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i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Anarchy For Sale: Book Fair Musings

March 21, 2007

I traveled to San Francisco this past weekend (March 14 - 19) to attend the 12th Annual Anarchist Book Fair. With over 50 organizations involved and two days of panel speakers, this event is anarchy's answer to traditional media conglomerates. So what exactly -is- anarchy, and what then, is the answer?

Princeton's Wordnet defines anarchy as:

"a state of lawlessness and disorder (usually resulting from a failure of government) "

Therefore, anarchy is a visible symptom of a failing system of rule. That anarchists exist, especially in the numbers seen at this most recent gathering: a mere .5% of the San Francisco population perhaps, but not bad for a lawless collective.

Judging by the range of materials available at the event (some free, most not) [and a google search that turned up this letter revealing anarchist turmoil], even anarchists can't exactly decide on a definition of anarchy -- human drama likes to intervene in just about everything and who gets to decide "right" versus "wrong" anyway?

Anarchists are people, too, people trying to get by in a capitalist world, and surviving means cash flow, which then leads to struggles of power -- inevitable in any human relationship. Most of the information at the book fair was not free and available, but instead, the book fair provided a marketplace for writers and publishers would might not have an opportunity to distribute their wares.

Many of the smaller venues had signs that announced they would accept trades, which I think is fantastic. I had nothing to offer for trades, but I had cash earmarked for the event. Anyway, George Richard Esenwein, author of Anarchist Ideology and the Working Class Movement in Spain, 1868-1898, suggests that "preferred economic systems are one of the many areas of disagreement for anarchists," so the money thing isn't anything new.

When I've had a chance to read through the materials, I will post a review, and, perhaps foolishly, an answer to that second question. Plus, I might just update you on the state of our very own print publication, but for now, I leave you with a new website to visit:

Center for Tactical Magic


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The tactical ice cream unit, sponsored by Hallmark


http://www.tacticalmagic.org/

They interned with a magician, a private investigator, and a ninja as an exploration of power in the modern world. They gave me a free popsicle and information on digging up your grandma's heirloom tomatoes. You oughta check out the projects.

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Didn't get to visit this year's book fair?

Don't worry, friend.

Here are the highlights, in no particular order:


A Giant Bike & Lip-Locked George Bush Clones

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Crappy Live Music, by Anarchists

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Those Who Dress Alike Think Alike? Maybe.

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(x-posted from greensburg)

Moira at 11:02 PM :: Comments (0) :: ::
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