Anarchists & Zines

street grafitti reading 'exercise empathy' on a light pole

So out in Oakland I made my way out to the East Bay Anarchist Book Fair which was a nice treat for a rainy day. I really value talking about social resistance and sharing literature and music and words with one another. The Humanist Hall in Oakland was the hosting venue who are tolerant hippies ready to take on the manarchists and chain smoking in the back.  It was also nice to match some faces to names and to get to re-know a friend I from college. It was strange and wonderful to realize that Laika Fox and I were taking our clothes off in Rocky Horror way back in the day. There’s something supremely awesome about crossing paths again and realize that political wheels in the mind can also be directed into swiveling hips and shaking tits.

This was a cool spread and I really do enjoy being in far left spaces. A lot of this material is niche and harder to find because it doesn’t have mass distribution. It’s true that you can access most of these ideas and many of the zines and books online but it’s also really empowering to create a space to see that others are browsing, too. I picked up books on anarchist queers, I bumped into a Syringe Exchanger that I met years ago at an HIV test training. I had been the one to roleplay his first practice positive test disclosure to and I was the intimidating one who had already been doing it for a long time. I remembered him instantly. I was so proud that he was still fighting the good fight. I totally love and support syringe exchange and overdose prevention and naxolene distribution. Sensible drug policy, to me, has always included overdose prevention as a part of first aid and CPR training. This should be integrated into all of our emergency care models.

Bash Back & Self Defense

I grabbed a Slingshot Planner for 2013. It’s been a long standing tradition since college. Sometimes it overwhelms me with data but it’s like a magic book I need in my backpack. I got hooked on them before I had Twitter to occupy my brain. I wanted an “anarchist” T-shirt but stuck with books. I enjoyed a long walk through the city of Oakland in the rain and I reflect on the conversations and the ideas. It’s nice to be building a network that is receptive to ideas about sex politics and drug conversations ranging from straight edge to full endorsements of altered states. Whether or not I agree, I enjoy hearing debates within anti-capitalist frameworks because most conversations slip into that model unwittingly. It’s the dominant form of discourse. I like hearing the vegan straight edgers, the militant anarchists, the queer radicals, and the people on the spectrum from those who violate drug laws to continue passing out syringes, those who violate gender norms in spite of active violence against them, and fierce anarcha-feminists who bring race, class, and gender together in a way that will thoroughly remove your socks.

Page from bashback

Under a tent in the hazy day with mist and rain there was a debate of passive non-violence versus tactical direct action. I think it’s vital that diversity of tactics remember that the “feminine” labor of counseling, caretaking, wound tending, nightmare processing, healing, whoring, and more are an integral component of revolution. That this is diversity of tactics along with tactical action against oppressive structures. There are a lot of jobs to do.

I’m a slut for ideas. They don’t scare me. I love them.

winter_2 005

The following weekend was the East Bay Alternative Press and Zine Fest. It was held at the Berkeley City College and there was a wide array of comics, zines, some buttons and small crafts, graphic art, and talks by some pretty cool people. There was a pretty noticeable queer presence as well as a few people also detailing mental health issues. The anarchist book fair had an intellectual/aggressive edge/conflict with the external tone. The Zine Fest had fewer manarchists and a stronger queer/feminist/politics of representation. It was a celebration and promotion of the arts.

Tarot Bush

The rainy weather has me holed up with multiple Tarot decks. I consider them flashcards for Jungian archetypes along with lessons in Hermetic Alchemy. I like mind hacks and I can see how religion offers mind hacks for consciousness. I think it’s key to maintain a grounded and humble acknowledgement that humans are hackable. Some more than others, of course, and for an array of reasons but every single one of us is being influenced by our environment. I don’t believe in the supernatural, per se, I believe in the tremendous depth of the human experience. I enjoy willfully altering my consciousness and experiencing new perspectives and stitching them together.

Dirty deck of cards

I also like the art and I’m a snob for research. I want rich referents to play with and I love loaded symbols. It’s interesting to have a comparative perspective and to take in the history and politics and regional cultures that influence different mystic traditions. I don’t take anything literally but there I do see a strong study of human psychology in the tales of the gods and in mystical experiences. I take it all in and store it away in the databases of my mind for the richness they add to all of the literature and media I consume. There’s always room for another book and another look at the card. They’re never done “speaking” which is to say we have a fluid relationship to media. We are the ones who apply meaning to them. At the same time, we often need tools to help separate our inner experiences from our outer expectations.

A woman hugs a carved penis

But that gets all woo-woo. It’s a delight and a treat to go to a library and study a tradition, a language, and material experience of the origin of an idea. I like to know as much about the context as possible. All of this gets tied into making the most of cards as a tool for mind hacking and sex play. One of my decks is very naughty although it is very het oriented.

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Hey there! Remember that I’m always available for booking at events big and small to talk about sex, drugs, and activism and that I often speak at or below my actual cost. I’ve had a great time getting to know people throughout 2012 and I am supported through private Skype bookings, consultations, performance, porn, and high fives. If you get a chance, check out my Wishlist to send some good cheer my way.

1 Comment

Filed under activism, community, culture, feminisms, politics, queer

One response to “Anarchists & Zines

  1. Pingback: 2012 | Maggie Mayhem Speaks

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