventually, the police headed straight for the bus in the middle of the road that had been leaving when they blocked the road, it was separate from the other buses, which made it more vulnerable.  However, more important was that the people without documents requested that the others do not intervene or escalated the situation with the police if they come on the bus. The police did, beginning to chip away at our group—this was extremely uncomfortable to watch.  Here they took everyone off the bus identified and took pictures of them. Then several people were arrested for not having identification and questionable legal status. The other mass of angry protesters sat and watched, because did not want them to escalate the situation with the police. Again, this was frustrating and uncomfortable and affects the moral of some people.
    This left people irate, some at the people who wrote on cars, but everyone at the police. The standoff continued for some hours more, until people got cold and tired of waiting, eventually trying to walk and/or run home. This turned into a game of cat and mouse with the 20-30 police and their vehicles running around and trying to grab people stuck in this suburban mouse trap. This was great as people got to move around, warm up and watch the military police fumble over trying to chase them. There was a timeless attempt by the police to grab someone where they the slipped and fell into the mud, which created some fun, laughter and comic relief. This game continued for another 40 minutes before people really started running for it. People began getting arrested as they tried to dart down long roads. However, rumor has it some people got away. Then numbers began to slowly dwindle as the military police picked people off. Meanwhile the cold was setting in, someone tried to build a fire out of a pallet, and then a cop came over with a fire extinguisher and put it out. They were ndirectly using the cold to assault us as food, water and alcohol was running out because people only expected to be at the prison for an hour in a half—then party time!

    Unfortunately for us, party time came in the form of three riot police vans, three K9 units and military police with MP-5 sub-machine guns. Feelings hurt from having to run a couple blocks and slipping in the mud, they now had an overwhelming show of force to squash the noise demonstration. By around three in the morning, they had devised their plan and started to get into position. They moved the riot vans to face the side of the buses and shined their flood lights blinding us. They formed a circle around us, while we jumped up and down blinded by flood lights trying to stay warm, German shepherds barked as police prepared to attack. I found myself in a horrible situation, one that resembled a firing squad scene I had only scene in movies, except instead of rifles pointed at us it was riot cops and police dogs. Backs up against the buses, blinded by lights and in this suburban dead, I was shocked by what I was seeing.  Europe’s fascism has become more intelligent and politically acceptable over the years, so instead of a firing squad it was riot cops.

    They began playing some dispersal recording in Dutch and immediately people in the crowed turned into a dance party because of the rhythm in the order, which made me laugh, but people snapped out of it as they moved in swinging their batons trying to shove and grab people. Then some people ran on the bus, while other got kettled. My new friend and I jump onto the bus to escape being rustled like cattle as a cop tries to hit us into the kettle.  On the bus, we sat and watched as the others got pushed in between two riot vans and surrounded by riot cops. We watched this dystopic scene continue, from this firing squad situation to the transportation of human cattle, this scene was one like I had only seen in movies about nightmares of the past and future. Against the backdrop of a prison in a socially engineered Dutch suburbia, the 40 or so people were forced between two riot vans and enclosed by police with flood lights shining on, giving it a death camp feeling,  as they were force marched to the prison. People later told me in jail how at every step taken the bumper of the van was millimeters from hitting them.  Watching this scene my heart dropped as I felt a deep disgust, living the sci-fi future I feared. The ambiance of the Schiphol industrial area, the prison walls and the flood lights beaming off them as they are surrounded by riot police pushing and jabbing them with shields and batons, combined with the military police in beret uniforms with MP-5 submachines guns and police scattered around the van with dogs confirmed the reality of the world that everyone wants to pretend does not exist. I find myself incapable to convey this haunting scene that was nearly taken straight out of Children of Men.

    I was told it worsened as they were pushed into the prison. Stuck in between these vans and escorted through prison gates by riot police, they resisted their confinement and abuse every step of the way. Where they were forced into outdoor cages where they would take their jackets and the police beat and manhandled them out of the cadge one-by-one into prison cells, then photographed and finger printed—which some continued to resist. Meanwhile in the bus, we sat and waited, unsure of what will happen, internally I held to a fleeting hope they will realize how fucked up they are and how much resources they waste and will just let us go. It seems I will believe and hold onto anything if placed in a bad enough situations—‘they abused us enough, they made their point, now they will let us go? Right? Why wouldn’t they? This is stupid, they are fascistic assholes.’ Horrible situations makes you grasp to the crumbs they give you, you do not know what will happen, it is new, so naturally you pray start praying for bureaucratic miracles, or magic wand tricks from lawyers. Kind of pathetic, but investigating and unraveling these feelings within you might prove important to understanding ourselves, our weaknesses and could provide paths to building strength— but who knows. So while I know it is helpless, I find myself clinging to the hope that they will let us go. Instead the third and then second riot van returns so they can shine their flood lights on the bus, while military personal surrounded us watching us pee, drinking coffee and reminiscing about their barrack drama or whatever,  we sat there trying to sleep and make the best out of being in a hostage situation.

    We sat like this watching their coffee breaks and drive around in self-important circles until about noon January 1st. At ten o’clock, they told us some lies about how they will let us go after they see our identification and take a picture of us, but first we  had to drive to the military police headquarters across the street—(ahhhh driving ourselves to jail!). Worn down, people were pissed and had many concerns about their lives—kids, dogs, work— since no one knew when this was going to end. Nevertheless, held captive by the military in a pullout, we had little choice to either comply or wait until they come into the bus and beat us out—something that many did not want. Remember, we just went to make some noise and say hello to detained migrants—people were not prepared for a hostage situation. So eventually, we complied. Entering their headquarters around noon, the two buses got processed and they gave us some bag lunches at 12:30. We sat, we sat. I needed to take a shit for eight hours and they still would not let me shit until I went in to get processed—they used everything humanly possible to violate us and place people without proper IDs in cells.

    By 3:00 they had taken my stuff, my ID and put me into a small holding cell with someone else from the bus were we sat and waited in a tight little white box, with florescent lights and a camera. My cell mate was released , then sometime later the prosecutor  gave me a paper full of lies about how I resisted arrest, and they interrogated me about how they just needed to confirm my identity before they release me at nine that evening. So I sat there until I was moved to another prison, sat in another holding cell and then finally was brought to my prison cell, which to my surprise was like a university dorm room with its own bathroom. Stressed and exhausted from not sleeping all night, I found the mattress to be better than most in budget hostels or expensive universities. I had a nice green IKEA desk with shelves and a green locker.  While the bathroom light did not work, it was a nice title bathroom with a toilet and hot water shower. I found myself disorientated and confused. I looked out the window and saw a little complex with grass, designated social spaces, a playground and some type of bank logo, and there was an ATM in the center of the yard. The only way I could describe it is as a gated community with its worse features exaggerated, but features it seems people desire, want, or are taught to want in society. I was surprised to see my prison cell so closely resembling a university dorm room or cheap European apartment. Despite this surprise, I was still in prison, confined and I had no idea what these crazy people were going to do to me. In some ways I cannot believe the environment and culture of this detention center. Whoever creates, operates and accepts the presence of prisons is a hate-filled psycho—spreading an infrastructure coded some seriously unresolved issues.  Inevitably anyone who works in these places will become damaged, and anyone they place there they are trying to torture with some plausible deniability. These environments are a hazard to everyone, but I am a broken record.

    Eventually I feel asleep finally for an hour in a half. Then I got taken out of the cell to another holding room, so they could take me to another room to take finger prints. Then back to my cell again were I waited to see if they would really release me at nine, which they did not. But they started releasing me and five other people around 10:45. I was so happy, because the institutional culture of the prison is beyond fucked up—capturing people in their maze of rooms, procedures and orders. I eventually got dropped off at the airport and a kind person waited for us and arranged a ride back to our lives. The state expelled tons of resources to abuse us, because messages were written on a couple cars at the prison, and later the media would describe the demonstration as violent—which is laughable.  However, more surprising is the deep relationship and affinity I felt and saw between the prison and out-side the prison. The way the prison is just a more intense totalitarian replica of what already happens outside it—the same economic, political and social functions are taking place with the same architecture and relationships. These urban, suburban architectures and the science of population control have become increasingly more intelligent over time and embody the progress demanded by politicians.  This progress appears more than ever to perfect the model of the prison to the entirety of society, to perfect a productive order and managed at the expense of the prisoners, who embrace these structures. This show of state force has reminded me the importance of noise demonstrations and graffiti—the backbones of any peaceful demonstrations—the things I take for granted. Caring for others with small symbolic actions, like partying, writing messages, and waving to prisoners are meaningful and can trigger a hostage taking situation where you risk bleeding and shitting on yourself. Uncomfortable, but how does one confront nightmares the state creates? These institutions are justified with notions of safety, order and so on, but they systematically threaten everyone, making anyone a prisoner who exercises even a small attempt at freedom. This is nothing new.  People abide and give power to an order that is deranged that seeks to tamper with and consume all life on the planet, but as long as it does not directly harm them in an unexpected way, or if scientists have not confirmed the measurements of these damages, then the train keeps moving unquestioned.

     

    by Xander

    The Necromantic Urge: Some Thoughts Following The Zoltan Istvan/John Zerzan Debate

    An Eruption by Bellamy Fitzpatrick

    This essay was originally written in the week following the debate at Stanford, a recording of which can be found here. A shorter, differently edited version of this essay will appear under a different title in the Spring 2015 issue of Fifth Estate. This version has been displayed here with their permission.

    “Come and hear the views of two thinkers who […] arguably have defined, the two polar opposite views on the effects of technology […]” (1)

    Grimacing at the clash-of-the-titans-esque rhetoric that epitomized the debaters, I nonetheless made my way eagerly to Stanford on November 15th to watch Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan debate Anarcho-Primitivist John Zerzan.