Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Wake Up to Anarchy!

Twenty years ago, I’d been working in a diecasting factory in Ancoats for going on three years and had decided that my life was pretty much over. Fucked, I thought, despite the fact that I was still living at home and earning decent money for the first time in my life. Fortunately, I had a few acquaintances around me motivated by a similar need to resist despair and united by a dark, dry humour, so we decided to pool our resources and do something positive while we still had the time, energy, and opportunity. Calling ourselves Timperley Village Anarchist Militia, a tribute not to Buenaventura Durutti but the less well known Tufnell Park Anarchist Militia, whom I’d encountered at an anarchist picnic on Parliament Hill organized by good friends of mine, we put together the magazine you see above, now featured in the punk exhibition in Manchester mentioned below.

Digging out a copy of the magazine from my attic last night and perusing it over a can of cider (the only way!), I was struck by just how strident, intemperate and filled with rage it was, and we were, but also how very funny parts of it were (a piece on trainspotting that I’ll post sometime next week) and, more surprisingly, how astute we sometimes were. There’s nary a mention of Marx, Bakunin, Proudhon or (imagine!) Castoriadis. Yet, when I read the lead article for the first time in 15 years, I was astonished to find myself, all that time ago, arguing about the necessity for creating links between the countercultural anarchist movement (squatting, pro-Situ, anti-work) and the class-struggle anarchist organizations in order to support grassroots autonomous working-class struggles engaged in direct action. How prescient of me, (he said with ridiculous immodesty) given that exactly what I was arguing for came to fruition in a very small way 10 years later, when Reclaim the Streets and ravers joined with the Liverpool Dockers in common cause as a result of the Criminal Justice Act.

They say the brightest flame burns the shortest time. That’s a most apt analogy for Timperley Village Anarchist. Although we survived a letter from the solicitors of Greg Dyke’s TV-AM, which was just starting up (the coincidence of the initials was too good an opportunity to pass up, and hence our slogan, the title of this posting), we couldn’t survive the intervention of my old man, who found 500 copies of Issue No. 2 under my bed and burned the lot.

The magazine was resurrected by one of our number as TV-AM in the Class War stable of magazines, but I don’t think it lasted for more than a few issues. The rest of us moved on, conscious that maybe we could actually do something to make a difference to our own lives, maybe even to others, and there were many, many changes, challenges, disasters, and triumphs in the subsequent years.

But that’s another story.

Explorations in Resistance

From the aut-op-sy mailing list:

Strategies of Refusal: Explorations in Autonomist Marxism

Bluestockings . 172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington, NYC $25 - $50 sliding scale

Sundays 12 - 2 PM from October 9nd - November 20th
Instructors: Jack Z. Bratich & Stevphen Shukaitis

Since the publication of Hardt and Negri's Empire new attention has been brought to a previously ignored current of revolutionary theory and practice, namely that of autonomist Marxism. The attention paid to readings of Negri have tended to neglect the vast wealth of engaged theoretical reflection contained within the history of autonomist thought and organizing from which Negri's work emerges. The course will begin to explore this future behind our backs focusing on key concepts and practices with autonomst Marxism such as class composition analysis, spatial articulations and enclosures, mobility and exodus, the refusal of work, affective labor, biopower, communication and information theory, and current developments in autonomist organizing such as those around
precarious labor. It will explore the writing of theorists as Mario Tronti, Paolo Virno, the Midnight Notes Collective, Harry Cleaver, Silvia Federici, Bifo, Leopoldina Fortunati, Ferrucio Gambino, Raniero Panzieri, Sandro Mezzadra, George Caffentzis, Maurizio Lazzarato, Mariarosa Dallacosta, Toni Negri, Félix Guattari, and Alisa Del Re. Having at least a working knowledge of Marxist concepts (and a willingness to critique them) would be very helpful. A majority of the reading will be made available electronically and/or in scanned form.

For more information/readings: or

Sponsored by Autonomedia

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

So where's Gay Meadow?

According to this weeks Non-League Paper the most sought ground on the internet is the home of Shepshed Dynamo. 17th on the overall list behind the likes of Area 51 and The Whitehouse these plucky part-timers proved more popular than Old Trafford , Nou Camp and even Villa Park.Who says there's no future for grass roots football.

Shepshed,incidentally, play at Butt Hole Lane.

Fast Women, Fast Cars . . . It Can Only End in Tears

If this tragedy doesn't make you laugh, there's something wrong with you.

And before you accuse ME of being sick, allow me to point out that Car & Driver magazine saw fit to provide the time in which Mrs. Howard's car completed the quarter-mile (6.633 seconds).

The Magic Christian

Did anybody see The Magic Christian last night on BBC 2? And if so, can you tell me what the fuck THAT was all about?!

I tuned in about half way through then sat transfixed as Yul Brynner lip-synched "I'm Mad about the Boy" while dressed as a transvestite diva, Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr tried to persuade the Oxford Boat crew (which included Graham Chapman) to throw the Boat Race, two Mister Universes performed ballroom dancing in their thongs, and Christopher Lee appeared as Dracula to cause chaos on a ship captained by Wilfred Hyde White but which turned out not to be a ship at all but a set in the centre of London. After all that, Sellers and Starr conclude the movie by filling a huge pool on the South Bank with pig shit, blood and fat and throw in pound notes while advertising "Free Money" to see if City gents are prepared to wade into the crap to get it.

A film to watch while stoned, I think.

Oh yes, and the Magic Christian of the title is the ship, not Jesus. A metaphor, I suppose.

But I'm Already Pickled

A keen-eyed comrade spotted the anarchist magazine we used to cowrite in the fanzine section of an exhibition currently on at Urbis in Manchester: "Punk: Sex, Seditionaries and the Sex Pistols." There's an accompanying catalogue called No Future costing £19, which seems a rather sad indictment of our efforts to subvert the Spectacle.

Rather more respectably (?) but still leaving me with the sensation of being encased in amber, our magazine made it to the archives of the Centre International de Recherches sur l'Anarchisme in Lausanne, Switzerland, though only God, if he existed, would know how.

More on those dark years tomorrow.

Hideout Block Party

From Katie at the Hideout, Chicago:

"The Hideout Announces 9th Annual Block Party Line Up
The dB's Reunite After 22 Years!

Freakwater, Eleventh Dream Day, Kevin O'Donnell
Debut New Material!

WHO: FRIDAY: Devil in a Woodpile, The Autumn Defense, Freakwater, The Lamentations: Kelly Hogan, Nora O'Connor, Scott Ligon

Book Release for: Farm Aid, A Song For America, with Paul Natkin and Dave Hoekstra.

Celebration of No Depression magazine's 10th anniversary.

SATURDAY: NOMO with Fred Anderson and Nicole Mitchell, The Redwalls, The M's, The Ponys, The dB's, The Sam Roberts Band, Eleventh Dream Day, Kevin O'Donnell's Ensemble General.

WHAT: Annual outdoor festival that benefit's children's charities. Includes 12 bands, children's activities, food, beverages.

WHEN: September 16, 5-10 p.m.
September 17, 2-10 p.m.

WHERE: The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia

The Annual Hideout's Block Party has become the highly anticipated end of summer event. Up and coming bands and legendary performers, meet on the street and present break-out performances. Proceeds go to support P.L.A.Y., Tuesday's Child, and Literacy Works.

This year's festival will include; Eleventh Dream Day (Sat.4:00), Freakwater (Fri.8:45), and the premiere of Kevin O'Donnell's Ensemble General (Sat.3:00) all performing new material. A rare appearance of The Lamentations (Fri.7:30), and the Autumn Defense (Fri.7:00) with John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, both of Wilco, slipping in a special set. Bonus we believe Laurie Stirratt may perform too.

None of the bands performing are on tour. They are coming to Chicago for the express purpose to play at this event. The greatest anticipation is the reunion after 22 years of the influential New York pop-punk band, The dB's (Sat.6pm). Its four members, are all successful today in various bands.

Saturday will also include The Sam Roberts Band (Sat.5pm), the hugely successful Canadian band, in a rare stateside appearance.

Chicago's hottest new bands, The M's (Sat. 7:45), The Ponys (Sat. 7:00) and The Redwalls (Sat. 8:30) will return from their worldwide tours to rock the hometown crowd. NOMO (Sat. 9:15) here for Chicago's World Music Festival will play a once only show with Chicago's venerable Fred Anderson,a founding member of the AACM.

The Hideout is considered one of Chicago's best live music venues by Rolling Stone, Spin, Stuff, Fortune, The Tribune, The Sun-Times, The Reader, New City, Chicago Magazine, The Daily Herald, The Pioneer Press, WXRT, WLUW, WNUR, and others. The Hideout Block Party often makes the year end "Best of" lists. This year's line-up has already been called one of the best in years.

With the great critical and popular success of this years Intonation Festival, and Lollapalooza, come and see the festival that has helped to keep Chicago on the cutting edge musical map since 1996.

Please check for more up to the minute details.

Performance Line Up for Friday September 16, 2005

9:30 pm: Devil in a Woodpile
8:45 pm: Freakwater
8:00 pm: The Lamentations:
Kelly Hogan/Nora O'Connor/Scott Ligon
7:00 pm: The Autumn Defense

$10 Donation: Proceeds to benefit Literacy Works

Performance Line Up for Saturday September 17, 2005

9:30 pm: Nomo: Featuring Fred Anderson and Nicole Mitchell
8:30 pm: The Redwalls
7:45 pm The M's
7 pm: The Ponys
6 pm: The dB's
5 pm: The Sam Roberts Band
4 pm: Eleventh Dream Day
3 pm: Kevin O'Donnell's Ensemble General

Proceeds to benefit
Tuesday's Child"

Monday, August 29, 2005

Grim Reality #2

Via Hak Mao, an article from yesterday's Sunday Times Magazine by Claire Toomey on the widespread murders of women in Guatemala. Amnesty report here, postcard protest here.

It's What Torpedoes Were Made For

The Avalon Excalibur 25 Elite, a luxury pontoon boat from Playbuoy intended to accommodate that boating crowd looking for a good time cruising and lounging.

(Swans optional)

See the Whirl

Delta 5 namechecked in today's Guardian letters page.

Old interview with Ros Allen here.

Quiet Desperation

The readers' problem page in the July 2005 issue of Redbook features questions relating to workplace irritability, coping with a jobless husband who doesn't seem to want to find work, and a mother who's worried because her kids are so boring.

Sadly, none of the suggested solutions involve hard drugs, alcohol or adultery, but rather cleverly, the woman with a jobless husband is advised that, if things don't improve financially, she should get rid of cable, ditch the mobile phones, and sell the car. Very smart, if a little unsympathetic, but I would have thought the first thing she should get rid of is the sofa. Then the fridge. Then his slippers.

But what's the answer to boring kids? Hide their iPods?

Maurice Brinton Notes

Via an Agora International Update, a review at Canada's Red & Black Notes of Maurice Brinton's For Workers Power and a brief obituary.

Grim Reality

Alphonse on Haiti.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Recovery Position

Today's Independent carries an interview with Albert Kuvezin of Mongolian band Yat-Kha, who have an album of cover tracks just out, called Re-Covers.

If you've never heard Tuvan throat singing, you can listen to Yat-Kha's versions of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and Motorhead's "Orgasmatron" here.

Mekons-related trivia: Lu Edmonds of the Mekons used to manage and play with Yat-Kha.

The Sun's Exploding. Hooray!!

Possible Aurora Borealis over Ireland tonight.

Keep watching the skies.

Bilbao or Bust

I've just booked a trip to Bilbao for a few days and, apart from the Guggenheim and Guernica, I wondered if anyone could recommend anything or had any experience of the city or the area.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tender Mercies

I missed all the excitement on Laytown Beach last weekend because I was over in Carlisle, but here's the report from the Meath Chronicle and here's the Irish Examiner's.

Laytown Races are fast approaching (next Thursday). Chances are the going will be SOFT.

This Too Shall Pass

Today's Guardian carries a piece about ecologist Peter Turchin, author of War and Peace and War, who believes he has discovered the laws of history to explain the rise and fall of empires.

" . . . his experience in the mathematical modelling of animal populations such as lemmings, voles and forest insects has given him confidence that the complex processes of human interactions can be captured by such methods too. "History is not just a huge number of random factors interacting in very complex ways," he says. "There are some strong patterns that come out. And there are some reasonably simple explanations at work for these patterns."

Read the rest here.


forgive me if this online journal has covered this territory before but last night i went to the cinema to see dig!, the film about the dandy warhols and the brianjonestown massacre.

even though i'm no fan of either band (i own one BJM album and nothing by the dandy's) it's difficult to think of a better, if you will, rockumentary. friendship mutating into unhinged bitter rivalry, drugs, onstage scraps, genius, madness, self-destructiveness. it's got the lot in spades.

nobody gets out of this film looking particularly good.

highly recommended.

Crossroads in the Labyrinth - A Plea

I was reading an interview with Cornelius Castoriadis in an old issue of Radical Philosophy recently, in which he discussed his work on the Labour Theory of Value, observing that he'd dealt with it and discarded the theory in the above-named book. At the moment, this is a topic I'm spending a lot of time on, but I'm unable to locate this book anywhere for less than £100, I guess because it's out of print and rare.

If anyone has a copy that they're willing to part with or lend, please get in touch.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Don't Blame Us, Blame International Capitalism

In his post Marx without Marxism, Jim Monk over at Out of the Driver's Seat holds us indirectly responsible for his inability to finish his novel. Jim (whose About Me page is really worth a read) has been working his way through the C&S archives - yes, he's retired - and believe it or not encountered a couple of links that he has found useful in his current cogitations on the status and applicability of Marxism, namely, our links to Aufheben and Castoriadis.

I trust you to make better use of them than we did, Jim.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Homage to Catalunya

Good to see Reidski's back from his holidays. We await the photos of Camp Nou.

Kill Me If You Can

This dramatisation on Channel 4 tonight is a must see for anyone who has drank (or run a pub) in the Goose Green area of Altrincham. And also for anyone who, at anytime, has pretended to be a spy on the internet.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

wah! at the zanzibar, liverpool

on bank holiday sunday, apparently. that's 28 august. there's no mention of it on the zanzibar site but i think that's because they're in the process of revamping the site. i've just spoken to someone at the venue and the gig is definitely on.

i shall be journeying up for it, staying at my mate john's in liverpool (john will also be attending).

anyone else?

tickets are available on the door that night or from probe records in liverpool. no credit card advanced booking due to the last minute nature of the show.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Girl Can't Help It

Being a Northampton fan, that is.

But it does serve to confirm she has a wicked sense of humour.

Just Jane, blogrolled left.

This Saturday: Don't Miss It!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Saudi Exposed

Today's New York Times (log-in required) carries a review of the new book by British journalist John R. Bradley entitled Saudi Arabia Exposed. I previous linked to and mis-identified Mr. Bradley here, when I drew attention to his interesting comments on the sources of Al Qaeda's enmity for the House of Saud and Wahhabism.

Might be worth a read.

For Use by Lady Macbeth, Perhaps

I missed this item when it first appeared on the BBC and have only just now spotted it thanks to The Progressive magazine.

"An art work purportedly made from excess fat from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sold for $18,000 (£9,862).

Switzerland-based artist Gianni Motti claims to have bought the fat from a clinic where the leader had a liposuction operation performed.

He moulded it into a bar of soap which he named Mani Pulite (Clean Hands)."

Excess fat? He's ALL excess fat!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

At Home with the Intelligentsia. No. 23: Arthur Koestler

(Full image shows Koestler on the set of Crossroads, in which he played a travelling salesman from Esher named Kirby).

Pure Genius/Teenage Kicks

Nina at Infinite Thought offers us one of her angst-ridden teenage poems. Every line a potential strapline for Counago & Spaves. My favourites:

A hysterical procession to the rebirthing room

An inferiority possessed by chance

Clusters of snowdrops in an impure world

A blind mind on the side of reason

Bombard her with requests for more.

(That last one is an instruction, not a line from her poem).

Compost in Waiting

George Monbiot in the Guardian today expresses it well, I think. One day, the molecules of which I am composed will be inside a robin's stomach, seething through the fibres of a hyacinth, crapped out by a dog. At last I have some purpose!

Homelife Insecurity

From today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"CHICAGO - A man admitted Monday that he falsely told federal agents his relatives were linked to Osama Bin Laden's terrorist network and were plotting to blow up the Sears Tower and other landmarks.

Abdul Rauf Noormohamed pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of making false statements to federal agents. He faces up to five years in prison."

One thing the report DOESN'T tell us is whether the relatives were arrested or not. I'd really like to know. Did he get granny banged up?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Who's Been Reading Andre Gide, Then?

In 1952, Andre Gide's book The Vatican Cellars gave us a tale of conmen who ripped off gullible Catholics by eliciting money from them to rescue the true Pope, who had been kidnapped by freemasons and was being held captive beneath the Vatican while a usurper held the papacy.

It transpires that Benedict XVI is just such a usurper. The True Catholic Church elected one Lucian Pulvemacher to the papacy in 1998. He took the name Pius XIII to signify his sucession from Pius XII, the last true Pope.

The proof is here.

I Didn't Think They Had TV in Cork Anyway.

An article by Ann Ryan in The Corkman:

BINGE DRINKING, paedophilia, drugs and domestic violence were all rampant in Irish society a hundred years ago, putting paid to the myth that these social ills became manifest following influences such as TV, teen culture and a more liberal society - a noted local historian, who is just about to launch a book on the subject, told the Corkman this week.

Friday, August 12, 2005

In Ardeelee's Shadow

I feel ill when I watch black-and-white movies; they leave me feeling cold and clammy. Hollywood Buddhists have a similar effect. I dismantle children’s jigsaws and walk through cobwebs. Last night I dreamed I was snogging my own brother. I hate ring doughnuts. In restaurants, I feel cheated by sorbets. I hate old Tories and yet I, too, resent having to learn new things. I cannot swim. I am unable to resist alcohol even when I know I’m becoming boorish and losing friends. The extra pint is more important. I cannot dance the foxtrot. I hate poetry. I cannot write poetry, but even if I could, I wouldn’t. I hate pretzels and seafood and apple cores. I hate people who refer to kiwi fruits as kiwis. A kiwi is an animal; it’s not likely to be in your yogurt, is it? I cannot be relied upon to turn up. Don’t arrange to meet me. I went to a comprehensive school but still came out a socialist, despite the government’s apparent intentions. I gave away my most prized possession to someone who doesn’t value it. I sometimes imagine I should take music seriously. I have 30GB of space on my Creative Zen Juke Box and about 300 tracks. I hate wearing a suit and tie and hardly ever do because I never get invited anywhere. I hate heavy metal T-shirts, but especially on Brummies: We have a hard enough time as it is. I can't bear elastic bands. Once I forced two boys younger than me to fight each other. I eat frogs legs, but I hate greedy pigs and wine connoisseurs. Just drink the fucking stuff, for Christ’s sake. I hate the tyranny of blogging. I loathe people who want to convert me because otherwise I’ll never know true happiness. I hate cat lovers. I hate slot machines in pubs. Why should the friendless be allowed to inflict their suffering on us? What do they think online gambling is for? I hate Middleton. I hate Wembley. I abhor Weoley Castle. One of my best friends killed himself. He lived in Chelmsley Wood for a while. Charles Dickens is a pain in the arse. I cannot speak any foreign languages fluently. At the age of 9 I ran away from home and got as far as the shops. I detest philosophy even though I have a degree in it. I despise reading. I have three broken hi-fi systems in the attic. I get increasingly depressed the more I write and the older I get. I stole a locket from the Bronte sisters’ house. I have gratuitously broken the hearts of several innocent young women. I hate gammon with pineapple: What is this, the 70s? I pick my nose. I hate celebrity self-deprecation. I am suspicious of the permanently cheerful, like they’re sick in the head or something. I haven’t had an original idea in five years. Even this list is a tribute. I’m probably the most boring person you’ll ever meet. I hate travel. My wife is a better human being than I’ll ever be. I don’t have to travel anywhere if I’m with her.

Do You Have the New U2 Album by Coldplay?

Darren does it again. An amusing piece from the Telegraph on the public school background of those generating "bedwetter music."

Not so sure I'd agree with Darren on the quality of the Redskins' singles, mind you. Passable, I think. And as Marc Waller said of their live performances, "Their music was very powerful, I just couldn't stand all the quotes from Chairman Mao."

Mind you, maybe Marc was actually at a Manics gig (or maybe even The Ignition, remember them?) and too out of it to notice.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Runs in the Family

Pinochet's wife and youngest son arrested for fraud. Needless to say, Mrs. Pinochet isn't well.

am i allowed to post personal messages on here?

if so, greetings from andalucia. that is all.

Fuck Mel Gibson (Not in a Nice Way)

Here's the blog of Brian Flemming, who has given us the movie Mel Gibson SHOULD have made about Jesus, The God Who Wasn't There (it does have a segment called "The Bashin' of the Christ," though).

Flemming is a former Christian fundamentalist turned atheist, i.e. he did the research. Unfortunately, if you'll forgive the pun, I suspect he'll be preaching to the converted.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Protesting Executions in Iran

Details from Direland of forthcoming protests around the world against the death penalty and criminalization of homosexuality in Iran following the hanging of two gay teenagers there charged with sexual assault.

Haven't delved into Direland as often as I should have. Some interesting material there if one has the time.

Mekons-related dates

Courtesy of Nobby at Club Mekon (link left):

Jon Langford

Friday August 19th (7 pm): The Hideout, Chicago: Jon Langford, Sally Timms and The Pine Valley Cosmonauts will host a memorial show for the late British singer, painter and writer Kevin Coyne at which they will perform classic Coyne songs and unveil material from the One Day in Chicago CD (Buried Treasure Records) they recorded with Kevin just before his death last December.

Sat August 20.05 Brookfield, IL Brookfield Zoo w/ Rick Sherry, Sally Timms

Executioner's songs:

Sept 10th/11th in Washington, D.C.: September 16, 2005 at 8 pm ($15): George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center Theatre (1165 Angelina St. @ Rosewood); in Austin TX Art opening and acoustic show in Austin on 17th

The Museum Of Contemporary Art in Chicago and The Walker Museum Of Art in Minneapolis in early 2006.

Sarah Corina

Striplight dates:

Sat 20th Aug - Up The Down Escalator, The Macbeth (Hoxton Distillery), London N1

Striplight's first DIY single, "Still Beating," is now available online and at gigs.

New demo: 1.No Search/No Entry 2. Hold It Down 3. Bumpersticker Can be heard at:

Waco Brothers

Sat 08.13.05 Chicago, IL RECORD RELEASE SHOW @ Carol's w/ Devil in a Woodpile
Wed 08.17.05 Cleveland, OH Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Sun 09.18.05 Santa Monica, CA McCabe's Guitar Shop
Mon 09.19.05 San Diego, CA The Casbah
Tue 09.20.05 Los Angeles, CA Spaceland
Wed 09.21.05 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
Sat 09.24.05 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
Sun 09.25.05 Seattle, WA Sunset Tavern
Wed 10.12.05 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's
Thu 10.13.05 Cambridge, MA T.T. The Bear's
Fri 10.14.05 Brooklyn, NY Southpaw
Sat 10.15.05 Philadelphia, PA North Star Bar
Mon 10.17.05 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe

Sally Timms

Sat 08.20.05 Brookfield, IL Brookfield Zoo w/ Jon Langford, Rick Sherry

Watch out for a new website: (not working yet)

I'll Have a Union-Made Latte to Go!

Via Darren, a link to the site of the Starbucks Union, part of IU 660 - the retail worker's division of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Australians in Europe

How do you cap a weekend in Birmingham of world class cricket and top notch balti ? By watching Alty thump Bangor City and then getting Shane Warne to sign your Edgbaston ticket. It's amazing how easy he is to spot at a distance, at Edgabaston he was the orangey bit in the middle whereas at Alty he was the the orangey bit in the stand with a ciggy always on the go.

And fair do's to Jason Gillespie and his wife who stood on the terraces for the second half and cheered each goal like regular Golf Roaders. I didn't mention mobile homes once.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

It's Bono's fault...

Can anyone name an Irish rock band whose name starts with the letter u? Of course, it's the Undertones, who else? Apparently, though, there are some guys called U2 or something like that, never heard of them really, but they played at the Camp Nou on Sunday and as a result the pitch is in a mess and the grass has to be replaced. At least I know who I can blame when Barça players start getting injured this season...

R.I.P. Alain Guillerm

Just learned of the death of Alain Guillerm on June 24th. Guillerm was a member of Socialisme ou Barbarie from 1962 to 67 and cofounder in 1967-68 of Communisme ou Barbarie following the dissolution of the former organization in June 1967.

From NotBored!

"Alain Guillerm was among the four members of the S. ou B. group who opposed the suspension of publication of the review and tried to continue the S. ou B. project under another name: it was Guillerm who, in the wake of Guy Debord's departure in 1961, wanted to form a "situationist tendency" within S. ou B., but was unsuccessful. In 1967, David Ames Curtis reports,

"the group formed by the dissenting S. ou B. members called itself Communisme ou Barbarie [a.k.a. Groupe Bororo]. It met frequently in the Marais section of Paris, managed to be denounced by the Situationist International during its brief existence, and picked up a few members, including Dominique Frager, who had wanted to join S. ou B. soon before its dissolution. Contacts also were establsihed with people from Noir et Rouge, the Situationists, and radical students from Germany, among others. Right before Christmas, 1967, Frager introduced the group to the soon-to-be student leader of May '68, Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Cohn-Bendit [...] thus was in direct contact with the group that made itself the continuator of Socialisme ou Barbarie in the months leading to the March 22 takeover of the Nanterre University Administration building and to May '68. To my knowledge, this quite slender, but significant, thread of historical continuity has never before been revealed in print. Also of significance, Guillerm participated in the Nanterre occupation on March 22 and in the formation of the March 22d Movement. He was on the barricades the first evening in Paris."

Monday, August 08, 2005

More Castoriadis

David Ames Curtis has asked me to draw everyone's attention to the news from NotBored! that it is providing access to electro-Samizdat editions of works by Cornelius Castoriadis, including


The main launch page for all these books, plus our own essays on Castoriadis and his relevance to the Situationist International.


The launch page for "The Rising Tide of Insignificancy (The Big Sleep)," which we published in December 2003. From this page, one can access the PDF file of the book, the Translator/Editor's "Foreword," and the table of contents.


The launch page for "Figures of the Thinkable (including Passion and Knowledge)," which we published in February 2005. From this page, one can access the PDF file of the book, a large excerpt from the Translator/Editor's "Foreword," and the table of contents. (In the near future, we will provide the entirety of the T/E's "Foreword" to FTPK.)"

Anyone interested in receiving the Castoriadis/Agora International electronic update announcements can write to David at

David also informed me that Charles Kerr is to release a new edition of Facing Reality, the Johnson-Forest text by C.L.R. James, Raya Dunayevskaya, and Castoriadis (whose contribution was so mangled and published without the latter's approval that it contributed to the break between the Johnson-Forest Tendency and Socialisme ou Barbarie.)

R.I.P. Ibrahim Ferrer

Died last week.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Progress: New Fetishes for Old

If only Jose had managed to include Lenin's tomb in the photo as well, we'd have had the set.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Back in the Russian Federation

In spite of the title, I'm actually back in Barcelona, after spendind the last week of July in Moscow. I had not been to Russia since 1993, and I was curious to see if it had changed, as I had been told.
The look of the city has certainly changed since my first visit in 1988, when everything was grey buildings and red flags. You can see a variety of colors now on the street. In that sense, it’s beginning to look like any European city, with the same ads and the same shops.
Anyway, the Red Square and the Kremlin are still impressive. They try to keep them in a good condition to lure the ever-increasing tourism. Now the inside of the churches, which in the Soviet era were mostly closed, are virtually tourist sights. And not far from the very center, stands one of the bigger temples, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
That gigantic building is a new construction. The original was built in the 1800s to commemorate the victory over Napoleon. It stood there until Stalin decided to knock it down to replace it with a still larger building, the Palace of the Soviets. The project finally failed and they ended up building a big swimming pool, in which I myself had bathed during my first stay in Moscow. Now the swimming pool has become the cathedral once again, a huge temple visited by devotees and tourists alike. And it could well be a symbol of the new Moscow, with its charms and its excesses.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Good Job There Was Plenty of Sand About

The traditional holiday reading of Being and Nothingness, mere moments before commencing two days of copious vomiting and diarrhoea.

(This picture was NOT, I repeat NOT, posed.)