Short reviews

Walking on Water; Joybringer magazine; Baby Bloc; Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls


Fifth Estate # 366, Fall, 2004

Walking on Water: Reading, Writing, and Revolution. Derrick Jensen. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004.
reviewed by Leafy

Already known to us for his indictments of civilization and chilling memoirs, Derrick Jensen takes us inside his real-life anti-classroom and relates his teaching methods in a narrative, story-telling fashion that follows his first rule of writing: Never bore the reader. Throughout, he exposes school systems as training camps teaching us, as Arthur Evans expresses, “depersonalized learning, alienation from nature and sexuality, obedience to hierarchy, fear of authority, self-objectification, and chilling competitiveness.” Jensen challenges his students to start developing past these trainings.

Not only ideological and pedagogical, Jensen’s text is practical. Some of the writing techniques Jensen encourages include using sensory data, playing with spatial dimensions, and creating a path of action that the reader can follow. The book’s title comes from Jensen’s admonition to “commit some miracles, and then write about them.”

Already one of the most vital and visionary revolutionary voices currently publishing, Jensen covers new ground in this book, which could serve–joining the likes of Illich, Goodman, and Freire-as a sort of manual for aspiring anarchist educators.

JOYBRINGER magazine. Rahula Janowski, 4104 24th Street, PMB 669, San Francisco, CA 94114.
reviewed by Leafy

I would call it Anarchist Mothering, but Joy-bringing is good, too. This is not so much militant feminism; it is more intelligently natural motherhood, which is definitely a radical view to much of our society. A subscription would be like having regular visits from an out-of-town best friend who occasionally can visit. She talks a bout everything, from her initial concern that some women would think worse of her for her intentional pregnancy to vaccinations to men who are jealous of breast-feeding (“Now that’s gross.”). The first issue emphasizes attachment parenting. There is information about finding a doula, how to help prisoners with children, and statements like, “Attention: this is not a civilized country! In a civilized country, raising children would be valued!” Rahula w ants feedback from radical mothers:

BABY BLOC. Laurel, Harriet, Myriam Dykstra, and Bruce Triggs. Guadalupe House, 1417 So. G. St., Tacoma, WA. 98405.
reviewed by Leafy

“This zine is about taking kids to demonstrations, rallies, protests, civil-disobedience actions, parades, marches, and places about that.” It is full of ways to protect children while doing so, and in their general lives. There are lots of short, packed articles/pictures, like about the family who hung baby clothes on the gate of the School of the Americas (school now renamed). The mother-alls, “workwear for the REAL working class,” are marvelously practical. Book reviews on titles like Activist Handbook for Minors by Katya Komisaruk. I predict this zine will be popular for a long time. The front covers may even become collector’s art.

Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls Will Be… Coloring Book and Girls Are Not Chicks Coloring Book. Brunell, Jacinta with Irit Reinheimer and Julie Novak. Self-published. Girls Will Be … available from FE Books. See page 54.
reviewed by Sunfrog

Jacinta Brunell’s bold gestures in gender bent books for kids of all ages remind us of the early days of underground feminist publishers like Lollipop Power. More modern than the timeless classic Free to Be …You and Me, these inspired coloring books challenge assumptions in an unpretentious and playful manner, indispensable for any libertarian kid’s library.