Culture

Mon
26
Jan

Raoul Vaneigem's Autobiography

To date, though there have been dozens of detailed histories written about the development of the Situationist International (the “SI”), which went through three overlapping phases between 1957 and 1972, none of them were written by a former member. Furthermore, none of the historians of the SI have been personally acquainted with the most important situationists (Michèle Bernstein, Guy Debord, Asger Jorn, Mustapha Khayati, René Viénet and Raoul Vaneigem), and so they weren’t able to offer accurate portraits of what these semi-legendary revolutionaries were like as people.

Sat
10
Dec

The Anarcho-Syndicalist Genesis of Orwell's Revolutionary Years

by Raymond S. Solomon
Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #68, Fall 2016

Orwell had four phases during his revolutionary years, lasting from late December 1936 until about the early fall of 1940. Each was significant, but all were rooted in Orwell's observations of Spain's, and especially Catalonia's, anarcho-syndicalist revolution. When Orwell went to Spain he did not know exactly what he would find. He had a letter of introduction from the Independent Labour Party. He wanted to fight against fascism, defend democracy, and support workers.

Sat
19
Nov

Introspective – Gee Vaucher from Crass to Trump

An extensive show of artist Gee Vaucher’s diverse and politically-charged body of work created over the last five decades, will exhibit at gallery Firstsite in Colchester


11th November 2016

With a show titled Introspective, Firstsite gallery in Colchester brings together 200 of Gee Vaucher’s art works. Some are recognisable, like the cover art for punk rock band Crass’ first album, The Feeding of the Five Thousand, while there are others that haven’t ever made it out of her studio before.

Fri
21
Oct

Examining the Systems of Government in Iain Banks’ Culture Series

Alex Carchidi
Sci-Fi Addicts
October 17, 2016

Anarchists, Theocrats, Monarchists, Fascists, and Sadists in the Culture Series

Iain Banks’ The Culture series is a technological space opera that is well-known for its smart investigation into the interplay between various alien societies. Each of the alien societies that have an associated political presence in space have a different form of government. The various systems of government each society has frequently dictate their interaction with the protagonists. Most of the books in the series are told from the perspective of people within The Culture.
The Culture in The Culture Series

To start off our analysis, let’s first describe the titular “Culture” so that we have an understanding of the perspective that the books are written from.

Tue
11
Oct

The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin

By Julie Phillips
The New Yorker

Politics has been obsessing a lot of people lately, and Ursula K. Le Guin is far from immune to bouts of political anger. In an e-mail to me last winter, she wrote that she felt “eaten up” with frustration at the ongoing occupation of an eastern Oregon wildlife refuge by an armed band of antigovernment agitators led by the brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy. She was distressed by the damage they had done to scientific programs and to historical artifacts belonging to the local Paiute tribe, and critical of the F.B.I. for being so slow to remove these “hairy gunslinging fake cowboys” from public property. She had been mildly cheered up, she added, by following a Twitter feed with the hashtag #BundyEroticFanFic.

Sun
28
Aug

Ursula Le Guin Has Earned a Rare Honor. Just Don’t Call Her a Sci-Fi Writer

By DAVID STREITFELD
New York TImes
AUG. 28, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. — If you’re a big-deal American writer, you hope for a couple of things to cement your legacy. Finding out one fine October morning that your presence is being requested in Sweden would be ideal. Almost as good is enshrinement in the Library of America, the closest thing to immortality between hardcovers.

The Library of America usually restricts itself to Melville, Twain, Hawthorne and the other distinguished dead. But a handful of times it has been so sure of a novelist’s importance that its austere black volumes started appearing while the writer was still alive. Eudora Welty, Saul Bellow and Philip Roth got the call.

Ursula K. Le Guin is now on this very shortlist. The library’s original idea was to begin with some of her classic science fiction. But she pressed it to start instead with a volume of her lesser-known work.

Wed
24
Aug

George Carlin’s anti-cop album, recorded prior to 9/11, to be released next month

SiriusXM announced on Wednesday it would be releasing an album of original material from comedy legend George Carlin on its “Carlin’s Corner” channel September 1st. It’s the first new material from Carlin to come to light since his death in 2008, and the reason behind its non-release quickly becomes apparent from the clip below.

Recorded just prior to 9/11, it includes material incredibly hostile to police officers, reverence for whom skyrocketed in the weeks and months after the terrorist attack.

Carlin’s frank admission that “when I was kid and went to the movies, we rooted against the police and for the crooks — and I still do” would not have gone over well in the days after 9/11.

Read more

Sun
21
Aug

Indigenous Anarchist Klee Benally In Paris

Dominique Godreche
Indian Country Today
8/19/16

Klee Benally is a Diné musician, traditional dancer, filmmaker, silversmith and well-known Indigenous anarchist who was in Paris recently to perform a few concerts, and present his new feature, Power Lines.

Raised in Black Mesa, Arizona by a Jewish, Russian-Polish mother, folk musician and a Navajo father, who was medicine man and hoop dancer, Benally learned the traditional ways from a very young age.

As a teen, he co-created the group “Blackfire” with his siblings, Jeneda and Clayson, and played with the band for 20 years.

Self-taught, he explains his approach to his culture through music, “There is no separation between art and culture in Dine’ existence.”

Mon
18
Jul

In 1988, Kurt Vonnegut Writes a Letter to People Living in 2088, Giving 7 Pieces of Advice

Open Culture

The mind of Kurt Vonnegut, like the protagonist of his best-known novel Slaughterhouse-Five, must have got “unstuck in time” somewhere along the line. How else could he have managed to write his distinctive brand of satirical but sincere fiction, hyper-aware of past, present, and future all at once? It must have made him a promising contributor indeed for Volkswagen’s 1988 Time magazine ad campaign, when the company “approached a number of notable thinkers and asked them to write a letter to the future — some words of advice to those living in 2088, to be precise.”

The beloved writer’s letter to the “Ladies & Gentlemen of A.D. 2088” begins as follows:

Thu
21
Jan

The Gut Anarchism of John Cage

Richard Kostelanetz
Reason magazine
February 2016 issue

Whenever John Cage performed, he insisted that the auditorium have accessible exits: A spectator who didn't want to stay, he said, should be able to leave easily. Cage—most famous for his 1952 composition 4'33", in which musicians sit in perfect silence for four minutes and 33 seconds—was a gut anarchist. Asked about the word ecology, the composer replied that whenever he heard that seductive word he knew he'd soon hear the word planning, and "when I hear that word, I run in the other direction." He boasted that he never voted.

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