Sunday, April 11, 2021

Anarchists Need to Drop the Adjectives

 Every decade or so anarchism seems to find its way back into the limelight for another 15 minutes. We're usually roundly vilified but it still offers us a rare window to attract the non-political class and shop around our ideas. In the late nineties we had the Anti-Globalization Movement and the Battle of Seattle. About a decade and change later we had the Occupy Movement and today I believe we may be approaching another 15 minute window with the uprisings against the grotesque overreach of our post modern police state. The seemingly unique thing about this latest upsurge in stateless insurrection is that it appears to have two bipolar sources, one on the left and one on the right. On the left we have the rise of an old but reinvigorated movement known as Antifa, engaging in fantastic displays of direct action with the state across the Pacific Northwest. On the right we have the more libertarian Boogaloo Movement, creating their own powerful brand of confrontational street theatre with their heavily armed and well organized marches on state capitols across the heartland. Both groups are autonomously decentralized and stateless in nature and outlook. But both groups represent apposing ends of the ideological anarchist spectrum.

All in all, this need not be a bad thing and it really isn't that unusual either. Anarchism has always been a movement that defies and transcends the traditional left-right spectrum. But attempt to suggest as much online and just wait for the bricks to fly.

Contrary to the popular caricature of the tattooed green haired vagabond like myself, anarchism is an almost mind bogglingly diverse ecosystem of fantastic radical freaks. Travel into this jungle online and you will find yourself amidst a teeming forest of colorful countercultures. You have your modern day barbarians of anarcho-primitivism, your cyber punk geeks of crypto-anarchism, your dandy nihilist outlaws of egoism, and your maligned heathen LARPers of National Anarchism. But most of my fellow anarcho-freaks can find themselves beneath one of two major ideological umbrellas. The red leftists of anarcho-communism and the right libertarians of anarcho-capitalism, and here is where my beloved stateless ecosystem finds itself in the eternal conflict that threatens to spoil our latest fifteen minutes of zeitgeist defining public imagination.

The internet is lousy with ancoms and ancaps wasting their precious intellect shitposting on each other's perceived flaws, to the degree that many have foolishly come to see the other as a bigger enemy than the state itself. According to your average ancom keyboard guerrilla, an anarcho-capitalist is a greedy, self-absorbed, commodity fetishist who wants nothing less perverse than to hand over the reigns of power to major corporations and usher in a new era of puppy eating Social Darwinism. And according to your average ancap social media maven, an anarcho-communist is but a knuckle-dragging, quasi-Maoist, rube out to round up everybody's private property and declare the year zero. Both of these representations bare little resemblance to reality and both sides would likely quickly realize this if they could get past their kneejerk revulsion to heavily loaded labels like communist and capitalist. The anarcho-interpretations of both are far from incompatible and even farther from anything you'll find in a mainstream history book, and this is where anarchy without adjectives comes into play. 

Developed in a time of far greater social upheaval than ours, anarchism without adjectives was designed by a couple of Spaniards named Ricardo Mella and Fernando Terrida del Marmol in the 1880's to end the eternal bitching of their eras own communists and individualists, and unite them under a single game plan to annihilate the state they both despised first and then sort out the less dyer details along the way to a new stateless society. It was always intended to be more of a strategy than an ideology and it ended up being adopted by some of the era's greatest and most diverse anarchist minds, like the so-called Italian Lenin, Errico Malatesta, and the mother of American Individualist Feminism, Voltarine de Cleyre, before their 15 minutes blew up into an unfortunate fit of headline grabbing assassinations. 

To me anarchism without adjectives always made sense as more than just a strategy because I've always been something of an anarchist with a thousand adjectives. DeLeonist libertarian socialism will always be my first love because of my childhood infatuation with Marxism and my lifelong fixation with the full spectrum direct democracy of radical syndicalism. But my devotion to a stateless Queer nation has come to be the most significant motivator for my continued dedication to smashing the state and in a twist even I didn't see coming, I've come to see typically ancap philosophies like the Non-Aggression Principle and Agorism as the best ways to achieve my goals for a new humane society without fucking it up like my forefathers did with a bunch of dick-wagging initiatory violence. 

And that's what I love about anarchism without adjectives. It allows us to erase silly ideological lines and allows everyone with something stateless to offer, a place at the table. It's a veritable market place of non-dogmatic ideologies competing in real time. The only real absolute is that everything must be voluntary. Nothing must be coerced. As long as every idea, every new society, remains a choice, it remains kosher for a new revolutionary era of exploration. Wanna live like a barbarian in a torch lit cave without the evils of polyfibers and plumbing? Fuck it, make it voluntary and give it a shot. Wanna create a new Kowloon Walled City of cyberpunk capitalist debauchery? Fuck it, make it voluntary and give it a shot. Wanna create a post-apocalyptic red light republic of genderfuck neon haired syndicates? Fuck it, I'm gonna make it voluntary, and give it a shot.

The future is simply too unpredictable for doctrinaire model building bullshit and dogmatic absolutes. When Western Society finally collapses beneath the weight of its own imperial hubris, you and I will see more revolutionary changes evolve in the first 15 seconds than we've seen in the last 1500 years. The only way for anarchism to survive the coming cataclysm is to remain united by a collective open mind to the endless possibilities of the greatest upheaval this planet has seen since the dinosaurs. Antifa and Boogaloo both have all the right ideas, they just need to respect each other's right to approach those ideas from different directions and remain open to the possibility that somebody outside their circle might know something they don't. Otherwise, we're just going to blow another 15 minutes on shitposting and ballyhoo and it might be the last 15 minutes we got.

If humanity has a future, it's anarchism. If anarchism has a future, it's without adjectives. Lets make it fucking happen people. Some tattooed green haired vagabond believes in you.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire

*  Heroes by Peter Gabriel

*  Free to Decide by the Cranberries

*  Walking Far From Home by Iron & Wine

*  Pay Your Way in Pain by St. Vincent

*  Come As You Are by Nirvana

*  No Cars Go by Arcade Fire

Sunday, April 4, 2021

America's Many Wars On Children

 It's hardly unusual for me to take the news personally. It comes like a card with being a journalist with clinical depression. But some weeks the news almost feels tailor made to tare me down and the last few weeks have been like that with one story after another. A flurry of anti-trans laws have been proposed across middle America, seeking to restrict access for gender non-conforming minors to everything from athletics to medical care. Kids are literally drowning at the border just to be packed into shipping containers like sardines if they survive the Rio Grande. And in spite of endless talk of peace, the US continues to back a blockade in Yemen that promises to starve millions of children beneath the age of 5. All this may read like random savagery, but I can't help but to detect a theme. All three of these stories show a clear disdain for children by the United States Government.

Youth rights has long been a personal crusade of mine because, as a genderqueer youth in a conservative Catholic setting, I suffered the trauma of being perpetually fucked with and stigmatized for reasons I couldn't even completely comprehend. It's amazing how many youth rights advocates can say the same and it's sad that that seems to be what it takes to make adults in this country give a shit about children. If you're under the age of 18 in this country, you are essentially someone else's property, either an adult or the state that stands for them. In this country most kids can't vote, can't drive, can't choose where they live or who they live with, can't step outside unattended after dark, can't work, and can't make independent decisions about their education or much of anything else for that matter. They basically have the same rights as house pets and even when Americans crow about their rights, it's usually just a paternalistic call to infantilize and protect them from their own free will with more restrictions and less autonomy. And it is this total lack of respect for the basic human rights of the young which color all three of the stories above and below.

The trans issue is often badly framed by both sides of the debate. The issue is much bigger than school sports, public bathrooms, and hormones. It comes down to the question of what gives the state the right to determine something as intimate as gender identity? This isn't a matter of public record, it's a matter of medical privacy. No one should be given the ability to restrain any individuals access to public facilities or private medical care simply because they happen to be a 40 year old civil servant with boundary issues. It's as absurd as the entire notion of segregating children on the basis of something as therapeutically fluid as childhood gender expression. If you really want to regulate the athletics of minors, a job that strangely only seems to be available to adults, than do it based on something concrete like weight class and stop humiliating minors based on the nature of their genitalia. It's fucking perverse and someone has to say it.

As bizarre as America's fixation on childhood gender regulation is, I don't think anything more perversely displays the canyon wide juxtaposition between state paternalism and respect for children as individuals like the current tragedy at the border. If you are legally underage and accompanied by an adult, really any adult, crossing the border, then your rights often evaporate automatically and you're sent back to the tent village purgatory of Tijuana. But if you happen to be an unaccompanied minor, you are rewarded with the right to be obtained and warehoused like cattle. This is supposed to be a display of mercy, but it's really just a display of the warped value American society puts on youth "safety." What's really happening is that these kids are being arrested for the crime of being a minor outside the possession of an adult authority figure. All this despite the fact that these are mostly teenagers who managed to travel from Guatemala to the Rio Grande with little more than a phone number of a stateside relative scrawled on their arm. Give them a goddamn phone and a bottle of water. Don't make them choose between two rival cartels at either side of an invisible line who are both equally capable of violating their basic human rights.

All of this, like every domestic American sin, ultimately comes back to war. The crimes this empire perpetrates at home are but microcosms of how they run the world and define their very existence on the global stage. You see the ultimate American war crime, the one most prevalently brandished with reckless abandon by even the most liberal of congressmen is the crime of economic sanctions, a form of financial terrorism which seeks to disproportionately starve the children of nations out of compliance with America's demand for total obedience. It essentially amounts to a tax on the lives of a populace's most vulnerable members, and in almost any country that means children. America is currently engaged in this act of economic barbarism in over thirty countries, most of which rest in the Third World, and America has taken this measure to downright genocidal proportions on more than one occasion.

Yemen is one more occasion. In almost gleeful spite of his own kumbaya rhetoric regarding America's complicity in the Saudi genocide in Yemen, Joe Biden has done quite literally nothing to end the UN sanctioned blockade on the poorest country in the Middle East that is on track to push more than 2 million children under the age of 5 into severe malnutrition and beyond. This after 5 years of a holocaust who's casualties have been roughly 25% underage and have included targets like school busses and goddamn playgrounds. More than 2,300 children have been slaughtered between 2018 and 2020 alone, and I'm sick of feeling like I'm the only one who thinks this war on children matters. Biden's neoliberal death squad, headed by that dead eyed prick, Antony Blinken, continues to kick the peace can down the road every time the Houthi rebels lash out at a Saudi oil facility as their children starve and nobody ever makes the connection unless they're screaming from the fringes like me.

Children are human beings. They're not just statistics for adults to pet or squash on a whim. They are unique individuals like anybody else and they need to be respected as such. Until we stop patronizing them at home and murdering them abroad, we shouldn't expect to make anything in the way of progress as a society because broken, compliant, and silenced children all to often become broken, compliant, and silenced adults. This is the ultimate result of America's many wars on children and it shouldn't be exceptable to any of us. Children need more than our support, they need our respect and solidarity. Lets give them the autonomy that we were denied in our youth and end this ugly cycle of international abuse once and for all.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Children of the Revolution by T. Rex

*  Kids by MGMT

*  Surrender by Cheap Trick

*  Down in the Street by Big Star

*  Respect by Aretha Franklin

*  Shake it Out by Florence + the Machine

*  Minor Threat by Minor Threat

*  Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World

*  Ringside by Julien Baker

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Inalienable Right to be a Bitch

 What is a woman in 2021? Once upon a time, that was an easy question to answer. Boys had a penis and girls had a vagina and nothing in between existed. Then Western Society collectively woke the fuck up and realized that Victorian Era medicine may not be the best guide to the complexities of gender identity. We realized what our ancestors knew before Christianity made us all morons. That it's not that fucking simple. But that still poses the question of what is a woman exactly? Seeing as I've come to see myself as a woman, in spite of a tiny dick and an untamable five o'clock shadow, I figured I'd give answering this riddle wrapped inside an enigma a shot. In the simplest terms possible, I believe a woman is a mother and in 2021 that mother is a world class bitch.

All those inflicted with the spirit of femininity are mothers, whether we have or even can have children or not. It is in our nature to nurture and care for life. This includes transwomen and third genders who have traditionally been seen as caregivers and medicine women in the old tribes and continue to be community builders in our new ones. This archetype goes beyond anything scientific and bleeds into that inky realm of the spiritual. Women are also a marginalized class defined by a deep rooted sense of sisterhood that binds us not only to each other but to notions of tribe and community and the earth itself. And in our modern age, when all of these notions exist under threat of extermination while feminine voices remain constricted, mama has little choice but to interrupt the toxic party of modern civilization and become a fucking bitch. 

To be a woman is to be marginalized. To be ignored unless you fit some man's fetish. Women who refuse to remain silent and complicit are bitches. We are irrational harping killjoys. Shrill, opinionated, bossy, incorrigible, nagging, angry, hormonal, for lack of another thousand adjectives, we're crazy, and in any truly sick society, crazy is nothing but a social construct designed to delegitimize the inconveniently enlightened. Women have endured generations of savage domestication that has sought to remove us from our natural place as nurturers in our communities and now we're left to watch these communities annihilate themselves with endless wars, bottomless prisons, and environmental genocide with our tits tied behind our backs, and you really have to wonder why today's woman's last defense is to be a bitch? To scream and yell and carry on and piss on the rug like a bad dog? We have to do something, anything, to be fucking heard by a society lurching towards oblivion while we enjoy only token representation anywhere that actually fucking counts. Fuck yes, I'm a fucking bitch, and fuck no, I wont shut the fuck up, be a 'lady', or mind my fucking manners.

It didn't use to be this way. There was a time not so long ago when matriarchal societies were the norm and gender rolls were relatively equal. Thousands of years ago, back during the hunter gatherer age, most societies were organized into what Friedrich Engels called gens, matrilineal clans where kinship was traced through female bloodlines and husbands joined their wives families unless their wives sought greener pastures with their husband's kin. Children were raised by tight knit communities of sisters and sister wives while men were free to get their barbarian on out in the fields and forests. These primitive societies were almost shockingly egalitarian until some asshole invented modern agriculture and everything became either property or expendable. The sacred went out the window as suddenly raw brute strength became the order of the day and anyone who didn't serve this purpose became a commodity. Women became little more than property that produced more sons to conquer more land, thus creating the original underclass and building a template that would lead us to the spiritual oblivion of our modern society in freefall.

Feminism did a lot to wake women up to our hidden history and encourage us to become the bitches we are today. But in it's second wave, feminism became a part of the problem when a bunch of upper middle class white women decided that the best a woman could achieve was to reject our maternal drive and succeed in toxic patriarchal cultures like corporations and standing armies. This assimilation awarded our patriarchal masters with exactly what they needed to survive feminism's first wave; women who murder like men. Women like Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright. Women who think half a million dead babies in Iraq is worth cracking the glass ceiling. This is how the same toxic culture that put women in chains hijacked feminism and turned it into another gruesome capitalist lottery.

Well I say no more. I worked too goddamn hard to be the woman I am today, stubble and all, not to be a fucking bitch while my sisters sell our movement out to our dying corporate overlords. I am a bitch and I'm pissed off. I'm pissed at cops who empty their weapons into children who should be all of our sons and daughters. I'm pissed off at a society that thinks it's acceptable to warehouse anyone behind bars, especially the young and innocent. I'm pissed off at companies that get rich poisoning the planet and bombing families. I'm pissed off at a society that doesn't value women, children, and non-binary people unless we can be commodified to sell more wars, more pollution, more big government solutions to big business problems and vice versa. And I am pissed off at my sisters in power, like our first female vice president, for selling little girls assimilation into an evil system as progress. I'm pissed off and I want you to be pissed off too.

Hell hath no fury like a bitch scorned. Try a few billion bitches scorned and tell me hell's got shit on us. That's the kind of feminist revolution I wanna see, and that is what a woman should be in 2021, a storm of pure weapons grade bitch, too loud to ignore.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Ladies by Fiona Apple

*  Husbands by Savages

*  Awful by Hole

*  Happy by Mitski

*  Your Dog by Soccer Mommy

*  Only Women Bleed by Alice Cooper

*  Surface Envy by Sleater-Kinney

* Shameika by Fiona Apple

*  Been a Son by Nirvana

*  Army of Me by Bjork

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Borders are a Weapon of Mass Destruction

 The more things change the more they stay the same. The only place where that seems more true than Washington is at the border. Obama and Biden built the camps. Trump filled the camps. And Biden is building more as thousands of desperate people are racing to overcrowd them. After another election season of empty Democratic promises, we were all told that things would be different now. Joe Biden had somehow miraculously evolved in his old age into a kinder, gentler, racist neoliberal sack of shit. Wokeness was supposed to be a symptom of his dementia. But as the migrants came, one promise after another fell to shit. 72 hour detentions swelled to 177 and counting. Closing the private prison pipeline included everything but ICE's notorious private immigration detention centers. And Trump era concentration camps like Corizo Springs opened back up for business. Even now, we're told reforms are on their way. But we were told this back when it counted and now we're being told this again as the number of refugees rises and FEMA moves to reenact Hurricane Katrina at a sports venue near you.

They call this a crisis at the border, but the border is the crisis. Ever since Bill Clinton moved to militarize this countries massive federally centralized border back in 1994, we've been violating migrant rights as if it were a competitive sport. Building bigger and bigger prisons and meaner and meaner posses of Border Patrol thugs who's authority stretched deeper and deeper into the heartland. All for a senseless war on the crime of crossing an invisible line scribbled by conquistadors and other assorted savages in the desert centuries ago. Borders, especially big borders, are nothing but another excuse to give the state unspeakable powers to do unspeakable things to desperate people. Fuck all of them. They all make me fucking sick. 

My violent allergy to borders is more than just a side affect of my anarchism. It runs in my veins as an Irish Catholic daughter of renegade stock. There was a time when this awful country at least had relatively open borders. When they welcomed your poor, your tired, your sick.... My ancestors were all of the above, fleeing for their lives from an English enforced starvation genocide straight out of Madeline Albright's wet dream journal called the Irish Potato Famine. In fact, if it wasn't for the lax border politics of 19th Century America, there is a very real possibility that I wouldn't even exist to bitch at you today. Millions more would have starved in the Crown's final solution to their long Irish problem. So Morrigan help me, this issue is more than a little personal. Just add a history of child abuse and stir and you get one pissed off tranny who sees herself in the thousand yard stare of every hungry five year old confined in one of Mr. Biden's fabulous decorated new cages. I get sick headaches just writing about it. But my Irish heritage includes another very different border crisis that I believe shines a light on not only the famines, but the bitter sweet policies that saved us from them, and the very nature of mass immigration laws themselves.

The Kingdom's putsch to liquidate Irish Catholics may have reached its gruesome apex in the 1800's but it began to take its hideous shape centuries earlier in the 1600's, when England began to flood Northern Ireland with desperate farmers from the Scottish Lowlands and Northern England. They pit us against our Celtic brethren, survivors of English brutality themselves, by stripping all Catholics of their land rights and awarding huge swaths of property to the Anglican planters in what became known as the Plantation of Ulster. America, always the attentive royal sibling, largely mimicked this sick genocide-by-other-poor-people when they offered many of the same Scotch-Irish refugees similar promises of free land and bounty as long as they agreed to help wipe out the Indians of the Wild West. Ironically, many of today's loudest white border warriors are Scotch-Irish descendants blubbering about being victims of a brown wave sent to erase whiteness. It might actually be a clever conspiracy theory if our current borders were anything resembling open.

My point here is that borders and immigration have and will always be weapons against the poor on both sides of the invisible lines as long as they are controlled by huge centralized states with huge centralized ambitions. The only reason why my ancestors were let in alongside our regional tormentors was that this state needed us to tame the West before the railroads could rip through our homesteads like border walls do to ranches today. And the only reason why thousands of desperate people are still flocking to our borders in throngs faster than we can abuse them is because of one big lie told by two big parties for two very different reasons. The lie that the Democrats have ever been for open borders was perpetuated by Republicans to terrify white people into voting against them, and it was also gently peddled by Democrats so they could secure the Latino vote. The current crisis at the border is just blowback from the same imperial games these scumfucks have been playing for centuries, and we are all just pawns on their haunted chessboard. 

So how do we fight the scourge of big borders aside from the pipe dream of overthrowing the state itself. The best tactic I've seen lately that could potentially affect an essentially open border scenario comes from the rise in sanctuary politics. Whole states have embraced decentralized resistance to federal tyranny in the name of protecting everything from migrants to dope smokers and gun nuts. Why stop at the states? I say we create our own chessboard of sanctuary cities, towns, and counties. Many border communities have far more economic stock across the Rio Grande than they do with racist city-slickers in Dallas or Phoenix. I say we decentralize the borders and the immigration system in general. That way we can give migrants a road map to the communities that welcome them and give those afraid of radical change an opportunity to be proven wrong by economic competition. Worst comes to worst, border control becomes as cheap and simple as sending a few people on a bus to the next town over. The result would not only effectively disintegrate the border as we know it along with the thugs who profit from its police state, it would disintegrate the authority of the federal government itself and foster a pan-secession of a vast cluster of microstates too small to really fuck with anybody.

The second political martial art that could be used against American border fascism is a bit more radical and unorthodox. Undocument everyone. It's a tactic taken up by libertarian Sovereign Citizens across the country and its wide scale proliferation could erase borders as we know them by making them totally obsolete. It's not the easiest solution but if more Americans, regardless of status, rejected any and all forms of federal documentation, from birth certificates to the draft, this nation would be utterly powerless to prevent free movement and association, and it would encourage many on the anti-immigrant right to form a pact with migrants in order to get Uncle Sam off both of their backs. No documents, no taxes, no borders. Think about it. It could be a beautiful thing.

And so could America. We've all been tossed into this colonialist mess based on one scheme or another, but you can't turn back time so we might as well make the best of a beautiful mess. My people left a lot on their way to becoming Americans, but we gained the opportunity to take part in a massive experiment in extreme individualism. The one shred of the American Dream worth preserving is the dream of coming to this suburban desert wasteland and becoming whatever the fuck you want. Go ahead and start up that nudist polygamist commune between the Joshua trees. The Salvadorans are too busy unionizing in the avocado groves to stop you and their tattooed sons might just be able to show you how to aim that Kalashnikov when the tax man comes calling. That's my America. Can you dig it, dearest motherfuckers. I can. But not without burning those goddamn nooses you call borders.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Ode to My Family by the Cranberries

*  Rockin' in the Free World by Neil Young

*  Fourth of July by X

*  Paper planes by MIA

*  It's OK by Dead Moon

*  Declare Independence by Bjork

*  Gallipoli by Beirut

*  What About Us by Ministry

*  White Minority by Black Flag

*  Toyota Man by Neon Indian

*  Rebels by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers  

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Confessions of a Domestic Extremist

 Who is Nicky Reid? If some random suit on the street asked you that question, what would your answer be? Aside from a pussy crushing genderfuck fox and the baddest fucking blogger alive, of coarse. Your answer would likely be something along the lines of a proud part of the problem, a rebel rouser, a degenerate, a devil's advocate, a crowd exciter, a provocateur, a contrarian, a riot inducer.... Nicky Reid is an anarchist with zero respect for order or the status quo. Nicky Reid is an unabashed enemy of the state who spreads discontent online like digital milk. Nicky Reid is a flag burning anti-American bitch who breaks bread with Boogaloo Bois, defends Hezbollah, and lionizes the Black Panther Party. Nicky Reid is a cop hating prison abolitionist who openly promotes armed insurrection. Nicky Reid is an anti-government revolutionary who frequently and consistently advocates for the overthrow of the United States Government, and nearly every other government for that matter. Nicky Reid is a domestic extremist, and she needs to be stopped. 

Guilty as charged, but I also happen to be a hell of a lot of other equally important things as well. I'm a devout Christopagan who believes in the sanctity of all human life. I'm a strict civil libertarian who firmly supports the Non-Aggression Principle which preaches that no truly righteous person should ever throw the first punch. I'm also an agoraphobic cripple on disability who doesn't even own a gun (yet), volunteers at a local AIDS resource center, and takes care of my aging mother who suffers from worse chronic pain than I do. But none of those details matter once you've slapped someone with a broad and dehumanizing label like 'domestic extremist,' and that's precisely the point.

Overseas, in parts of the world the news rarely covers like the supposedly under covered scourge of American extremism, in places like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, carrying such a label makes you a disposable target of the War on Terror. Someone who openly peddles radicalism and/or associates with known radicals like me gets drone striked or whisked away to some black site in the Indian Ocean to be tortured with waterboarding and jumper cables on their junk. This is the fruit of the bipartisan Patriot Act and the entirety of our current political establishment is fighting like hell to spread the love and change the domestic rules of engagement to give declared enemies of the state such as myself the same rights as any foreigner labeled the same way. It's really quite woke when you think about it. To the corporate duopoly, Third World lives not mattering isn't fair. No lives should matter beneath the iron heel of the war state.

But this shit doesn't begin on January 6, when the same feds pushing for unlimited power and resources chose not to inform the Capitol Police of an impending riot that could expand their own wallets. The American Empire has been advocating bringing the war home well before Biden reached the White House. Way back in the 90's, our daughtering commander in chief advocated using international anti-terror laws against American citizens with the original Patriot Act in the wake of another suspiciously avoidable attack in Oklahoma City, and none other than Donald Trump's Attorney General, Bill Barr, announced the creation of a nation wide task force to combat anti-government extremists like Antifa and Boogaloo in the wake of the unprecedented uprisings last summer. This is what empires do when they begin to lose control of their own populaces during forever wartime. They take what they do best on foreign soil and apply it to their own people. This is why every empire inevitably ends in a dictatorship. The banana republic always comes home to die.

They're going to tell you a lot of things about people like me. Some of them will be true. Most wont. They will tell you that they need these powers specifically to fight the most odious of offenders, neo-Nazis and violent Salafists, when any asshole with a scoreboard can tell you that domestic extremists like me have a far more consistent track record of fighting such elements than a government that more often than not actively fosters their existence. Go to a Proud Boy rally and try throwing a wrench in any given direction without hitting an informant. And name me one chapter of Al-Qaeda who hasn't spent time on the CIA's dime. They will go after these paper tigers first, specifically so they can lump antifascists like me in with them. It's a tail as old as totalitarianism. First they came for the Oath Keepers but you said nothing because you didn't want to be seen defending assholes.

I know people will say I'm just going off the rails again and I can just hear the eyes rolling like railroad drunks. "You're just being paranoid, Nicky." Yeah, no fucking shit. If you bothered to pick up a history book not sponsored by Time-Life you would be too. I'm scared of what my government will do with expanded anti-terror powers because I'm scared of what they've already done without them. Lets not forget that the FBI itself was founded as a violent "anti-communist" aka fascist organization by an open bigot named J. Edgar Hoover. Lets not forget that every anti-terror crisis over the last century has been used as an excuse to persecute the radical left and our comrades in the libertarian right. Lets not forget the state sanctioned murders of Malcolm X, Mark Clark, Fred Hampton, Bunchy Carter, and Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Lets not forget the totally illegal imprisonment of Leonard Peltier, Geronimo Pratt, Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange. Lets not forget MOVE, Waco, and Rainbow Farm. Lets not forget that this countries last great fight against domestic extremism in the late 90's and early 2000's was used largely as an excuse to persecute radical environmentalists and anarcho-primitivists by handing out life sentences for torching SUV's.

This thing is a trap. Our government has been committed to crushing brown people and their domestic extremist allies from the beginning. Giving an institution defined by racism the powers of god to fight racism is completely batshit insane. Our government has more than enough tools already to prevent racist violence and they almost always choose not to use them because they don't fucking care. Fascism is no threat to its ideological heirs in liberal democracy. What is a threat is working class solidarity across racial and political lines of the kind advocated by the better chapters of Antifa and Boogaloo and online domestic extremists like me. Give this government any gun you like and they will put us in the crosshairs. I pray to god that I'm being paranoid, but as the late Kurt Cobain once sang, just because you're paranoid, don't mean their not after you.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Territorial Pissings by Nirvana

*  What About Us by Ministry

*  The Prisoner by Iron Maiden

*  Cherub Rock by Smashing Pumpkins

*  The Suburbs by Arcade Fire

*  The Bends by Radiohead

*  Margin Walker by Fugazi

*  Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger

*  Paranoid by Black Sabbath

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Imperial Suicide by Taliban

 Sometimes I have this dream. A terrible dream. A dream about a war. It begins like any other war, with a big country attacking a weaker one. An empire chases an army of starving ghosts into a deep dark mountainous hole of caverns and catacombs. Victory for the empire seems all but assured. The bombs drop and poor people die as rich people cheer and shake hands over cigars and brandy. But then something strange happens. Something strangely wonderful. The war doesn't end, and the empire begins to lose. They throw more and more resources into this bottomless black hole; men, women, bombs, money; but it all just disappears into the darkness. Soon other nations are joining in on the war effort with their own men, women, bombs, and money. 

But nothing changes. If anything, that hole just grows deeper. Soon every powerful state in the world has been sucked into this vacuum and no one can remember why or how to get out. The citizens of these nations, every nation, begin to become painfully aware, not just of the utter madness of this war, but the madness of every war and the madness of every state that must fight them to retain the legitimacy of their stranglehold over their own people. Revolution breaks out across the globe and the empire becomes unmoored and simply evaporates down the deep dark abyss in the mountains that they never should have stepped foot in. I have this wonderful terrible dream a lot lately. Sometimes I wake up screaming. Other times, I wake up cheering.

I wake up to 2021. I wake up to Joe Biden inching ever closer to undoing the only positive accomplishment of the failed Trump regime; a last minute attempt to pull every last American soldier from our deep dark hole in Afghanistan. Almost twenty years into this mess and the elites in both the mainstream press and the military industrial complex seem to be totally oblivious to the fact that they are following in Gorbachev and Alexander the Great's footsteps to another imperial suicide in the Hindu Kush. Suicide by Taliban. As the May 1rst deadline for the Trump peace deal rapidly approaches, all the momentum seems to be moving towards doom, and not just for the American Empire. Our first world flunkies from Germany to France to NATO are all already pledging their support for mass suicide. They seem utterly convinced that they are just one drone strike away from taming the Pashtun beast and curing its wilderness with the decadent elixir of liberal democracy. They are all so fucked. Then why am I not happy.

Many an anti-imperialist curmudgeon, from Bakunin to Lenin, has cheered on imperial suicide by total war as a strategy to achieve a global revolutionary outcome. Che Guevara famously attempted to lure the US into an unwinnable war in the dark Bolivian heart of Latin America with the intention of creating two, three, many Vietnams to crush her. As a resolute collapsitarian panarchist, I share very similar Quixotic dreams. I believe with all my bleeding heart that the fate illustrated in my dreams above is a dark inevitability with a silver lining. 

Every empire collapses. Conquest is simply unsustainable. And when an empire collapses we are presented with a great vacuum that can be filled with any dream big enough and tenacious enough to fill it. The great American suicide will create the greatest vacuum the world has ever seen, like the fall of ten Romes, and I intend to do everything within my feeble powers as an online provocateur to fill that vacuum with my dream of a thousand stateless societies stretching as far as the eye can see. A revolution of synergistic diversity that leaves everyone with a stateless dream within their reach and the opportunity to achieve it peacefully. It is a vision I look to with inspiration like the rising sun, but still, I cannot bring myself to cheer on the Afghan nightmare, even if it is inevitable.

It is the privilege of western revolutionaries to view the world at a safe distance. This isn't a privilege the peasantry of the darker nations share and this is why I reject internationalism even in the defense of my dreams of a vast localist revolution. The biggest mistake any revolutionary can ever make is falling for the twisted fable that the ends justify the means when, in the harsh light of reality, the means create their own ends. War is evil and stupid and it must always be opposed unless it is fought purely in self-defense. The only people left who have a right to fight a war in Afghanistan are the Taliban, and that is an end created by interventionist means. It is an end created by the fact that this whole damn war could have been avoided if people had only minded their own goddamn business. 

If Kabul's young communist government had only left their reforms to the people who welcomed them in the cities, they wouldn't have created the grounds for ancient traditionalist tribes to fight their revolution. If the US had just left this squabble between rival peasant societies be, they wouldn't have turned a small tribal resistance into an international conspiracy of Wahhabist mercenaries known as the Mujahedeen. If the Soviets had just focused on not subjugating the Muslims within their own borders, they wouldn't have been sucked into an American trap to drain them of their already dwindling resources. If the US hadn't created this diabolical trap in the first place, we would have never unleashed the demons of Islamic jihadism on the world. No Osama, no Taliban, no Al-Qaeda, no 9/11, no ISIS, no mountains upon mountains of broken brown bodies. All of this mayhem and cruelty could have been avoided if we had all simply had the moral fortitude to mind our own goddamn business. And this is what peace is really all about, doing moral arithmetic to avoid a future of carnage.

I have to follow the math and devote myself to advocating for an end to America's war in the bottomless black hole of empires because what I know about history has taught me what comes of those who put the means first. I will not see my revolution crippled and gut-shot by cowards in the Bolivian bush. But Mr. Biden and his friends in Europe should be forewarned, if they do indeed go ahead with their imperial suicide by Taliban, the wild eyed anarchists who creep along the weed lines of their carefully manicured lawns will be waiting, and my non-interventionist ass may very well be among them. Choose your next move wisely. 

Pleasant dreams, dearest motherfuckers.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics

*  Man Size by PJ Harvey

*  Persephone by Cocteau Twins

*  War Pigs by Black Sabbath

*  Golden Hair by Slowdive

*  My War by Black Flag

*  Double Dare by Bauhaus

*  Release the Bats by the Birthday Party

*  Ever by Flipper

*  All Apologies by Nirvana

*  Kim's Watermelon Gun by Flaming Lips 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Late Winter Riot Flicks for the Coming Summer Uprising

 If this isn't the winter of our discontent then John Steinbeck can die twice writing shitty novels in an igloo of frozen dicks. This winter has been a toxic cloud of ice fog belched from the bowels of Satan's vagina. If it hasn't been continent spanning blizzards, its been exotic and sexy new strains of Covid and vaccines that always seem to be just a week away from making my Lyme disease twerk just so I can eat a stack of goddamn pancakes again without worrying about murdering my ancient carcinogenic parents. I clearly don't take enough meds for this shit and I take enough pills to choke Elvis. It's in pre-apocalyptic times like these that you have to cling to the little things just to keep your friends Smith and Wesson out of your mouth. Kittens, springtime, and riots. Oh, the beautiful riots. That was the only thing that got me through 2020. That righteous summer of rage. And I have the sneaking suspicion that we're in for another one.

That's because the 2020 Summer Uprisings were bigger than George Floyd and the institutional racism that lynched him. It was about a whole damn nation pushed to the brink by a daughtering old police state that can lock up half of New Africa but can't manage a goddamn virus. This nation needed to vent fire and it felt good, even to cripples like me who were too damn sick, even before Covid, to join in the festivities. We could shake our canes from our prison cells and shout 'give em holy hell' from behind the bars, and holy hell they did indeed give. So that's why in these loathsome last days of Winter 2021, this veteran agoraphobic couch potato has picked ten movies to prep you for the next uprising. Most are about social upheaval in one shape or form. Some are merely about the factors that create this discord. All are must see cinema for anyone getting through the night with a brick in their hand. Enjoy!

La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz (1995)-  "Its about society in free fall." La Haine (French for 'Hate') may be the greatest riot movie since The Battle of Algiers because it deals so intimately with what inspires just such an uprising. In stark black and white, La Haine follows three young men through twenty hours between a riot started by the racially charged police murder of a friend and another shocking act of violence that will inevitably inspire the exact same results to repeat themselves all over again. The sense of nihilism is thicker than smog as these lifelong friends struggle not just to escape the ghetto but to escape a fate that seems as inevitable as the sun rising. In spite of the glib humor I use to cope with these issues, an uprising of any kind is nothing to take lightly. It all too often leads to a cycle of pointless violence if it isn't held with the proper perspective on social justice. "Hatred breeds hatred" as Hubert says. Be careful not to fall into this trap and remember always that the abyss stares back.

If.... by Lindsay Anderson (1968)-  There is no way in hell a movie like this could ever be be released today, but goddammit if we don't need it. Lindsay Anderson's avant garde tour de force about an armed insurrection at a fascistic English boarding school didn't just make the fabulously cavalier Malcolm McDowell a star, it inspired directors from Stanley Kubrick to Martin Scorsese to make cinema dangerous again. And for those justifiably squeamish about a film that ends in a downright triumphant school shooting, just remember that only priests and generals were harmed during the making of this picture. If that doesn't make you feel better than your childhood was probably not quite abusive enough to appreciate the jet black irony of teenage rebellion.

 Tangerine by Sean Baker (2015)-  44 trans people were murdered in 2020 alone, that we know of. Most were sex workers of color just trying to get by in a society that gives gender outlaws few other resources to live authentically. But in our FOSTA-SESTA universe of TERFs and SWERFs, it's important to remember that these are more than just statistics, they're people, and the sun shines on the stroll too. Shot completely with iPhones, Tangerine gives us a day in the life of two transgender sex workers who survive largely off the subsistence of each other's strength. Sean Baker may have directed but co-stars Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor made this movie something warm enough to take home with you. One of the things that engaged a skeptical tranny like me into supporting a mass movement like Black Live Matter was their outreach to and solidarity with trans women of every color, creating a level of lethal Black-Queer synergy not seen since the heyday of ACT UP. Movies like this give me hope for movements like that.

The Battle of Algiers by Gillo Pontecorvo (1966)-  The abominable, the classic, the greatest movie on popular revolt ever committed to film. Gillo Pontecorvo's cinema verite masterpiece on the Algerian Revolution still feels as vivid and gritty as it ever has. That's because it is a movie about revolutionaries by revolutionaries for revolutionaries. Many of its stars were Algerian amateurs acting out the events they survived themselves first hand. The result is provocatively powerful and shockingly intimate. There are zero attempts to sugar coat this story. Heinous acts committed by both sides are given thorough attention from bombings to torture, but you'd have to be Marine La Pen not to know who the good guys are here, and the good guys often die while the message lives forever. No pain, no gain.

Over the Edge by Jonathan Kaplan (1979)-  This may or may not be shocking to the adults in the room but the kids are not alright. During any police state, they always get the full brunt of the truncheon and 2021 ain't no exception. Hanging themselves after hours of Zoom hell and having a bunch of patronizing adults politicizing their struggle without ever handing them the fucking microphone. Jonathan Kaplan's tragically forgotten cult classic is the ultimate youth in revolt film for any era but it feels truer now than ever before. After the adults of a stagnant planned community in suburban California shut down their rec center and have one of their own shot by the police in cold blood, the kids get revenge by locking their bitch guardians into the school they imprison them in five days a week and burn the town to the ground as they watch in horror. It's terrifying. Its beautiful. Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone.

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Milos Forman (1975)-  Milos Forman and Jack Nichelson's masterpiece is still as hilarious as it is harrowing nearly fifty years later. That's because, as the film vividly illustrates, crazy people are simply people too complicated for totalitarian societies like western capitalism to comprehend. So they lock us up and they pump us full of drugs and they patronize the mess they make us into to make themselves feel better while we die inside. This is the dark underbelly of 'believe the science.' What maverick thinkers like Herbert Marcuse and Wilhelm Reich tried to warn us about. When society goes all in on despotism, even the doctors become evil tyrants. Now please stand by while Nurse Ratched prepares your vaccination.

The Warriors by Walter Hill (1979)-  If The Battle of Algiers is the Citizen Kane of social upheavel cinema, then The Warriors is certainly The Wizard of Oz. An epic journey through the street fighting post-apocalyptic Emerald City of late seventies New York. More importantly however is the message of the movies first martyr, the Fred Hampton-esque Cyrus, who brings together the cities many gangs to inform them that united they outnumber their cities most heinous street gang in blue, eight to one. Then proto-Proud Boy, Luther, shoots the brilliant bastard because he "likes doing things like that." The message here should be crystal clear. Whether we are Antifa, BLM, or Boogaloo, we all came to take our streets back. Only together can we succeed. But we gotta stop popping each other off over stupid shit. Cyrus was right, it really is all out there waiting for someone to take it. Can you dig it, suckas?

Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee (1989)-  I know, I know, it's a little obvious, but no movie before or since Spike Lee's incendiary classic has caught the caged racial tribalism of urban America with such momentum. The saddest thing is how routine the storyline has become over the last few years alone. How many Radio Raheem's have we had to bury since George Floyd? How many Sal's Pizza Parlors have had to be torched just to get most of country to temporarily give a damn. But the movie is also the perfect discourse on proper riot etiquette. The moment Sal justified Raheem's lynching, the will of the entire community can be seen on Mookie's face as he carries the trash can to the window. It's the same look he has stopping the crowd from spreading the rage to the innocent Korean grocers across the street. It's a look of pain. It's a look of social responsibility. Sometimes revolt is about putting down the trash can and choosing not to start the fire. 

The Night Porter by Liliana Cavani (1974)-  This erotic thriller about the taboo love affair between a former SS Agent and his ex concentration camp prisoner may feel like an inappropriate fit for this list or any other for that matter, but trust me when I tell you that in the post-Trump era, it's dead on the money. The main characters are caught up in a world that wants to forget the twisted connection they can't seem to escape, much like the mainstream media would love to have us forget the twisted love affair they continue to fan with Donald Trump. Promoting and lambasting. Creating monsters at the Capitol just to have them publicly destroyed. When you attempt to bury your past just because it's painful to look at, that past festers into something truly perverse. And look there's another child detention center. We cant escape ourselves. We can only confront the night porter in the mirror. 

Carlos by Olivier Assayas (2010)-  While not technically a movie, Olivier Assayas' mini series about seventies terrorist extraordinaire Carlos the Jackal is the finest display of radical chic ever caught on film. Edgar Remirez is at once both mesmerizing and terrifying as the enigmatic title character. No other performance has quite captured both the promise and existential moral dilemma of the modern day revolutionary. Does simply carrying a loaded gun make one a man of action or just another pawn in a larger imperial chess game? While Carlos basks in the glories of his radical heyday, he doesn't leave us like Che, a reckless hero with guns blazing. He leaves us like all too many a modern street fighting man, a bloated and greedy mercenary who turned the struggle into a money pit that became his prison cell. The lesson is to fight the good fight but be careful not to let the good fight fight you because there is nothing honorable about fighting simply for the sake of fighting. The cause must always come first, by any means necessary. Sometimes that means setting the streets on fire, and sometimes that means putting the lighter down. Let your heart speak loudest and the choice becomes clearer. Carlos raised some righteous hell, but he lost his heart somewhere along the way.

Keep fighting that good fight, dearest motherfuckers, and I'll keep shaking that cane from behind my computer screen. We're all in this riot together.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH