Tales from the Cybersphere: FE on the Web

A guide to the Web presence of Fifth Estate staff, writers, and friends


Fifth Estate # 390, Fall, 2013

Stephen Goodfellow, Layabouts lead singer, & FE contributor, in his San Miguel de Allende, Mexico studio
Stephen Goodfellow, Layabouts lead singer, & FE contributor, in his San Miguel de Allende, Mexico studio

Besides contributing to this publication, three longtime Fifth Estate regulars have also had a part in shaping Detroit’s 1980s radical music scene.

Alan Franklin, Ralph Franklin and Stephen Goodfellow, in addition to writing articles and creating graphics for the magazine, played key roles in the Layabouts, a band that, since its founding in the early 1980s, has taken its inspiration from the best in both radical music and anarchist politics. Musically, the group describes itself as “creating a sound that blends rock, ska, reggae, Latin and African rhythms.”

From their 1984 album, “No Masters,” comes the cut, “Governments Lie.” The message is totally clear and, still, timely: “…Sooner or later they’ve all got to go / History tells us so / There’s not a single one of them can make it for too long / But if they go in dribs and drabs / They’ll still give us some nasty scabs / So wouldn’t it be a whole lot better / If we got rid of them all together!”

In Detroit and among anarchists and other anti-authoritarians in many other places, the FE has been a focus of radical culture since the project began; the Layabouts are one more strand in that culture. Check them out at thelayabouts.com.

Lead singer Stephen’s artwork has made numerous appearances on Fifth Estate front pages, the last one being the Winter 2013 Education issue, as well as having designed the magazine’s Non Serviam ball on the cover. His web site is goodfelloweb.com. He currently resides in Mexico and paints murals. There is additional Layabouts info at goodfelloweb.com/layabouts/history.html.

Ralph has designed numerous covers, posters, and back pages for our magazine, and provides invaluable technical assistance. Alan has written articles and fiction for the publication.

Fredy Perlman (1934-1985) was a Fifth Estate friend and contributor from the mid-1970s until his untimely death at age 51. For a short biography of his productive and eventful life, see the FE’s obituary posted on the Anarchist Library at theanarchistlibrary.org/library/anonymous-obituary-of-fredy-perlman.

Fredy’s article “Progress and Nuclear Power: The Destruction of the Continent and Its Peoples” (signed T. Nachalo), was his contribution to the FE’s April 1979 anti-nuclear special issue that appeared just after the Three Mile Island meltdown.

A version is available at theanarchistlibrary.org/library/fredy-perlman-progress-and-nuclear-power-the-destruction-of-the-continent-and-its-peoples. Fredy’s insightful article “The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism” (first published in the Winter 1984 FE), can be found online at theanarchistlibrary.org/library/fredy-perlman-the-continuing-appeal-of-nationalism.

Like most of Fredy’s other writings, it was also published by Black & Red; find the entire B&R catalog online at blackandred.org

Now out of print, but available online, is Fredy’s thought-provoking (and still relevant) 800 page+ Letters of Insurgents, which can be found at theanarchistlibrary.org/library/sophia-nachalo-and-yarostan-vochek-letters-of-insurgents. For an audiobook version see audioanarchy.org/letters.html. Insurgent Summer, a cooperative blog and resource aimed at encouraging reading and discussion of the book, appeared in 2010; at this writing it is still available via the Wayback Machine at insurgentsummer.org/chapters.