Burnt Bookmobile

69: Ungdomshuset Film Screening

June 9th


at the CCC (732 E Clarke St.)

From the film summary:

“Ungdomshuset (literally “the Youth House”) was the popular name of the building formally named Folkets Hus (“House of the People”) located on Jagtvej 69 in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, which functioned as an underground scene venue for music and rendezvous point for varying anarchist and leftist groups from 1982 until 2007. On 1 March 2007 Ungdomshuset was cleared of its occupants by the police at about 7:00 in the morning, sparking days of intense rioting and giving birth to a widespread social movement that fought for a new space for alternative culture.

“69”, directed and shot by first-time filmmaker Nikolaj Viborg, looks at the dramatic events leading up to the authorities clearing Ungdomshuset on 1 March 2007 and the conflict that ensued. The film recently won the prestigious talent New Nordic Voices award at Nordisk Panorama 2008.”

This is a Free Screening, with possibly a discussion after the end of the film if people who come are interested.

Semiotext(e) order and general update
05/20/2010, 8:24 PM
Filed under: Milwaukee area, update

We ordered:

-15 Introduction to Civil War
-10 the Screwball Asses
-5 a Thousand Machines
-1 Passionate Mistakes
-1 Grammar of the Multitude
-2 All the Kings Horses
-1 Correspondence
-2 Hanibal Lector My Father

A few items are already out of stock since we have received them or have sold many copies (most of Introduction to Civil War by Tiqqun have sold out). Pricing is also only listed in the catalog for titles we have more than two copies of. Everything is generally half off, but if you’re wondering what the prices are feel free to email us.

We’re also done tabling at UWM for the semester since classes are done. Over the summer we will tabling at shows, block parties, festivals and other events. If you have any suggestions for events you think we should be at please let us know.

The Morbid Explosion of Ideology
05/15/2010, 5:12 PM
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: , , , , ,

This is an interesting piece of harsh criticism motivated by frustration from the responses to the three workers who died in the bank fire last week in Greece.

from Occupied London:

“Why is this age worse than earlier ages?

In a stupor of grief and dread

have we not fingered the foulest wounds

and left them unhealed by our hands?

(Anna Akhmatova “Why is this age worse?”, 1919)

On May the 5th the explosion of ideology that has plagued radical circles for some time now reached its tragic apex: 3 dead bank workers. With few honourable exceptions, in the next days knee-jerk reactions to the deaths consisted of blaming the police, the bosses, or even more abstractly Capital and the State for the carnage. Among these accusatory rituals, the lack of self-criticism is deafening. If the great silence were merely the result of some sort of existential numbness, it would be purely proof of the radicals’ inability to cope with the inevitable. Yet this silence is structural. It is an organisational component of the degeneration of the radical movement into a cult with its own oaths of secrecy, its own rules of speaking the truth, and of course its own precious totems and taboos.

After almost 16 months since December 2008 there has been an astonishing lack of critical analysis on the social uprising and the conditions of possibility and impossibility that it has opened. On this arid soil a morbid plant has cast its roots: a string of actions that can only be interpreted as ritual invocations for the return of the event, a mode of fidelity to December that both fails to recognise its historically situated uniqueness and attempts to substitute its spontaneous social dynamism with the programmatic dynasticism of some revolutionary vanguard. Such actions, focused as they are on the implementation of some absolute truth, are not only pillaging the event of December of its radical potential, but are projecting into the future the image of an evental trace which is intelligible only in terms of an impotent present, a present that contains no positivity other than an imagined negation of negation, that Hegelian double-bind that entraps the social into a dialectical circle of the return of the same: authoritarianism. Thus all that made the bourgeois criticism against the December Uprising (in terms of “nihilistic narcissism”, “a vicious sterile circle”, etc.) look like a Persian exercise of beating the sea with chains, today acquires a disturbing validity that can only make us conclude that the worst enemy of the revolution are the revolutionaries themselves.

Some people during the last general strike march, seeing 200,000 protestors roaring in rage and some even trying to storm the steps to Parliament, could only think of a means to perform their own petty identity as the vanguard of militancy. For that is what this cult has at its core: rituals of performativity, rituals of sustaining and reproducing the equilibrium of “toughness”, of “strength”, of “militancy”, of “fist-readiness”, or what may the symbolic order of rebel-masculinity consist of. Violence, so abstractly demonised by the bourgeoisie, is only a functional component of this process – not the objectified problem but the effect of an acutely problematic relation. A relation of competition for the most “advanced”, the most “dynamic” action, the most aggressive and seemingly uncompromising “attack”, the most one-dimensional being-in-the-world. What connects all these performances of “revolutionary singularity” is not their violence per se, but the vainglorious competitive culture of militaristic machoness. The establishment of a gendered hierarchy of “will” to the exclusion of the open mass-struggles that are developing throughout the country: a new Stalinism.

Voluntaristic activism, that bastard of the worst Blanquist traditions of the Left, is thus posing self-content as a spectacular substitute to the long and painful processes of self-organisation and proletarian recomposition. With the abyss of egoistic ambition as its only promise, it threatens to devour any sense of principled struggle, any sensibility of egalitarian responsibility towards social emancipation, and any value of mutual help.  This militantism is growing into the symptomal kernel of an ailing society. And like all symptoms it functions only so that this society and its ailment endure.

The 5th of May signalled the final end of innocence. In its nearly four years of publication Flesh Machine has tried to introduce into the radical movement a critical perspective in the hope to sweep away the stale air of revolutionary ritualism and help equip people who genuinely care for the creation of a social and desiring rupture with tools of analysing the real in non-dogmatic ways. This was an effort based on the tradition of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Judith Butler, the great heretics of western philosophy and aesthetics.  Trying to engage these in the actual social struggles of its time was the prime goal of the magazine and its auxiliary publications, a process not without its problems or contradictions, yet sincerely committed to social and desiring emancipation. If Flesh Machine was in its own terms a desiring machine, it has turned out to be a locomotive deprived of its tracks. An effort of deterritorialisation (in terms of theory, ethics and aesthetics) that can no longer relate to the ground it originally invested as a plane of immanence. Rather than degenerating into a frustrated and resentful process of intellectual exploration within an increasingly alienated environment, Flesh Machine and its human component have decided to withdraw their labour, and interrupt permanently any contribution to the radical milieu.

This move will be inevitably interpreted by professional revolutionaries as a final proof of the bourgeois nature of the project, of the weakness of intellectuals, of the treachery of academics at the “height of the struggle” and so on and so forth. We leave them at their antiquated Marxist meta-narrative to enjoy the surplus-enjoyment of their position as being eternally right on the condition that they always fail. Let them remember however that the breaking point of every revolutionary process is when subjects who have no objective class interest in the revolution but who are committed to social emancipation because of an ethical mode of inhabiting the world decide that the revolutionary process in place can only lead to a new form of tyranny. Some people will remember the murder of Kitsos Maltezos, more the Soviet invasion of Hungary, the Chinese invasion of Vietnam etc. – these were events that revealed how the revolutionaries, being so preoccupied with changing the world, had forgotten to change themselves and were thus bound to reproduce the same old world in ever more suffocating and brutal versions of authoritarianism. This does not mean that all revolutionary processes are doomed to failure – for they only do so when people forget that what lies outside the state of things is always-already part of a structural relation of that state of things. Only when people forget to walk through the Oedipal wound that constitutes them in their negation of the symbolic Other.

In its desertion Flesh Machine does not forget the readers who have supported this heretical project and pointed out at its various mistakes and weaknesses. With them lies the force of rupturing thought and critique. With them lies the force of responsibility.

FIN (En Fin)

Flesh Machine, 10 May 2010


Summer Theory Discussion Supplementary reading for ‘The Society of the Spectacle’

“The only possible basis for understanding this world is to oppose it; and such opposition will be neither genuine nor realistic unless it contests the totality.” -Guy Debord

Sorry this is a bit late in being posted… These texts and links should be helpful for understanding the context, theoretical background and summary of the ideas in The Society of the Spectacle and further readings relating to the Situationists and the Situationist International (S.I.). If people have other suggestions for good critical introductions or texts that are interesting that relate to these ideas please post them to the comments to share them.


-Introduction to the Situationists by Jan D. Matthews (imposed) (for reading)

Bring Out Your Dead by Endnotes (for reading) (This is more of a introduction to communization, but still relates a lot of the Situationist project and is very interesting)

Paris: May 1968 Compiled by Prole.info (imposed)

Making Sense of the Situationists compiled by Prole.info (imposed)

-Situationist text archives: Nothingness , Bureau of Public Secrets and Situationist International Online

Other reading in book form:

Situationist International Anthology Compiled by Ken Knabb

Beneath the Paving Stones Compiled by Darkstar Press

Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vanegiem

War-Zone Athens: three people dead, many buildings burning as general strike march turns into a battle
05/05/2010, 1:22 PM
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: , , , , ,

From Libcom:

“Three people have suffocated to death as a result of a fire in Marfin Bank during ongoing battles between anti-measure protesters and police in Athens.

The Athens protest march marking the zenith of the general strike called for the 5th of May was attended by an approximate 200,000 (20,000 which is the foreign broadcast number referring to the PAME march alone), although because of lack of media coverage due to the media participation in the general strike no concrete estimates can be made. After the PAME (Communist Party union) protesters left Syntagma square, the first lines of the main march started arriving before the Parliament with the first clashes erupting at the end of Stadiou street. The march then walked on the Unknown Soldier grounds leading the Presidential Guard to retreat, and attempted to storm the Parliament but was pushed back by riot police forces which today demonstrated a particularly staunch attitude and resolve against the demonstrators. Soon battles erupted around the Parliament with protesters throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks, with one riot police armored van torched, and the police responding by extended use of tear gas that soon made Athens’ atmosphere unbearably acrid. As more blocks reached Syntagma square, the battles spread across the city center and lasted for more than five hours.

During the clashes several state buildings were set ablaze including the County Headquarters of Attika. At the time of writing the Ministry of Finance is reported to be on fire, and vital tax documents as destroyed by the raging fire. However the strange thing is that it is the fourth floor of the building that is burning, at a height inapproachable to petrol bombs. The building is in danger of total collapse.

According to news reports that began at 14:00 Greek time after, under pressure by the events, most radio and TV stations decided to break their strike, claim that the fire at Marfin Bank’s Stadiou street branch that has led to the death of three workers (one a pregnant woman) was started by protesters. However this remains an unsubstantiated claim. A similar case three decades ago had originally put the blame for the fire at Kappa-Marousi building on Panepistimiou street, leading to the death of several people inside, to anarchists, while its was later proved the fire was caused by tear gas fired by the police.

A video of the fire-brigade trying to evacuate the building can be seen in http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8661385.stm

After the tragic death of the three workers made the round of Athens, new clashes started to spread in the Greek capital, with a large crowd gathered outside the burned bank when Marfin’s boss tried to visit the site. Clashes broke out between the crowd and police when the former attacked the bank magnate accusing him of forcing the dead workers to scab on a general strike and locking them in the building despite them demanding to evacuate it since 12:00.

In Parliament the Communist Party of Greece has accused the government for the deaths, claiming it was a result of agents provocateur fascist groups. The claims of the Communist Party are based on the fact that 50 fascists tried to enter the PAME demo bearing the flags of the union earlier in the morning. The fascists were spotted, chased and sought refuge behind riot police lines. Accusing the extreme-right as being behind the deaths, the Coalition of Radical Left has declared in Parliament that the government cannot pretend to be in grief for the loss of life, as it has been attacking human life by all means possible.

Meanwhile, extended clashes broke out in Salonika where approximately 50,000 people marched destroying dozens of banks and corporate shops in Greece’s second largest city. Clashes with the police continued for several hours. According to news broadcasts anarchist have occupied the Labour Center of the city.

In Patras, around 20,000 protesters were joined by tractor drivers and garbage truck drivers on their vehicles, as flaming barricades were erected along central streets of the city and clashes developed between protestors and the police.

In Ioannina the protesters attacked banks and corporate shops leading to extended use of chemicals by the police. In Heraklion, 10,000 people are reported as marching against the measures. In Corfu, protesters taking part in the anti-measures march occupied the County Headquarters. Protesters have occupied the Administrative Headquarters of Naxos and the City Hall of Naoussa.

As a result of the Athens riots, the police have cordoned off the entire center of the city, erecting check points of entry and exit, while all police work permits have been recalled. At the time of writing battles continue to rage in the inner city, while news broadcasts claim the police is mobilising its forces to storm an anarchist squat in Exarcheia.”



An employee from the bank where the three workers died made this statement

may day riot porn from Greece…
05/04/2010, 10:35 AM
Filed under: war-machine

and the winner of best may day goes to… Santa Cruz

They even lit their hipster cafe on fire…

Santa Cruz:

“SANTA CRUZ – A large group of protesters demonstrating at a May Day rally for worker’s and immigrant rights downtown broke off into a riot vandalizing about a dozen businesses around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Many in the group were carrying makeshift torches as they marched, breaking storefront windows and writing “anarchist graffiti” on buildings, according to Capt. Steve Clark. Many businesses sustained multiple broken windows including very large storefront windows at Urban Outfitters and The Rittenhouse building. Police believe at least 15 businesses suffered damage.

The violence was initiated from a group holding a rally at the town clock for May Day. Windows at Jamba Juice and Velvet Underground were left shattered and graffiti including anarchy signs were tagged onto buildings.

Because of the size and violent demeanor of the crowd, Santa Cruz police asked for help from all agencies in the county to break up the riot. At one point, protesters lit a fire on the porch of Caffe Pergolesi and blocked access to firefighters, officers said. Police were able to clear out the demonstrators before more damage was caused.”