Radical media, politics and culture.


hydrarchist writes:

The Gamer-Refugee: searching 'Autonomy' in Gamespace(Revised)

[J.J.King / jamie@jamie.com]

In the 1944 text Homo Ludens, the Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga argued that Homo Sapiens was no longer an appropriate name for our species: now the playing, rather than thinking, man had become key to a proper understanding of civilisation. 'All play means something,' claimed Huizinga. He attempted to invigorate a philosophical interest not only in the games of children, but also in ‘adult’ games: chess, sport, theatrical plays, plays on words and so on. Games were an acknowledgement of the existence of ‘mind’ in the world, a force that intervened in (what would otherwise be) ‘the absolute determinism of the cosmos’ (1).

Huizinga would presumably be pleased that this interest in games is finally stirring in the world of the academy – and yet, since his text was produced, the idea he advances in his final chapter about the increasing ‘systematization and regimentation’ of play seems increasingly potent (2). How would Huizinga have seen the computer game, for example, one of the most popular forms of play today, and one produced by corporations for the enjoyment of consumers – one, in other words, in which play takes place as a commodity form? And is the philsopher right to suggest, as he does at the end of Homo Ludens, that this form – insofar as it is a ‘profane’ and ‘unholy’ form of play far removed from the original ludic impulse - ‘has no organic connection whatever with the structure of society’ whatsoerver? (3)

Leviticus Arenga writes:
Subject: Fakes...

To: info@autonomedia.org

There is something extremely wrong with every single
person in this world. They seem to be part of a
pointless simulation.

"The Matrix" has portrayed this idea somewhat, yet we
watch it and go back to our daily lives. Yet in this
very life, underneath the seeming diversity in
people's opinions, values, talents, and interests,
there is something that makes everyone the same. It
is as though this planet is populated only by mindless
fakes, objects that provide the appearance of
intellect on the surface but are based on only
mechanical reflexes and primitive thought patterns.

hydrarchist writes: The following article was found on Bill Brown's site Not Bored, which is a very useful repository of texts realting to the Situationist International and its tradition. Here is the original URL.

"Why Art Can't Kill the Situationist International

T.J. Clark and Donald Nicholson-Smith
October 79, Winter 1997

"What does it matter to us what judgments may later be passed upon our obscure personalities? If we have seen fit to record the political differences that exist between the majority of the Commune and ourselves, this is not in order to apportion blame to the former and praise the latter. It is simply to ensure that, should the Commune be defeated, people will know that it was not what it has appeared to be up to now." -- Gustave Lefrancais addressing constituents, 20 May 1871, cited in Internationale Situationniste 12 (September 1969).

No sooner were Guy Debord's ashes safely cast from the Pointe du Vert-Galant into the Seine, no sooner had death quelled his remorseless tendency to respond to everyone who made the least mention of him, than an emboldened pack of commentators bounded from their kennels, all desperately eager to position themselves, pro, con, or otherwise with respect to Debord's person, writings, and faits et gestes.


Achmed Huber is not only a devout Muslim and supporter of political Islam; he also a leading member of the avowedly pagan Swiss-based Avalon Gemeinschaft (Avalon Society — also known as the Avalon Kreis or Avalon Circle). Avalon’s estimated 150 members include aging Swiss SS volunteers, youthful far right fanatics, and died-in-the wool Holocaust deniers. Each summer solstice this motley mélange of characters journeys deep into the Swiss woods to ritually worship the pre-Christian Celtic gods of ancient Europe. They then spend the rest of the year bemoaning the Enlightenment and denying the Holocaust.

Although Huber is one of Avalon’s leading members, he was not involved in founding the group. Avalon began as a curious mixture of Old Right and New Right currents that reflected its founding members involvement in a far right youth group known as the Wiking-Jugend Schweiz (WJS) as well as their later rejection of cadre-based politics for the creation of Avalon as a self-proclaimed elite society. Besides being steeped in mystical imagery, Avalon’s founders also embraced "New Right" jargon most frequently associated with the French theorist Alain de Benoist, his Paris-based think-tank, GRECE (the Groupement de Recherche et d’Etudes pour la Civilisation Européene), and GRECE’s German counterpart, Pierre Krebs’ Thule Seminar.

Avalon’s origins begin in the end of 1986 with the formation of the WJS by two young far rightists, Roger Wüthrich and Andreas Lorenz. After Wüthrich and Lorenz returned from a winter camp in Germany sponsored by the Wiking-Jugend Deutschland (WJD), they were granted permission by the WJD to form a Swiss branch of the organization. The WJS was formally launched in April 1987 and began publishing a paper, Nordwind, that specifically targeted Swiss youth. As WJS propaganda put it,

Have you had enough of degenerate art, jungle music, environmental destruction, immorality, and Coca-Cola culture? Then come to us! Work with us for a better worthwhile future. Travel, camps, sports, adventure, comradeship and love of our home belong to our program. Hard work, discipline, good manners, courage, and honor are things that for us again have meaning. The zero (Null) bloc of youth is already shuffling off to its decline with a Walkman in its ears and hamburgers on its brains. Not us! Join us! Viking Youth! That is the youth movement faithful to the people of Switzerland.

In the summer of 1988 the WJS, with help from the WJD, organized a summer camp in Seelisberg, Switzerland. Participants were told that they would learn things like folk dancing, old German letters, and sports like boxing. The WJS promised all who signed up the experience of "forced marches in ankle deep mud" until the "dead tired" finally reached their goal "filthy, soaked with sweat, with a banner in hand, and a proud smile on [their] face." The forced marches were a necessary camp experience, Nordwind explained, because "in the all masculine cultural circles to which we belong, discipline and morals are the keystone of our view of life."

Alas, few Swiss youth seemed willing to part with their blue jeans and Coke cans for folkdance lessons and forced marches. In February 1991, at the WJS’s fourth convention in Worblaufen, Switzerland, the group voted to dissolve itself. Along with its failure to recruit youth cadres, the WJS was equally concerned about possible adverse publicity. Just a month earlier, a Swiss far rightist named Robert Burkhard -- president of the Nationalrevolutionären Partei der Schweiz (NPS) -- had been arrested for a hand grenade attack on a journalist in Winterthurer, Switzerland. After the police discovered WJS material inside Burkhard’s apartment, the WJS feared that it too might now come under scrutiny by the Swiss authorities. Equally troubling was the development of ideological dissent inside the WJS itself. The Aargau Canton branch, for example, openly broke with the WJS’s leadership and embraced a "national revolutionary direction" complete with open overtures to the Swiss Left. Roger Wüthrich, the WJS’s co-founder, was particularly appalled by this move because he considered National Bolshevism a political dead end, particularly given the fall of Communism.

The Birth of the Avalon Gemeinschaft

Following the official dissolution of the WJS, Wüthrich and another rightist named Andreas Grossweiler decided to build a new elite cadre organization, the Avalon Gemeinschaft. They structured their new group on the New Right model espoused by de Benoist and GRECE in France and by Pierre Krebs and the Thule Seminar in Germany.

Wüthrich and Grossweiler’s turn from a failed cadre-based political activist model to a self-proclaimed elite structure did not occur out of the blue. The formation of the Avalon Gemeinschaft came after the Swiss far right had learned about French and German "New Right" theory, which primarily occurred through the activity of a young Geneva-based rightist named Pascal Junod. In 1983 Junod first established the Centre national de la pensée européene with former members of the New European Order (NEO) backed student group, the Nouvel ordre social, to help popularize New Right ideas in Switzerland. One year later, Junod next established another Geneva-based organization, the Cercle Proudhon, in 1984. Junod also helped organize the Swiss branch of the Thule Seminar while he also served as the Swiss correspondent for GRECE’s journal, Nouvelle école.

In his book Strategie der kulturellen Revolution, Pierre Krebs, head of the Thule Seminar, gives a useful overview of New Right thinking when he embraces the theory of "intellectual hegemony" taken from the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci and "detourned" by the New Right. Krebs also articulated New Right themes when he attacked the "principle of equality" and instead demanded a "War against Egalitarianism and Rootlessness: For Originality and Identity! Against Americanism and Collectivism: For Culture and Organic Humanism! Race is Class! For a Heterogeneous World of Homogeneous Peoples! Vive la difference!"

Starting in 1987, members of the Swiss branch of the Thule Seminar took part in a pagan gathering around the Celtic holiday Lugnasad, along with a delegation from the WJS and various neo-Nazis from across Europe. In 1988 the Swiss branch of the Thule Seminar, along with the Circle Proudhon, organized seemingly scholarly-sounding talks on topics like "The History of the Templers and "The Heritage of the Indo-Europeans" on the grounds of Geneva University.

Although lacking the scholarly chops of a de Benoist or a Krebs, Avalon’s founders were quick to proclaim their own elite status as well as their embrace of pagan ideas. Grossweiler, for example, said that Avalon’s members "consider ourselves as an intellectual/spiritual elite and know that our ideas are incomprehensible to simple people." Avalon’s emergence also came wrapped in a heavy dose of Celtic mysticism. One Avalon tract began,

Avalon — white mist covered island in an icy sea. Avalon, land of inner rest and the confident, holy land of the Celts. Avalon, original homeland and secure pole of our European culture. The land of King Arthur gives our society its name. Many of our way and beliefs shall find the power in the circle to resist the time of the wolf (the destruction of value). This is our spiritual place of refuge, [the] place of the calling to mind of Europe’s eternal values, Courage, Honor, Loyalty.

Huber and Avalon

Achmed Huber’s later emergence as a key Avalon leader no doubt reflects both his well-developed networking skills as well as his powerful contacts inside the European right. Huber’s particular association with Avalon, however, may also be due in part to Avalon’s New Right trappings. New Rightists are almost by definition extremely anti-American, and many look favorably on collaboration with the Islamic world. In traditional Islam they see a culture that has resisted the siren song of the Enlightenment. GRECE leader Alain de Benoist (who has visited both Iran and Libya) also regularly criticizes Jean-Marie le Pen’s Front National for its harshly anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant views.

That said, Avalon appears to be a rather poor copy of the GRECE model. The New Right, it should be recalled, emerged in Paris in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a response not just to the cultural Americanization of Europe but also as a reaction by a post-‘68 generation of young rightwing activists to the failed Old Right’s tedious embrace of Hitler nostalgia and crude anti-Semitism. Against this, the New Right reveled in rediscovering unorthodox theorists, particularly from the 1920s "Conservative Revolutionary" movement in Germany; thinkers like Carl Schmidt, Moeller van den Bruck, Ernst Niekisch, and Ernst Junger. All of these men’s ideas had either been highly marginalized or actively suppressed during the Nazi era. Under Huber and Wüthrich, however, Avalon is far more close to intellectually spurious groups like the California-based Institute for Holocaust Review than with the elite Parisian salon world of de Benoist.

Still, Huber and Wüthrich have tried to give Avalon some veneer of respectability. In March 1998, for example, on the two hundredth anniversary of his death, Huber and other Avalon members laid a wreath at the memorial to General von Erlach, who was killed by Napoleon’s troops in 1798. Erlach’s death symbolized not just the end of Bern’s Ancien Régime and the triumph of Napoleon’s army but the victory of the Enlightenment ideals of equality, democracy, and brotherhood associated with the French Revolution that both Avalon and the New Right so despise. By laying a wreath at Erlach’s tomb, Huber and Avalon were suggesting that they were willing to fight once more to recapture a world once thought hopelessly vanished.

Huber and Wüthrich have also portrayed Avalon in a press communiqué as a highly respectable group that sponsors gatherings dedicated to scientific and cultural themes -- particularly the honoring of Europe’s "Celtic Germanic inheritance" -- as well as to groundbreaking critical research into questions of contemporary history. Avalon’s eager embrace of Holocaust deniers, even more than its strange celebrations of the summer solstice, have stripped it of even a vague sense of legitimacy as an serious organization engaged in historical research.

Avalon functions as a kind of umbrella organization for the Holocaust denial movement in Switzerland. Under the cover name of the Studiengruppe für Geschichte (History Study Group), for example, Avalon sponsored a 1993 presentation by leading French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson at a hotel conference room in Bern. Some 70 people, including the NEO’s Gaston-Armand Amaudruz, attended the gathering. Huber’s close friend Jürgen Graf, a leading Swiss Holocaust denier who is now living in Tehran, provided the simultaneous translation from French to German when Faurisson spoke. Robert H. Countess, an American editor of the Institute for Historical Review, also addressed an Avalon gathering in April 1995. Huber’s later participation (along with Graf and the German NPD’s Horst Mahler) in an IHR conference that was to have occurred in Beirut in the spring of 2001 can be seen as a logical extension of the kind of Holocaust denial activity that both Huber and Avalon have been involved with for years.

Finally, it seems particularly ironic that a self-proclaimed Muslim like Huber would be associated at all with any "New Right" grouping, even with a pale parody of the New Right, as Avalon appears to be. Huber, after all, is a self-proclaimed devotee of Islam, an utterly monotheistic religion. In the New Right canon, monotheism has always been portrayed as the original sin. This has been so ever since de Benoist identified the Enlightenment’s universalistic values as a secular extension of a monotheist worldview; namely the Judeo-Christian tradition which Islam claims to complete.

New Right theorists insist that they embrace paganism and the pagan notion of a universe of pluralistic gods precisely out of their desire to dethrone monotheistic thought structures which they see as essential to the future elimination of American "monoculture." That a fanatical Islamic monotheist like Huber could spend each summer solstice out in the woods worshiping Celtic gods is one more bizarre twist to his already bizarre life. -- KC

nomadlab writes "This is the latest from Kevin Coogan:"


On November 7, 2001, the U.S government's Office of the Coordinator of Counterterrorism issued a list of some 62 organizations and individuals suspected of involvement in terrorist organizations, and in particular with Osama bin-Laden's Al Qaeda network. Number 56 on the list was Achmed Albert Friedrich Armand Huber, a former Swiss journalist with close ties both to Islamic fundamentalists and far-right extremists. A longtime convert to Islam, the 74-year-old Huber was cited by the government for his presence on the five-man managing committee of Nada Management, a Lugano-based financial institution, which was known as Al Taqwa (Fear of God) Management prior to March 2001. Al Taqwa was specifically placed on the list due to suspicions that it may have played a key role in laundering money for bin Laden. A few hours before the official announcement from Washington, police officials raided Al Taqwa's offices in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, as well as Huber's home in Muri, a suburb of Bern, and the homes of Youssef Nada and Ali Ghaleb Himmat, two other Al Taqwa directors who were also on the U.S. list. Al Taqwa's accounts were frozen as well. A few weeks later, on November 29, Italian investigators shut down a Milan-based Islamic Cultural Center suspected of being Al Qaeda's logistical center for European operations. The Center's key financial supporter, Ahmed Idris Nasreddin, a wealthy businessman and Kuwait's former honorary consul in Milan, was yet another Al Taqwa director. Finally, in early January of 2002, Al Taqwa announced that it was closing its doors for good.

Anonymous Comrade writes

Artists Engaging Globalization

May 24-July 14, 2002, opens 5-23-02 6-8pm

Exhibition by Whitney Indie Study Prog fellows: K. Butler, J. Farrell, Y. Mckee and M. Vicente
Francois Bucher, Peter Fend, Emily Jacir, Laura Kurgan, Mark Lombardi, Sergio Munoz-Sarmiento, Josh On and Futurefarmers, Alex Rivera, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Wolfgang Staehle, David Thorne and Oliver Ressler, Patricia Thornley, Fatimah Tuggar and Marisa Yiu.

Tuesday May 28 at 7pm

Panel discussion with Fend, Rivera, Rosler and Yiu.

Tuesday June 4 at 7pm

Gregg Bordowitz film "Habit" (2001) re. HIV activism

Gallery open Wed-Sun 12-6pm Location: CUNY Grad Center, 5th Ave. between 34th & 33rd St.

Louis Lingg writes "In June 1999 the National Intelligence Council commissioned the Federal Research Division to draft a report on the then-current literature on terrorism written by experts inside and outside government. The report was delivered in September 1999.

In December 2001 the Library of Congress posted this report, 'The Sociology and Psychology Of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?' on their website.

Additional material by the Federal Research Division on terrorism, including a report on media interaction with the public in emergencies is available at http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/terrorism.htm."

Anonymous Comrade writes:
'America's Heartland'

By John Chuckman

YellowTimes.org Columnist (Canada)

"Such, such were the joys." George Orwell

(YellowTimes.org) – A young man from Minnesota was arrested recently in connection with a number of pipe bombs placed in rural mailboxes across America's Heartland. According to reports, his ambitious and imaginative plan included leaving bombs in the pattern of a gigantic, multi-state smiley face, presumably as observed from outer space. He left messages along with his bombs, messages containing the delusional ramblings one associates with anti-government residents of remote compounds stocked with automatic weapons, ammo, and freeze-dried rations.

Having grown up in the region, this richly-nuanced bit of Heartland Americana just naturally set me reminiscing.

There were the hot summer nights spent in a cinder-block chapel at Camp Sycamore (not its real name). Here, every night, an evangelist with greasy, swept-back hairdo and heavy black-rimmed glasses, a la Buddy Holly, shouted and sputtered, spewing beads of sweat and saliva visibly into the stage-lighting, trying his hardest to scare a bunch of thirteen-year olds half to death in an effort to win souls for Jesus.

It didn't matter that most of the kids were already church members, because in the Heartland there never was too much of a good thing. And clearly, judging by how intensely the topics were seized upon, the end of the world and crazed tales of hell were good things. They were closely associated in my mind with the air-raid drills we experienced each week in elementary school. Both served to keep the fear of hell vivid. The sirens wailed over the city every Tuesday morning, and the kids were marched out into the hall to crouch near the walls. That was how we were going to survive a five-megaton blast.

Apart from Camp Sycamore's long, sweaty service each evening, there were crack-of-dawn devotions, a prayerful flag-raising, two long classes every morning on subjects along the lines of what awful diseases you can get from loose girls and the benefits of cold showers, bedtime devotions back in the cabin, plus an ostentatious grace over every serving of spaghetti or "sloppy joes" with Kool-Aid.

The experience at least taught an observant young man a good deal about the methods and purposes of tyranny. It was a few years later, after reading Allan Bullock on Hitler, that I realized that the Buddy-Holly preacher at Camp Sycamore had more in common with Adolf than Jesus. And all that panic-laden, nuclear-attack stuff at school owed more to Goebbels than concern for public safety. Still later, I understood that there is a connection between the fundamentalist obsession over the destruction of the world and Hitler's Götterdämmerung-destruction of Germany when his bid to rule Europe had failed. Nihilism is a common thread.

The local churches paid for this delightful spiritual experience, supposedly a treat for city kids, the camp being located in some woods near a small lake away from the hubbub of the city.

My local church, despite a large, neon-outlined "Jesus Saves" sign over the entrance, was occasionally stirred by events other than preserving souls from eternal damnation. I remember when a single black girl quietly started attending church. There was a good deal of whispering and one deacon felt that someone should speak to her about being more comfortable going somewhere else. When John Kennedy ran for president, quarter-dollar coins with a dab of red fingernail polish suggesting a Catholic cardinal's cap on Washington's head circulated.

When Timothy McVeigh put Oklahoma City on the map by trying to erase it, there were many editorials and columns opining how such a terrible thing could happen in the Heartland. The Heartland: that mythical place of cherry pie, gingham dresses, honesty, and big-hearted neighbors. Dorothy's Kansas. Little House on the Prairie. I detected a certain feebleness of insight in these pieces. There was nothing to be surprised about.

Despite the definition of "America's Heartland" being a little vague (of course, that is the secret of all good advertising slogans, to suggest attractively without the concrete of facts), I did think, at first, it was stretching things a bit to locate events in Oklahoma on that mythical real estate. The Midwest was the Heartland, but perhaps that identification was just residual chauvinism.

The fact is that the Midwest has always been more accurately pictured by the brutality of bloody Kansas just before the Civil War than by the schmaltz of Dorothy's Kansas, for even though the "Wizard of Oz" is a parable about American politics, its popularity has nothing to do with that fact. Crazed gangs, violent racist attitudes, and a dedication to choking your views down the throats of others are just some of the cultural landmarks that never make it into sugary television shows or Hollywood movies about the place.

However, when it turned out that the bomber was Timothy McVeigh, a young man whose high ambition had been to join that gang of professional killers, the Green Berets, a veteran of the Gulf War who reportedly demonstrated considerable enthusiasm in using his anti-tank gun on submissive or retreating troops (Oh, how I remember the American pilots, strafing and incinerating lines of Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait City, caught chortling on the radio about how this was "Jus' like shootin' fish in a barrel!"), and someone who grew up in the area around Buffalo, New York, I accepted the usage as appropriate.

Buffalo, while not properly part of the Midwest, is definitely a close spiritual relative. Not just in its treasury of Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan buildings, Frederick Law Olmsted parks, and location on a Great Lake, but right down to its flat-vowel, nasally accent and many colorful cultural attitudes.

Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, grew up and got his start maiming and killing around Chicago. He moved on to pursue the greater part of his career from a remote cabin out West, a fact which may reflect the early formative influence of a place like Camp Sycamore.

When I was growing up, Chicago had a colorful local personality named George Lincoln Rockwell, Fuhrer of the American Nazi Party. It might seem a little odd to outsiders that a band of grown men would dress up in brown outfits with jackboots, cross-belts, and armbands and tromp around with riding crops during the 1960s, but that only proves how unfamiliar outsiders are with the ways of the American Heartland.

A friend of mine through some years in school, a young man of above-average intelligence and with many well-informed views, someone whose father was a Russian Jew and had experienced the horrors of the Eastern Front, fell upon the hobby of collecting Nazi memorabilia. It started innocently enough with an Iron Cross or two but eventually grew to something that might furnish a small museum with armbands, SS insignia, helmets, special medals engraved with Hitler's signature, officers' daggers, bayonets, and Mauser rifles. I do believe that the American Midwest is one of the few places on earth where you could find such a jumbled cultural oddity.

Recently, the remarkable English journalist Robert Fisk wrote a piece on why Hollywood actor John Malkovitch wants to kill him, something the actor, upset over Fisk's reporting from the Mideast, apparently ranted about in a speech on a visit to England. But I think Fisk is likely unaware that Malkovitch comes from the Midwest, actually the Chicago area, or he would not think there is anything unusual in his behavior. People do threaten to kill people there because they don't like their views or their color. It's just that kind of place.

One of my most intense Heartland-memories is of a young man I had known in elementary school. In high school, we rarely saw each other as our interests were different. Walking home one day, I caught up with him, and he invited me to his apartment, somewhere I had never been.

It was a very handsome apartment, and I thought how nice it was that he had his own room. He suddenly asked me whether I could keep my mouth shut if he showed me something. Of course, I replied, having no idea what he was talking about but also being rather intimidated by his sudden manner.

He opened a drawer and showed me a "zip gun," basically a gadget with pipe and a handle and a rubber-band-powered mechanism for firing a bullet chambered in the pipe. I couldn't understand why he was showing it to me.

But he went on to describe how he took it with him when he and some other guys would pile into a car on a Friday night and drive to the black ghetto for some fun. With weirdly gleeful eyes, he explained how much fun it was trying to run down "niggers" crossing the street at night, watching them run for their lives in the headlights.

I went home feeling frightened and sick, unable to understand why anyone did such things or bragged about them. This was one of the events that later riveted my thoughts when Lyndon Johnson decided it was a good and patriotic thing to go over and kill countless Vietnamese so that those left standing could enjoy the blessings of Coca-Cola and cheeseburgers. It was so painfully easy to put a face to the guys that were going to have a good time carrying out the orders.

Later, not long after leaving high school, there was a young cop who used to do some extra work acting as a guard in the department store where I worked. He was a beefy figure, perhaps ten years older, with pock-marked face and almost washed-out blue eyes. He would sometimes pause a few moments and talk to me. As a tall, skinny teenager who read books and drew pictures, I was somewhat fascinated with him and experiences I could barely imagine.

Once I asked him whether he had ever used his gun. Sure, he quietly said, proceeding to describe answering a call for a robbery once and cornering "this jig kid" with something in his hand. The kid wouldn't respond to an order to drop it, so my friend the policeman shot him in the face, killing him. He told the story with no emotion.

But hatred and violent stupidity weren't just on one side. When I started elementary school, we lived in a very poor neighborhood. The local school was almost all black, and I walked to school reading the ominous graffiti left by the Blackstone Rangers everywhere. But it wasn't just graffiti. Every day I was intimidated, shoved, laughed at, and knocked down on my way to school or in the school yard. Years later, that's why I would understood exactly how a little black girl in Selma felt trying simply to go to school.

Yes, the Heartland is full of unusual stories. It is a mysterious, fascinating place, one that leaves an intoxicating spell on you many years afterward. Of course, I remind myself, it could have been worse. I could have grown up in the South.

John Chuckman encourages your comments: jchuckman@YellowTimes.org

YellowTimes.org encourages its material to be reproduced, reprinted, or broadcast provided that any such reproduction must identify the original source, http://www.YellowTimes.org. Internet web links to http://www.YellowTimes.org are appreciated."

Anonymous Comrade writes "If you are curious about the worldwide revolutionary movement of the 1960's, you may want to see _A Grin without a Cat_, playing through Tuesday at Film Forum. Amazing footage assembled by a poet of the cinema, Chris Marker.


Louis Lingg writes

"The folks who assembled 'Against War and Terrorism' back in October have produced a second issue. Included is the reproduction of an essay originally published in 1981 by Lafif Lakhdar, 'Why the Reversion to Islamic Archaism?'. Lakhdar was a revolutionary, a socialist, and a colleague of and collaborator with the situationist Mustapha Khayati. He was living in Lebanon when he wrote this piece, in an effort to understand and explain events in Iran.


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