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!


Medical Marijuana 

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I had an appointment to see the PotDoc to get a medical marijuana card. Such a card would then allow me entrance to various buyers' clubs scattered around the Bay Area. The evaluation and script would have cost me $250. Due to a combination of cash flow issues and my concerns that the stupid fuckers in the Supreme Court may set the stage for an armed invasion of California medical marijuana facilities, I cancelled my appointment.

The medical rationale for my visit has to do with elevated eye pressure levels that indicate the future possibility of glaucoma. Even though the pressure's pretty high, I didn't have nerve scarring the last time I checked (it's been a few years, poverty sucks) so I didn't officially have glaucoma. However, marijuana has been shown in multiple studies to reduce eye pressure and the treatment of glaucoma is considered one of the more promising uses of medical marijuana. Plus, I'm all about preventative medicine.

Of course, you mostly hear about the use of pot to relieve nausea and pain, sometimes associated with chemotherapy. I hate to be any meaner than I need, but the NY Times article on the opening of the case that I link to above mentions that Chief Justice Rehnquist, who is battling thyroid cancer, will participate by reading the briefs and transcripts. Hope you're feeling deeply nauseous Mr. Rehnquist, sir, it might help clear your head on this one.

Props go to (and I quote):

"Justice Stephen G. Breyer told Mr. Barnett that his clients should ask the Food and Drug Administration to reclassify marijuana as appropriate for medical use; a refusal could then be the basis for a lawsuit charging the agency with abusing its discretion. Such a lawsuit would be "the obvious way to get what they want," Justice Breyer said, adding: "I guess medicine by regulation is better than medicine by referendum.""

Although I like his creative thinking, since medicine is obviously highly politicized, (I mean, goddamn it, I can't buy a joint but I can get all the fucking liquor I want?) then referendums are fine by me. As long as they aren't rigged. I'm still hoping to experience democratic elections one day. They just sound so good on paper.


Blog Alert: A Theory of Power 

I haven't had the chance to dig into Jeff Vail's blog A Theory of Power. But it doesn't look like light reading. His interest in drawing on knowledge of and about science and technology (at least that's part of what I see happening) to understand hierarchy looks interesting. And he has a book of the same title that got high marks from both John Zerzan and Noam Chomsky! So that's got to count for something. Hopefully I'll have something more useful to say when I get a chance to read more of it.

I Was Thinking of You 

Dear readers, I want you to know that, it's not that I don't think of you, it's that I can't be counted on to maintain a regular schedule.

But I thought of you:

When I learned about the good things that cicadas do.

When I read about sociospatial shifts in dogfighting venues.

And I even thought of you when I was making my appointment with the PotDoc.

More on that later. If you're into hip hop, you may have heard about the Hip Hop Dance Festival that just happened here in San Francisco. I didn't go. Breakdancing's just so retro.

In gardening news, NPR did a feature on gardens along Filbert Steps. I'm bringing this up because I love little gardens and out of the way places and even the Postmodern Anarchist digs flowers!


Editors Reveal Their Biphobia 

With the release of Oliver Stone's Alexander, numerous articles are coming out about the lead character's bisexuality. However, editors keep tossing on titles that describe Alexander as gay. I guess the b-word is just too potent for their binary world.


Scumbags on Parade 

Seen at
Fun day at a Texas school is cancelled after Christian freaks claim it would promote homosexuality.

Encountered (as in, look what's under this rock) at the 2004 Weblog Awards:
Assholes for Bush reveal that they can neither follow instructions nor work well in a group.

And our last exhibition comes from ProHipHop:
Keeping a show biz tradition alive.


Anarchist Game Designers? 

Any anarchist computer game designers out there? I'd like to start talking to some designers in the Bay Area or elsewhere that would be interested in discussing ideas for games that could spread anarchist perspectives. Def Jam put out Battle for New York. We should have games like Battle for Seattle based on the WTO actions there. And, since more games are developing that are about something other than killing people, maybe we could have some kind of anarchist community online environment sort of thing.

In any case, it would be nice to start throwing some ideas around and, maybe, somebody will come out with something. You know, I knew a guy in Austin who was really immersed in one of the online worlds who never really thought about an anarchist version till we were chatting. I wish he had been willing to stay in touch but he seemed to have difficulty with that kind of thing or with me. But my impression was he tended to isolate himself.

In our discussion, he was flashing on the possibility of an open source virtual world. I hope he pursues that. Let me know what you think.

Neglect is Never Benign, So Sue Me 

I feel I've been neglecting this blog. I'm just so busy living that my time for blogging is short. But I'm happy to finally be living somewhere that the street calls at least as strongly as does my computer. Did I say living? Yes, the probably inevitable has occurred. I've decided to stay and must now do those time consuming things one must do when crashing with friends wears thin. Besides, it's better to keep a close eye on Clyde's corporate tendencies. Even the anarchist left has empire builders scattered among them!

But I've been thinking of my dear readers, especially my new RSS subscribers, and I have some thoughts and links for you before I start trying to convince people that I'd make an excellent housemate (probably in the East Bay, SF is somehow more expensive than ever).

I hope we can all agree to what we knew all along. The Democrats take that loyal opposition thing too seriously. I have been reading about local Democrats getting more serious about electoral reform, like in the Seattle area but, if the party doesn't do it, and they decide to get religious, then that's just more nails for a casket riddled with them.

Oh, to be one of those anarchists that just spits on voters for their foolishness. Even though I rarely vote, I just can't give up on it. Kind of like the things I can't give up on even though some people claim that postmodern and/or poststructural theories have proscribed them. But, then, I've always taken Foucault's activism to heart.

Speaking of Foucault, remember, first they track the cows, then they track the children.

I don't know if Foucault (my goddamn hero, I'm so bummed to be in San Francisco with him dead, he was considering moving here and teaching at Berkeley and, many years ago, I talked to people who knew people who'd seen him in the bathhouses which were later closed down because it's the locations, not the act of fluid exchange that gets you aids) ever voted, but Keith Olbermann has been following the post election recount drama and a brief look makes me think he's doing a useful job from within the ranks of salaried journalists.

Speaking of which, when you folks come across really solid stuff about election rigging or what to do now in terms of electoral activities (is it time to join those nutty Greens?), then send it in. I really do want to create some kind of page with links to all that stuff and maybe I will. If you help.

What's blowing my mind, at the moment, is seeing Condi Rice get more power. She's frightening. And wasn't the Democratic party supposed to put the first black woman in an important position like that? Just because the Republicans are fucked up, don't ever underestimate their ability to address social change or to put protorture candidates into high office.

In resistance news, I'm so glad to hear of unrest in China, except for the ethnic disputes. Apparently a lot more happens than we know, but the advent of cell phones has allowed news to get out.

There's always more news, but I think it best to leave you with some happy things, like this rad Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller and the site for the Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment.

Till soon.


Hip Hop Blogs on the Election 

Clyde, over at Hip Hop Logic, has done an entry on hip hop bloggers responding to the election. Although all he's done is link to a few of the blogs themselves, they are a choice lot.


Line From the Movie "Hellboy" 

"If there's trouble, all us freaks have is each other."

Electoral Aftermath 3 

I'm trying to sort out this election deal, especially the part where the election gets stolen, and I keep having to sort through people's responses. I don't know if I've been too busy to get really upset, not hanging out with the right crowd or just feeling like this is all a variation on stuff I've been contending with since Reagan first got into office.

I remember reading, at some point during the devastation of the Reagan years, an article that pointed out that Reagan was the crowning accomplishment of the conservative assault on the forces of social unrest that emerged on a widespread basis in the late 60s. Nixon was the first accomplishment, but he ran into some problems. Nevertheless, really nasty people have been working at this stuff for a long time and they've done really well, considering the jokers they've managed to put into office.

Now, that's a pretty broad stroke and it gets really nuanced as one gets into specifics. Nevertheless, since Reagan I've been watching a lot of assholes get elected and a lot of Democrats who periodically get morally outraged and occasionally get someone into office. And I've been watching some of those same Democrats buy into the Republican line or the mass media line on issues like the Carter presidency.

I liked Carter in many ways. I thought he was an interesting change and an interesting man. But the fact that Leonard Peltier is still in prison is enough to question Carter's commitment to human rights yet probably speaks more to the power of the FBI in influencing the White House. Nevertheless, he was a man in an impossible situation who tried to do good things with a definition of "good" that gets a lot closer to the dictionary definition than to the bizarrouniverseofthebushesandotherfucks definition.

Nevertheless, I was talking to my dear liberal Democratic mother at some point during the election and Jimmy Carter came up, someone she had always admired. She said that he was a good man but not that good of a president. I called her on that and asked her what bothered her about Carter other than the hostages in Iran who were released after the election due to the fact that the Republicans had negotiated with Iranian officials to bring that about. Contragate, baby.

When I said that, my mother thought for a moment and thanked me, which was kind of powerful. I hope it gives her some support the next time that she's at that church with all those people, some of whom are nice, but others are icky and grotesque. And when she's watching those tv commentators, most of whom are just a waste of time.

I want to talk about the Christian thing some more and will do so soon, including some comments from a left/libertarian/Christian/beatniklikehippie friend of mine. Plus some links!

A San Francisco Story 

You know, I've fully intended to say more about the election and I've also intended to say more about my visit to San Francisco (I might be staying!!!). And, yet, I'm not really doing much with any of those issues.

Today I'll share a tale about unsanitary kitchen practices at Cafe Flor, a Castro institution and a great coffeehouse on Market a couple of blocks from Castro. Yesterday or the day before, it's all a blur, I'm in San Francisco!, I had coffee and a bagel with cream cheese. Very basic, but good, especially the coffee. The bagel was whole wheat and came with a little container of cream cheese. I relaxed, I enjoyed, I decided to move on.

Before exiting the building, I found myself standing in a bathroom line, which was actually around the corner from the bathroom cause the hall's too narrow, and that put me across from this window-like opening to the kitchen where they take orders and then people bring your stuff out to you. Weird explanation but, if you've been there, you can probably figure out where I was.

So I'm standing there and in front of me is the part of the counter top that continues past the window opening thing which probably has some special name that I don't know. And I eventually notice, after adjusting to the dynamics of the line, that on the shelf was about 20 or 30 of those little cream cheese containers, filled with the cream cheese but without lids. Obviously a wait person was putting things together between other tasks.

So I'm watching people come and go from the bathroom past this counter. I'm looking at a small counter above it that has a hair band with some hairs on it. I'm thinking about the temperature of the cream cheese dropping, bacteria growing, me coughing and so forth.

The story kind of trails off from there with this image of these containers of cream cheese being mismanaged as I went on to an adventure that I will not discuss in print, on or offline.

That's today's San Francisco Story and probably the first to connect the Castro, cream cheese and a bathroom without making a single sexual reference.

No, my adventure did not involve this or any other bathroom in the Bay Area (and, yes, I was in the Bay Area the whole time).

I'll come back atcha with some electoral, how we feel, what to do next, yada yada, kind of thing.

That's the second time I've used yada yada in a post this week. That disturbs me.


ProHipHop and POKIA 

Clyde, that netweed guy, yada yada, has been working on a "top secret" project which I will be the first to link to here. It's called ProHipHop and it focuses on hip hop business news. Why would I mention such a thing other than to boost a comrade as he struggles to succeed in a world in which selling out, buying in and rolling over are difficult to distinguish? For one thing, you can learn a lot from business news about politics, big surprise.

More importantly, one of his posts references the POKIA, a retro handset for mobile phones. Basically it looks like this Brit makes these nutty phones then sells them on, some hip hop character used one at the MTV Awards and the guy's getting some press.

Besides being very cool, they can be lumped in as a movement, of sorts, called modding. Or, maybe they should be called case mods, which is where I think I originally encountered the term among gamers who modify hardware for appearance and functionality.

However, this term is also used to refer to game software hacks and content creation and has become an established aspect of the computer game industry.

"modding" - modifying software, hardware and little knick knacks found lying about the house using mathematics, glue, glitter and whatever else can make these damn parts stick together or look cooler.

Ballot Boxing 

In her Village Voice blog Ballot Boxing, Anya Kamenetz gathers New Evidence Bush Stole Election (Again).


Electoral Aftermath 2 

I really don't like the sound of W's agenda.

Non-U.S. responses to Bush's re-election were often quite damning. Interestingly, I got this and some other nice pieces via B.L. Ochman's marketing blog. Like this bit about lost votes in North Carolina.

Wired News continues to closely follow e-voting issues as it has all along with a new report of manufactured Bush votes in Ohio and election day reports of e-voting mishaps.

Apparently gambling sites were better than bloggers at predicting the election's outcome.

Big media is busy attacking bloggers for their election day mishaps, especially the use of flawed polling results, but some mainstream journalists recognize that bloggers are here to stay. Don't say "Duh". Don't say "Duh". Doh!


In The Aftermath Of The Election 

We should all pay close attention to the emerging evidence of election tampering.

And we should look for messages that help us take heart and continue our work, like this oddly reassuring discussion of why the election outcome is not a good reason to leave the country.


Distributed Libraries, Postmodern Anarchism, Strange News 

One of the things that I like about San Francisco, as with other towns that have a sizable progressive population, are the community projects that combine neighborliness and other "old fashioned ideas" with cutting edge perspectives, like The Distributed Library Project, a community based peer-to-peer media exchange.

This review of books about postmodern and poststructural anarchism provoked discussion at Infoshop News when it was posted there back in April and more recently.

Here's what happens when blog comments get out of control. [Since posting this I got a nice note from the author letting me know he cleaned out the child porn and online pharmacy ads. Really, I feel for him. So far, none of the netweed blogs have added comments because of the difficulties of keeping the bullshit out.]


I'm not too happy about this election. San Francisco's been cold and gloomy today, in keeping with the outcome.


Internet Access: Key to Good Health 

Due to some hardware confusion, I haven't been able to get Internet access at my guest quarters in San Francisco until now and I just can't get into the blogging spirit in an Internet cafe. Plus they all charge now, at least the one's I've checked out. Usually 2 to 3 bucks a half hour at their computer with wireless access often freely available. I did get free access at the Apple store in downtown SF to check email but I've been itching to start blogging about this San Francisco trip. And I've actually been a bit antsy without easy access. But I'm no Internet addict! I just recognize that the Internet is now an important part of my daily life that I must have at all costs. Nothing unhealthy there.

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