News and Reviews

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Fifth Estate # 334, Summer, 1990

When I compare the straight columns, boxed graphics and even type of the Fifth Estate to the graphic wildness and literary adventure of the ‘zine Babyfish Lost Its Momma, it makes me wonder if the FE hasn’t gotten a little bit too straight-edged. Well, I guess you can’t force it, and Babyfish is tied solidly into a music, cultural, and lifestyle scene in Detroit’s Cass Corridor district where everything comes out a bit jagged and experimental. Issue No. 3 is a walloping 80 pages of Poetry, visuals, collages, music and literary reviews, fiction, communal action, radical sexuality and a lot of undefinables. Definitely for, as the lead editorial says, the “outlaws of Amerika.” A steal at $2.00. Available from: Babyfish at P.O. Box 11589, Detroit MI 48211 plus postage, or through FE Books.

—Al Fresco

“Surface Tension” is the first album release from Sabot, a San Francisco-based drum and bass duo. Using this sparse instrumentation, Sabot’s unique music features dense, complex arrangements with a wide range of dynamics. The ten songs combine elements of punk and jazz in an energetic performance. Hilary and Chris have a strong enthusiasm which instrumentally expands on their days with the now defunct Forethought (reviewed in the Spring 1987 FE).

Sabot played a rousing live performance at the 1989 San Francisco anarchist festival on a bill with poet Peter Plate, who contributed the liner notes. Look for Sabot this summer on their U.S./European tour including a July 6 FE benefit (see Detroit Seen). “Surface Tension” is available on LP for $6 from Sabot, 2702 18th St., San Francisco CA 94110; write for tour dates.

—Lee Wei

There are still copies remaining of the first issue of Demolition Derby, the new anti-civilization tabloid from Montreal, available from the Fifth Estate or from the publishing group (C.P. 1554, Succ. B, Montreal PQ, Canada H3B 3L2). Although a second issue was never a certainty, they expect to publish another issue in July which will contain an anti-authoritarian critique of feminism. The paper is free although donations for postage and costs are welcomed. Do not write checks or money orders to the publication as there is no account in that name. No cost to prisoners and people in psychiatric hospitals.

The Black and the Read Bookstore/Cafe has been open for a few months now in Knoxville, Tenn. and is providing distribution for Anarchist and Situationist-type books and publications. They sell cheap tea and coffee, magazines, books and have a large resource library of radical books and magazines. Hours: 7-11 p.m. Sun-Thurs. No phone but please contact them about stocking your publications. The Black and the Read, c/o James, PO Box 16156, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4900.

Bayou La Rose No. 31 $1.00 to 302 N. “J” St., Apt. No. 3, Tacoma WA 98403. This tabloid newspaper format features articles about indigenous peoples, rainforest deforestation, and workplace struggles. Striking images by Carlos Cortez grace the covers.

There are human rights articles about Nigerian women struggling against genital mutilation, imprisoned North American Indian activists, Red Knife and Leonard Peltier, imprisoned Wobbly, John Perotti, Malaysian indigenous people who are threatened by deforestation, and anarchist prisoner, Michael Stotts.

Among the various quotes from all over “a womyn from Belfast” is credited with “You have touched a woman. You have struck a rock. You will be crushed.”

No doubt an anarchist woman said this. However, when I first heard a similar quote it was credited to have come out of the South African freedom struggle during the march on Pretoria in 1956 when 20,000 women sang these words:

Now that you have touched a woman

You have struck a rock;

You have dislodged a boulder;

You will be crushed.

—Bill Withers

Black Eye Mid-Summer 1989 $1.50 to 339 Lafayette, Suite 2, NYC 10012. This digest-sized zine covers workplace resistance, squatting, and the use of terror for revolutionary purposes.

The piece on making your time at work your own time by emmfatick was entertaining. Duane Holmes’ article about drugs and black nationalism was a bit disconcerting.

Bob Erler’s commentary on anarchism was sensible and hopeful while Mary Shelly’s article was inspiring about squatting as a response to homelessness. I kept wondering where revolutionary considerations for childcare would fit into the Terror and virtue discussion.

—B.W.

Instead of a Magazine Vol. 9, No. 47, $1.50 to POB 433, Willimantic CT 06226. This digest-sized xerox zine tackles a topic each issue. “Coping with the system without contemplating suicide,” may strike a responsive chord in many of us. Some of us leave such thoughts behind. Others don’t. I’m afraid the lead article by editor Michael Zeising had too much pop psychology and too little personal content to suit me. Mike Gunderloy’s piece was much more helpful, despite its brevity, because it was personal.

Terry Epton’s “Pol Pot meets Kropotkin” was as brash a presentation of anarcho-liberalism as I have seen recently. Avi Naftel’s piece is a good dose of reality for the would-be outlaws among us. Read it and (re)consider.

—B.W.

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