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!


Urban, Postmodern, Cyberspace 

I've been poking around for websites on urban studies, postmodern theory and stuff like that. Found the following:

Radical Urban Theory, an online journal in archival mode, or maybe just an online archive, that includes some Mike Davis articles. I liked Davis's City of Quartz when I read it quite a while back.

A lecture with Rem Koolhaas from 2001 at the Tate neatly summarizing his urban studies projects of the time.

An essay that considers the literature of postmodern communication theory and cyberspace theory in relationship to Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus. I've only spent a little time with it, but it looks nice. There's no author given. I'm assuming it's by Ricardo Dominguez, who seems like the type, but it's not clear.

A Michel Serres interview from '95 that may make more sense if you're familiar with his angels book.

Switch, an electronic art journal with issues on such topics as cyberfeminism and social networks.


Postmodern Snowflakes, Cultural Research 

While looking for sites related to postmodern theory and cultural studies, I've become reacquainted with Voice of the Shuttle. It's a great resource for a variety of areas related to cultural studies and seems to be in better running condition than when last I checked. However, I haven't gotten a chance to check out the links and evaluate their currency which is also of importance.

Postmodern Links:
Voice of the Shuttle: Postmodernism
Postmodern Thought
Everything Postmodern

Feeling creative in an artistic solitaire kind of way? Then check out Flakemaker and you'll soon be on your way to creating digital snowflakes!

Clyde recently created a self-archive of scholarly papers on dance, education, cultural studies and qualitative methods called Cultural Research. He's happy to say that it's hosted at ibiblio.

Some interesting categories in progress have been added to netweed including:
Body Modification
Cultural Studies
Street Art
Virtual Worlds.

Events and Juxtapositions 

March for Women's Lives

The abortion and reproductive rights march in Washington sounds like it was a great time and a positive display of force. One of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history, the March for Women's Lives inspired a lot of photo taking from unrelentingly cute to the documentary. Related actions included the IMF/World Bank protests and the March for Womyn's Liberation.


Indigeneous and working class uprisings in Peru and South Africa.

A forensic anthropologist of massacres and a priest who facilitated illegal interrogations after torture sessions.

Surveillance technologies proliferate in China while universal IDs are tested in England.

Evoting gets a legal setback while virtual markets prosper.


Recent News 

All food sold in the European Union must label genetically modified ingredients. Even on restaurant menus!

Lots of interesting legal action going on in relationship to the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Peltier's parole hearing, the Patriot Act, medical marijuana, recycling and surveillance cams.

Bombs and Shields - political news blog.

Databases track the poor and homeless.

The Center for Cooperative Research is developing timelines focused on three areas: the Complete 911 Timeline, the Inquiry into the Decision to Invade Iraq and the History of US Interventions. James Ridgeway has a brief piece on the project in the Village Voice.

Dancers in NY develop a guide to working relations called the Dancers Forum Compact.

Although her politics aren't always the best, I still appreciate Vivienne Westwood.

Cell phone background themes offer the chance to stage one's phone calls. Make sound your alibi!

Empire North is now offering ID SNIPER for implanting surveillance chips at long range!


Bring Out Your Dead 

The issue of what's acceptable news coverage is coming up in interesting ways, mostly to do with the war in Iraq. Photos of the caskets of returning war dead were obtained by The Memory Hole through the Freedom of Information Act. Right now the site's down, probably getting a lot of traffic. But it's important to remember that a lot of fucked up things continue because people live in denial. Folks in power would love to continue censoring the news to both cover up what they're doing and to keep denial strong.

What's also interesting is that this move by The Memory Hole shifts their role from archiving material removed from the web to actively seeking out material. They may have already been doing that but this is the first news I've seen where they're gotten such a big response.

Al Jazeera has been attacked for covering covering civilian deaths in Fallujah by both the U.S. government and corporate media. In fact, Al Jazeera's journalistic activities and popularity have led to attacks on their facilities and journalists since former BBC journalists first began the service in 1996.

As Al Jazeera is reporting, Bush hopes to block further photo releases in order to maintain the privacy of family members. While Bush is obviously a liar and a murderer, the issue of privacy is worth considering but should not extend to such extreme measures as censoring the visual evidence of U.S. war policies. The issue of privacy is also coming up in relationship to recent photos of Princess Diana as she was dying.

Here the issue is rather different and I can understand why people may not want to see such images displayed. Yet, the bottom line is that the Royal Family lives in luxury in a world in which many suffer and die for lack of basic necessities. They are public figures, whether they like it or not, and they benefit from predatory social and political systems that have also generated the media that exploits their images. In this case, too bad for them if they have to pay a price for their privileges.

You know, I bet I could have been a decent communist orator if I hadn't become an anarchist.


The Politics of Hip Hop 

Clyde, that netweed guy, is also an anarchist. And he often takes a close look at the politics of hip hop. Currently there are a number of hip hop projects oriented towards registering young people to vote and building hip hop related political organizations. Yesterday he took a look at an upcoming gathering called the National Hip-Hop Political Convention and today he's posting on related news in Hip Hop Politics.

If you're interested in hip hop and politics, a great source of daily news and editorials is Davey D's website. I posted a link to a Davey D interview at Democracy Now a couple of days back. Paris, the rapper, also has a highly political site called Guerilla Funk.

Democracy Now has another hip hop related interview online, this one with Jerry Quickley who's working on a documentary called B-Boy in Baghdad.

Like most of the hip hop links I post from time to time, I get this stuff from Clyde's weblog, Hip Hop Logic. But I beat him to the B-Boy in Baghdad link! Yeah, sucka!

Heartbreaking and Scary News 

The work of inmates participating in a writing program was destroyed when one of the writers won a prestigious award for her work on a prison writing anthology and Department of Correction Commissioner Theresa Lantz found out about it. What a fucking pig.

Apparently this attack came after the state of Connecticut had tried to bill the inmates involved with the anthology for their time in prison. Happily, the writing program has since been reinstated and the women get to keep their money. However, I haven't seen any announcement of data recovery efforts regarding the hard drive wiped of five years work.

I just found this article about Ralph Nader's appearance at an event organized by the heinous New Alliance Party cult back in January. I haven't had a chance to dig further but I will. Fucked up groups like the New Alliance Party and the Revolutionary Communist Party keep crawling back out from under the rocks and lots of people don't know their histories and get sucked in by their rhetoric.

I'm also concerned about the use of private security forces in Iraq which is a very bad thing and something to pay attention to. Private security in the U.S. has a reputation for treating prisoners and trespassers much worse than the real cops do. The legitimation of mercenaries as proxies for the U.S. will come to no good.


Democracy Now 

Davey D. is a hip hop journalist known for his political views which he shares in an interview with Democracy Now.

Mumia Abu Jamal was also recently interviewed by Democracy Now.

Find out more about how Democracy Now came into being.


Are you a soccer playing anarchist? Then you should check out the Anarchist Football Network.

state of emergency is an anarchist type gathering happening in Melbourne in May.

In the "it may be old to you but it's new to me" category:
The book We Are Everywhere came out last year and the site itself is pretty cool.

The Activist Toolbox has been available online for I don't know how long.


Free Books, More Stephenson, Cyberpunk, Surveillance, Cops 

More free books for download:
Cory Doctorow's novel - Eastern Standard Tribe plus blog.
And an edited volume - Theory and Practice of Online Learning.

I mentioned Neal Stephenson's new book in a recent post. Here's a Cryptonomicon era interview with Stephenson that's short and sweet. He's an interesting character, though I disagree with his view that cyberpunk is over. The early heady days of cyberpunk are gone and the innovators are writing other things but cyberpunk itself has become a genre of future tech/suspense/detective type fiction that others are running with like Richard K. Morgan, author of Altered Carbon and Broken Angels, who prefers to call his work "future noir."

Faith Popcorn (her real name, I think) predicts that the future workplace will be very much like a cyberpunk novel in really bad ways.

If you're paranoid about spyware, then you can rest assured that your paranoia is justified.

Bruce Schneier is a major figure in computer security and related issues. The April issue of his monthly Crypto-Gram Newsletter has excellent short pieces on why national identification cards won't improve security and why the risk of e-voting machine fraud is very real.

I've been checking out law blogs or blawgs (a weak ass term) and found this sweet item on the high rate of DC cops getting arrested with additional notes on SF cops who steal fast food.

Truly Fucked Up News 

While some porn models and actors have lucrative careers, the current HIV crisis in the hetero porn industry helps reveal the exploitative conditions many sex workers face.

Amnesty International has released a report on the systematic rape of women and girls in the Sudan. The press release mentions the mass rapes in Rwanda 10 years ago that, among other things, exposed thousands of women to HIV.

Afghan women are burning themselves to death to escape unbearable conditions of gendered oppression.


Stephenson, Exoskeletons, 9/11, Surveillance, Tent Cities, Censorship, Dance 

Neal Stephenson's The Confusion, the second book in The Baroque Cycle trilogy, is out. I really like this guy and will probably be buying this book fairly soon although his didactic impulses get worse with every volume. I think reading all that history makes him feel like the stuff he writes is easy to read by comparison. But, unless you're doing something really experimental, breaking the "Show me, don't tell me" rule of fiction writing is really hard to get away with. I wonder if he'd have such a devoted following if he hadn't written books like Snow Crash before he wrote this current series.

Hey, where's my robotic exoskeleton?

Notes from a Different Kitchen is a blog that Clyde likes and he pointed me towards this new entry on current 9/11 news. Different Kitchen is interesting because it goes back and forth from the world of hip hop to the world of politics with very little connection other than juxtaposition that I can see. Both are good but they seem like two different blogs in coexistence.

Technologies of surveillance are good. They let club security see your naked body and ensure that only cops can kill with their guns.

Amy Haimerl does an in-depth profile of Portland's Dignity Village, a legalized tent city for homeless folks, and also gives a quick overview of tent cities nationwide.

Don't you just hate it when expensive art schools decide that censorship is more important than creativity?

Maguy Marin is a really amazing French choreographer of dance theater and her work, One Can't Eat Applause, portrays a bleak world inspired by oppression in Latin America.

I'm not keeping up too closely with the 9/11 hearings, but this piece by James Ridgeway on the willful lack of attention to individuals that recognized the potential for 9/11 to occur fits my expectations of the limits on how far such hearings will go when conducted by government officials and their allies.


Blog Show, Boondocks, Stockstock, Fundrace, LabourStart, Free Culture 

I'm debating what this means but I recently received an email stating that I am going to be one of the 9 group bloggers in the upcoming BIG Blog Show. We'll see if it's true and if it's a good thing. I like the idea of getting my perspective out to a different audience and I'm glad I don't have to share an actual dwelling with the kind of people I may be blogging with.

Boondocks cartoonist Aaron McGruder is profiled quite nicely in the current New Yorker.

The Stockstock Film Festival is all about appropriation and remixing and similar shiznit. For more perspective, peep this short article in Wired.

Also in Wired, an article about online resources for tracking campaign donations and related money flows, including Fundrace.

Synchrony makes for easy blog entry choices, like the fact that right after adding LabourStart headlines to World News at netweed, I ran into this article about Radio LabourStart.

In other labor news, unemployment figures ignore the rising number of those who've given up.

To close on an upbeat note, file sharing offers an anti-censorship tool.

Actually, that reminds me that I haven't mentioned Larry Lessig's Free Culture, a book offered for free which initiated various events and responses briefly described at


Massacres and Surveillance 

After yesterday's lightweight entry, I guess today's concern with bad news is only appropriate. I only found out about the massacre in Fallulah today. The mainstream coverage I've seen has been pretty weak but Democracy Now continues to get breaking reports from reporters on the scene. I was very impressed by their coverage of the coup in Haiti and they seem to be doing a good job with this disaster as well.

Although not as dramatic, the escalation of surveillance is also a disaster. Apparently the airlines are happy to betray our privacy and the U.S. government has been happy to lie about it. I tell you, the development of an international surveillance system, not just a surveillance state, is proceeding at a rapid pace.

I was looking back through old Wired email newsletters and was reminded of plans to id the mail and the development of the US-Visit database. At least there's been some resistance in Europe to U.S. information demands.

Actually, travel has become a key area for the continued development of a global surveillance network with the recent proposals for RFID-tagged boarding passes that would allow for the tracking of passengers in terminals. This program is being initiated in relationship to programs that speed up frequent travelers' passage through security in exchange for personal information. The complexities of post-9/11 security developments means that increased surveillance slows down travel and additional surveillance is added to speed it up in an escalating spiral that could also be viewed as cascade failure of privacy rights.


Japanese Pop Culture & Art 

Wired has an interview with the founder of J-List, a white guy living in Japan who was teaching English there and started a mail order business specializing in Japanese pop culture. A certain amount of J-List is adult oriented but you also have the option of browsing just the nonadult products at JBOX.

If you're familiar with Japanese pop culture, you know that Hello Kitty is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2001, Wired had a special issue with a series of pieces on Japan, including one by William Gibson whose novels have always revealed a keen interest in contemporary Japanese culture.

A more recent issue has a short profile of Takashi Murakami, a Japanese artist whose work connects pop culture and high art but, rather than making it happen only in galleries, much of his work, from keychains to Louis Vuitton handbags, can be found in retail outlets. Actually, I just found out about this guy and, since the Wired article doesn't have pictures, I did a Google search that brought up a lot of stuff worth checking out.

As I got into this entry about Japanese pop culture I realized that I should mention the publication Giant Robot that does a great job of covering such things. Among other goodies they have a Giant Robot Store with lots of great images. Not surprisingly, the Google ads on the Murakami pages included a Giant Robot ad and also an ad for Kidrobot. It's not clear to me if it's a knockoff or what, but it's also worth a peek.

Although I'm not in love with Murakami and the sexual and gender politics of some of this material is pretty fucked up, I still find it all pretty fascinating. And maybe this entry will help the Google ads on this blog get a little more interesting than the boring stuff that's been "contextualized" to date.


Blogs, Open Access, Research 

I'm probably the last person to find this out. Noam Chomsky has a blog, one of a whole group of blogs hosted by ZNet.

A new netweed web directory category focused on Open Access Publishing has been added. Open access focuses on providing free online access to academic research. Other additions to netweed include headline links to blog posts from Latino Pundit at Latino News and from at Digital Arts.

Speaking of open access, Radical Pedagogy is an open access journal dedicated to left/lib research into education. In fact, many open access publications are available online that don't necessarily use that terminology, for example, the interesting looking handbook, Collective Book on Collective Process. The handbook site includes a bunch of great links to articles including one of my all-time favorites, The Tyranny of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman.

History Matters: Spaces of Violence, Spaces of Memory aka The Seventh Annual Sociology and Committee on Historical Studies Conference at the New School is an upcoming conference in New York.

The OpenNet Intitiative is an academic policy research project concerned with Internet filtering and surveillance. This project includes reviews of circumvention technologies, anti-censorship and privacy tools.

A new issue of First Monday is available including articles on The state of copyright activism and Fundamental issues with open source software development.


BUSHFLASH, 9/11 Hearings, Conspiracy "Theorists" 

Have you seen the animation features at BUSHFLASH? Flash animations dissing George Bush and cronies. Damn funny and disturbing at the same time. My favorites so far are Idiot Son of an Asshole and Top Gun?.

Audio of the 9/11 hearings are currently available online for free from

Robert Sterling has been described as one of the world's top 10 conspiracy theorists. I wouldn't know about that but if you're into that kind of thing, he's got a brief profile at Guerrilla News Network. It's worth checking out for the links to various edgy online publications and I look forward to finding out more about him. Often people who investigate and study the history of conspiracies, people acting secretly in concert to accomplish (mostly) fucked up things, are mislabeled as "theorists" in order to undermine their investigations. However, labeling someone an "outlaw underground writer" is really more of a romanticized marketing technique than a worthwhile category.


Stuck With a Flag Stamp? 

If you accidentally bought some stamps with U.S. flag images and you're kicking yourself now, like I am, here's one solution. Turn the stamp upside down when you put it on the letter. Flying a flag upside down is a distress call and the U.S. is in a constant state of distress as far as I can tell, not to mention that it's constantly distressing me.

Blog Alert 

Back during the war in Iraq, the blog Where Is Raed? blew up worldwide. A joint project of Raed Jarrar and Salam Pax, Raed now has a new blog going called Raed in the Middle. There's a profile of Raed at Guerilla News Network.

The Melting Pot subtitles itself "Musings on the Intersection of Marketing, Culture, and Research." Please believe me when I say that it's much more interesting and useful than you might imagine.

Debra Dickerson who claims to have "put the black in blog" has a couple of nice blogs called Black Cinderella and Black Catharsis.

Latino Pundit is another nice blog that covers Latino issues and politics more generally.


Patents, Unemployment, 9-11 

The U.S. Patent Office continues to toss around more and more stupid tech patents. Fuck looking for work, I'm going to patent the ON button!

Speaking of work, the unemployment situation is getting scary when you read the fine print, especially since I got fired in January, after Congress refused to extend unemployment benefits, so I may join the ranks of the educated and long-term unemployed without benefits.

At least jobs in retail and the service sector are rising. Maybe I can work for somebody who'll reduce my time sheet hours so they can keep their low level management job.

Well, if the jobless recovery doesn't fuck up the Bush regime, maybe the fact that they had prior knowledge of the possibility of a 9-11 type attack will help get them out.


PostAnarchism, Murray Bookchin 

I've recently been in touch with a shadowy figure known only as puya. Actually puya sent email giving me more info about various projects and discussions related to postanarchism plus some other goodies. Currently puya's working on a project, sort of an artistic/theoretical/political weblog without the commentary or archives, that is part of MPRSND, a project that emerged out of the ashes of The Ampersand. Checking this stuff out led me to an interview with Brian Tokar, an anarchist that I really admire for his clear thinking and open heart.

Bringing up Tokar reminds me of the Murray Bookchin anecdote that I didn't tell and that no one asked for. But I'll get back to it anyway at the end of this post.

puya also turned me on to an Anarchism and Poststructuralism discussion forum that's not real busy but seems to attract a lot of visitors. Plus s/he clued me in to a Postanarchism listserv that's one of many listservs with relevance to those interested in poststructuralism and anarchy. I've not taken an active online role in dialogues with people into this stuff, partly because I'm leery of online discussions, though certainly not opposed to them. But I appreciate puya reaching out and I encourage others with shared interests to do the same.

On the postanarchism discussion forum I found that my essay, The Postmodern Anarchist Tries to Get a Job, had been posted in full text. I have mixed feelings about that. I wouldn't post other people's full texts without permission, especially if they're freely available online, as is this text, but that's anarchists for you. However it's nothing to get worked up over. It was posted out of interest in the article, a link back was included and it did lead to someone responding with a post that was somewhat related to my article. In the spirit of that post, I discussed why I wrote the article, how I see such a nontheoretical article relating to my concerns with poststructuralism and anarchism and how I feel about those who diss others with an interest in theory.

Speaking of disses, let me tell the Tokar/Bookchin anecdote. In 1988, after attending a North American anarchist gathering in Toronto and then sneaking one of my friends out of Canada who had been arrested during demonstrations, I found myself and my comrade in Glover, VT. We were visiting one of the Schumann kids and checking out the scene prior to that year's Bread & Puppet Circus. Unfortunately I had to miss that and a bunch of other stuff cause my friend's arrest and subsequent need to go home cut short my extended trip but such is the cost of solidarity.

At one point we went into a nearby town and checked out a left leaning bookstore (I wish I could remember names here). The owner was very cool and an anarchist as I remember. He told us about an event that evening at the Institute for Social Ecology when it was based at Goddard College. This event was a discussion with Brian Tokar and one or two others, including an anarchist from New Orleans that we had met at an earlier anarchist gathering who was a very sweet man and also seemed very solid. Murray Bookchin would most surely be in attendance.

He also told us some stories about Bookchin and predicted what would happen that evening. Apparently he had been one of Bookchin's cronies back in the day but had been excommunicated. He told us that Bookchin had a copy of Post-Scarcity Anarchism (I think) in his study that includes a list of people to whom the book was apparently dedicated. As Bookchin would have theoretical disputes with these people, he would break off communication and mark through their names in his copy. The guy we talked to said quite a few names were crossed off the list.

He also described what would happen that night. He said that Tokar was hoping that this meeting would be an opportunity to heal some splits with Bookchin and that he was very positive about that possibility. However this guy said that Bookchin would savage him brutally. He described a scenario in which Bookchin would be sitting in a corner of the room with a bunch of young acolytes who would dote on his every word. At some point in the evening, Bookchin would attack Tokar and the other presenters and it would all be a big mess. Which it was.

We went to the event that night and arrived a little before the presentation. Bookchin was in the corner with a bunch of young people sitting around him and focusing on his every word. Every time Bookchin would say something they would all laugh together. Soon the presentation started and Tokar and the others talked about what they were doing. The presentation was informal, a nice mood was set and a discussion followed. Since we were all serious anarchists, there was some kind of process for the discussion. Eventually Murray broke in although he may have been following the process the first time as opposed to thereafter.

He spent the rest of the evening, that we observed, attacking Tokar and friends on tactical, strategic and theoretical levels, all with a very personal edge to the attack. Tokar et al attempted to respond in a manner that would lead to dialogue but Bookchin's every comment was presented in an aggressive, belittling manner. At one point, as someone was responding, Murray turned his back and walked out of the main room into a back area through an open hallway or doorway. In the middle of someone speaking, he burst back into the room with his pointed finger held high and started ranting again.

Soon thereafter my friend and I left this shameful display of arrogance and sectarian stupidity by one of the most well known anarchists of our time. And that's my Murray Bookchin story.

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