2012 – an anarchists year in review

I* had an amazing year in 2012. So much so that the kind of perfectly normal winter induced funk that I seem to be in seems a little bit embarrassing. Here is a little bit about the year and a bit more about the future.

In 2011 I took a three month trip to Europe. Even though it was lonely and uncomfortable it was also life altering and inspiring. Prior to the trip I had been thinking more seriously about publishing. About how to do it in a more meaningful and affordable way and how to grow the umbrella project that a few of us were a part of. By about half way through the trip I had a pretty good idea what the plan was all that was left was implementation.


2012 was going to be a year about publishing. Publishing books. It took about 4 months to figure out what equipment to buy, how to use it, and what titles we were going to start the project with. By December 1st 2011 I knew that the first book we were going to put together was going to be by me and figured I knew what the first 3-4 titles of the year were.

In this write up I’m going to talk about the process of putting these books together, some nitty-gritty book production stuff, and perhaps wrap it up with some thoughts about why I feel more like a wrung out rag than a proud paterfamilias and why I go into 2013 with as more doubts than answers.

Here are the books we (LBC: Ardent, LBC Books, Repartee, GA, etc) will have officially publishing in 2012.

  1. Occupy Everything: Anarchists in the Occupation Movement 2009-2011 – edited by Aragorn!
  2. Queer Ultraviolence: An Anthology of Bash Back!
  3. Freedom: My Dream – The autobiography of Enrico Arrigoni
  4. Theory of Bloom – by Tiqqun
  5. Uncivilized: The best of Green Anarchy Magazine
  6. Crime Thought – by Alden Wood
  7. Treatise on Etiquette for the younger generations – Raoul Vaneigem
  8. Anarchy 101 – edited by dot matrix
  9. After Post-Anarchism – by Duane Rousselle
  10. Novatore – translations by Wolfi Landstreicher
  11. Anarchist International
  12. Whitherburo

Fuck. I am not sure how much I want to go into these books (beyond what I’ve already done in this blog) but perhaps I’ll do more of a crit/self-crit for your all’s amusement.

What we did right

The model worked. The idea of publishing anarchist material frequently (a book a month) seemed a little ridiculous this time last year. We had no idea what we were doing three months into 2012 and half these titles weren’t even sparkles in our eyes. The idea that to be doing this meant increasing the pressure, of our own capacity, of our relationships, of our processes, etc, was the right one.

If our desire was to live anarchy, as a vibrant, challenging, set of ideas and people, then publishing anarchist material (propaganda, biographies, theory, and collections) is a real way to do it. I would be hard pressed to think of much anarchist material that I am interested in that didn’t pass through our lens this year. I often say that there are two different kinds of anarchists. There are the ones whose anarchism ended in 1937 and want to try again harder and anarchists who were born in 1968. If we are a publisher of the second kind of anarchy then this year demonstrated (to me at least) that there are legs on this. I can’t wait to see where they take us next.

We didn’t taken the ankle-biting criticisms too seriously. Obviously there are a variety of real/not-real things that can be said about some of our choices (paper, indexes, covers, etc) and some times at the moment they are uttered they can really get me down but by-and-large I feel pretty good about balancing the criticisms we have received in terms of their heat rather than their smoke.

We didn’t burn too many bridges. Given how nasty our little world is I can definitely say that we built 3-4 times as many bridges as we burned this year. This was perhaps due to some maturity on our part but it also due to the fact that our project is primarily about delivering other people’s messages to the world. The effort we are spending is making things that are not financially viable but are meaningful to us and an expression of our friends (or comrades, as the case may be) has finally paid off. Obviously we aren’t perfect and are kind of jerks… but I can finally say with no irony that the work speaks for itself.

What we did wrong

We rely far too much on the milieu. I love the milieu** but it is too closed of a circle. Even as that circle has expanded (thanks Occupy!) it demonstrates all the weaknesses of self-definition. There is a ton to criticize in “the scene” but for us, as a project, we have to start reaching outside of our comfort zone. As to how to do that in a meaningful and long-view way… Good question!

Too many men. I am increasingly concerned that our project, especially as a publisher of anarchist books, has become a sausage party. We only have two books (although there are two anon titles and one multi-author collection) that aren’t duderific. I think this issue is going to take years to truly resolve but that one of our first steps is to pull back and think about what our goal is. If the goal is to embrace and publish the world of anarchist ideas then books have a ton of embedded problems. I have a critic who often lambasts me for my (seeming) embrace of the long form essay (which the book is obviously an even longer form) as being out of touch with the attention span of the modern human. Even though the criticism is also a ridiculous one (since I’m also fairly married to the web short form) there is a big question that seems right to me. Money is not our motivation. If chaos, or anarchy-wearing-chaos-formalwear, is our motivation how can we better transmit this? Somewhere in the answer to this question is also the answer to dude question.

We did not take enough risks. Being that we are self-funded (aka broke) we are also kind of bullet-proof in a way that other publishers are not. While it would be possible for someone to sue me into financial oblivion, I owe so much more than I have that it would probably be harder on them than me. More importantly it wouldn’t stop us from publishing! As a result of this we can, and should, be taking more risks, doing more illegal and inappropriate publishing projects. This year we published Treatise (an affordable version of Revolution of Everyday Life) and Words (a send up of the IAS’s Lexicon series) but this barely scraped the surface of what we should be doing. There are priests to be strangled by beauracratic entrails…

What is next

Books of course! In addition there is going to be a push into video (long and short form), music (?!), deeper web content, e-books, etc. 2013 is going to be a bit more focused on reaching outside of our safe(ish) space and into the cold, hard world that doesn’t care one bit about what we are thinking about. Anti-politics for the masses and shit.

Financially we have to figure out a way for more people to participate in the project. It is strange to think that this makes any sense at all (in the quid pro quo sense of the word) but becoming an accomplice of LBC means getting everything that we do (something like 25-30 projects in 2012) and supporting the fact that we are doing it. If we could cover our burn (rate, the amount we have to spend a month) with our accomplices it would go a long way towards making the project more (personally) sustainable.

I guess related to income is how connected this project is to a rich and fulfilling emotional life. While intellectually I couldn’t be happier I find that emotionally devoting so many hours of my day (and life) to this thing is exhausting. I am exhausted. I am exhausted by the bad faith and criticism-that-isn’t. I am exhausted by the frenemies. I am exhausted by the fact that I have made these choices and have no one to blame but myself. I am exhausted by blaming myself. 2013 is the year where I figure out how to convert some of the intellectually fulfilling aspects of this crazy thing called anarchy into something healthy.

Maybe I’ll just go back to Europe or something.

* I want to apologize for the use of I throughout this article (and in general). Often times I personify the LBC project even though there are a half a dozen people who are also as committed to the project as I am. I do this for a variety of reasons but to list them… a desire to not be or seem representational, a desire to take responsibility rather than hide behind an institution, because I’m the only one who tends towards writing about the project at all, because marketing is about people, because I am alienated from my individual desires and only have project desire now, because I’m fucked up.

** Obviously it is love and hate but if love is a decision about who you want to live and die with… I’m still here.

Production Notes – March 2012

I am not writing very much right now. I wish I was.

I am so entirely mired in the day-to-day workflow of LBC that it has become nearly impossible to keep track of all the details or to look past them. I want to keep a record of this work (both types) though so I am going to try to do a monthly “report back” on the status of the project for your (and my) enjoyment.


I’ll talk about our setup and our February title to start this out…


I have been publishing stuff for a while now. I wrote my first pro-situ zine about twenty years ago now (wow) and it’s been about nine years since I started my involvement with Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed (and two since ending it). We published (as Ardent Press) our first book almost five years ago.

I guess I have decided that anarchist publishing is what I have decided I am going to do with my time and energy but how? On the basest level I have been concerned (to put it lightly) that with print dying that the publishing of anarchist material was going to lose all corporality. Obviously I am on top of that too but there is something not replaceable about print. Moreover the Internet has shown itself to be a poor mechanism to weaponizing ideas. It is great for the lulz and the information churn but it isn’t a place to geologically layer the knowledge, discussions, and style that forms awesome (aka peers).

Moreover the book we published in 2011 was expensive. So expensive that it made be very nervous about doing another like it. I believe it’ll make back the money spent on it over time but the lesson (perhaps wrong) I took away from that book is that obscure anarchist material will not sell well quickly led me to reconsider the project of anarchist publishing. Sidebar: While Enemies hasn’t been an incredible seller it has been an unqualified success on every other measure.

How do we publish interesting things (aggressively) while not losing our shirts (financially)? The short and long answer is that we bought the equipment to make future books (for about the cost of three Enemies). Obviously this wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t work a shitty office job for three years but I did and it was. Add to the mix another member to the LBC team who was willing to “take ownership” (which refers to PRDM which I’ll talk about another time) of the LBC print shop and we were off to the races (figuratively).

On the plus side: We can now publish interesting things.
On the minus side: We are now operating a print shop in addition to trying to publish books.

Here are some details.

First Book – Occupy Everything

I am not going to go into too much detail about Occupy Everything: Anarchists in the Occupy Movement 2009-2011. I decided in early December to edit a book by the end of January. It was very challenging work to make something that was balanced and (I believe) will stand the test of time while being interesting to a non-anarchist audience.

The book did immediately vindicate the LBC printing project in that we made a variety of mistakes that we were able to repair in a short period of time. We can now practice iterative publishing and printing which makes me nearly giddy. It wasn’t until March that I feel I became a pro but January was the start of learning pre-press the hard way.

I should mention another thing? With the equipment in hand it is our intention to publish one anarchist* book a month in 2012 (and maybe beyond). Occupy Everything was the first book.

Second Book – Queer Ultraviolence: A Bash Back! Anthology

I’ll give more detail to this project because it was a monster.

Final page count: 430.

This includes over 250 pages of Communiques (a sizable portion being so insider as to be indecipherable outside of the particular people being talked about), 150 pages of theory, and a new introduction and conclusion. But the content (text on page) wasn’t the difficult part of this project. Everything else was.

In a moment of insanity I agreed to let the book be design heavy (designed by the same lunatic behind Politics is not a Banana) which meant a two sided color cover (With the gloss on the inside. More on this later.), color inserts, and a color timeline of events.

The cover

This turned out to be the easy part (or at least until we tried to bind a book to it) as the (outsourced) printer just treated the inside of the book (the glossy part) as the outside of the book.

First few bound QU:BB! Anthology

Here is the matte outside cover (pretty, no?)

The real difficulty came when we tried to glue the book bloc to the cover. Glossy (inside) cover + paper = cover + paper (in a pile on the floor). Not good!

This means that we ended up having to sandpaper the inside spine of every single book we put together. Insane!

QU Inside cover

Here is an unlucky grinder of gloss

Another issue with the cover is that due to the aesthetics of the full color inside cover a simple crease on the corner of the book bloc would not do. We ended up having to do a special crease (I forget the term, but basically a hinge an 1/8th of an inch from the edge of the book corner) to preserve the inside image. This wasn’t as frustration (by a long shot) as the sandpapering.

The inserts

You can see the inserts here (although they’ve changed to full color porn on the left side)

Spot Color inserts for Queer Ultraviolence

The inserts obviously make this book “more special” and pretty and whatnot but have added intensity to the production process. For starters they have to be manually inserting INTO the book bloc (prior to binding… obviously) but the more challenging (especially for the persnickity people) issue has been that the printing surface has been offset compared to the usual page because of the way that the “full bleed” and printing process plays out.

It is hard to visualize this but in our usual pre-press process we rotate and flip our text so that the paper cut that creates a binding surface ALSO is the hidden cut. This is good for aesthetics and paper conservation but not applicable to the color spreads (although it could be and perhaps will be on the next run).

The timeline

Mostly the timeline was a requirement of the editing process (without it the pile of Communiques are harder to contextualize) but ended up being a bit of an albatross on the project. At some point (when we decided not to bind it to the book) I contemplated blowing it up to a more proper poster size, but that quickly passed (mostly because it wasn’t going to be wise $).

Doing stuff is hard

I’ll try to do this once a month, just to give people who are book/print nerds a little insight into our world. There are tons of topics to cover but obvious the QU:BB! book represents the high point of design, volume, and insanity. I doubt we’ll do another book nearly this crazy this year. Perhaps never.

I am not going to focus on big lessons or negatives because, basically, there aren’t any. I love anarchists, I love the creative process, and I want others to share in this love. I am getting to do very hard work to make more sharing possible. I hope this loving work makes the best weapons ever. I hope I live long enough to see these weapons used against those I hate.

Solidarity means marching in the rain

for a stranger, with strangers, in a strange town, and with a cop named Hans

I am traveling around Europe this summer which means breaking out of routinues, judgements, and pre-conceived notions about people & their practices. This is a refreshing break for me and I hope this fuels my next set of projects and collaborations. It is also quite difficult as I am feeling quite lonely and isolated. Perhaps I should sing a song?

Under the Prison dark and tall
The Anarchist has come into his hall!
The foe is dying, the State of Dread,
And ever so our foes shall fall.

This is particularly striking in Stockholm. The bookfair was a painful affair for me. Obviously I don’t expect people from around the globe to know about Little Black Cart or even to necessarily be interested in Enemies of Society but the crowd was so actively disinterested in me, my table, and conversation that I believe that a conspiratorial minded person would have suspected the Illuminati or the like. That would be a good verse to the song.

The sword is sharp, the spear is long,
The arrow swift, the Scene is strong;
The heart is bold that looks on society;
The workers no more shall suffer wrong.

The truth is that Stockholm probably has the largest active syndicalist (not necessarily anarcho-syndicalist mind you) scene in the world. Their Central Organization of the Workers of Sweden (aka SAC) is an actually politically relevant force here, organizing public sector workers and “the paperless” ( a fact I was informed about at least 10 times over the weekend). I’ll leave my editorializing about syndicalism for another time (although it’s not hard my feelings on a socialist workers movement) but it was clear that syndicalists were of one mind regarding me. Basically they didn’t even approach the table. They gave me the “solidarity cold shoulder” and didn’t even look at me. This will go in for sure.

The workers of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

The next day was much better. I stayed at a lovely house along with many other people. A solidarity action had been planned the day before but really kicked off once this entire household of freeloaders headed into action. Or should I say sprung into a nearly endless series of waitings. The goal for the day was to express solidarity to one of the Fittja 2 who had been captured just that week. This entailed (as we were to learn) quite a bit of a journey because Stockholm is a town spread out much further than its population would lead one to believe.

On silver carriages they were strung
The light of stars, onward they sung
The dragon-fire, from twisted wire
The melody of harps they wrung.

To be specific to get to the prison where our comrade was held we took a bus, then the metro, then transferred to another line, then landed on a train (and an hour ride), another bus ride (thirty minutes) and finally trekked around 5 kilometers to the prison. This entire comedy was accomplished by 30+ anarchists… in the rain!

The spirit of ours once more is freed!
O! wandering folk, the summons heed!
Come haste! Come haste! Across the waste!
Our lost friend and kin has need.

As with most journeys ours was mostly in the travel rather than the goal but the event itself was some fun. We walked around the prison with 5 meter tall walls and not a window or seam to be found making as much noise as we could manage. After our second go around the police finally appeared (clearly prompted to action from our banging on the front gates as there was no sign of life from the prison itself the entire time we were there). They chased us around the prison another time before their official spokesman appeared, approaching half a dozen of us with the cry “My name is Hans, would you like to talk to me?” But no body did. And once Hans had enough of a posse of what could easily have been the extras of The Will to Power in tow we were herded back to the parking lot and the hike back to the bus.

Now call we over prisons cold,
‘Come back unto the caverns old!’
Here at the walls the anarchist awaits,
Her hands are rich with dreams of old.

A few last notes on this small event of solidarity. One, you can find our more information about the prisoner we were expressing our solidarity with here. Two, after we dragged our cold shivering carcasses back to Stockholm proper we were fed by the awesome workers of Kafe 44. I would not be exaggerating to say that this place was (by far) the best thing about Stockholm. Three, I was reminded during this event that it is the act of solidarity with each other (the 30 on the outside) that was the powerful “take away” of the experience for me. The cops harassed the one car that left the parking lot, taking registration information and making it clear they wanted to hold the people within until the crowd of us surrounded them and made them uncomfortable enough that they freed the vehicle.

Under the Prison dark and tall
The Anarchist has come into his hall!
The foe is dying, the State of Dread,
And ever so our foes shall fall.

ps bonus points if you know what song I stole from. extra bonus points if you don’t use a search engine to find it.

On the seventh day of anarchy…

The bulk of the socializing, selling, talking, and this-and-that is over. All that is left is a dinner and the last Anarchist Study Group. Before we finish up I’ll share with you some of my impressions of the past 7+ days and give some shout outs to people & projects I am happy about.

Obviously for me the two big projects for this week were the brand new issue of The Anvil (here is the editorial) and our brand new book Enemies of Society. We gave out over 500 copies of The Anvil over the course of Saturday alone (!!!) + sold enough copies of Enemies that I am not freaking out today. Whew…

Here are other notes from the 8 days of anarchy

  • Mental illness is serious business. We see shattered people all around us and I think it is evident that each and every one of them could be part of an amazing, vibrant, quilt-like world. Instead we live in a ticking terrifying landscape where we anticipate explosion and pain.
  • Attempting to have a conversation with 30+ people is ridiculous… and I love trying.
  • Bob is better when he drinks less
  • This movie wasn’t incredible but good for an introduction to the SI
  • This movie is now officially among my three most favorite SF movies ever (including Robocop and Starship Troopers)
  • Voyer didn’t stop writing… and his shit is very powerful
  • Techs deal with cognitive dissonance by filtering out any input they refuse to process
  • Station 40 is a monster
  • Logistics are a pain in the ass
  • Americans know how to shop
  • I really really really look forward to carrying manyCharles H Kerr and Black Swan
  • Occupied London are really nice and, while less showy than our other Greek friends, give good presentation
  • Drunk entitled POC’s are just about the worst people to have in a workshop
  • PNW participants in the anti-police activity are the best trolls EVAR!
  • My house is way to small for 50 plus people… which means there should have been 80!
  • Lorraine is a good one. Shocking but true!

If you live in the Southwest I will be near you soon.

Tucson AZ: April 14th & 15th
Phoenix AZ: April 16th – 18th
Austin TX: April 19th – 22nd
Houston TX: April 22nd – 24th
St Louis MO: April 25th – 26th
Milwaukee WI: April 27th

I hope to see you there!

The fog may lift

I am looking forward to Spring. Many projects are coming to fruition and I am finally reclaiming some of my time. My burnout is officially over and what cured it was the humans.

Here is what is coming up

We are finally working on a new book “Enemies of Society” and the second edition of “Till the Clocks Stop”. Little Black Cart is taking a couple week tour through the southwest in late April. We will go through Phoenix, Austin, Houston, St. Louis, and Milwaukee for sure. If you would like LBC to stop in your town (on the way from one of these towns to another) drop us a line. I will be spending the next three months in Europe. If you have any contacts there that you think I should meet… please let me know.

Also by April we should have another issue of The Anvil out. Issue #2 will include an insert of some of the material from the Insurgent Summer reading group. Hopefully this will engage more readers in one of my favorite books, Letters of Insurgents. Allegedly we will also have a series of new pamphlets that attempt a new approach to “introductions to” anarchism. Not sure that is going to happen though.

Oh! and starting this month some friends of mine from the Anarchist Study Group are starting a monthly audio event. You can find more information about it at TCN Radio (as soon as we finish it).


The truth is that I am still not working effectively. This albatross around my neck is filling my head with static and heat. Everyday I stumble around, through the mediocrity of the grind, and if I’m lucky, if nothing particularly stressful comes up, I get an hour or two of good project time at night. At least I’m getting that much and for that I thank the holiday season.

Tons of people came around, we talked about things I like to talk about, we laughed about things I like to laugh about and for a little while I felt normal. I was excited about writing and thinking and what I am doing with my time. Working through burnout by the social.


In addition to a review I am working on of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” I am working on an article on hosting software on corporate servers, the 101 series, and I updated The Anarchist Library with some of my older reviews and editorials from AJODA. I look foward to writing longer stuff later in the year but feel fairly good about what happened last year. I’ll probably put up a draft of the SAAS article here in the next week or so.

Report back from 8 days of Anarchy

The Good

The BASTARD Conference

Yes, the Greeks were inspiring and what I hoped for. Yes, the comedy was funny (Crudo was particularly good) & bizarre (I’ll upload a picture of McQuinn as robot later). Even my workshop went pretty well (I was really surprised how many people got up that early (10 am Daylight Savings) to see me), but I was right next to the entrance. I have a bothersome habit that I’d like to cure myself of. I over-prepare with too little time, don’t finish, and as a result have about the first 1/3 of what I’d like to do totally nailed. The rest I end up having to wing.

BASTARD can be a little surreal. We hold it at UCB for lack of a better (large & free) space but often times it means sharing space with the ISP (insane student posse). This year they were marching, waving colored flags, and singing the national anthem in an area where the reception was chillier than they are probably used to. I am still cursing the lack of total occupation on March 4th.

the minor 8 Days events

The big events during 8 days are always the ones that stick out in our memory but it is the smaller events; showing a film, the reading of the BASTARD surveys (which were particularly dull this year… since everyone said the same thing) that really make me glad that I live in the Bay Area. I am not alone. I might convince myself that I am from time to time, but I am not.

Spending time with the Greeks

We got to discuss exactly how different the social mores and attitudes are in Greece. I imagine many @ from the (identity) left would be uncomfortable there. I am not sure I have the energy myself for what seems like an intense place but the difference is exhilarating and I look forward to visiting one day.

A house full of guests

The house I live in is not designed for guests. We rarely have them and aren’t willing to make many accommodations for them. Over the weekend we had about 20 different people sleeping on our floors and couches. It was awesome. Even better were the hang out sessions and off-time with all these people. I like shooting the shit. I will not lie.

The political line of the PCWC

At the top of the pile of these off sessions was a breakdown of the Phoenix Class War Council political positions. That shit blew my mind.

Over the past decade they have been in a (hot but not humid) revolutionary laboratory distilling the good bits out of every tendency of the modern anarchist milieu into a extract that can only be called good old American eclecticism. Not wingnuts (although perhaps a little) the PCWC is totally passionate about the connections they have made between the different strands and their project of revolutionary change. In their words…

PHOENIX CLASS WAR COUNCIL is a fanatical, revolutionary anarchist group pressing the attack against capitalism, the state and all systems of hierarchy and oppression. We fight for a self-determined, projectual life for ourselves and all humanity. We oppose those who hinder working class self-organization. We are libertarian and libertine. We support movements but we don’t wait for them. We are in the thick of it.

The crazy thing for me is that they actually took a social situation, with a room of near-stranger anarchists, to make their case for what boils down to a program for anarchist revolution. I haven’t had someone try to actually win me over in years and I barely knew what to say. It didn’t help that they had knocked back a few before they came over but I really feel like I got the full monty on the PCWC and it was a blast. I’m not exactly applying for a membership card but I applaud their passion, the disparate sources that they draw their position from, and mostly… their passion.

The Bad:

Broken Windows

As many of you may have heard the vehicle that the Greeks were using for their tour was broken into. Fucking drag, mostly because they were told by their collective that bringing the projector to the States was a bad idea and they were feeling really bad about having it stolen. The response to this has been great though.

Tech incompetence & lack of planning

I dropped the ball in regards to recording all the presenters. I just didn’t leave enough time to test the new recorders I got for the event. Luckily the Greeks recording from BASTARD can be found on Indybay.

The Loot:

Every year I get far more literature than I have time to review. They are slowly piling up in my library to share (although no one every sticks around for long enough to really dig into it). This year I will share the list and take advice on which of these things you’d like to see me review first.

  • The Theory of Bloom (also found on Zine Library)
  • winding down of the clockwork lips (can be found on The Anarchist Library)
  • The Coming Community. (3) by Agamben
  • Blocs and Tactical Evolution
  • The Match #108
  • Rolling Thunder #8
  • the enemy of mankind speaks power
  • Din&#201. O’Odham. Anarchist. Reflections on the DOA Bloc
  • Kanellos: Athens riot dog
  • It’s easy to attack: A sharpening of the anarchist struggle in Barcelona
  • Rolling Thunder #9
  • Anarchist International Action Against Francoism From Genoa 1949 to The First of May Group
  • Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed #68/69
  • La Calle Desde el Tejado
  • We are an image from the future: The Greek Revolt of December 2008 (the first AK title I have purchased new in many years)
  • Used books: Pistoleros!, A Seasion in Hell by Rimbaud, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Carroll, Freakonomics by Levitt, Genius by Bloom

A letter to close 2009


Big changes in the air, which is a great, as 2009 has been utter shit. A horrible year that I am happy to see behind me. I’ll review.


I am still working full time. The job is increasingly grueling as my tasks become more cyclical (month-to-month) and less problem solving (day-to-day or hour-to-hour). My job has become very social in that I work in a “team” where there is an expectation to socialize. This makes side project or learning new tech exceedingly difficult during the week. Very frustrating with no end in site…


As many of you know I had a wretched year health wise. The worst in my life.

First I went in for a simple laproscopic hernia operation. It seemed to go well but instead almost killed me twice. First time, by freezing my GI system forcing a return visit to the hospital for a couple of days of stomach pumping. That was a blast. The second time with an infection that required pumping out two liters of material, a couple of weeks in the hospital, and surgery after surgery.

After all this was wrapped up (which it still isn’t, of course, since I still have a large wound in my abdomen) I had a brain hemmorage. This necessitated two days of symptoms, three days of hospital stay, and three trips to the MRI terror show. We will see what the results are early next year.


The projects are going well. The print projects are changing but include a total of four books in the process for publication (at this time). We hope that all of them will be ready by March 2010.

  1. Nihilist Communism
  2. Willful Disobedience: Anthology
  3. Til the Clock Stops: Beginning Texts for the Constitution of A War Machine
  4. Anarchy Works – by Peter Gelderloos

For 2010 we (Ardent) have quite a few books lined up (we hope for four releases in 2010) and are already planning for 2011.

The web projects continue to thrive. The news site is still very active and has been frustrating me less and less as time has gone on. The library site has been amazing and continues to inspire me with the dedication and diligence of the new librarians (and old) who have made the project a pleasure to be a part of.

The big new web project (which is evidenced in this URL) has been slow moving but hopefully will launch in full effect sometime in January or Febuary 2010. The idea is to provide a set of web services and portal like functions to the milieu. We will be providing blogging, email, instant messaging and a series of new sites for interested parties. I can’t wait to launch it and start working with an active technical group on a proactive project they can all be involved in.


This year I mostly traveled for bookfairs. I made it to San Francisco, New York (twice, once to go to CT), Portland, Santa Cruz, Seattle, and missed my flight to go to Tacoma. Hopefully next year I will slow down that pace and spend a bit more time in some places so I can spend quality time with friends and comrades.

A short trip to Seattle

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.

  1. 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
  2. Identity still rules the airwaves – The workshops that had the most excited attendance were the ones around queer and poc identity
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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!)
  6. Many of the traditional tablers seemed very unhappy and unfriendly
  7. 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…

Other highlights

  1. Blue Moon Cafe – excellent Vietnamese food recommended by the kate from riseup
  2. long car drives are made much better if ppl actually talk
  3. I have been cured of junk food by watching ppl eat it instead of food
  4. solo tabling continues to be a drag
  5. Mighty O’s
  6. No one looks at our bright orange banner before asking who we are
  7. The rushed wheeling-and-dealing is more fun that I should let on

Till next year

Nihilist Communism – the book

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.

Nihilist Communism