I upgraded CUPS yesterday and apparently broke my printing. After some googling and searching on the Gentoo forums, I came up with the following:
1) Delete the printer from http://localhost:631/printers/
2) killall cupsd (perhaps using the PID and -9 switch if the bastard won’t die)
3) /etc/init.d/cupsd zap
4) /etc/init.d/cupsd start
5) Add the printer back into the web panel
It works now.
(Note that you could probably fix the problem with a reboot, but that’s just so Windows-like.)
‘Twas the year before Christmas, and all through the land
The disk drives were whirring with computer thefts grand.
Though the codes and the passwords were prepared with great care,
The embezzlers and felons popped up everywhere.
While bankers and executives were snug in their beds
And visions of profits danced in their heads,
Computers and terminals and DP machines
Were covertly used for criminal means.
Commercial Trust in New Jersey received such a clatter
When a keypunch mistake made a bank account fatter.
One-tenth of a million was lost in a flash
And a simple coin dealer had that much more cash.
In Flushing, a student who knew some DP
Awarded himself a Phi Beta key.
His grades were altered so lively and quick
That his peers were amazed and the faculty sick.
Two agents in Bridgeport for the U.S. DEA
Discovered that selling drug data would pay.
An IBM mainframe was used for the crime,
And they managed to profit for quite a long time.
In Toronto, an Amdahl was used for abuse
As students put CRT screens to misuse.
And Hawthorne, California, saw funds fade away
When a Honeywell system took part in foul play.
Even NASA had its share of computer-crime men,
Stolen DP directories and breached PDP-10’s.
And who can forget the Belmont affair,
When programmer and cash were suddenly not there.
In L.A., the UCB staff had a fright
When one million dollars was lost overnight.
And Security Pacific had its day to rue
When a clever programmer took ten million-two.
Now congressmen, now senators and banks of the nation,
All struggle to enact preventative legislation.
And Abraham Ribicoff is getting his licks.
While sponsoring Senate Bill Seventeen-Sixty-and-Six.
Today, for computers with data encryption,
Total security is nothing but fiction.
And computer criminals and crooks continue to jeer,
“If we didn’t get you this time, just wait ‘til next year!”
Thanks to the reader, who sent this to Richard Forno, who posted it to the Info Warrior list
Since the beginning of December I’ve been trying to get a job shadow setup with F5 Networks down in Seattle. It was finally confirmed today and it turns out I’ll be shadowing Brian Hatch. I didn’t even know he worked there.
Control Room is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. It documents the media’s coverage in the first month of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, specifically focusing on Al-Jazeera. Or, as IMDB would have it, “a documentary on perception of the United States’s war with Iraq, with an emphasis on Al Jazeera’s coverage.”
As far as documentaries go, it does a good job at attempting to be balanced. One of the main characters is a P.R. person from the military at the Coalition Command Center.
If the word Al-Jazeera doesn’t send you running back into a dark corner, I highly recommend watching it.
Hello Pig Monkey,
This is just to let you know that per your request, we have now "throttled"
your domain pig-monkey.com.
You requested to have your domain "throttled" when its usage for this
billing cycle was about to reach 40 GB.
Since you have used 16211826332 GB in the first 27 days of this cycle, it
follows that most likely you would exceed your limit within one day.
Therefore, we've now "throttled" your domain! What that means is now instead
of showing the regular contents of your web directory, pig-monkey.com is now
showing the contents of "your web directory.throttled" (that is, your
regular web directory, but with ".throttled" at the end). You should put up
a very small page there explaining to your site visitors that you've
temporarily closed your site to save on bandwidth. You may want to even
set up a DreamHost Donations link there (see the "Home > Donations" area
of our web panel!).
If you'd like to "un-throttle" your domain right NOW, please go to the
"Status > Bandwidth" section of our web panel and click the "Throttle"
link you see there. Otherwise, your domain will automatically switch back
to its regularly scheduled web directory at the beginning of the next
The Happy DreamHost Throttling Team
P.S. Our web panel is at https://panel.dreamhost.com/ .
I sent this reply:
I do hope you've misplaced a decimal somewhere. How is it even possible
to use 16,211,826,332 GB? According to the Status -> Bandwidth tab, my
pig-monkey.com domain has only used 15114.29MB and my cycle estimate for
the entire plan is 18.434GB.
If, by some miracle of a higher deity, I have used as many gigabytes as
you've claimed (and your data center hasn't imploded from the sudden
use, leaving you all disabled or at least otherwise occupied), you might
as well claim my soul now, as there's no way I can pay
$3.242365254x1010 in overage charges.
To which I received the following:
Wahoo! We're rich! :) Seriously though, I don't think you need to
worry about this. Your bandwidth usage is well within your plans limits
(as you can see from your web panel), so it's probably just a bug in our
system somewhere. If you receive any further messages about this, or
these numbers actually show up in your web panel (yikes!), let us know
and we'll be happy to investigate it further for you.
Today I finally finished reading Volume Two of Emma Goldman’s Living My Life. Although it’s a direct continuation of the first (the first page is 504), I didn’t enjoy it as much as Volume One. The meat of the book is on Soviet Russia, following her 1919 deportation from America, which I just found to be too depressing.
Everybody should read the first volume. If you feel like it, go for the second.
Now I need to figure out what happened to her after her autobiography ends (1923/24).
An anarchist analysis by a faction of the infamous CrimethInc collective of the events of the RNC 2004, focusing on the organizing and direct action aspects of the protests and what it means for the future of direct action in the United States.
by Alexander Trocchi, CrimethInc. International News Agent Provocateur
The Republican National Convention was the ultimate slight to New York: those who made careers and a quick buck off the September 11th events returned to feast like vultures on the corpses of the dead, attempting to rally support for a failing war and a disastrous regime by parading around near the site of Ground Zero. As one might suspect, there were going to be protests, courtesy of an amalgamation of New Yorkers and out-of-town protesters, direct action anarchists and anti-war pacifists, community groups and Marxist sects. The question of the hour was: Were the protests going to bring the house of cards down?
The answer is no, they didn’t, but there were signs that this will be possible - and soon. The RNC 2004 protests showed that resistance is possible in this country quickly sliding towards old-fashioned homeland fascism: a vast multitude of people are getting ready to roll against the corporate aristocracy that runs this country. And many in New York are willing put their bodies on the line against the regime.
To understand the historic importance of this protest, one must know a little of its genealogy. The RNC 2000 protest in Philadelphia was the first major failure of the anti-globalization movement, a movement that had seemed unstoppable after Seattle, and its long shadow hung over the minds of many of us as we prepared for the 2004 RNC. The failure in Philly was primarily a failure of imagination and organization: the organizers attempted to repeat a “shut-down the city” protest - complete with blockades, a risky proposition on the East Coast where those skills are less common than on the West Coast - without sufficient numbers. Heavy-handed police tactics succeeded in thwarting this strategy, setting a precedent for militarized repression that culminated in the so-called “Miami Model” during the protests against the Free Trade Area of the Americas ministerial in 2003. Ever since the RNC 2000 protests, anarchists have whispered about decentralized action as an alternative to badly-planned centralized action.
Before September 11th, the anti-globalization movement was becoming increasingly anarchist in orientation, pursuing increasingly militant tactics in the streets and developing a sophisticated analysis of global capitalism. After September 11th, the anti-globalization movement let the traditional authoritarian Left, such as the Marxist-Leninist ANSWER or their more liberal counterparts in UFPJ, seize control of the anti-war movement. These groups discouraged actual direct action, while occasionally borrowing the rhetoric of confrontation from more militant groups. Soon, these elitist organizers had set the movement back to marching around in circles. While many did their best - as massive direct actions from San Francisco to New York on the eve of the Iraq war showed - to put their bodies on the line to halt the war machine, the authoritarian Left did all it could to divert energy away from genuine resistance. As any veteran of the anti-war movement of the Sixties could have foreseen, mere marches could not and did not stop the war. All the same, the vast networks, such as Indymedia, created by the militant anti-globalization movement became vital to the anti-war movement.the networks and influence of the anarchist underground were continuing to spread.
Popular hatred against the government, particularly as symbolized by its leading figurehead George W. Bush, was at an all-time high. Kids were coming home in bodybags from a war based on lies, the economy was in shambles, and the government was obviously run by a self-interested rich elite. This was a socially volatile situation to say the least. Unlike at the 2000 RNC, there were going to be massive numbers of protesters, and it appeared people were finally fed up enough to do something more than march in circles. The gambit was that the spirit and tactics of Seattle could merge with the massive numbers of the anti-war movement: combined, they would be unstoppable.
A year in advance, the website www.rncnotwelcome.org had been set up to coordinate these protests. Although anarchists were often caricatured as an alienated balaclava-clad minority, in reality they were the backbone of the organizing around the RNC. The main group that handled legal at the RNC was the explicitly anarchist People’s Law Collective, with the help of the National Lawyer’s Guild. The noRNC Clearinghouse meetings were started by anarchists, and these meetings enabled a wide variety of groups to plan for the protests. Anarchists organized housing, put up posters, and, with their usual humility, did much of the dirty work, without bothering to tell the world of their political affiliations.
In New York City, during the months preceding the RNC, Republicans not only lacked support but were openly hated. For example, while I was eating a falafel in Queens, the chef came out and gave me a flyer for the anti-RNC protests, telling me to be there. I assured him I was going to be. Later, I observed a well-dressed, evidently Republican young man tearing down anti-RNC posters. He was caught red-handed in the act by myself and a New Yorker, and with the approval bystanders, was quickly scared into running away. One local actually grabbed the poster and put it back up.
New York is the essence of the city taken to its almost illogical conclusion: miles and miles of skyscrapers and concrete, so large that it is always teetering on the edge of collapse, with only 40,000 cops standing between capitalism and chaos. Among its massive numbers, there is a wide range of groups that have been excluded, marginalized, and exploited: everyone from old Puerto Rican men working in community gardens in the Bronx to radical lesbian biker performance artists. This diversity in turn makes New York one of the most explosive and exciting places for radical politics. Yet New York is also large enough to be home to some of the most retrograde elements in North American radical politics: ridiculous Leninist cults such as the Revolutionary Communist Party, liberal activist superstars, and continual infighting. This makes planning a centralized protest almost impossible - there are simply too many variables to take into account, and even anarchists have trouble getting along together. But if one thing could draw people together, it was the common outrage against the Republicans.
Decentralization Beyond the Point of No Return
The noRNC Clearinghouse meetings were crucial for creating the infrastructure needed, opening a non-denominational space in which everyone from United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) to Shutdown NYC could get together to coordinate, make announcements, and connect to others. As the RNC drew closer, the noRNC Clearinghouse meetings had so many participants that it took hours just for all the groups to proclaim their plans. Instead of becoming a spokescouncil for the entire protest, the clearinghouse transformed itself into the noRNC bazaar. The bazaar was a far cry from a consensus meeting; groups set up tables and solicited people to join their actions. There was a spokescouncil for the A31 Direct Action on Tuesday, but this spokescouncil only dealt with that day.s actions, not the protest as a whole. Much to everyone’s surprise, St. Marks Church wasn’t set up explicitly as a convergence center, although that space functioned as an informal hang-out and meeting spot. Initiatives such as the Anarchist World’s Fair encouraged anarchists to come early, and events ranging from the academic “Life After Capitalism” to the down and dirty “Really Really Free Market” heightened the energy in the air. The RNC was a grand experiment: everything was completely decentralized. As the communique delivered by the NYC Anarchist Grapevine said, “We should all finally face it - there is no Big Plan.” Just show up and see what was going down, or organize something yourself.that was the zeitgeist. Beautiful maps of New York City featuring multi-racial kissing pirates, subway stops, and corporate targets were provided a la carte.
As the dates of the RNC drew nearer, some were getting butterflies in their collective stomachs about this lack of concrete action plans. One advantage of openly decentralizing the action plans was that many groups creatively called for autonomous actions: the “Mouse Bloc” and “Chaos on Broadway” call to interrupt the delegates as they watched Broadway shows, the humorous “Man in Black Bloc” call to reclaim Johnny Cash from the Republicans, and a host of increasingly surreal calls like the “Viking Bloc” were all examples of this. While this decentralized model opened space for autonomous action, it was unclear if the maturity and vision to plan even a single fully realized, effective decentralized action existed anywhere. The lack of a central spokescouncil prevented incompetent groups from taking control and instead invested faith in the people themselves, which is an inherently anarchist strategy for success; however, the fact of the matter was that while many were empowered, many coming in from out of town were bewildered. Most had neither the experience nor the time to organize their own direct actions or even navigate New York City properly. This enabled authoritarian groups that organize behind closed doors to take center stage with their plans to march everyone aimlessly around - you guessed it - in circles.
Predictably, they called for a large permitted march to go right by the Republican National Convention’s location at Madison Square Garden. The march was to take place on Sunday, before the Convention even began, in order to maximize turnout and minimize possible conflict with the State. As one right wing website put it, “If this is the best the Revolution has to offer, the Establishment is safe.” Monday was reserved for not only one, but two, three, many Poor People’s Marches. Then out of nowhere, a group of West Coast activists parachuted in with the help of the usual suspects.the activists known during the RNC 2000 debacle as the Direct Action Network.to plan massive nonviolent civil disobedience in New York on Tuesday, hoping to repeat a success like the anti-war demonstrations in San Francisco.
The unprecedented decentralization of the RNC protests was perhaps the only way to organize in the chaos that is New York City, yet it left protesters with a schedule of events curiously similar to the Philly 2000 RNC protests. In fact, the schedule was almost exactly the same, down to the very days of the week. As experience has shown us consistently, anyone who suggests that protesters should divide their forces over a few days, with each day being reserved for one special type of protest, is a danger to all. Such a strategy always pans out in this way: on the first day of protest, usually a Sunday, there is a big march of a supposedly broad-based coalition, and the limits of this march are controlled by a small hierarchical group. Since these liberal and Marxist groups usually are well-funded, they can bring in bus-loads of people to march with them; they generally use the opportunity to hand-out mass-produced signs, sell newspapers, and bore people senseless with an endless array of carefully selected speakers. Most people leave town immediately after the big march is over. The next day, often a Monday, the various poor people’s marches begin, usually being mostly local people of color groups. Since poor people are inherently more dangerous to the State than liberals marching around in circles, they get hassled or attacked by the police. Anarchists support both of these marches and join in them, creating infrastructure and support work often for both. On the last day of action - a Tuesday - people interested in direct action are finally permitted to take the reigns, but in complete isolation. They take to the streets by themselves and, having announcing their plans all over the Internet, are quickly arrested and brutalized by the police. Now that many of us have experienced this way of scheduling protests several times, it’s hard not to see it as a sign of either sub-human intelligence or collaboration with the State - but in this aspect the protests against the RNC 2004 appeared to ape those against the RNC 2000.
After Seattle, everyone agreed that we couldn’t repeat that particular model, as the element of surprise was gone. However, while we have lost the element of surprise in massive demonstrations, the other crucial element of Seattle that can and should be repeated is synchronicity. The combination of well-coordinated organized lock-downs, massive and festive demonstrations that provided support for direct actions, and decentralized autonomous actions like squat take-overs and Black Blocs, all at the same time, is what made the Seattle protests impossible for the police to control. Whenever any of these elements is isolated, it will most likely fail. Our power lies in the ability of diverse groups to coordinate, each offering its strengths in mutually beneficial relationships with other groups that may be completely different in ideology and tactics. This is the true strength of any network-based anti-authoritarian movement. To declare a return to staid leftist marching under a unified banner as one faceless mass, or to proclaim that “militant Black Blocs” or “non-violent civil disobedience” is the one true tactical way forward.both of these approaches are ridiculous and potentially detrimental to what potential we have. Anarchists should set the stage, then do whatever it is they do best in conjunction with everyone else, all at the same time. It’s a simple recipe, yet it’s never really been repeated in the United States on a large scale since the IMF/World Bank protests in 2000.
Many anarchists organizing for the RNC were veterans of Seattle and other successful anti-globalization protests, and were hoping that the RNC protests would follow such a model. Yet UFPJ, lest their good names be tarred with the taint of actual direct action, did their best so keep their march separate from the direct action and civil disobedience. In the vain hope that we could somehow make an alliance with them, many anarchists did not openly confront UFPJ. In reality, old-fashioned Leftist groups like the UFPJ leadership are taking advantage of all the hard work of the anarchists and then throwing them into the jaws of the State. Since many Marxist-Leninists and liberals, as well as the frightening “anarcho-liberals,” are career activists, they don’t actually want to change things - if they did, they’d be out of a job - so they naturally avoided any real disruption of the RNC.
Fortunately, anarchists and others who were more interested in action sent out calls for direct actions. These included a giant critical mass organized by Time’s Up, a unified direct action and direct democracy “Don’t Just Vote Take Action” contingent in the UFPJ march, a “Mouse Bloc” to personally confront the delegates Sunday night, and the A31 call to - shut down the RNC - on Tuesday. The possibility that the massive numbers of the anti-war movement would join in with the direct action tactics of the anti-globalization movement was negated by the scheduling of events. However, despite the best attempts of the police, media, and liberals to demoralize and divide the protesters, including a few “radicals” like Todd Gitlin humorously showing their true colors by saying any protest would just play into the hands of the Republicans, it was clear that something big was going to happen.
Things were heating up, and even UFPJ’s rhetoric took a turn to direct action as they were prevented from going to Central Park and instead forced to turn around and go to Union Square. Although the war of words over which symbolic goal would be reached was a bit humorous, Mayor Bloomberg and the powers that be were getting scared. In an act of high comedy, the City began offering discounts at shops and museums to protesters who signed an agreement to be peaceful. Obviously the mayor hoped to obscure the fact that many of the protesters were there primarily to act against capitalism. Had the Queen offered to give Boston Tea Party protesters some Nestea coupons in return for a promise of pacifism, would we still be swearing “God Save the Queen”? The media proclaimed that “Anarchy Inc.” was going to take down the city. In a special “leak” from the police, the media revealed fifty of the country’s leading anarchists, each with fifty loyal followers willing to sacrifice themselves for their leader (?!), were being trailed by individually assigned goon squads. Obviously, all the money in the newfound massive intelligence budgets of the NYPD and FBI can.t make up for their fundamental lack of human intelligence. Virtually no anarchists any of us know were actually trailed, except for those who have appeared on major television channels in the last few years as “anarchist” media spokespeople. We all know those people are not involved in direct action in reality, due to the nature of their roles as media spokespeople.
In an effort to help turn the tide of fear, a media event was held entitled “Are You an Anarchist? The Answer May Surprise You.” The participants ranged from the preacher Father Frank Morales of St. Mark.s Place to Kazembe Balagoon, author of “Queering the X: James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and the Third World.” As Warcry reminded the media, the real violence is never caused by the demonstrators, but the capitalist system, which is busy destroying the foundations upon which all of life rests. Since neither candidate is in favor of abolishing capitalism, no matter who wins the election, we all lose. Starhawk ended the session by reminding the media that the President personally condones violence as our official foreign policy, which puts a few streets clogged by sit-downs and the possibility of a broken window into perspective.
The Protest that Never Sleeps
The protests began in earnest on Thursday with an upbeat touch, as the RNC2DNC march arrived from the Democratic National Convention in Boston wearing Zapatista masks, breaking the law to bring the message of the Lacandon jungle home against the impressive backdrop of New York City’s glass-plated skyscrapers.
Time’s Up! had been busy repairing bikes for weeks before the RNC. Their work set the stage for the great role bicycles played throughout the entire protest. On Friday night, the largest Critical Mass in NYC history seized the street in defiance of the terrifying environmental costs of this oil-driven civilization. Over five thousand bikers of all stripes and colors seized the streets for two hours, fouling up traffic in Manhattan and generally humiliating the police, who have never been able to control Critical Mass in NYC.
As things wound down, the Critical Mass returned to St. Mark’s Church, and the cops attacked, targeting random bikers, breaking bones, and arresting anyone who tried to prevent them from doing so. In one telling moment, a few cops walked into the middle of St. Mark’s Church and arrested someone, even when they were surrounded by hundreds of protesters who could have stopped them. Still, for the most part the bikers managed to evade this repression and accomplish their goals. It was clear the battle was on, and the NYPD were playing for keeps. Instead of using the high-tech weaponry favored by police at Miami, the NYPD were going to rely on old-fashioned clubs, numbers, and beatdowns.
On Sunday, the UFPJ march slowly but surely gathered in the streets. Earlier, when the permit for the rally in Central Park had been denied, there had been rumors that people were going to try to march to Central Park anyway, regardless of what the UFPJ leadership said. While on many levels both possible destinations for the march were merely symbolic goals, marching to Central Park would have placed the march going right through Broadway around the time the Mouse Bloc was to confront the RNC delegates as they attended musicals. The feeling among local anarchists was that a giant Black Bloc at the march would have caused police to single us out for attack - in retrospect that might not have been the case, or even have been a bad thing if it had happened, but at the time anarchists from out of town took the advise of the locals seriously. To provide an alternative, the Don’t Just Vote Get Active campaign called for a “Unified Direct Democracy and Direct Action” contingent to deliver “a radical message to what otherwise might be a reformist event.” Gathering the Rhythm Workers Union and the Infernal Noise Brigade, the Pagans and the Greens, colorful hippies and black-clad anarcho-punks, pink-clad musicians and radical cheerleaders; this amalgamation grew into one of the largest and most festive contingents in the entire march.
A huge Green Dragon of Self-Determination led the entire contingent, taking up almost an entire block. A small group of people with strange signs urging people to “disassemble the totality of power,” holding black umbrellas to hide themselves from the ever-present cameras filming on the tops of buildings, gathered behind the dragon. Others danced in front of the dragon, and the march seemed to be riding a crest of sheer joy as it approached Madison Square Garden, where the convention was to be held. At this juncture, right in front of the convention center, the sound system of the dragon finally ran out of batteries. In this opening, the Pagans began their inspiring Spiral Dance, and then, as Starhawk of the pagan cluster wrote, she felt “some powerful earth energy, a kind of raw life force that pulsed and thundered and rose up into a great, focused cone of power. Someone told me to look behind, and in the relatively empty space between us and the line of cops at 34th St., the dragon was burning.” The Green Dragon had burst into flames. Police retreated behind their barricades, and then gathered forces and began arresting people at random. A spontaneous Black Bloc appeared, defending themselves from the attacking police by throwing bottles as the flames raged behind them.
To this day, no one knows exactly why the Green Dragon went up in smoke. I was dancing relatively near it and have no idea if it was a malfunction, a Pagan spell, an undercover Black Bloc using the Green Dragon as a Trojan Horse, or just some random act of madness. Regardless, in this downright surreal course of events, it became clear to me as the crowd fought back against the police assault that at least some people were bored of marching around aimlessly in circles and wanted to take militant direct action against the powers of the State. At one point, the cops even retreated from the crowd.
We should be very careful about saying that anything is caused by “police provocateurs,” unless there is solid evidence. I remember groups like Ya Basta! floating the same accusations around Genoa against the Black Bloc. It’s always easy for protest organizers to call “police provocateurs” those militants who refuse to be corralled into their “organized” plans. While the burning dragon on strictly rational grounds made little sense except as a visceral manifestation of discontent, there was something fitting about a giant bonfire being set only a few yards from the castle of the self-proclaimed rulers of the world. If only the fire was on the inside!
Unfortunately, the march turned dead around instead of forcing its way to Central Park. UFPJ marshals told the marchers to try to make their way to Central Park individually, in what could only feel like an anti-climax. Many anarchists and other angry citizens who weren’t already at Broadway went there to participate in the “Chaos on Broadway” and “Mouse Bloc” actions. This is where another phase in direct action began, one that fit almost perfectly the personality of New York City: small groups followed Republican delegates around New York and made their lives a living hell by being as rude as possible to them. On Broadway, I was greeted by an amazing sight: hundreds of protesters gathering in both large clumps and small clusters, undercover cops everywhere but seemingly unable to do anything, hundreds of ordinary tourists wandering about, and the cops generally losing control of the situation. As I walked out of the subway, I heard a girl scream as she fell, nearly wrapped in this strange orange mesh the cops were using to attempt to corral people, literally knocked off her feet by a cop.
Generally, the rule seemed to be that groups of protesters who were wearing bandannas, holding up anti-Bush banners, or dressing in even more black than is usual in New York City, were targeted by the police and arrested as soon as they attempted to do anything even mildly illegal. The police even arrested the participants in a giant kiss-in. One can almost hear the officer saying, “We can’t have those queers kissing in public, it’s a threat to public order!” However, many protesters were dressed for the occasion, easily blending into the constant stream of tourists on Broadway. The cops were unable to arrest everybody, as the Republicans, protesters, and unsuspecting people passing by were mixed together. The protesters appeared as if by magic just where the Republicans were, as the Republicans could be easily identified by their blue tuxedos and red badges, as well as their pasty all-white faces and the gleam of greed and religious fundamentalism in their eyes.
The organizational backbone of the whole event was the text messaging txtmob.org set up the Institute for Applied Autonomy. A network is only as powerful as its communications. Tactical information about the location of the police and the Republican delegates was sent out to hundreds of small groups of protesters, who used the information to gather and disperse quickly. It was the second coming of smart mobs, a fading trend given new life by a political objective.
One of my friends nearly caused a delegate to choke him in anger by remarking how he would love to engage in homoerotic acts with said delegate. As the delegate removed his chokehold from my friend’s neck, my friend calmly stared him in the eyes and told him that “Your entire cock could fit inside my mouth.” At that moment, the delegate’s small mind cracked and he just lost whatever sanity he had left. Further down, a small bloc of anarchists terrified Republicans by blocking them with a black banner and chanting that “Right-wing scum, your time has come!” It was definitely not a pleasant night out on the town for the would-be masters of the universe. The arrogance of the Republican delegates was shocking: most of them didn’t even have security or bodyguards. I walked right up to one of them who looked like John McCain and told him he would wish that the Vietnamese had finished him off after what we Americans were going to do to him because of Iraq. I hope I had the right senator! Regardless, everywhere the delegates went there were both peace signs and fingers in the air, and the promise of “RNC Not Welcome” fulfilled itself, lasting hours until the cops finally managed to arrest several hundred people and the remaining protesters left tired but smiling.
On Monday, the several Poor People’s Marches took place. I showed up at the Kensington Welfare Rights March to help a friend of mine manage a large “Boxing Bush” puppet, a life-sized effigy of Bush made especially for people to punch - the perfect puppet for inciting rowdy behavior in a crowd. I noticed a strange dynamic, as white middle-class activists told me to “stop causing trouble” and put our puppet away. While a white liberal told me I was distracting the gathered poor people from listening to yet another speaker, lots of people, especially kids, had a hell of a fun time punching the living daylights out of Bush. I wondered how the previous night’s events would have gone had we had some more of these people on the streets with us to hassle the Republicans. When the march finally got going, the true class war began, as police put on their riot gear. The cops were absolutely idiotic and reckless, harassing and arresting people just for dual crimes of marching and being poor. At another poor people’s march the police claim that an African-American protester gave an undercover a boot in the jaw. Quick point to remember: if the cops claim you assaulted a police officer and your face is on television, do not march around the next day in broad daylight. The police nabbed this man the next day. He’s the kind of guy we need to maintain solidarity with, even if he isn’t a card-carrying member of Anarchy Inc.
The direct action plans for Tuesday originated as some strange plan for a coordinated primal scream. When I went to one of the planning spokescouncil meetings, they were passing around a flower to denote who was given the floor to speak. While I understand there are cultural differences between the East and West Coast, I somehow had difficulty imagining actual New Yorkers in that meeting. Still, when the day of action on Tuesday actually took place, it was impressive. Using the same text-messaging techniques employed successfully in the Broadway actions, large masses of people attempted to block intersections and hassle delegates, bringing large parts of Manhattan to a standstill. The police responded by arresting as many people as they could, as quickly as possible, with little regard to what they were actually doing or if any laws were being broken. At one point cops surrounded me and a friend with the dreaded orange netting. The orange netting was more of a psychological barrier than a physical one: riled up crowds sometimes broke through it. However, most of the crowd I was with didn’t even seem to notice that they were about to be mass-arrested. I walked calmly up to a cop, stared him straight in the eye, and said “You are not arresting me. I’m not a protester. Let me go.” The Jedi mind trick worked, and the cop meekly opened up the orange netting to let me and my friend out. Reports kept flooding in that people were sitting in the streets blocking traffic, and groups like the True Security Cluster did in fact seize a block occasionally.
While the police were arresting people, things were getting out of hand. Some members of my affinity group managed to find themselves face to face with Barbara Bush and George Bush Sr., but the Secret Service arrived before we could effectively confront the former President. Meanwhile, one member of the People’s Law Collective went outside their office for a smoke break, and was pleasantly shocked to see piles of burning trash along Madison Avenue!
There’s a Song Beneath the Concrete
If anything, the RNC protests showed that domestic dissent is alive and well in the United States in the face of the creeping fascism of the Bush regime. This happened against overwhelming odds, and broke a spell of several years of bad luck. It had seemed that the anti-globalization was movement was in retreat since September 11th, unable to adapt its tactics and strategies to the new era of perpetual war and heavy repression. The large anti-globalization summit-protests seemed to be faltering and the anti-war protests ineffectual, with the harrowing nightmare of Miami was still fresh in many people’s minds. In the face of such odds, the RNC protests were a powerful showing of a popular uprising. They stole the media spotlight from the Republicans. The amount of new groups, new faces, and new alliances was overwhelming. Anarchist politics and culture have been kept alive, and a whole new generation is ready to commit their lives to the battle between people and power.
This is a cultural triumph, since just five years ago at Seattle many anarchists felt purposefully excluded for their “too radical” political beliefs. Not only that, but anarchists are hip! A school-teacher friend of mine ran into kids in Queens who were debating the pros and cons of CrimethInc.’s “Evasion” and “Off the Map.” Besides being easily pigeon-holed into the doddering Black Bloc tradition, anarchists of all kinds, from the Radical Reference librarians to the squatters helping out Casa del Sol, were present everywhere. On every level, the direct action movement has shifted toward anarchist decentralized network models of organizing and action. The use of mobile phone technology to communicate tactical information via texting was put to great use. Dressing normally allowed anarchists to infiltrate Republican events.
This was not a pro-Democrat protest: almost everyone I talked to there hated the Republicans but realized that the Democrats did not offer a real alternative. There was almost no pro-Kerry sentiment in evidence, and most protesters claimed that the entire system was bankrupt. More and more people are being drawn to an increasingly radical analysis of capitalism, from MTA workers to veterans back from Iraq. In the words of one paper anarchists distributed at the RNC, “It’s not Just Bush, It’s the System”!
Why did anarchists let hierarchical groups like UFPJ direct events like the Sunday march from behind closed doors, when it was clear that those were the main body of the protests? Like it or not, if we truly believe that decisions should be open, democratic, and available to all, we can’t back down on that stance on the grounds that we need to make some sort of tactical alliance with liberals and crypto-leninists. Since it was anarchists who were doing much if not most of the actual work for the protests, we were in a position to tell UFPJ that they needed to open up their process and operate by at least a consensus-based spokescouncil; this might even have provoked a coup from within their grassroots membership, which is continually irritated at the sheer lack of backbone of their leadership. Often spokescouncils are just platforms for authoritarian cliques, yet as a forum a spokescouncil is better than none at all. After all, where else do we go to announce we are going to disagree with the plan, propose better plans, and meet our friends from out of town?
The authoritarian Left is not our friends: if anything, they are holding back the power of people everywhere to take action. We need to stop pandering to union hierarchies and washed-up Marxists. We can provide spaces for people to take as much action as they feel comfortable with, such as the Green, Yellow, and Red Zones did in the Quebec City anti-FTAA protests. We can build alliances with groups that matter like the poor people of the Bronx who fight against the system for survival everyday. Let’s not tolerate a conscious return to outdated tactics and organizing, even from those of supposedly “anarchist” backgrounds who backslide into retrograde Leninist and liberal behavior, as Chomksy did in pleading with people to vote for Kerry. Let’s keep up the prison support - Banno is still up on trumped-up felony charges for the burning puppet incident, and a movement is only as strong as its prisoner support is.
One more concern is worth voicing - the attrition rate in our community. We anarchists are the most experienced wing of the direct action movement. The generation that gave us Seattle was built up out of nearly a decade of largely unsung valuable work within groups such as Earth First! and Anti-Racist Action - but where is the Seattle generation now? Far too many experienced anarchists have gone into early retirement, which is both ludicrous and pompous since the situation has only gotten more oppressive since September 11th, not less, and most of the world does not have the luxury to retire to a comfortable life-style of dumpster-diving, gardening, or writing theory. We have to be in the front lines until the day we die or win, spreading our collective knowledge so we can finally have a multi-generational movement of resistance in the United States.
As anarchists, it’s not our job to lead by giving commands. We lead by being an inspiring example, and the RNC was an example. We need more heroic examples to show that resistance is possible. The vast majority of people are so caught up within this system of oppression and despair that they cannot imagine another way of life. We can show it is possible by building gardens in abandoned parking lots, by not letting police brutality go unpunished, by fighting police in the streets whenever their masters come to town. We need to show that the Republicans, the G8, the Empire - call it what you will - doesn’t rule the world, but that the power to reshape the world lies in their own hands. It is these demonstrations, in which people realize their own strength and apply it, that keep us inspired and still fighting. The liberals and the remnants of the old Left falsely posit themselves as “representatives” of the people in order to constrain the possible choices and actions of the people. This makes them functionally, if not ideologically, complicit with the forces of the state. We anarchists seek not to represent the people, for we know people can only represent themselves. If someone truly does not want to riot, if they truly want to march around in circles, we respect that choice. Still, judging from the numbers of people who were interested in taking action at the RNC, there is clear evidence this tendency towards action is back and growing. Even if the RNC protests seemed like only a small step, these are the small steps of an awakening giant.
Where are the mysterious anarchists? You’ll find the mythical and dreaded anarchists, both facing off the cops in the streets and building infrastructure, working their fingers to the bone and risking it all for the greatest of stakes: freedom. We’re not superheroes, but ordinary people, dirty and tired, weary yet still smiling, toiling away at mind-numbing drudgery and acting with unbelievable heroism for the dignity of life. We all have the courage we need within us. We can feel it in our bones and in the soil. As Aresh and the folks working in the community gardens in the Bronx know all too well, the soil is still rich and fertile beneath the concrete skyscrapers of New York. All that is required is that we have the courage to break open the concrete. And in New York, I could almost hear the concrete breaking.
Last week I formatted and installed Gentoo. Out of the twenty-or-so times I’ve tried to install it on this computer, this is the first time it has actually worked. (I’ve been able to put Gentoo on any computer but this one with no problem.)
So I’m quite happy about this.
Cryptome has info on a mysterious buldge that appeared in Bush’s back at the first “debate”.
I have carefully reviewed the image that was taken during the Presidential debates where picture was obtained from the back which show an interesting bulge.
First, the President is likely wearing body amour. The jacket is not concealing the armour well and it is "printing though" his clothing.
Second, there are four elements that appear to be "printing" on the back of his suit coat. While it is impossible to identify the system, we can review various equiment of the same size and shape.
1. A "box" section of the device which appears to be located between his shoulder blades, and just over his spine. This is the "bodypack."
2) A wire running vertically up his back across his shoulder blade.
3) A shadow behind his right ear may be an ear-piece, but it is difficult to tell due to the poor resolution of the picture. It would be most unwise for a public figure to use an ear piece that was visible, so this may just be a shadow.
4) There appears to be something actually IN his ear, and it is likely a monitor or cueing prompter.
I was only able to watch the first thirty minutes or so of tonight’s VP “debate”, but I must say I was quite surprised. Between all the regurgitation of last Thursday’s presidential “debate” and the “my pimp is better than your pimp” talk, it seems that Edwards was in the lead (if there can be one). How did that happen? I mean, Dick Cheney can just look at him and Edwards would implode. He’s Dick frickin-Cheney.
It’s settled. Solaris is by far the best song on Shango, and right up there with Navras, Teahouse, and Conga Fury as one of the best Juno Reactor songs.
I also think Shango is a better album than Bible of Dreams.
Who else watched the press conference? It was great fun.
C-SPAN did the split screen thing so that you could always watch one candidate listen to other’s response. I love watching Bush. He looks so…naive, bored, ignorant…something like that.
Do you ever get the urge to pull his ears out from his head and have him puff up his cheeks, or is that just me?
Anway, I think Kerry came out the winner in that one. I mean, I almost liked the guy. That takes something.
In other news, I just got a brand new (still sealed) copy of Juno Reactor’s Shango for $6.00. Excuse me while I sell my soul to Half.com.
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My debit card was declined at a gas station today. After checking to make sure that I had a balance in the account, I called up my bank’s phone support to discover that my card number is part of a block that’s been “compromised” from a certain merchant (they won’t tell me which). Anyway, I have to wait 5 days for a new card with a new number.
Sick of supporting sweat shops every time you buy clothes? Now you can fight back with every thread you buy. No Sweat Apparel has created the first casual clothing brand that actually fights sweatshops - by creating a viable union alternative that can and will transform the global garment industry. But only if concerned consumers support it. When you buy union-made you don't just support one factory - you build and strengthen the entire labor movement. Come now and see how you can help us change the garment industry - just by changing your clothes! No sweat.
No Sweat Apparel:
I’ve ordered a few things from these guys lately. Highly recommended.
I’ve finally finished reading Emma Goldman’s Living My Life, Vol. 1. It’s a very good book. Even though I don’t agree with all of her ideas, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I think that people who aren’t even partial to anarchist ideals would like it.
Yesterday I went to the 9th annual Mt. Baker Blues Festival. It was really good, although some bands just shouldn’t try to play Hendrix. You might be wondering why I went. Three reasons:
“Hubert is the heaviest, most original guitar player I’ve ever heard in my life and that’s the truth” - Stevie Ray Vaughan
“My favorite guitarist is Hubert Sumlin.” - Jimi Hendrix
“Hubert Sumlin is truly amazing!” - Eric Clapton
To Whom It May Concern,
I understand that your station is owned by a large corporation with conservative beliefs, but I believe it would be a great benefit to yourselves and the public at large if you were to expand the range of programming to include people with political views other than conservative. A common argument is that listeners only want right wing radio shows, but that's only because right wing views are mostly what people have been exposed to, having been the only thing to choose from for a long time. But it is becoming increasingly apparant that liberal radio is rapidly gaining in popularity (see: http://www.opednews.com/Hartmann_turn_your_radio_on.htm). With such a wide range of possible choices, from Meria Heller and Amy Goodman to Alex Jones and Jeff Rense to any one of the Air America programs, there's just no excuse for the one-sided conservative views your station currently programs. And there's nothing wrong with having a few conservative talk shows, but when that's ALL that can be heard on the air it is a problem. Whether or not you personally are conservative, I hope you understand it is in the best interest of the citizenry to have access to a number of diverse points of views because, as the famous quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson goes, "An informed citizenry is the bulwark of a democracy".
Thanks for considering these ideas.
Cryptographers and U.S. Immigration
Seems like cryptographers are being questioned when they enter the U.S.
these days. Recently I received this (anonymous) comment: "It seems that
the U.S. State Department has a keen interest in foreign cryptographers:
Yesterday I tried to renew my visa to the States, and after standing in
line and getting fingerprinted, my interviewer, upon hearing that my
company sells [a cryptography product], informed me that "due to new
regulations," Washington needs to approve my visa application, and that to
do so, they need to know exactly which companies I plan to visit in the
States, points of contact, etc. etc. Quite a change from my last visa
application, for which I didn't even have to show up."
I'm curious if any of my foreign readers have similar stories. There are
international cryptography conferences held in the United States all the
time. It would be a shame if they lost much of their value because of visa
Decoder is being charged today. Since I won’t be in an area where I’m likely to have internet access, I would appreciate it if anybody could send any news to email@example.com, which will end up on my cell phone. No long messages, please. I think my phone can only handle 100 characters or so.
I just finished reading The Virus Creation Labs: A Journey into the Underground. Although I have respect for George C. Smith, I didn’t enjoy the book very much. It’s interesting in a historical sense, but at times I find the book either too dry or not technical enough (yes, I know that’s contradictory); not to mention it just seemed to read too much like Masters of Deception, or some other book touting the good old days of underground BBS’s and those evil leet hackers.
It’s short enough, so I guess if you have an interest in computer viruses, namely their history, you should pick it up and finish it in a day.
I finished reading Life of Pi (school required reading) last night. The first 100 pages or so I absolutely despised (religious rants and whatnot), but after Pi became a castaway, I enjoyed the book. The book’s tagline “this book will make you believe in God,” holds no substance. To me, god(s) wasn’t even a part of the book after page 100 or so. Oh well.
Due to my transferring the pig-monkey.com domain to another registrar (more info to come on this later), the site may be inaccessible until the DNS changes propagate across the net (probably 24 hours).
America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.
Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic.
America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1935 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don're really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
- Allen Ginsberg, 1956
After hearing them on Distorted Circuitry, I picked up a copy of Converter‘s Expansion Pack (act143.31 and act143.32) from Strange Fortune. Instead of simply coming as a normal CD, as I expected, it ended up behind two mini-cds, four tracks each. Very odd. I’m pretty sure it would be cheaper to go for one normal CD, not to mention I can’t play these in any slot-loaded player (such as my car), but…it’s unique, I guess.
I recommend picking the album(s) up, if you’re into to (heavy) industrial. It’s good stuff.
I also recommend Strange Fortune if you’re looking for some underground industrial. I’m pleased with them.
Look at the second hand of a stopwatch, and follow it as it records the passing minutes, counting down the minutes of your life that remain to you as they slip away. Are you living the life that you want to live? Are you living a life that, at any given moment, you could look back upon with satisfaction if you suddenly realized that it was about to end? Are you living the sort of life that you would wish upon a human being, a life that is exciting and full, that is well spent, every minute of it? If the answer is no, what can you do in the time that still remains to you-- however long or short that may be-- to make your life more like the one you would like to live? For we all do have only a limited amount of time granted to us in this world-- we should use it with this in mind.
- Crimethinc, Days of War, Nights of Love
So, you've become dubious, cynical? You don't trust the government, Coca-Cola, television anymore? We're perfectly happy to parody ourselves, to insult ourselves, even to explain all of our ugly intentions and evil dealings in detail... as long as it keeps your attention. We have television shows, advertisements, and comic strips carefully designed for those of you who don't have confidence in us anymore. Anything to keep you watching, anything to keep you buying.
We play on your cynicism, cashing in on it, encouraging it. You may know better than to have any faith in us but as long we keep you captivated with our irony and self-deprecation, you won't be able to conceive of any alternatives. Rather than having the idealism to strike out against the status quo, you'll join the ranks of the Dilbert nihilists, no longer able to believe in anything, but still playing your part in the system of despair.
- Crimethinc, Days of War, Nights of Love
Youth is a time when you should be reevaluating the assumptions and traditions of older generations, when you should be willing to set yourself apart from those who have come before and create an identity of your own.
But in our society, "youthful rebellion" has become a ritual: every generation is expected to revolt against the social order for a few years, before "growing up" and "accepting reality." This negates any power for real change that the fresh perspective of youth could have; for now rebellion is "just for kids," and no young person dares to maintain their resistance into adulthood for fear of being thought of as childish.
This arrangement is very much to the advantage of certain corporations who depend on the "youth market." Where is your money going when you buy that compact disc, that chain wallet, that hair dye, leather jacket, wall hanging, all those other accessories that identify you as a rebellious young person? Right to the companies that make up the order you want to stand against. They cash in on your rebellious impulses by selling you symbols of rebellion that actually just keep the wheels turning. You keep their pockets full, and they keep yours empty; they keep you powerless, busy just trying to afford to fit the molds they set for you.
- Crimethinc, Days of War, Nights of Love
I finished reading Jack Kerouac’s On the Road last night. It’s one of the best books I’ve read, by the self-proclaimed “voice of the Beat Generation”.
Hailed by The New York Times as the most beautifully executed, the clearest, and the most important utterance yet of the Beat Generation, On the Road is the kind of book people read, reread, and take to heart.
If you dislike William S. Burroughs, then don’t worry. Kerouac is completely different…yet somehow the same.
In Honor of Your Academic Achievement and Leadership Ability and your Commitment to Our Nation's Democratic System of Government Lead America cordially invites your participation in the Presidential Youth Leadership Conference.
On Friday, July 9th our keynote will be renowned hacker, fugitive, author, radio host, and subject of our documentary ("Freedom Downtime") Kevin Mitnick. Believe it or not, this will be Kevin's first appearance at a HOPE conference.
On Saturday, July 10th we're pleased as punch that Steve Wozniak (of Apple fame) will be giving the keynote address. His work, interests, and philanthropy go far beyond Apple however. Throughout it all, he hasn't lost his interest in the hacker world nor his understanding of what actually constitutes a hacker.
We wrap things up on Sunday, July 11th with another keynote by Jello Biafra (musician, activist, media hacker) who, despite his admitted lack of technical prowess, manages to see the big picture and how it relates to the hacker culture. Jello was our sole keynote at H2K in 2000 and gave an extended talk at H2K2 in 2002, both of which were filled to capacity.
My Cobra ESD-9220WX Radar/Laser Detector just arrived. It’s pretty awesome.
It detects X, K, Superwide KA Band Radar, Laser (including LTI 20-20, Ultra Lyte, and ProLaser technologies), VG-2, Safety Alert and Strobe Alert signals. It’s also VG-2 undetectable, so the cops can’t tell that I have the detector.
Did I mention voice alert?
I finished reading Crimethinc‘s Off the Map. It’s the story of two girls from Olympia who travel to Europe with no money, squatting in different buildings and the like.
I highly recommend it. It’s one of my favorite books.
From the site:
A punk rock vision quest told in the tradition of the anarchist travel story, Off the Map is narrated by two young women as they discard their maps, fears, and anything resembling a plan, and set off on the winds of the world. Without the smug cynicism that seems to permeate most modern radical tales, this story is told with genuine hope, and a voice that never loses its connection with the mysteries of life, even in the midst of everyday tragedies. Wandering across Europe, the dozens of vignettes are the details of the whole—a squatted castle surrounded by tourists on the Spanish coast, a philosophizing businessman on the highways of France, a plaza full of los crustos in Barcelona, a diseased foot in a Belgian train squat, a glow bug on the dew-covered grass of anywhere—a magical, novel-like folktale for the end of the world.
I’ve cancelled my Packet8 service, so the 206-384-4309 number is no more. You can still call me on my cell phone (if you have it), email my cell phone (mobile at pig dash monkey dot com), or leave me voicemail at: 1-206-339-HACK
I was able to skip school today and job shadow at Intermec. I shadowed two UNIX admins for most of the day.
It was good times.
I learned a lot, played with new toys, and spent time in the GNOC (global network operations center).
They were surprised I knew anything about Linux (I turned a couple people on to Slackware and Gentoo), and the engineering guys want me to work for them.
In other news, being in the mall when the power goes out is cool.
There’s going to be a political artist conference May 15 & 16 in Seattle.
The 2004 conference is the first annual gathering of political artists from around the country and the world. The conference will consist of two days of workshops, speakers and events exploring political art. Conference participants will receive hands-on skills and practical knowledge, a broader understanding of the history and current state of political art and benefit from the rare opportunity of being able to spend a weekend in a building full of political artists from across the country. We hope to strengthen the movement of artists for global justice by linking together communities of artists whether geographically bound or connected by specific issue.
The Art of Resistance will host three nights of open events featuring film, performance, spoken word, music and visual art and a political art exhibit which will be on display during the conference.
I just watched the Revolutions DVD. That was an erotic experience, and I haven’t even touched the second disc with the bonus features yet. Speaking of discs, it comes with a “Bonus CD-ROM” mini-cd taped on the front. I haven’t looked at that yet, so I have no idea what it is.
I’m going to listen to Navras now.
And if you didn’t catch it last time: my hair is black (“Noir”, actually).
I finished reading A Clockwork Orange. It’s an excellent book, definitely one of my favorites. If you’ve seen the movie, you must read the book, which is much better (or worse, depending on how you look at it). If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, then first watch the movie and then read the book. Over half the words were completely made up by Anthony Burgess, so watching the movie first helps to give you an idea of how he talks.
If you’ve never heard of it, the story is somewhat of a 1984 meets Peter Pan. A horrorshow book.
The edition of the book that I linked to includes the last chapter, which was previously unavailable in the US version and also cut out from Stanley Kubrick’s movie. This really should be a sin, as the last chapter completely makes the book.
Also, a warning: the movie, and the book even more so, are definitely deserving of the R rating.
I was channel surfing and happened upon MTV2, which has playing some new Incubus video. It was pretty good. After that I went down one to MTV and they showed a still of a Britney Spears video. She was naked, except for some shiny things on her body. This made me chuckle. After that they cut to a shot of the audience, which appeared to be mainly comprised of college-age people. This made me cry. I really hoped that it would be full of middle school students because then they’d have an excuse to succumb to the corporate brain washing: they don’t know any better. But college students? Unless they have a dump truck of weed, there really is no excuse.
I just realized that when I said I had finished reading Ecstasy Club, I never said what it was about. Well, on a literal level it documents the rise and fall of a cult-ish rave club in San Francisco. At it’s worst it’s a drug-induced psychological journey through the collective mind of a bunch of ravers trying to take the human raise to the next evolutionary level through drugs and electronica. At it’s best it’s a paranoid vision of corporate brainwashing and mind control.
“A darkly comic contemporary fable: a brave, very funny, very knowing trip through the neo-psychedelic substrate of the wired world.” - William Gibson
I went down to the beach today and took pictures. Perhaps, if I get unlazy, I’ll upload the pictures I took with my digital camera. If I’m feeling anti-lazy, maybe I’ll even scan in the pictures I took with my 35mm.
But I doubt it…
The guy at the Walgreen’s photo counter noticed the NIN patch on my jacket and commented that Pretty Hate Machine is a good album to listen to if you’ve just broken up. This made me chuckle.
Well, I fell to the dark side today and replaced my falling apart binder with one of those portfolio-folder-thingies. Perhaps I’ll get a pad of yellow paper and become “deck”, instead of my current “fin” state.
Heh. I love these words. Kids these days make me laugh.
Apparently the Oscars are on. Would somebody be so kind as to post all the winners?
I’ve uploaded Douglas Rushkoff‘s H2K2 speech, Human Autonomous Zones: The Real Role of Hackers. A highly recommended listen.
How the role of hackers in society has changed. They used to be a necessary counterbalance to corporate and government power. Now, it's more like hackers are the only ones who understand the technology. They have become a balance to the power of technology itself. A discussion by renowned author Doug Rushkoff.
Also check out his article Electronica, the True Cyberculture: How Rave Culture Embodies and defines the Digital Age.
Subscribers to BPM will recognize Rushkoff’s latest novel, Club ZeroG.
I finished reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas last night. That’s a damn good book, in an LSD-induced sort of way. I Think the New York Times Book Review quote on the back does a good job of summing it up
The best book on the dope decade.
Speaking of the back, here’s the excerpt they put on it:
We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls... But the only thing that worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge...
I can’t wait to see what traffic Google is going to send my way because of that quote.
Yesterday was a snow day. It was fun. I went over to Tina’s (yeah, driving was fun). We had a snowball fight (although the snow didn’t pack), went sledding (curbs hurt), watched Ice Age (strange movie), and played Lunch Money (a card game where you beat up christian school girls and steal their money). When I finally left I had to scrape my windshield, but it was raining so as soon as I scraped a spot it would freeze over with ice again. Oh well. It was dark so I ended up just looking for tail lights and, well, I’m still alive.
School is cancelled again today because of the ice. I’m just laying in bed with my laptop. Quite enjoyable, actually. It doesn’t look like I’ll be driving anywhere today (not quite ready to die yet).
I just setup a new fax number:
206-339-HACK or 1-206-339-4225
Actually, it works as voicemail, too. But if you want to leave me a voicemail, you might as well just call my packet8 number: 1-206-384-4309