I’ll try not to bore you with the retail realities of my recent trip up to the Seattle bookfair. Maybe I will dedicate a post later in the month on the oh-so-exciting topic of what ppl are interested in, commodity wise, but I will tell you that I just returned from the first annual Seattle anarchist bookfair. There are only a few months left in the year so if you want your city to have its very own Anarchist Retail Experience (ART ™) you better act fast. Do you hear me Chicago? Detroit? St. Louis? Florida?
Here are some impressions I had this weekend about the people of Seattle and the kind of anarchism that appears to be happening up there.
- The most exciting things happening in Seattle aren’t happening in Seattle. It is probably similar to the SF experience in that it is so fucking expensive to live in the city that it is hard to get something exciting going on there but there wasn’t much that popped out to me
- Identity still rules the airwaves – The workshops that had the most excited attendance were the ones around queer and poc identity
- Fashion – lots of leg warmers and layers for the rain. Not so many messenger bags but lots of overloaded backpacks (of the student not traveler variety). Lots of wool and REI-style gear (I was treated to several descriptions of which outrageously expensive gear company was the best).
- There were quite a few very young ppl at the event who appeared to drag their parents. They had lots of youthful, colorful tchotckas that made me feel like they would get caught on any branch around. Lucky for them there was nothing but concrete around.
- The space was nice (and I’m sure affordable) but too small for workshops plus tablers. I still believe strongly in the one day bookfair only (Montreal does this right!)
- Many of the traditional tablers seemed very unhappy and unfriendly
- Certain discussions are really exciting to a lot of people right now and they aren’t in the anarchist mainstream (state/capital/religion). What to do!
Enough with the bullets. I really hope some closer ties are built between the Bay and Seattle as there appear to be a lot of similar thinking happening in the short conversations I had between people. I am really bummed that I missed the Tacoma event last month as I think I would have had a better (intellectual) time at that event. Naturally I wasn’t invited to participate in any of the panels or workshops over the weekend. But at least they didn’t have a “future of radical print” without us this time around…
- Blue Moon Cafe – excellent Vietnamese food recommended by the kate from riseup
- long car drives are made much better if ppl actually talk
- I have been cured of junk food by watching ppl eat it instead of food
- solo tabling continues to be a drag
- Mighty O’s
- No one looks at our bright orange banner before asking who we are
- The rushed wheeling-and-dealing is more fun that I should let on
Till next year
The idea seemed great. Get off work at 4:30, get home and have a quick meal and be on BART by 6 pm for an 8 pm flight. Little did I know that even though BART has raised their rates another 15% they had also decreased their “off hours” train schedule so that by the time I actually arrived at the airport it was 7:50. I missed my flight and due to the pressurized BART trip and my still weakened body missed my chance to make it to the Tacoma Anarchist Bookfair. Fucking fuck!
I am bummed about it. LBC is bummed about it (since this is a time it needs more exposure than it has). Ardent is bummed about it (since we have a new book out this week). It is just a shitty situation that makes me question whether it is possible to do everything at the same time. The only good thing is that it meant that I set some time aside without any of the little pressures and got a couple actual things done. I am looking forward to launching @Planet. I am looking forward to changing my day-to-day situation and clearing my head of all the noise.
Next month brings up another challenge. I’m planning on heading back to the North West for the Seattle bookfair but am not quite sure how to do it. I am thinking that I have to take off a day of work, or two, on either side of the trip. Maybe drive. I’m going to think about it this week.
This is the quote on the back cover of the book from “Anarchists Must Say What Only Anarchists Can Say”
It is not for anarchists to celebrate when The People tak over; anarchists ought not to be so amazed at examples of natural ingenuity and resilience. That is after all what they base all their principles on. Unfortunately their proper political task is less appealing and more controversial; it is to poke their fingers into the wounds of revolution, to doubt and to look for ways in which the Zapatistas, FLN, ANC or any other bunch of leftwing heroes will sell out, because they always do.
This simple statement probably sums up as well as I can why I wanted to publish this book. Today I held it in my hands for the first time and I am happy with it. It has heft. It is dark and moody. It is not a book that people should believe in but one that should shed some darkness on the places that my friends think are full of brightness.
I have kind of let the other blog go and while I have a little hesitation about that it has more to do with feeling the limitation of the blog as being associated with the magazine than with not having anything to blog about. Since the origin of the first blog and the AJODA tour that inspired it I have been engaged and involved in more projects than during any other time in my life. I have largely not talked about those projects on the other blog. I usually waited to blog until I had something 500-1000 words to say. Usually somewhat related to the magazine. That is a limitation I will not have here.
I will keep the AJODA blog limited to magazine material and this blog for everything else. That is going to include technical things, writing about the tensions of working while @ (WWA), and the variety of projects I am involved in which include, but are not limited to