Clay Richards, anarchist blogger, writes about politics, art, sexuality and emerging digital realities. More poststructuralist than postmodern, politically incorrect to some, harshly critical to others, the Postmodern Anarchist believes in anarchy without anarchists, yet will freely discuss anarchism at the drop of a hat. Contact: postmodernanarchist(at)netweed(dot)com
The Postmodern Anarchist now resides at postmodernanarchist.com!
In case you're ever in Austin, there are some things that most anarchists would probably appreciate. Top of the list would be Monkeywrench Books, a very cool anarchist book store and community center. They've been open about a year, maybe a little more, and have done very well. They seem like they'll be around for awhile. They also have some interesting stores next to them including a sex shop, second hand shops and other cool stuff.
An older institution is Wheatsville Food Co-op. You don't have to be a member to shop there and it's mostly a well run coop from what I can tell. Decent range of goods without being too uptight about what they'll carry but definitely carrying a lot of good stuff.
The Austin Chronicle is one thing to check to see what's going on more generally. The print version that comes out on Thursdays is much better than the online version but you can still get an idea of the kinds of things that happen here.
I wish I could recommend a great bookstore, especially for you theory heads. Bookpeople is worth visiting, it is locally owned but pays its booksellers very low salaries. The selection is good as long as you're not trying to get too deep. The used bookstores here are a little disappointing though I haven't checked much out. Half Price Books is huge here and people don't seem to realize that it's a national chain. I bet they're patronized by lots of people who think they're supporting a local business. I've heard of some interesting locally owned used bookstores but haven't checked them out.
I may add more about Austin but I'll definitely start doing more scene reports when I travel more or find out more. If you know of anarchist or theory head spots worth mentioning that have a web presence, let me know. I'll try to start covering more of such things.
I like Tim's work and this one makes some nice points on the state of gay rights in the U.S. at a time when Tim is having to leave the States to be with his partner who is being forced to leave the country. Since the Texas sodomy laws just went down there was mention of that along with discussion of gay marriage.
However the most interesting component was his use of his childhood interest in and identification with musicals, organized around the issue of whether or not he should pack those old records for his exit from the States. At one point he lays the album covers on the ground and uses them like a stone walkway as he builds up to his identification with Oliver. As he lays the covers down, he talks about the political implications of each one. From an antiracist reading of South Pacific to an antichurch reading of Sound of Music plus multiple queer readings of various shows.
One thing I'm going to ask him about if I get a chance is whether or not he knew of Peter Brook's late 1960s antiwar production "US" done in England during the Vietnam War. Probably not or he would have mentioned it during the sections of his piece that discuss the Vietnam War, especially since he talks quite a bit about his affectation of an English accent as a queer youth and England is where he's headed in a few months. Maybe I can influence his art in this tiny regard!! I'll report back if I get a chance to pass on this info.
I don't know if Tim would call himself an anarchist but he's done a lot of political action in the streets as well as on stage and he could certainly be considered a fellow traveler at the very least. Check out his last tour before exile, though certainly not his last tour of the States.
- Clay Richards
clay richards, the postmodern anarchist, signing off