I generally enjoy your paper, but have two criticisms: 1) I think it should contain more reporting on working class and community struggles—nation-wide and especially in your own backyard. Of course, most of these are led by reformist or Leninist groups…all the more reason to get in there and tell what’s going on. I think it could also win many more working people to your readership.
Especially if they have been soured by the Leninist sect brand of labor “coverage,” it would probably be refreshing for them to find a straight-forward, critical, and humorous reporting of their struggle, which was not just trying to win them to some new leadership, but was encouraging them to think and act for themselves.
If your paper does not cover more of this kind of real “news” it leaves the impression that there is little to do in these days except to read and write. Furthermore, I think it risks falling into a kind of dogmatic repetitiveness.
I’d like to make a second point, which is just as important to my mind as the first: I’d like to see many more articles by people, like yourselves who are trying to live revolution in all dimensions of their lives. Your (and my) politics clearly demand a great deal of personal critical self-consciousness, and yet your articles are for the most part, queerly impersonal…they give little sense of the individual writing them.
I very much agree with the conclusion paragraphs of Hill’s “20th”, where he calls for forms of massive self-therapy.
Authoritarians of all stripes, (such as Michael Lerner, formerly of N.A.M., now Berkeley primal transactional “revolutionary” therapist) are covering this ground. We need to also, for reasons of our own sanity.
Love & Struggle
Gloom & Doom
Dear FE Folks:
I enjoyed your latest (May) issue with its digs at the medical industry, the vacuous, debilitating effects women-directed enterprise capitalism have on the Person Liberation Movement; and yes, even your Anti-Bicentennial essay on the Haymarket Anarchist scapegoats.
But, GODDAM! You guys are always so morose! Can’t you lighten up a little? I mean, by common sense, if the people are good enough to buy your radical rag, they must have some good-natural humor and happiness inside their bones, too.
A radical doesn’t always have to be a fist-slinging, obscenity-encouraging, sour puss, mutherfukker. C’mon let’s get down with some good old absurdist fun and light-hearted essays and features too.
I think your right-on-rage should contain more a balance between infuriated, we’re oppressed, “traditional” Anarcho-Hyperborean articles and light (yet seriously “underground”) articles depicting absurd, sort of Neo-Yippeeism, Merry Prankster (Wow! Am I dating myself?) types of activity or at least planned for activity.
There was a light-hearted, yet revolutionary committed readership that probably has declined since the Betzold-Witkowski editorship went under; a few more articles to please their stony l’il heads would probably be worthwhile.
I believe it would wholesomize your paper more, there would be no fear of copping out, just ’cause you’re “good-natured” once in a while, and, since many of your readers, being realistic, are not violence-oriented (unless someone raped their mother, wife, or husband maybe) more goodies like Pat Halley’s adventures with animal entrails or dadaist weirdness probably would be beneficial.
If for no other reason, look at it this way. Presume consciousness-as-usual assholes like Ma Bell lawyers, untogether Detroit pigs or other Correctional Science people are into picking up your rag regularly, you would always have at least one or two articles an issue letting them know Attitude Liberation must go hand in hand with Consciousness and Cultural Liberation. To simultaneously take yourself seriously and the OPPRESSION seriously, as well as taking you/It/ The Other absurdly is the ultimate inspirational greenhouse, in which the flowering dynamic Anarcho-Hyperborean Funhouse of thought and action can begin and grow.
1209 Sutter St., No. 50
San Francisco CA 94109