Post about culture and oral tradition, etc.
@joemama yeah, absolutely I've thought about this with folk punk and like "traveling kid" music. A lot of songs that have no particular originator or are personal riffs on more well known songs. I've heard Pat the Bunny criticized as having stolen traveling kid music, but the line between stole and borrow/riff on is a fine one. Besides, the music he recorded did have a pretty important role in mythologizing anarchist life like you say, articulating a certain humility in an otherwise intense set of convictions.
Can someone educate me about whether or not there is a meaningful relationship between:
1) the juxtaposition of DIY culture + a general prejudice against centralized technologies and heavy industry, and
2) actual Luddite ideology?
I know there's a lot of confusion about what the Luddites actually believe(d), and I know that it is ignorant to equate techno-phobia or ineptness with Luddism, but the above relationship (or lack thereof) is unclear to me.
The hope for a cetain (maybe utopian) future allows us to slip into deciding what is "worth it" when we talk about exploitation, extraction, and oppression. The more interesting starting point is - whats just not the fuck ok and what has got to go. the future will unveil itself from there
So i just don't see the point in any conversation about what the future **should** be. Its limiting - our imaginations are shaped by *this* reality. So why start there and work backwards?
Leftist militia rant
@stomachxache not to go full primmie but having weapons that can be fashioned from what's available and not dependent on supply chain functioning or class privileges seems more important to any militant group lacking state support. Rock and sling, atlatl, even crossbows, and close combat skills feel like a more versatile approach to any "guerilla war". Besides, using ammo to make land mines like the Vietcong seems like a better use of limited ammo than firing it honestly.
@flatmountain at the very least I find your folklore writing very readable and interesting, reminds me of some of Corrine Boyers books
Re-wrote / updated an early blog post about the divinatory custom of the Årsgång (Year Walk).
Post about culture and oral tradition, etc.
Been thinking about the ways that culture is parceled up and absorbed by capital. Thinking primarily about oral narratives, turned into their popular print versions, finally turned into Disney films that get to have the last word on what "all that" was all about. Oral traditions in my understanding are rarely some thing separate from life, but something that is only really alive in the telling and remembering of it. They belong in a social environment, often with the purpose of creating a reflection that the audience can find themselves in. In this way, print and then film sometimes enact a separation between teller and story and make it something else entirely, not just one telling but THE telling. The reflection is no longer up for interpretation, the message is in the medium; it is unchanging and received in arbitrary context. Take another example of folk music, where folk is understood as a genre with a specificity to it, playing folk is a striving to BE the genre, this thing that sits above the lived experience of music and the oral traditions that establish music as truly folk in nature. Listening to musicians who understand themselves as people reciting stories and transmitting a folk tradition, creates a certain depth that I feel is lacking in both pop music and alternative music that strives for novelty over transmission/transmissibility. I think that unknowingly many artists step into the territory of the storyteller holding the mirror, but often at the same time they want to control how the mirror is perceived, the story becomes only theirs to tell and ultimately becomes self-referential. As we know from the 'ol S.I. the medium is a powerful force of separation, but it is also ambiguous. Hip-hop music for example is one of the few places a genuine folk tradition can be found, yet it was birthed by the manipulation of recording technologies. I think that art form is very important in inducing any kind of change around us; our ability to represent ourselves, our world and others is powerful. As is made obvious by celebrity culture and cults of personality, people respond much more to people living their lives (even when clearly misrepresented) than plainly presented ideas of how to live ones life. If one really wants ideas to escape discourse, they must enter into story and from ear to mouth again to be transmitted. The story must also yield to the storyteller at times for it to really be their own story as well. From the creator it's a precious thing unleashed on a chaotic world of others and I think it's finding people who hold it as precious as the creator did that makes it effective. I think these thoughts go way beyond just narrative and music, but that would be a massive can of worms and a boatload of fish. I think of culture as a net cast on the world and spectacle as something akin to reeling that net in and pulling the world with it; it tears and spills and the songs no longer lie where they were laid as strings of that net.
This is largely coming from a desire to articulate an anarchist ethic that doesn't prescribe "anarchist means to anarchist ends".
To assume that any particular ends is possible is to be intoxicated by optimism and be vulnerable to resentment as you never reach your horizon. What is possible is discerning a middle way between idealistic militancy and passive acceptance. We can battle society every day on principle and resent that others don't follow, or we can pick our battles carefully, use them to gain an upper hand and inspire others to do similarly. Loot so that one may loot another day. The only principle I am concerned with here is that we are nothing if we are not resourced. Tactics matter less when being under-resourced means being unable to embody anarchist principles. This is the starting point for everyone who has been domesticated by civilization.
policy thinking is a kind of power fantasy where you get to think of yourself as the legislator with the most profound, wise, and just policy preferences. but these hypothetical preferences are meaningless and obscure and misdirect from the real life choices that are actually available. individual choices and action are ironically dismissed with "unrealistic" or "unimportant" or "not everyone can do X" which misses how life is built from the bottom-up through millions of acts of participation, refusal, and evasion.
accepting that you are a nobody, with no stake or allegiance to this society or its proxies, to live an authentic life of your choosing, however "unimportant", "unrealistic", or context-specific
When work and school are conducted entirely from home, the picket-line becomes immaterial, even non-existent when work and everyday life find no distinction. Pandemic was a pretense to establish digital learning and work from home as a new norm, but lasts as a way to separate and surveil potential dissent.
My housemate works in solar infrastructure engineering and the silicon chip shortage has halted in it's tracks one of the firms major projects. Pretty crazy to see the actual fragility of tech in the face of some simple shortages. The work of invisibilizing the materiality of tech has done it's job until now. This also confirms so deeply that solar is very far from some silver bullet and just as dependent on complex, resource-intensive supply chains as everything else.
The greatest lesson of grad school is that academic credentials mean absolutely nothing. Some of the dumbest people I've ever met are grad students who are half a step away from earning their PhD. You can be an absolute moron with no capacity for critical thought whatsoever and still make it to the top of the educational hierarchy. The only thing that determines academic success is your capacity and willingness to submit yourself to the disciplinary mechanisms and standards of the university system. If you follow all the rules (and shill out enough money) you can make it to the top fairly easily.
Don’t forget I made a small video game. I remembered it last night and I’m still proud. Slightly glitchy but it could be worse. It’s a chore-quest (Zelda-y) thing about a culty town in the future governed by ghosts. Best played not on a phone but you can do little <^>v swipes to move ur character and advance dialogue if you’re on phone.
@PhilomenaThePlant most anarchists are so used to knee-jerk criticizing everything they come across that really there is a loss of perspective there, could do sooo much worse
reminder to drink water
ni.hil.ist is a server run by anarchists who are friendly to a nihilistic worldview.