sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
renouf the goof tweetApparently my little design got famous enough to be tweeted by local fascist nutjob Greg "the Goof" Renouf!

I would be flattered were it not for three critical errors in his sentence-long tweet:

1) I'm not actually an anarchist, nor am I part of any anarchist group, nor does this design have anything to do with or benefit any anarchist group. I'm not even sure which anarchist group he's talking about. I mean, I like (some) anarchists and I have broad ideological agreements and commonalities with them, but I lived in a cooperative house for too long to actually be an anarchist, as I'm quite fussy about dishes and such.

2) It says right in the product description that the graphic refers to peacefully dealing with fascism through fun sports like baseball.

3) And this is the weirdest one—I am not nor have I ever been a Christian. I mean, this commemorates a battle primarily fought by Jews, albeit with some Christian allies. But while I've been accused of belonging to all sorts of beliefs and causes that I have nothing to do with, I don't think I have ever in my life been mistaken for a Christian.

So that's neat.


Feb. 3rd, 2017 07:26 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
 How does one become a "professional anarchist"?

Asking for a friend.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
Just when you thought the political landscape couldn't get any worse, CrimethInc is back, kickin' it like it's 2001. The third most irritating tendency in anarchism* has announced its return in a typically relevant fashion:

The website is powered by an app built with Ruby on Rails. If you’re a designer, a developer, or an adventurous explorer and want to help us build a better world, send up a signal flare—we’ll be waiting for you. There’s still plenty of work to do (and always will be until we finally destroy empire). Front end HTML and CSS—backend Ruby and Rails—UI/UX design—copyediting—language translation. There’s something for everyone.

I hate to hate on fellow leftists**, but are you shitting me? Whatever made someone wake up and go, "the US has elected to give a racist, sexist, slobbering monument to the Dunning-Kruger effect the codes to the nukes, the climate is permafucked, Syria is no longer a desert because it's basically an ocean of blood, Russia's gone all tsarist again, and the bumblebee just got declared endangered—what the world needs right now is a troupe of edgy anarkiddies declaring themselves post-left all over the internet." The only silver lining here is that practically no serious person will notice this. I mean, I noticed, but I'm not a serious person, and I'm sick of blogging about the fascist orange bezoar. 


I mean, I'll give credit where credit is due—CrimethInc have some sick graphic design skills and catchy slogans, but you know who else had sick graphic design skills and catchy slogans? Maoist China. Aesthetics does not a political ethos make.

Speaking of edgy, though, it's not all doom and gloom out there! U2 have delayed their latest release in the wake of Trump's election, and they might even not push it on your iPhone this time. Nevertheless, look forward to seeing Bono on stage shaking hands with Trump at the next G8/G20 summit. You know I'm right.

* Anarcho-capitalists at number one, anarcho-primitivists at number two, because someone asked. As if primitivists' "let's kill off most of the world's population and also fuck disabled people" excuse for a political ethos wasn't bad enough, Fake Goth Cathy Brennan has emerged as their strange bedfellow—possibly literally? Who knows, who cares? Plus they ruined a perfectly nice couch I once owned.

** Just kidding. That's basically my favourite thing to do.
sabotabby: (molotov)
Oh man. I went to a friend's birthday party last night and we played Bloc by Bloc. I've been hearing about it for ages (full disclosure; it was created by a friend-of-an-acquaintance) but never actually played it. I can in no way justify it for my games course, but I think I maybe need it for me.

The object of the game is to create an insurrection in a city. You have a faction and you work cooperatively (or semi-cooperatively, if you give everyone a sectarian agenda that may run counter to every factions) against the cops to loot stores, build barricades, fight cops, and create guerrilla gardens and assembly halls. It's a very complicated, involved set-up, but the game play is completely hilarious and wonderful. And it's beautifully designed; when someone I know designs a game, I tend to assume it's going to be well-written but look kind of crap, but this had quality art. It's a bit like Pandemic, mechanically, but naturally the theme is much more up my alley.

Anyone else played it? Anyone else want to play it?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (socialism with a human face)
Went to the May Day rally today even though the weather was basically tiny little daggers of cold penetrating one's skin and soul. It started out a dreary affair—not enough people, speeches no one could hear—but picked up an hour or so later when there was actual marching to be done.

These guys had the best sign:

(The back said, "Capitalism ≠ super lit 100—Karl Marx." Also check out David Cameron's dream girl on the drum.)

Anyway, a lot of my friends were there, along with the predictable members of the fringe left. The Communist Party of Iran was out in full force, distributing the exact same leaflet they have at every other May Day, ever, except with some of the countries changed and now they're hailing Bob Avakian as the greatest socialist mind who ever lived. But the march was pretty spirited.

It ended up in Regent Park, which is currently experiencing the violence of gentrification. We passed the Paint Box Bistro, which is one of those well-intentioned but overpriced places that tend to be the vanguard of people getting displaced from their homes. Inside, the NDP were having a party for Linda McQuaig and just came out to cheer as we passed by. Awk. Ward. So as out of touch as the fringe left can be at times, at least we're not that out of touch.

Anyway! Happy May Day, all.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (champagne anarchist)
I could not resist doing this again.

1. Comment to this post with "I surrender!" and I'll assign you the basis of some tv show idea. (Science fiction show, medical drama, criminal procedure, etc...)
2. Create a cast of characters, including the actors who'd play them
3. Add in any actor photos, character bios and show synopsis that you want.
4. Post to your own journal.

[ profile] smhwpf gave me period drama and initially specified pre-1815, but my burning period drama idea takes place in 1907, which is nearly 100 years ago so ought to qualify in terms of lavish costumes and set design.

Apologies in advance for the profusion of British white dudes playing Russian white dudes. This is a Beeb production. It's 90% dialogue and largely an excuse to get really talented actors to shout at each other. Russian and French dialogue is in English with the actors' actual accents; dialogue in German and Polish is subtitled.

The show is called Common Cause (Общее дело).

It's 1907. The first attempt at revolution in Russia two years ago was a miserable bloody failure; the movement's surviving leaders are scattered in exile throughout Europe or rotting in Tsarist prisons. Lenin's just declared that it'll be twenty years before they have another shot at overthrowing the Tsar. Some elements are trying to reunite the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, as well as the Social Revolutionaries and anarchist groups in a common struggle; other forces work behind the scenes to undermine any cohesion or unity.

The one group that does take the revolutionaries seriously is the Okhrana. In an attempt to prevent a repeat of 1905, the Tsarist secret police has dispatched agents and infiltrators to destroy the various revolutionary movements from within; in fact, as in Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, the Parisian emigré community has more informants than actual activists, and they've been entirely successful in hobbling the movement.

Until now.

based on a true story )

I expect it would run for two or three seasons (with six episodes each) and then get abruptly cancelled. There is also a made-for-TV movie, set during the Berne Trial, that reunites the surviving characters and ends the series.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (commiebot)
Via [ profile] jamie_miller: As usual, VICE has the best coverage of everything. This article is about the struggle in Greece against Golden Dawn and their cop buddies; the author spent a night with anti-fascist protestors following the murder of rapper Killah P.

The political situation in Greece is terrifying; my heart goes out to everyone there who is fighting the good fight. If anyone hears of a way to help (is it International Brigades time yet? It almost feels like it is), do let me know?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (commiebot)
Leigh Phillips joins authors Gwyneth Jones, Marge Piercy, Ken MacLeod and Kim Stanley Robinson to discuss the role of science fiction in extending the radical horizons of our imaginations.

I don't agree with everything in this article, especially in regards to Zizek (Ken MacLeod, you know that's not what he meant) but it's a pretty fascinating read on the radical potential of science fiction and a good starting point for discussion. I particularly liked the last question, about technology and its place in cultural narratives. All of the authors really hit the nail on the head in terms of describing exactly why I feel uncomfortable with the emphasis on anti-GMO/anti-Monsanto/pro-woo stuff on the left:

Gwyneth Jones: Progressives have a right to be cynical about nanotechnology, likewise GM foods and crops, as long as these developments are controlled by ruthless corporate interests. It isn’t about the science; it’s about the tragedy of the commons.

On a more mundane (but still futuristic!) note, this article on organizing workers in a service economy (from Macleans, no less!) is also an interesting read. The premise is that traditionally middle class jobs aren't coming back (likely true) and thus minimum wage service sector jobs should be transformed so that one can actually earn a living at them.

Proponents of the idea that service jobs can become the new ticket to the middle class point to sweeping changes in the manufacturing sector in the early 20th century that helped transform factory work from dangerous low-pay jobs into secure careers that could support a family. From 1914, when Henry Ford declared he would pay his employees what was then an exorbitant sum of $5 a day in order to reduce turnover and boost demand for his cars, governments saw higher wages and greater workplace regulation as the start of a virtuous economic cycle. But whether the service industry can follow the same model is far from certain.

Read and discuss.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Jenny Sparks)
Capital is dead labor,that vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks. — Marx

Did you know about Buffy the Anarcho-Syndicalist Vampire Slayer?

No? Okay. You're welcome.

 photo Screenshot2013-06-01at30033PM_zps23df12db.png
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (squee!)
may day photo 12000_10200326256333766_1641470171_n_zpsd4f0e934.jpg

Wish I could join the marches for migrant rights and justice for the workers murdered by capitalism in Bangladesh that are going on today, but alas, my crip status and physio appointment today rule that out. So, you know. Celebrate for me.
sabotabby: (books!)
Oh weird; they're making a movie of The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk. I can't quite explain this book's place in my life. I read it at a wayyy too impressionable age, and at some level, it shaped a lot of my ideas about politics and ecology and urban planning. When I read it later, it had aged badly—to say the least—and I found the resolution wholly upsetting in a way that exemplified why I reject pacifism as an ideology even while I agree with a lot of the author's ideas.

...but damn I do kinda want to see it as a movie, if they do a good job. And if they do a bad job, I think it's fodder for the most epic screenshot review since Atlas Shrugged.


Jun. 17th, 2012 07:26 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (champagne anarchist)
I just got back from seeing Ragtime at Shaw with the wonderful [ profile] bcholmes. It was very exciting. I used to think that I wasn't a fan of musicals* but this seems to have changed. Anyway, if someone had told me that there were musicals with Emma Goldman in them I probably would have been into musicals sooner.

Niagara-on-the-Lake is really pretty. I know it's touristy, but I do tend to fall for an entire town of Victoriana. I mean, they have a museum of pharmacy! How cool is that? One of these days, I need to tool around Southern Ontario and just be a silly steampunk tourist.

* Other than Cabaret and Threepenny Opera.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (iww manifesto)
Things [ profile] sabotabby is already sick of hearing:

Which is very seldom the actual violence of the cops cracking in heads or Barrick Gold literally and figuratively raping the Third World. No, it's always, "some Black Bloc moron smashed a Starbucks, boo-hoo, violence is WRONG." I don't have a high opinion of the Black Bloc, but it's slightly higher than my opinion of people who go on about the Black Bloc as if they're the only non-electoral political force worth mentioning.

"Anarchists did/plotted/thought [insert bad thing here]"
One of these days it's actually going to be anarchists doing it. I'm pretty sure this time it was meth heads, though.

"Occupy is unfocused and has no leaders or demands."
Stop trying to make me be an anarchist again.

"Occupy is the most important political movement in the history of ever."
STFU hippie.

"Cops are people too!"
Yes, they are. Some people are assholes.

Drum circles.
Can we stop with the drum circles? I swear to God yesterday I saw a drum circle entirely composed of 18-year-old girls dressed like they were from the 60s, and I couldn't suppress a rant about how they probably were not in any way politically active before six months ago and did they go out and buy all that stuff, or was it in their closets already? And if so, how did it get there? Anyway, if the Left really wants to get anywhere it must abandon drum circles. Damn kids get off my lawn.

"911 was an inside job/Obama is a Nazi Illuminati Muslim Communist NWO dupe/whatever conspiracy theory is in these days"
Thanks to Jon Ronson, I'm now more affectionately amused than irrationally irritated by conspiracy nuts. We still need to purge them though.

"Street protests don't do anything!"
Yeah, you're right. You know what's a lot more effective? Sitting on your ass, eating Cheetos, and posting to Facebook about how street protests don't do anything.

Okay, that's it for the rant. Here's how Toronto's May Day looked.


cut for big )

Shorter [ profile] sabotabby: May Day was awesome but haters gonna hate.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (zizek)
Zizek on the Avengers, Occupy, and oh really, do you need an excuse to listen to Zizek rant about things? It's Zizek being himself. Also, he's not dating Lady Gaga. If you were wondering.

I accidentally a whole anti-protest guide to anarchists. Is this bad?

In his court motion warning that Karn is an “anarchist,” Richmond’s Deputy Assistant Attorney Brian Telfair doesn’t allege the possibility of any violence or property destruction. Instead, he cites a blog post by Karn about acquiring government information through legal requests. The title? “FOIA Rocks!”
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (champagne anarchist)
Saw two movies at HotDocs tonight: The Man That Got Away and She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column The latter was the one I went to see, being one of those precocious suburban teenage punks who saw Erica Ehm interview Fifth Column on MuchMusic as part of a general drift into zines and mixtapes, but both films were actually pretty wonderful.

The Man That Got Away is not really a documentary as such other than being about a real person, the filmmaker's great-uncle Jimmy. It's a musical (with impressive original music and choreography). It follows Jimmy's life from his roots in rural Alberta to his brief career as a chorus boy in New York City, to his eventual drug-related death on the streets of Vancouver. In between, there's a stint in a sanatorium where he meets Judy Garland. The entire thing is played out in a downward spiral on the ramp of a parking garage in Edmonton. It's completely bizarre and beautifully made.

If you haven't heard of Fifth Column but are into La Tigre and Bikini Kill and all that feminist punk stuff, there is a gap in your musical history. Fifth Column were the band that started basically queercore (and got written out of the history of Riot Grrrl because they were just a little too anarchist and a lot too gay to be marketable back then), launched Bruce LaBruce's career, and burned rather explosively on Toronto's music scene for about fifteen minutes back in the day. GB Jones, the band's drummer, is also an experimental filmmaker, and the film makes excellent use of Super 8 footage as well as contemporary interviews with the band members. There's some particularly affecting imagery of Toronto from the late 80s to mid 90s that makes someone like me go, "I remember that," which is a cool bonus. But the main reason to see the film is its exploration of queer radical politics and history that is not so much unwritten as it is cut and photocopied and shoved into someone's basement in a milk crate.

At the end during the Q&A, an Irish woman got up and said how emotionally affected she was by the film, given how queer history is still so repressed back home. She said that she was turning 40 this year, and it was the first time she's seen a film with lesbians in it.

Oh, and I got to meet GB Jones, albeit briefly and I'm always a dork in these situations.

Anyway, I'd highly recommend both films if you get a chance to see them.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (vir)
Harrumph. Why do I click on io9? I just got spoiled for something that made me a whole lot less interested in Season 5. (Don't worry, I'll still watch it. Probably better that I know now.)

Anyway, penultimate S4 post!

Is it just me, or is it weird to hear, “They killed civilians, women and children,” on a sci-fi show? I mean, yes, the shock at killing civilians and especially children, but there’s no gender discrimination depicted among the human characters on B5 and tons of women serve in the military in the same capacity as men (in fact, probably my favourite thing about this show is its kickass female characters). So why “women and children”? It’s a throwback.

recaps, now with 200% more corny political jokes )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (she)
On the way to the artisans market, we encountered the strangest protest:


It was a little hard to figure out what was going on, but from what we gathered, it was a protest by cops who had been fired for refusing to pay bribes to their superiors. The guy in the tent is on a hunger strike.


Their imagery was pretty intense.

This next photo is for my anarchist friends, and it's exactly what you think it is:


After that, we went to a cantina. There was a (very loud!) live band, followed by karaoke. I then managed to make it to a discoteque for a few hours before hitting the tired/too much whiskey wall.

I wish I could report that the film was done, but it is not done. Mañana, mañana...
sabotabby: (jetpack)
By now, I'm sure, you have seen the amusing New York Times review of Game of Thrones. If you haven't, do go check it out. It has, I am afraid, quite confused my tiny, fragile ladybrain.

You see, Tool of the Patriarchy Ginia Bellafante makes a number of interesting claims that, while appallingly sexist, run counter to the predominant sexist narratives. Case in point:

While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

Now, while I have not read A Song of Ice and Fire*, I am pretty sure that it's fantasy. Everybody knows that girls like fantasy and boys like sci-fi. Right? I suppose Bellafante is making an argument that girls do not like any sort of genre fiction at all and should perhaps stick to chick-lit with pink covers and illustrations of shoes.

This is the only genre for me!

I am also, it seems, a literary philistine, as I had never heard of Lorrie Moore and had to look her up. She's mainly a short story writer, apparently.** Do book clubs allow short stories? At any rate, it sounds like Bellafante belongs to a really dull book club. Also, didn't we all read The Hobbit in grade school, or was that just me?

This is deeply confusing to my evolutionarily stunted mind, but it's nowhere near as odd as the claim Bellafante makes right before it:

The imagined historical universe of “Game of Thrones” gives license for unhindered bed-jumping — here sibling intimacy is hardly confined to emotional exchange.

The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise.

If I'm reading this correctly, she is suggesting several things. One also runs counter to the cultural narrative that men are obsessed with sex, visual creatures who must consume pornography by the bucketload, whereas women are only interested in romance novels and, perhaps, written erotica. Very tame written erotica. Well, okay. We only watch telly for the naked men, it seems. This is an odd claim to make when there are far more interesting things to watch online, if you know what I mean. But perhaps the lady is old-fashioned.

The other, even odder suggestion, is that women are really turned on by depictions of incest. I don't find that to be the case, myself, but I suppose that explains the success of Supernatural.

I take this review as a good sign that traditional constructs of masculinity and femininity are, if not disappearing, then reversing poles. I am expected, it seems, to leave behind my traditional womanly domain of fantasy stories with magical lands and ponies in favour of whatever HBO allows in terms of hardcore porn. Neither are actually my thing, but one does inevitably get sick of existing stereotypes and it is refreshing to see a new one emerge.

While we're talking about geek things,'s list of the 10 greatest libertarian sci-fi stories is also quite bollocks. William Morris: one of the great minds of socialism. Ursula K. LeGuin: anarchist all the way through. Robert Anton Wilson: also anarchist if I'm not mistaken. Did everyone just smoke a lot of crack today?

* Go ahead, geeks. Scream at me. I have this aversion to high fantasy that can be overcome only through really engrossing works. You are entirely free to argue that Martin's series is one of those works, but you must support your argument with evidence from the text.

** Members of really dull book clubs: You are entirely free to argue that Moore's books are worth reading. You must, like the geeks above, support your argument with evidence from the text.

† Go on, tell me that I should watch Supernatural. I won't listen to you, but you can certainly try.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (champagne anarchist)
The fact that Vladimir Burtsev was a real guy and not a fictional character that I made up makes me incredibly happy.

vladimir burtsev

Awesome facts about Comrade Burtsev:

1. He did not get less badass over the years, despite multiple bouts of exile and imprisonment.

2. He was so cool that the British refused to turn him to the Tsarist police.

3. He was mostly known for his detective work, rooting out infiltrators and agent provocateurs in the anarchist movement.

4. He was one of the guys who exposed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a fraud.

5. He had awesome anime hair.

So, you know, even though I am not an anarchist anymore*, I think this guy really deserves to have a comic or play or something written about him. It is also a cosmic injustice that the link at the bottom of the page to "The Sherlock Holmes of the Revolution" (apparently yes, he was called that, and by multiple people) by Rita T. Kronenhitter seems to go to a defunct page.

(I was reading about him in The World that Never Was by Alex Butterworth, who seems to take great delight in Victorian political spy games. As do I.)

* I would probably still be an anarchist if there were more badass detective anarchists with anime hair and fewer smelly hippies with questionable politics. I'm just saying.


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