Structures of Desire: Postanarchist kink in the speculative fiction of Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany

Here we present to you a recording of Structures of Desire: Postanarchist kink in the speculative fiction of Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany, written by Lewis Call.

But Butler and Delany go further than many of their peers, for they not only provide a compelling critique of the political and sexual economies of slavery, they also provide an alternative. For Butler and Delany, erotic power exchange and play-slavery provide an antidote to the ethically bankrupt institution of slavery. These two authors thus offer us a way to begin healing the wounds which chattel slavery has left upon our culture and its philosophy of ethics. read more

FRR Audiobooks: Desert

Today we bring you one of the longest text readings in our history: Desert by Anonymous.

Here I have tried to map present and plausible futures whilst calling for a desertion from old illusions and unwinnable battles in favour of the possible. I would hope that the implicit call throughout, for us to individually and collectively desert the cause of class society/civilisation, was clear. Yet I can already hear the accusations from my own camp; accusations of deserting the cause of Revolution, deserting the struggle for Another World. Such accusations are correct. I would rejoin that such millenarian and progressive myths are at the very core of the expansion of power. We can be more anarchic than that. read more

A Funny Thought on a New Way to Play

This is a reading of Alejandro de Acosta’s A Funny Thought on a New Way to Play.

 

Turn to your parents or children and say, “this is a game.” Turn to your friends and enemies and say, “this is a game.” Say silently to your self and any imaginary entities you discover in solitude, “this is a game.” See what happens next.

What are all the games we are playing and what are their structures, patterns, and implications outside of that game context? read more

FRR Audiobooks: The Unique and Its Property, Translator’s Introduction by Wolfi Landstreicher


Though obviously anyone can read this book and use it as they see fit, I made this translation first of all for my own pleasure, and secondly as a gift to other aware, willful, and rebellious self-creators as a tool and a weapon in their project of creating their lives on their own terms against all that would impose upon them.

Stirner found enjoyment in writing this.  His grin stretches across the pages and reminds all of us who rebel and create for ourselves that this is all one great, wild, joyful joke played on every “higher value,” a book intended to pull the rug out from under everything that anyone holds sacred.

 

Editing and Voice and Sound by J

Posting to the internets by rydra wrong

FRR Books Podcast Episode 2: The Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins

“What bothers most critics of my work is the goofiness. One reviewer said I need to make up my mind if want to be funny or serious. My response is that I willhttps://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/hostedimages/1425497478i/13898278.jpg make up my mind when God does, because life is a commingling of the sacred and the profane, good and evil. To try and separate them is fallacy.”

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood”

 

The Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins is a wet dream for any us who love the outlaw, who believe that an individual human life can still be romantic, and that group-think and humorlessness are the real evils of our world.  Tom Robbins is a strange man for anarchists to read, but if we can accept the good with the bad, and the funny with the serious, then we can forgive or at least understand Tom Robbin’s tendency toward new age hippie fallacies.  We can look more deeply into this and appreciate his keen insights into the ways each of us surrender to ourselves, others and society, and the ways it is possible to free ourselves from these same forces.  How can we not love a book that begins with an outlaw coming out of bombing retirement to blow up the biggest meeting of the leftist minds he dubs the Care Fest(a collection of liberals , the Dalai Lama, Ralph Nader, and all those in the world who seek to better the world by controlling it).  Bernard Wrangle only has one life philosophy, Yuk or Yum, and he lives by it.  This book is an exploration into the heart of a collectivist and an individualist, one who is a world saver and one who knows how to live in the world.

The main difference between the two main characters Leigh Cheri and Bernard Wrangle is articulated by Leigh Cheri when she says “I’m always trying to change the world.  You know how to live in it.”  Some of us know both of these perspectives, others do not.  The trouble with anarchism as it stands today is that many who are interested in it are interested in an attempt to save the world.  Some, like myself, make it through and come out somewhere else, without the interest/need/guilt of saving the world and instead make a suicide pact with ourselves that we are going to figure out just how the fuck to live in it.   This means a few things:

  • Confronting the real, taking an honest assessment of the situation, and realizing that there is not a possible way to “fix” or “save” this world.  We take the blame off society(while still being opposed to it) and put it on ourselves to change our relationship with ourselves and all around us.
  • Accepting that there is no good or evil or morality or ethics, and that any of that stuff is just personal aesthetics or agreements we make with ourselves and others we are close to.
  • Looking death in the eyes, and saying “alright old buddy, it’s you and me.”
  • read more

    Off The Leash: Iconoclastic & Anti-Social Words

    There are innumerable splits between “anarchists.”  Some disagree about economics, strategies of resistance, and a seemingly infinite number of isms.  I find the most important split to be between social and anti-social.  What need is there for social and anti-social anarchists to “work together.”  This is something I just don’t understand.  Anyone who seeks to build a new mass society is someone I have a fundamental and irreparable split with…in essence, we are enemies.  People who believe that everyone is an anarchist are my enemies. People who can look at history and see progress towards freedom or compassion or social change that is desirable are my enemies.  People who see human nature as freedom loving are my enemies.  I see a few who burn with the desire for an ephemeral freedom and a huge majority of people who are not only willing but eager to submit themselves to society, a cause,  a partner.  People who refuse to acknowledge that slaves(including me and most reading this) are responsible for their condition, are my enemies.  My enemies are the existing and the existent.  As an anti-social anarchist I find myself constantly surrounded by my own enemies.  Friends are difficult to find, harder to keep, and a rare find for one who chooses freedom as value.

    So here are some writings from people who chose freedom as an arbitrary value and who refused to believe this could be given to them by a society, a person, anyone but themselves.  This one is for anyone who has been alone and felt a rush of electricity run through their body and light them up with life.

     

    Text at:  www.darkmatter.noblogs.org

    Introduction by anonymous

    I Am Also A Nihilist by Renzo Novatore

    Unbridled Freedom by Enzo Martucci

     

    Voiced by rydra wrong, Kahar and Big Cat

    Sound and Editing by Big Cat and rydra wrong

    For stupid anarchy names, arbitrary values, and an ephemeral and eternal “no” towards the existent

     

    A Burglar’s Guide to the City

    

    Does a house control your thought process? How does the structure of a city limit not only your movement, but the way you can think?

    You can’t throw a brick without finding a discussion of the way social structures restrain and contain us – the ways that gender, sex, race, wealth, government, law, language or whatever affect our ability to move through the world. There’s a physical built world around us too, and it wields equal authority over our bodies.

    We’re wading through a world designed to force our movement in certain ways. There’s obvious examples of this: the maze-like structures of shopping malls or casinos, twisting mirrored corridors obfuscating exits but always focusing your attention on something that needs spending on. Schools, banks, prisons and office buildings are built with an intended purpose, obviously, but how does simply walking through the front doors or even looking at one from the outside effect you, scare you, or inspire your productivity by limiting sunshiney access to a window? Why is the master bedroom upstairs, the storage in the basement, the bathroom so small? What, exactly, is the point of a closet?

    A Burglar’s Guide to the City explores the architectural world around us by examining the movements of those that defy those structures and the “correct” way they’re supposed to be used. If we’ve managed to move beyond the social and moral boundaries of this world, burglars have defied the more literal functions of inside, outside, floor, ceiling, or path, hall, doorway – and maybe ‘human’.

    “People cut into one room only to emerge from the one next door moments later—but they do so on all fours, using doors meant for animals, or they squirm through holes in the floor like worms, like serpents, as if shape-shifting back and forth between species, between minerals and plants, burrowing their way into buildings before disappearing again through the ceiling in ways that architects would never have imagined nor planned.” read more

    The Broken Teapot

    We present to you a reading of The Broken Teapot, 2nd Edition, put out by Sprout Distro.

    From the Sprout Distro site:

    The Broken Teapot (2nd Edition) is a collection of five essays that explore the limitations of current anarchist models of “accountability” in situations of rape and abuse. The zine raises a number of important questions regarding the “accountability processes” that have been developed over the past ten or so years to deal with these issues within the anarchist space. It’s an important piece to consider when thinking about how “broken” we all are.

    I read this zine about a year ago, and at that point the only interaction that I had with accountability processes was as a third party observer in an activist group. A few times, someone would be declared a criminal for committing the crime of sexual misconduct, or perhaps they were declared a (too overtly) racist/sexist, and then sides would form, loud online discussions would take place, and eventually the ‘abuser’ and some of their side would be banished. This happened a few times, but it was people who I didn’t particularly care about so I wasn’t invested.

    A few months after reading this zine, it happened in the punk house I used to live in. I still knew most of the people living there, so I was definitely invested. I could see the patterns pointed out by this zine as they were happening. Maybe it was because these people were my friends, or maybe it was because I had the framing of this zine, but this time around I had much more sympathy for team ‘abuser’, and how this would turn their lives upside down. The story ends a few months later with no one I know left at the punk house.

    This zine has been out since 2012. It has good ideas about accountability processes. It’d be nice to say it’s changed the way “we” deal with trauma, but it looks like the same mistakes are being made over and over. Enjoy the zine and have a good cry about how bad we are at conflict.

    By Dirtroll.

    Timing:

  • 0:00 Introduction – Anonymous
  • 11:20 Safety is and Illusion: Reflections on Accountability – Anguistia Celeste
  • 26:25 Love You Too Much – Alex Gorrion
  • 46:28 Questioning Rape – Anonymous
  • 1:22:35 Half a dozen lessons I might never learn, not until those troubles come around – Anonymous
  • read more

    The Last Messiah by Peter Zappfe

    “Why, then, has mankind not long ago gone extinct during great epidemics of madness? Why do only a fairly minor number of individuals perish because they fail to endure the strain of living – because cognition gives them more than they can carry?” asks Peter Wessel Zapffe in his 1933 essay, “The Last Messiah.” For him, the cosmic panic he saw endemic to the capacity for meaning-making burdened his species with a perpetual psychic scramble to avoid absorption into the infinite regression which under girds that capacity. For anarchists, the whole of the world as it is faces them with similarly unthinkable problems whose sheer magnitude, complexity, or both render them as in fact meaningless by dint of scopes in excess of the capacity for a given brain to cognize them, terminating thought into impermeably blank anagnorisis. Having achieved a state of no mind, only those with suitable religious inclinations bother remaining here for long.

    “Cultural history, as well as observation of ourselves and others, allow the following answer: Most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness,” continues Zapffe, marking the out of which anarchists avail themselves as often as any other simulacra raised in the image of Man the Wise. Posed with inhuman problems which are nonetheless problems both of humans and for humans, though many elect to turn away it is understandable that one would find themselves nonetheless compelled to act toward the embetterment of their world. Whichever way they turn, however, apostate and fidelitous alike find themselves already caged by the funhouse mirrors of their own failed gnosis.

    “The whole of living that we see before our eyes today is from inmost to outmost enmeshed in repressional mechanisms, social and individual; they can be traced right into the tritest formulas of everyday life,” he continues, laying down modes of defense by which his species avoids the hazard at the center of their own psychic ontologies. By these same methods, anarchists, and conceivably all confronted by truly larger than life matters, find ways to ignore their problems, bury themselves in dogmatic commitment to project-hobbies, and treat whatever matter is at hand as effectively reducible to an arena in which they, preferably, already hold mastery.

    Failed imaginations an oubliette for every revolution.

    Voiced and Edited: Linn O’ Mable

    Words: Jacob

    Slaving away on the computer: rydra wrong

    They Who Marry Do Ill by Voltairine De Cleyre

     

    “So much as I have been able to put together the pieces of the universe in my small head, there is no absolute right or wrong; there is only a relativity, depending on the consciously though very slowly altering condition of a social race in respect to the rest of the world. Right and wrong are social conceptions: mind, I do not say human conceptions. The names “right” and “wrong,” truly, are of human invention only; but the conception “right” and “wrong,” dimly or clearly, has been wrought out with more or less effectiveness by all intelligent social beings. And the definition of Right, as sealed and approved by the successful conduct of social beings, is: That mode of behavior which best serves the growing need of that society.”

    This is the beginning of Voltairine De Cleyre’s talk “They Who Marry do Ill.”  My appreciation for this 110 year old essay begins with her nihilistic beginning.  It would be lovely if we could all agree that there is no right or wrong, that this is an anthropocentric opinion.  Is there such thing as a good racoon, a good or bad strain of the ebola virus, an evil elephant?  The obviousness of this thought is obscured by the religiosity of humans.  I freely admit that any sort of ethics that I could be accused of are really just my personal aesthetics, which I do not deny have been heavily influenced and informed by things over which I have no control: the place and time I was born, my body, and innumerous other crucial factors that have formed any myth I have an essential self with principles and beliefs.  As Voltairine says, “Now my opponents know where to find me.”  Good luck.

    It seems to me that the popular opinion nowadays about polyamory/monogamy conversations is “people should do whatever makes them happy.”  To me though, there is nothing more important than my interpersonal relationships, sexual or otherwise.  Voltairine takes shots at people who are “married” whether they are polyamorous or monogamous.  As an individualist, the issue for her is individual freedom and for us to have moment to moment freedom to act as we wish.  I desire to form relationships with people as they come, and I desire the same for those I care about.  In the past I have been monogamous and functionally married when polyamorous.  We know what this looks like, it is close communion with a partner, and closeness breeds contempt.  It is my desire to have a friendship baseline for anyone I am close with and for physical intimacy come out of a place of mutual desire and not obligation.  Growing up in a christian/religious society most of us are overloaded with guilt, and it is my wish to eliminate as much of this from myself as possible.  If you are capable of asking a person you care about to limit their physical or emotional affections to just yourself without feeling guilty, then congratulations, but this is not for me.

    Perhaps the most important aspect of this essay though is its understanding of another often ignored cliche, that people change.  Voltairine writes, “bodies, like souls, do most seldom, almost never, parallel each other’s development. And this lack of parallelism is the greatest argument to be produced against marriage. No matter how perfectly adapted to each other two people may be at any given time, it is not the slightest evidence that they will continue to be so.”  These words again strike at the religious nature of anarchists.  It attacks the notion of fixed ideas, and stasis.  Voltairine acknowledges that hopefully humans change ideas, bodies, and desires over time, and that it is rare for these desires to closely parallel enough for long term close communion.  Many anarchists believe they have found answers, believing that they are on a path with a destination instead of an endless journey.  If we can admit this to ourselves, and open our bodies and minds to the notion of fluidity and change, then we can change the way we orient ourselves in our personal relationships.

    “That love and respect may last, I would have unions rare and impermanent. That life may grow, I would have men and women remain separate personalities. Have no common possessions with your lover more than you might freely have with one not your lover. Because I believe that marriage stales love, brings respect into contempt, outrages all the privacies and limits the growth of both parties, I believe that “they who marry do ill.”

    Voice, editing, & production by rydra wrong