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!
San Francisco sex workers continue organizing efforts.
ALA fails to support jailed librarians in Cuba.
Patents (like SCO's) are going to be a continued issue in relationship to free software and open source software, as this fairly radical take on the topic explicates.
Starring Patrick McGoohan as Number Six, The Prisoner begins with the resignation of Number Six (or whoever he was before he became The Prisoner/Number Six) from his duties as something secretive and important. After being drugged, he wakes up in The Village. The rest of the episode involves his attempts to figure out where he is and to take action to escape. Since there are many episodes to go, obviously that doesn't work out so well. But his efforts to figure out what's going on are matched by the viewer's efforts to do the same. Although we get more information, it's still all rather mysterious with nice surreal touches.
I'm looking forward to seeing at least five more episodes and then scouring local video stores to see if more are available round here. This first episode has a lot of nice surveillance elements and I look forward to seeing how long it takes for him to internalize this surveillance. I would love to hear what Michel Foucault would have said about this show. There's a really nice panoptic nerve center and lots of other prisoners who have clearly internalized their surveillance. Check out the Foucault Issue of Surveillance & Society if you're a theory head, no reviews of The Prisoner but nice surveillance cam critiques.
In case you haven't noticed, this entry signals a change in emphasis for this blog. I want to introduce more personal elements and a wider range of topics, in addition to the kinds of things I'm already doing. I'm also going to start adding Amazon links, in keeping with the overall attempt at netweed to pay the bills. One of Clyde's big interests with netweed is to create a anarcholeftist cultural project that pays for itself. Endless series of benefit shows and out of pocket support is an approach that neither Clyde nor I are particularly interested in. Purity was such a modernist thing, you know.
Available from Amazon:
The Complete Prisoner Megaset
The Prisoner: A Televisionary Masterpiece.
Michel Foucault's Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison.
I just found out that Margaret Cho has a blog. I used to work with her in a bookstore in San Francisco around 1990. She was a very cool person and I'm glad she's done so well for herself. I'd love to be in touch but I'd feel weird about writing her right now. It's like, you get famous, everybody remembers that they used to be your friend, kind of thing. In any case, big ups to Ms. Cho.
American Leftist is a smart blog by a hardworking leftist blogger named Joe. That's all the name I could find. His blog led me to chandrasutra by Mel. Couldn't find a full name on that one either but it's more about visual images and discussing them and stuff. Man, I'm feeling inarticulate but, if you want politics, see Joe, if you want aesthetic awareness, see Mel.
Speaking of aesthetics, there's a nice piece in the NYT on the radical media collective Ant Farm that was particularly visible in the 70s. There's also an interesting review of the dvd release of some films by John Cage, better known for his incredible influence on music and dance in the 20th Century.
Finally heard the Howard Dean scream. What a bunch of nonsense to get worked up over. My recent interest in electoral politics is quickly fading. I probably should have known better. I just so want to get Bush out of office. I even registered to vote for the first time in many years. I'll let you know if I follow through.
I posted previously about a political puppet theater event called Hiroshima Maidens so I should also mention this Hiroshima Maidens review and related article in the Village Voice.
Have you heard about the Avian flu outbreak in Vietnam and Thailand? Thanks to big drug companies, the conditions for a genetic shift to an even deadlier strain are growing rapidly.
In news related to themes I follow:
Currency speculation at the Gaming Open Market
Government agencies worldwide leave Microsoft for Linux
Art and Technology
Billy Kluver passes on
Safeway says RFID will become "ubiquitous"
U.S. Government Oppression
Political ad limitations limit free speech.
You know, I've always been supportive of Cuba, against the embargo and all that kind of shit but the lack of civil liberties there makes it tough. And there are no credible arguments for doing things like blocking citizen's access to the Internet, comrade. But then, I'm an anarchist, not some Leninist or Stalinist prick that wants to be the architect of revolution. I used to be, but that's not another story!
The US Patent Office has totally fucked up again and basically given a patent to a patent lawyer for something he didn't invent. Apparently the abstract/summary describes an Internet related process that is actually different from the body of the text, which describes the domain system which these people had nothing to do with creating. The Patent Office needs to get it's shit together before they fuck things up even more. That, or I'm patenting the use of oxygen to power a biomechanical system commonly called the human being.
By the way, I've applied to be a participant in The BIG Blog Show!. It's highly unlikely I'll be chosen, but I feel like they need someone like me. So what the fuck.
PS - Please forgive my unusually profane posting. I don't go out of my way to curse, I just talks like dat! Plus, it's good practice for The BIG Blog Show!
Here's a Huey rant that resonated with me since I recently took down an American flag decal from my office window at work. I'm guessing it's been there since 9/11. I just got moved to a new office and I'm glad to finally have a window but the flag had to go. As you well know, dear reader, I'm not a fan of the American flag, but I love to watch them burn.
Anyway, here's the post-9/11 rant from p. 193 of A Right to Be Hostile:
"You have to wonder how sincere people are about all this patriotism and American unity. I mean, is it just a short-term reaction of a frightened populace trying to feel empowered and safe?"
"I was personally thinking how six months from now all those mail-order flags that you can attach to your car window will be collecting dust in basements alongside people's Rubik's Cubes. How "God Bless America" and "United We Stand" may become post-modern incarnations of "Where the Beef?""
Go, Huey, Go!
Although I usually avoid commercial offers on this blog. I should point out, since Clyde insists, that you can buy A Right to Be Hostile at Amazon and netweed will benefit in a tiny way (ok, 5% if you must know!).
It's very important that people pay attention and respond to the privacy issues inherent in RFID now, because this technology is unstoppable. Even if it were only used for tracking inventory, it has the potential to streamline those processes in ways that will greatly reduce costs, especially as the technology becomes cheaper. Various recent headlines will give you an idea as to how widespread the deployment of RFID will be. Note the involvement of Microsoft and Verisign, two rather large companies noted for their past violations of privacy.
Microsoft retail project taps into RFID
Techs line up to track retail goods
VeriSign chosen to run RFID tag network
Casino chips to carry RFID tags
RFID could contain future SARS outbreaks
RFID search at Google News.
A couple of posts back I posted a bunch of NY Times links including a couple on the new show The L Word. Here's another, entitled
Women Having Sex, Hoping Men Tune In. It's a good title for an ok article. It reminds me that when I mentioned On Our Backs as lesbian erotica for lesbians in the Alt Burlesque post, that a lesbian friend of mine in San Francisco said the bookstore that she worked at mainly sold On Our Backs to men and that the writers and publishers were mostly bisexual or, as they put it, lesbians who had sex with men. Bisexual women making lesbian porn for heterosexual men?
I'm not really keeping up with the metrosexual thing too closely. It basically seems like more of a marketing maneuver, especially since gay men have always introduced fashions that straight men later embraced, usually when their girlfriends told them what to wear. In any case, Giorgio Armani is now doing his part to further the development of metrosexual style, something the author describes as a "melding of gay sensitivity with straight guy clothes." Thanks Giorgio! I can't wait to see the NBA go metrosexual!
Remember biodiversity? The insights learned there are apparently quite relevant to issues of computer network vulnerability to viruses.
I'll have to say I'm also quite glad to see Paul O'Neill come out with insider revelations from the Bush administration. So glad that I'm willing to post a link to an article from Time magazine. The thing is, it will take insider involvement for this administration to fully unravel, barring widespread national revolt, of course.
A really nice interview with Wallace Shawn that I found much more humorous and politically aware than his actual plays.
An interesting piece about the music of Phil Kline who has made songs out of the ramblings of Donald Rumsfield and sayings written during the Vietnam War by GIs on their Zippo lighters.
A discussion of a puppet show by Dan Hurlin called Hiroshima Maidens that considers an encounter between a pilot who bombed Hiroshima and some of the survivors.
And a couple of pieces responding to the Showtime drama about LA lesbians, The L Word, with one focused on Jennifer Beals and the other a lesbian's take on the representation of lesbians.
I guess they're best at being the liberal intellectual's version of People.
On a more positive note, fresh issues of First Monday, an online internet research journal, and the Online Community Report, are now available.
But at least our dogs can get testicular implants once they've been neutered.
As porn and stripping become ever more mainstream, various alternatives have emerged including porn that features goths, punks and related species and a nationwide wave of burlesque groups. SuicideGirls.com is exploring both areas with their highly successful altporn website and their new project, Suicide Girls Burlesque Tour. I have to wonder how many of these developments first emerged in the activities of bi-women and lesbians. For instance, On Our Backs has long explored experimental lesbian sexuality featuring a convergence of real human bodies, many with piercings and tattoos, with "deviant" sexuality. And I remember living in San Francisco around 1990 and talking to a lesbian sex worker who told me about the differences in stripping for men and women at a time when lesbians stripping for lesbians was a growing phenomenon.
For a patron's view of strip clubs, check out the blog Strip Club Memories.
Edward Castronova continues to raise important questions about the economies of synthetic worlds and their relationship to offline worlds.
Did you know that a "sailor mongering" law from 1872 could be used against your social change organization at an undisclosed future date?
And if you hadn't heard all this before, then you heard it here first!
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Swap That Ugly Sweater, Online.