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!


Speaking of Cool 

After my previously mentioned visit to Cool Tools, I headed over to Cool Hunting where I found out about this nifty card to give rude cell phone users.

Your Automated Home 

Cool Tools led me to SMARTHOME and the recognition that the future is now and it's really kind of mundane.


Ohio Heats Up 

A coalition of forces with Green and Libertarian support is requesting that the Ohio Supreme Court examine the results of the presidential election.


More on Ohio Voting "Irregularities" 

Sentiment remains strong for overturning Nov. 2nd election results in Ohio.


Chatty C@thy Goes Out On The Town 

Apparently I have a need to express myself at the moment because I'm becoming a veritable Chatty C@thy, dressed in black, of course. Ha ha. Ha ha is my version of lol since I feel like such a tool saying lol and only use it in a sarcastic sense, possibly in an ironic sense, but I always have to look that one up to make sure I'm not pulling an Alanis Morissette. Sometimes I use an exclamation point instead of ha ha. Sometimes I combine both for full effect!

So I'm posting a lot and, last night, had two social engagements in one evening where I just couldn't stop babbling.

First was a silent art auction (but we were allowed to talk amongst ourselves) and sale for the Community Arts Program at Hospitality House, which seems to be primarily a day shelter for homeless and low income folks that provides free art supplies and classes and such. I think it's all wrapped up with harm reduction programs and related services that meet people where they are rather than other approaches which tend to demean people facing serious and ongoing difficulties.

I just got a brainstorm, I'll look at their website and see what they claim to be doing. And it's even more than I thought! Ha ha.

The show was at the The Shooting Gallery on a somewhat rough Tenderloin block but totally manageable for this kind of thing. By this kind of thing, I mean an arts event that attract mostly young, mostly hip people and the mostly cool staff of Hospitality House. I think the Hospitality House artists whose work was a big part of the show were mostly elsewhere doing whatever they had to do. In any case, it was a lively scene and, though I'm not overrun with cash, I bought a set of Christmas cards designed by one of the Hospitality House artists since the season is upon us.

I then enjoyed a dinner invitation from a couple who I met through Clyde. It always startles me to see a well matched couple settling in together, having a child and so forth. I ended up being late and they were very nice to me, feeding me great food and letting me babble until they retired for the evening. That kid thing makes it hard to stay up late, especially since those little critters don't sleep for long. Another reason I'm staying on the pill! Ha ha.

I actually knew Jo Kreiter before she got married and think she's just a fine person. She has a dance company called Flyaway Productions that gets into a lot of aerial work and site specific projects. I'd audition but I'm scared of heights!

Her hubby is artist Jeff Norris who's apparently best known for his murals, many of them done with kids. It's cool stuff and they're a really sweet couple. It gives me hope because, though I really, really, really don't want any kids, I'd love a partner in anarchy someday.

I'm exhausted from all this chit chat. Time for a nap! Ha ha.

On Blaming The Wrong People 

You know, I remember going to a union staff party in Ohio where a union organizer/manager, who found out I was from North Carolina, shortly thereafter pretty much blamed me and all activists in NC for not being able to get Jesse Helms out of office. What a punk. He sure didn't share stories of victories comparable to removing that source of evil from office. And I couldn't say anything because I was attending with a friend, this guy was her boss, and the people working for the union weren't unionized. So she was worried that she would lose her job!

Personally, I still think unions are a useful tool and, of course, I support the wide variety of radical union efforts that go on, but this is a great example of the oppressive power structures that reemerge in organizations that have an ostensibly progressive agenda. Plus, the long history of many unions as a force designed to keep workers compliant (at least in the U.S.) makes it pretty hard to talk to people about the need for worker organization when they've grown up in an antiunion environment. Graft, corruption, gangsters, selling out the revolution. Many other writers have covered this topic far better than I ever could.

Which reminds me (I'm on a memory roll), if you check out amazing events like May '68, you'll notice that some unions and communist parties will align themselves with the dominant power structure when the chips are down so that they can "seize the day." Never mistake my interest in using tools like nonrepresentive electoral systems or wealthy unions as institutions for a belief that they are adequate or can be trusted.

Nor a criticism of Margaret Thatcher as an attack on the Brits who opposed her election.

Blog Alert: John Baker's Weblog 

Just heard from John Baker whose blog encompasses literary and political interests from a UK perspective (didn't immediately see a bio in my currently crazed state). It's interesting because it's one of the few blogs by "grown-ups" that is as much personal journal as a personal log of what one is discovering on the web. That means that if you don't get a reference or aren't familiar with a time period (like the awful, awful years of Reagan, Thatcher and the like), it may not be clear to what he's referring. But it's worth a look and, when he does link to something, it's usually pretty good like:

Sorry Everybody, which appears to be a series of webcam photos that folks from the States have sent in. Each one has one or more people in the picture with apology signs along the lines of:
"I'm so sorry. I did everything I could."

I really appreciate the fact that the Internet has facilitated contact around the world for those of who suffered such a crushing blow and want to reach out. Although my experiences with smart folks in other places is that they generally recognize the difference between the ugly Americans and those of us who are a little more presentable in public!

Which reminds me of a story that I'll post separately.


Some People Are Commited to Democracy 

Honestly, I don't really understand the details of the Ukrainian election and even democratic movements have forces with multiple agendas, but I am impressed that the debate continues because of mass street action. Guess those folks haven't kept up with the Democratic Party's extreme commitment to being the deeply loyal opposition.

Clyde, that netweed guy, was kind enough to point me to this article on two Ukrainian hip hop artists who have been helping inspire dissent.

Surveillance News: Humans With Embedded Chips 

I haven't been keeping up with RFID chips like I should but this interview with a Mexican government official focuses on the use of imbedded chips as security devices to gain access to restricted areas. Apparently there has been incorrect news that over a hundred officials had chips but it's come to light that a mere 18 officials are using them. At first glance, the document is confusing but what's happening is that the question is given in the original Spanish, followed by the translation into English and then the same happens with the answer, etc.

My take on this? When somebody says:
"The advantages of having this system implanted in the body are that it can't be duplicated, it can't be loaned to another person, and it can't be used by another person, because you carry it under your skin and it can't be seen."
I reply:
"Can I borrow your pocket knife for a minute?"

Which makes me wonder about how kidnap crazy outlaws will respond to the news that anti-kidnapping chips are becoming popular. Especially since kidnappers in Latin America have not shown a high commitment to returning kidnappees even after they get the money.

There's other chip news out there and I've got some links somewhere but I'm disorganized and, well, you know there are limits to what I can give. But, I have run into accounts of at least one school system in Texas that is tracking kids from home or from schoolbus to school and back using identity cards with tracking chips. There are also cattle surveillance systems being developed to keep up with wide ranging cattle.

Hey, I already posted that:
"Speaking of Foucault, remember, first they track the cows, then they track the children."

Can you guess who's next?

I Love Wired 

I'm not saying that Wired gets it right all the time but they sure do cover a lot of stuff I'm interested in. There have been times when I had to stop myself from turning this blog into a "what's happening at Wired?" service.

Not every day there is great, but some days, like today, it's fucking awesome:

Gamers Eye Open Virtual Worlds
I've been trying to get some dialogue started on this, though I'm having trouble keeping up with my end of the bargain, and I'm also interested in really commercial possibilities, believe it or not, but I think the best thing that could happen for anarchists interested in gaming is to get on board one of these open source virtual world projects. Although a lot of these folks are closer to Libertarians than to anarchists, it's mostly a really good fit for just about anybody that wants to build community online.

Fight for Public Domain Goes On
When the folks at Disney became a crucial element in extending copyright protections (I think to ensure that Walt's cryogenic chamber is well maintained, especially since the infamous freezer burn incident), that not only meant that bootleggers would remain bootleggers but that work that is totally out of print and inaccessible remained inaccessible. Sometimes called "orphan works", the advent of the Internet has inspired all sorts of archival projects that would be willing to take on the expense and difficulties involved in digitizing that material and making it freely available. I want to see Walt out in public again as much as the next person who's worn a Mickey Mouse tee, but nobody likes to see an abandoned child forced to remain in the cellar.

Prying Into FBI Activities
The FBI continue to do fucked up things and 9/11 gave them an excellent excuse to supercharge their surveillance and harassment of activists. But the Freedom of Information Act still allows people to expose their nonsense. Hmmm, wonder if that's also on W's agenda. We'll know soon enough.

They've Got Your Number …
More good reasons to ditch that cell phone. And to continue to resist my urge to become a surveillance nut.

There's more. But then, there's always more.

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