I’ve always liked The Tigerlillies ever since I heard them sing about how much fun it is to crucify Jesus. And while I felt like I could identify radical themes in their music and they certainly tended to identify with the lower classes, I can’t begin to express how happy I am to see this video of them performing for demonstrators in Greece on Syntagma Square, the battleground for Greek freedom from global governance.
And, of course, the video explains a bit about what’s been happening there, too.
Best cooking show ever. As my friend said to me when she sent me the video, “Holy fuck I love being vegan.” I admit I was really surprised it didn’t come from Portland, Oregon. Just seems like the land of black metal vegans, maybe just because I used to live with one there.
There’s got to be a way to do this without so much sugar though.
Today is May Day, my favorite holiday of the year. (In fact, I have a tattoo of George Engel, one of the haymarket martyrs, on my arm.)
Last night at Firestorm, the local anarchist cafe in Asheville, a group called (I think) the May Day Chorus sang radical songs and made me quite happy. I’ll be posting the videos I shot of the performance over the next couple of days to the Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness Youtube channel.
The other night I went to a release party for a queer zine (with the translated title of “fags and disaster”) at a squat in Athens. One reason that I’m not looking forward to going back to the USA: the anarchists in europe listen to good music. I’m well known for my disinterest in the current fad of US anarchists listening to mainstream pop and hiphop. Nothing against pop or hiphop… I’m quite fond of both. I’m disgusted that we set up countercultural spaces, occupying warehouses or at least finding a modicum of liberty in rented spaces, and then infuse those spaces with what mainstream culture would prefer us to listen to. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there is a higher instance of youth radicalism in Europe, where countercultural tendencies exist in more or less every music genre.
I got into this whole “anarchy” thing looking for a beautiful way to live my life and to question the fundamental assumptions put forth by our society. I didn’t get into it so I could dance with hipsters to songs with misogynist lyrics.
Anyhow, at this wonderful party in a giant abandoned apartment building in Athens, they played such good music: lots of dark wave, danceable noise, a bit of techno, a bit of gothic. Actually the above song was almost the mainstream thing I heard. I had never heard it before, though I listened to an awful lot of Portishead in the 90s. It’s so good. Industrial as hell but mixed with the kind of current dark pop sensibility one might find in The Knife or iamamiwhoami.
A montage of video game deaths. I actually like this less for the nostalgia (although that is there) and more for, well… the evocative nature of watching a virtual idea of oneself (as video game protagonist) die over and over again. The “mad world” soundtrack helps immensely, of course.
This man was sentenced to 13 years for spitting on two cops. I wish the video was uncensored, but here’s him cursing the judge and the whole of the court.
Also, from infoshop news, convicted animal-rights arsonist Walter Bond, when ordered to pay 1.1 million in restitution to the owner of a sheepskin factory:
“…you have won nothing! […] I also want you to know that I will never willingly pay you one dollar, not one! I hope your business fails and you choke to death on every penny you profit from animal murder! I hope you choke on it and burn in hell!”
My favorite courtroom speech of all time is probably that of Haymarket Martyr Louis Lingg, who, after explaining that even the judge had admitted his innocence (and yet was still going to see him hang):
I do not recognize your law, jumbled together as it is by the nobodies of bygone centuries, and I do not recognize the decision of the court. […] And not even under such a law—a law that a schoolboy must despise—not even by such methods have they been able to “legally” convict us. […] I declare again, frankly and openly, that I am in favor of using force. I have told Captain Schaack, and I stand by it,“if you cannonade us, we shall dynamite you.” You laugh! Perhaps you think,“you’ll throw no more bombs”; but let me assure you I die happy on the gallows, so confident am I that the hundreds and thousands to whom I have spoken will remember my words; and when you shall have hanged us, then—mark my words—they will do the bombthrowing! In this hope do I say to you: I despise you. I despise your order, your laws, your force-propped authority. Hang me for it!
In Amsterdam a few years back, I went to the court hearings of squatters who were accused of defending their home against eviction by the police. The judge said to one man, “You have been accused of throwing a tea kettle at a police officer.” And the man just laughed and laughed, because he’d done it and he’d be proud to do it again.
I understand why people hem and haw their way through the legal system, because it does no one any good for us to be locked in cages, but there’s something beautiful about watching people be willing to say “yeah, whatever, fuck you” to the court.
This guy got himself set up as a speaker at a Tea Party rally and gave an excellent speech about the crime committed by immigrants, such as bringing small pox. He managed to get them chanting “columbus go home,” surreally enough.