live wild or die
biographies are written and those authors recall for future teenagers in high school libraries the deeds of otherwise ordinary blokes and dames writ large across history - good grist for a book report, or a personal web site. i am rereading clarence darrow, writings of his kept alive because a few people thought he was a genius and published his speeches and wrote his biography. he wrote his own biography too, but he didn't have the web to disperse his message for all time. here we are!
tonight i travelled back to the mission, still scary on a tuesday night after most things have closed except coffee and alcohol. this gentleman i left home to meet, he was holed up an a building housing anarchists and wobblies and feminists and acupuncturists and gay theatre groups, right near where i used to hang with raven and wonder why he put the baloons with heroin in his mouth to carry them, or where chandra actually did hit that guy with her dad's car, he rolled off the hood gracefully like he was good at it.
in a room painted a wonderful just royal of cobalt blue, all over, except for black trim and power panels, there was enough room for two chairs and too much paper. a aged macintosh was nearly buried. a fax machine took up the third seating, and the man i was to meet in a cap (?) with chumbawumba on a single speaker stereo on a ledge probably nailed up for that purpose
he was there to put together "live free or die" issue seven. issue six came out two years ago, and he hadn't worked on that. but time with environmentalists and radicals had won him access to the archives, and besides, anarchists don't hold trademarks. so here he was, putting together issue seven. offline! actually, pictures of the unabomber were the most frequent human face around. and stickers like "don't blame me, i voted for the unabomber"
the world is heading for collapse, and he's doing what he can to further that. whew.
he squats near valencia gardens (could a name that nice describe anything other than public housing? at least there's great wheatgrass adjacent - i wonder if the locals partake). squats because his roommates landlord ordered them out six months ago but hasn't done anything about it. is it squatting if you have a key? but they pay their bills - that's anarchy - personal responsibility.
his sense of the world, that unfolds from the pay your utilities perspective, reminds me oddly of that of louis rossetto. my last in office conversation with rossetto before i left his employ at hotwired in january 1995 covered his vision of the american future: utter fragmentation - communities of interest made actual with separate geographies organized to provide their own services independent of larger government authority, decisionmaking or taxpaying. i saw a feudal home security nightmare. this gentleman tonight saw personal responsibility and bioregionalism - living more in tune with the immediate surroundings both human and of the earth.
his magazine, or at least past issues i saw, that he said he would stick with in form and substance, it was the first paper i saw that actually reported what i wanted to know - first hand reports from people doing fucked up shit to undermine the system. i mean i heard about earth first in bio class, but nobody from earth first, nobody really on the inside, seemed to be giving a play by play on their techniques. but here were poems and photos and essays and stories about protests by people eating green cottage cheese and swallowing ippicak to stage a mass-puke-in in a mall during christmas. or rapelling down skyscrapers with beef is destructive banners during the beef of america parade in denver. from the frontlines. kind of like adbusters (with their own share of billboards); kind of like adbusters, but real.
too bad they hate computers - live free or die would make good web pages. the editor dude said he used the web for research, but did i know computers are the most toxic, that silicon valley is generating the greatest number of new superfund (enviromental cleanup) sites? he sold his mac powerbook to finance this issue.
well, hey i try to be subversive. times i thought i might have someday been killed by the unabomber for being a technology evangelist. we all have our ways, right, it's hard to get anything done in a black and white world. "the system" whew technology - it's all so big, and hard to speak about without recognizing that the system is made up with some relatives on top, and other relatives on the bottom. and personal conduct makes all the difference, i believe. equal time for different speakers. let's do it online. end of creed. so i work for a megacorp now, trying to take that message to the airwaves. if it fails, i'll leave and move. right?
live wild or die issue seven is expected by july. inquiries and submissions may be mailed to:
relative silence. were those firecrackers?