Minneapolis Athanor


Fifth Estate # 407, Fall, 2020

Beautiful, marvelous weeks.

America is on fire, america is shining, america is a flower of joyful rage. A dead tree, bearing unexpected fruit.

A fresh batch of lynchings by repulsive pigs and pig wannabes earlier in May. Yet this time it felt different. The wound had a stronger sting to it. Patience already worn thin. It was too much, too much.

Or, maybe it was the intensity of the spectacle, that video that outdid itself in horror. It was clearly just supposed to be another black death on the news. And, then! A massive rupture in the Previously Thought Possible occurred, a great shifting of tectonic plates.

A great storming of the Bastille—in a Minneapolis police station! Bewitching beautiful images of fireworks splitting sky, of rising smoke, fleeing coward cops, and middle fingers raised high towards every possible authority. The sublime spirit of revolt, unpredictable as always, has now self-propagated. An asexual reproduction, in city after bewildered city.

Everywhere, cop cars burn. Everywhere, one corporate monolith after another is seen, giving up the ghost, falling without a second thought into the serrated arms of Revolt’s rapturous light. They glow so brightly there, don’t they? Those Great Old Ones of capitalism?

They’d have liked us to believe them as natural and immovable as a mountain, as apolitical as the very air that we breathe. No. The entire system is complicit. The history of capitalism and the history of slavery are inseparable twins.

That Minneapolis McDonald’s, all dressed up in her sensuous flames—she’s the athanor of the new black proletariat. The base metals of poverty and white supremacy and genocide and death are purified inside her flames, turned into the gold of Utopia and Liberty and Life. The Insurrection remains Alchemical.

In charming Minneapolis, the store Auto Zone is transmutated by Crowd—is made into Autonomous Zone. A Target store is sacked, and its commodities are redistributed back to the communities who have suffered most under capitalism’s long cruelties. A grinning Wendy’s falls, and then a pompous CNN center. Prize trophies. All their carefully curated, branded public masks are removed by the Insurrection. Their cellophane skins are all stripped away. And, we are left, finally, with the true face hiding underneath—a charcoal shell of Nothing, a Void.

We speed on towards Hell or Utopia. The older mechanisms of control, pacification, and compromise no longer able to hold back this blossoming tide. If the threat of a plague cannot restrain it, do they really expect their toothless moralizing can do anything but fall lifeless before its feet? The Crowd has spoken. It is no longer interested in the patronizing commands of college-educated professional activists—those wannabe politicians and upper class ratfuckers.

It will not be steered or molded like some petulant child. A riot has its own subterranean life, its own plans for us. It is both conscious and unconscious.

The Crowd ignores the clownish televised parade of pleading civic leaders, celebrities, and other contemptible sellouts. The media and the politicians tempt us with false sympathies and hollow scapegoats.

It is in their interest, and those whom they serve to finish the story and wrap up the moral. It is almost a picture perfect story. And, then their offices got smashed. They are already saying things have gone too far.

Things have barely just begun. The vicious footage of George Floyd’s murder speaks far too loudly, it drowns you all out. It leaves no room for evasion. So, we speed on. The capitalist leviathan is teetering on the brink of a new crisis.

All that is left is to decide whether or not we allow ourselves to fall with it, or pull ourselves up towards a new horizon.

There is nothing now we will let hold us back.

Steven Cline co-edits the journal Peculiar Mormyrid and participates in a local surrealist group in Atlanta, playing games, reciting dreams, and generally living the good surr-life. stevenclineart.com