If You’re Bored Then You’re Boring

A common party marker during the 1968 French Dance Party read, “Boredom is counterrevolutionary.” Some years later the musical icon Harvey Danger told me that I’m boring if I’m bored. It turns out that they are both true. Boring people are counterrevolutionaries! Stalin? Lenin? The Queen of England? Can you imagine having fun with them? I can’t.

Fun aside, too many people of these boring people also lack an imagination. This lack of imagination has led to a lot of terrible things. Here’s a few of them

  • white wigs
  • slavery
  • capitalism
  • loin cloths
  • money
  • McRibs
  • line dancing
  • militaries
  • lewrockwell.com
  • communism

There are of course many more terrible things, but we don’t feel the need to continue.

Demand the Impossible!

The autonomous global dance party is in full swing. From the Arab Spring to Occupy! to every other revolution large and small the impossible is happening. None of these revolutions are perfect, but they don’t have to be. Revolution is spontaneous and sloppy. It is an experiment in our hearts and minds. Revolution can be global but it must be local. It isn’t revolutionary to complain about the recent failing in Washington, DC while ignoring everything that is happening in your community.

“Is is, isn’t isn’t.”
Miserablism has taken over.  But why?  Because we have let it. By accepting the status quo we have decided that it is ok to live a mediocre existence. We have agreed to a social contract that allows other people to live our lives. The mere fact that we have agreed to any sort of social contract should be scary enough, but the generally accepted contract is scary.

Let’s take a step back from “reality” and observe. How is any of this a good idea? This reality is based on destruction. A slow down in destruction is seen as a bad thing. . .as bad for the economy. If you oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline you are sympathetic to those scary Middle Easterners. Oppose the destruction of wetlands and you support traffic jams. It gets worse and worse and worse and. . .

. . .and worse.

TAZ
The creation of Temporary Autonomous Zones is a good escape from “reality,” but one shouldn’t allow the TAZ to serve as an escapist trap from realizing a Permanent Autonomous Zone. The TAZ must be realized as temporary and used as a model for what can be permanent. Enjoyment should overtake misery as the norm. It should be the assumed norm. Your utopia should be your reality. Mine should be mine.

“Human dignity has been reduced to the level of exchange value. We do not accept the laws of economy and exchange, we do not accept enslavement to work.” – André Breton

It is possible to create a TAZ. It is possible to create a PAZ. Poetic terrorism, guerilla gardening, dumpster diving, Swap Lucks, Really Really Free Markets are just some examples of TAZs that are realized everyday.

The war on miserablism continues. The Kaw Valley Surrealist Brigade is doing our part to replace the current dull capitalist structure with a surrealist anti structure. It won’t be easy, but it sure will be fun.

We #occupy everything, everyday.

As the “occupations” continue the Kaw Valley Surrealist Brigade can’t help but wonder what it means to #occupy. I think that the indigenous populations of the world would probably have a different idea of what it means to occupy than the current #occupy movement does.

But maybe it doesn’t. And maybe that’s the problem.

The strategy of #occupying Wall Street baffles us. Wouldn’t it be better if Wall Street went the way of Roanoke? What if DC went with it? And why stop there?

Our problem with the #occupy movement is that it is inherently reformist. We want a revolution of the heart and mind. We don’t want to wait for more crumbs from the Wall Street/DC Mafia. We want the cookies.

Twenty Years ago Hakim Bey wrote the only occupation text that we can support. It is “reprinted” here. There is also a video for you to watch.

#occupy everything, everyday.


Temporary Autonomous Zone

“…this time however I come as the victorious Dionysus, who will turn the world into a holiday…Not that I have much time…”


–Nietzsche (from his last “insane” letter to Cosima Wagner)

Pirate Utopias

THE SEA-ROVERS AND CORSAIRS of the 18th century created an “information network” that spanned the globe: primitive and devoted primarily to grim business, the net nevertheless functioned admirably. Scattered throughout the net were islands, remote hideouts where ships could be watered and provisioned, booty traded for luxuries and necessities. Some of these islands supported “intentional communities,” whole mini-societies living consciously outside the law and determined to keep it up, even if only for a short but merry life.

Some years ago I looked through a lot of secondary material on piracy hoping to find a study of these enclaves–but it appeared as if no historian has yet found them worthy of analysis. (William Burroughs has mentioned the subject, as did the late British anarchist Larry Law–but no systematic research has been carried out.) I retreated to primary sources and constructed my own theory, some aspects of which will be discussed in this essay. I called the settlements “Pirate Utopias.”

Recently Bruce Sterling, one of the leading exponents of Cyberpunk science fiction, published a near-future romance based on the assumption that the decay of political systems will lead to a decentralized proliferation of experiments in living: giant worker-owned corporations, independent enclaves devoted to “data piracy,” Green-Social-Democrat enclaves, Zerowork enclaves, anarchist liberated zones, etc. The information economy which supports this diversity is called the Net; the enclaves (and the book’s title) are Islands in the Net.

The medieval Assassins founded a “State” which consisted of a network of remote mountain valleys and castles, separated by thousands of miles, strategically invulnerable to invasion, connected by the information flow of secret agents, at war with all governments, and devoted only to knowledge. Modern technology, culminating in the spy satellite, makes this kind of autonomy a romantic dream. No more pirate islands! In the future the same technology– freed from all political control–could make possible an entire world of autonomous zones. But for now the concept remains precisely science fiction–pure speculation.

Are we who live in the present doomed never to experience autonomy, never to stand for one moment on a bit of land ruled only by freedom? Are we reduced either to nostalgia for the past or nostalgia for the future? Must we wait until the entire world is freed of political control before even one of us can claim to know freedom? Logic and emotion unite to condemn such a supposition. Reason demands that one cannot struggle for what one does not know; and the heart revolts at a universe so cruel as to visit such injustices on our generation alone of humankind.

To say that “I will not be free till all humans (or all sentient creatures) are free” is simply to cave in to a kind of nirvana-stupor, to abdicate our humanity, to define ourselves as losers.

I believe that by extrapolating from past and future stories about “islands in the net” we may collect evidence to suggest that a certain kind of “free enclave” is not only possible in our time but also existent. All my research and speculation has crystallized around the concept of the TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE (hereafter abbreviated TAZ). Despite its synthesizing force for my own thinking, however, I don’t intend the TAZ to be taken as more than an essay (“attempt”), a suggestion, almost a poetic fancy. Despite the occasional Ranterish enthusiasm of my language I am not trying to construct political dogma. In fact I have deliberately refrained from defining the TAZ–I circle around the subject, firing off exploratory beams. In the end the TAZ is almost self-explanatory. If the phrase became current it would be understood without difficulty…understood in action.

Continue reading

The Brigade: Our Demands

With the #Occupy movement picking up steam, we are hearing and seeing lists of demands coming from the various protesters. Many of the #occupy groups are adopting the New York Declaration. The Kaw Valley Surrealist Brigade (hereafter The Brigade) sympathizes with many of these demands. We, however, see them as both incomplete and shortsighted (although not necessarily in that order). For one the demands by New York and othersseem to give the government a free pass.

The Brigade dislikes the business elite more than you do, but why in the world would anyone give the other half of the power elite a free pass? Yes, Bank of America is a problem, but so is the House Committee on Financial Services. Who do these people think bailed out the banks? It sure as hell wasn’t Ronald McDonald or the teller at your local Chase bank.

Of course listing the government as an accomplice would ruin the fantasies of many of the #occupiers. We have seen signs that read “Stop the Obstructionists, Vote Progressive” as well as signs that specifically listed the GOP as the enemy. Sure, we don’t like the GOP either. But is it really lost on these people that the “progressive” has used drones to kill Americans as well as deporting more people than the previous clown?

Note to #occupiers (and Tea Partiers) – Wall Street = DC = Wall Street = DC = Wall Street = DC. . . see a pattern?

That should wrap up the critique we have with most of their demands. Now on to our demands!

- Stop giving land to “developers.” This country doesn’t need anymore empty business parks, strip malls, apartment complexes, or convention halls. Open your eyes and notice the trend.

- Stop criminalizing street theater! Music, acting, and other arts are a natural form of expression. Everyone benefits from increased access to the arts.

- Stop building barriers to entry for small businesses and start-ups. I like buying tamales from the old lady who carries a cooler around. Let us be!

- Stop giving large, politically connected firms advantages. Right now larger firms can get away with bloody murder, sometimes literally. Let’s hold Citigroup to the same standards to which we hold the average citizen of Chicago’s southside.

- Stop killing people. Monsanto and the government’s (lack of) labeling system are killing us. Let’s stop buying from them. It will be hard, but it is necessary. Also, can we please consider ending the Korean War? How about all other wars?

- Clean water. I’d like some.

This is a start. We’ll be adding more as we go.
Soli!
The Brigade

#Occupy Everywhere

The #Occupy “movement” is spreading. We at the Kaw Valley Surrealist Brigade are worried that this movement will be watered down into a weird hybrid between the Tea Party and the Coffee Party. We like tea and coffee (not mixed!), but what we really like is to party. We don’t like long meetings focusing on reformist demands, sub groups, and the technicalities of consensus. This is our party and we don’t need your permission to dance. This is your party – you don’t need our permission to dance.