Saturday, November 21, 2009

Like many things, writing this blog began in earnest because of a crisis.

The crisis came out of the first anti-globalization protest that I went to. It wasn't big. In fact, I don't think that many people know about it. It took place in Chicago in 2002. I went up there with a few friends who were from Chicago and who were friends with the people organizing it. The expectations that I had for it went far and wide because previously I had been very isolated geographically, living in the extreme south of Florida, and had been unable to get to many of the events that went on in the years following the WTO protest. What I found instead of a hopeful experience was a discouraging one that made me question my whole commitment to the scene itself.

The folks who were organizing it were more anarchist and punk oriented than I was, the friends that I went up with sharing the same culture. Because I didn't share a lot of the same outward values there was immense distrust of me, even eventually by my friends themselves, so much so that I got into a large argument with my companions leading to the dissolution of our friendships permanently. I had been cut out from helping altogether, instead just dumped in the plaza where the protest was happening and left for hours until my friends showed up for the main march. In general it sucked beyond belief.

I had trusted in the good will of these folks and had been let down severely, and what I experienced in the wake of it was a profound sense of disease relating to the whole anti-globalization movement. Was this really it? Was this what it was actually about? Or was this some sort of an aberration? If it was an aberration in the anti-globalization movement, then was this still representative of anarchist subculture as a whole? In the end I found my answer in a greater skepticism of self appointed leaders, and didn't give up the values that I'd been working on for years before. But I was still alienated from a culture that I had put lots of work into.

It was the reckoning with that alienation that persisted that gave rise to an acceleration of the rate of writing done for this website, as I went on my own trip to find my own answers instead of depending on an outward movement of some kind to provide them....if I could only locate them, right? I had located some of them and they had profoundly disappointed me, leaving me with a sort of vacuum that had to be filled somehow if I was to go forward with being a radical.

That's when the really weird ideas, ideas that I'm proud of, started coming into play and why they started appearing in the first place: unconventional answers to fill that very vacuum and put me on what I considered to be a surer radical footing than I obviously had before.

My other experiences with anti-globalization protests and personalities were much better, by the way.

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