Category Archives: Anti-Civ Philosophy

FUCK Columbus Day!

I mean the title in both ways–1) Fuck This Day Wherein Christopher Columbus is Celebrated and 2) It’s a suggestion for a new holiday–A Day Where Instead of Celebrating Him, We Say FUCK COLUMBUS.

Brainwashed Americans Celebrate GENOCIDE On Columbus Day.”

Read, with source material, about some of Columbus’s violent activities.

As American Indian activist and scholar Ward Churchill says in his talks, recorded on his seminal 2-disc CD “In a Pig’s [please excuse the speciesist language] Eye:  Reflections on the Police State, Repression, and Native America” (click HERE to learn more/buy from its publisher, AK Press):

…on that day…on the 12th of October, 1492, when a lost Italian seaman, flying the flag of Spain, washed up on a beach in the Carribean, half a world away from where he thought he was, and got himself known as “The Great Navigator.”  Yeah.

You can actually listen to the amazing, inspiring, incredibly informative talk by Ward Churchill in several parts on YouTube HERE!

Ward’s passion and uncompromising militancy is an inspiration to nearly all who hear him speak and many who read his work.

Columbus was the real savage:  he tortured native peoples to try to convert them to Christianity, he enslaved them, he murdered them, and he raped native women.  So this country proudly celebrates a TORTURER, ENSLAVER, RAPIST, AND MURDERER of innocent, peaceful native peoples.  What the FUCK is wrong with this culture??

Oh yeah–this culture is sociopathological.  Look at the people we celebrate and elevate to hero and even near-deity status.  It’s not just Columbus, not by a long shot.  Take our your purse or wallet and look at your different denominations of cash (if you have any in this economy!); the 1-dollar-bill, George Washington:  slave owner, American Indian butcher–a number of tribes helped the American colonists in their fight against the British in the Revolution, and then after the dust settled Washington ordered those tribes be destroyed for supposedly aiding the British!  He owned slaves his entire life, and when the U.S. capital was in Philadelphia, he exploited a loophole to keep his slaves when normally they’d be freed after 6 months of living there.  He also signed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, which was one of the most horrendous laws ever put on the books for slaves; it gave southern slaveowners the right to capture and bring back south “their” slaves even if those individuals were able to escape to and settle in “free” northern states.

Now take out your 5-dollar-bill.  That’s right, even “Honest Abe” has some answering to do for his legacy.  He didn’t care about freeing slaves; his concern was with preserving the Union.  “The Great Emancipator”–my great asshole!  Granted, he did claim to be morally and politically opposed to slavery, and never owned slaves, BUT–and this is a big deal–he repeatedly said that he had *no intention or desire to free the slaves in southern states.*  Lincoln said–and this is a direct quote:  “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union.”

In the interest of brevity, we’ll skip ahead and finish up with that elusive 20-dollar-bill.  Andrew Jackson is probably the worst of the lot.  He owned a vast (over 1,000 acres eventually) plantation that was mostly cotton, worked by slaves; estimates vary, but in all likelihood he owned several hundred at some point in his life.  He also initiated the cultural and physical genocide of American Indians by displacing them from their native lands (think Trail of Tears), stealing literally tens of millions of acres from them, forcing them ever westward to make way for white settlers.

These are the motherfuckers we CELEBRATE?  This is truly equivalent to Germany having a “Hitler Day” which is a national holiday where we’re all supposed to laud him as the “Great Conquerer” or something, with statues of him erected all over the country.  This country is INSANE.  Because it’s a part of the dominant culture, industrial civilization, which is killing the planet and wiping out vast, unfathomable numbers of nonhuman species and human indigenous cultures.  It must be stopped.

And Columbus Day is a symbol of that insanity, that sociopathology.  So join me in screaming from the rooftops, FUCK COLUMBUS DAY!!!!!

"Fuck Columbus & All Other Cannibals!" This kid gets it--why can't the rest of Amerika?

“Fuck Columbus & All Other Cannibals!” This kid gets it–why can’t the rest of Amerika?

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Trayvon–Just Another Victim of Our Culture of Death

Don’t just be mad about the Trayvon Martin verdict. Be mad about the totality of America’s creeping techno-fascist police state and its non-creeping (i.e. Been here forever), institutionalized, normalized-to-the-point-where-most-people-(especially whites)-don’t-even-notice-it Racism.

Did you know that America, 2013 America, the “land of the free,” imprisons more blacks than apartheid South Africa? I got snagged in the net of the prison-industrial complex in Illinois, where blacks constitute 13 percent of the total population but 76 PERCENT of the prison population. Every single person at the prison was forced to have a job. The average “pay” was about $0.25 an hour. You read that right—twenty-five (25) cents an hour. This is so close to slavery that it might as well just be called slavery. And there are some three million Americans in prison or on some form of parole/probation. There are Black Panthers still locked up for crimes most of them didn’t even commit. Think Mumia Abu-Jamal. Think the MOVE 9. Geronimo Pratt was framed by the FBI for murder, and it took 25 years for him to be exonerated and released. Can you imagine even spending a single year in prison for a crime you didn’t commit, let alone 25 of them?

If you are white, ask a black friend (if you have any) what it’s like to take a walk in an even just moderately decent white neighborhood. Or what it’s like to go shopping. Or what they feel when they see a cop car.

And please, please remember that while we’re all getting so outraged about George Zimmerman (I’m outraged too, don’t get me wrong), the U.S. government and its military is dropping bombs on and machine-gunning innocent people of color, murdering them by the hundreds of thousands, and have been doing so with only short intervals of cessation since the country’s very inception.

Demand justice for Trayvon Martin. But if we get it, don’t stop there. It is not a matter of isolated incidents, of “accidents” by police officers and the military. It is a basic function of the dominant culture. It is a fundamental characteristic of industrial civilization, which is, as Derrick Jensen perfectly and pithily states, “based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence” (Endgame, Volumes 1 and 2, Premises).

We are not living in a broken System that can be reformed and fixed. This System (i.e. industrial civilization) we are living with is, rather, a gangrenous limb, the toxic and murderous nature of which is spreading; you don’t try to put a Band-aid on a gangrenous rotting limb, you don’t try to put makeup on the thing to make it appear slightly less ghastly; you cut the fucker off. You stop it from killing the entire organism—in other words, from killing the life-support systems of the Earth, which we depend on for our very survival, as do millions of other species of animals (of which we are just one, and no better than any other—far far worse, in fact). Don’t just demand that George Zimmerman be held accountable. Demand that our entire culture be held accountable for its Racism, Sexism, Violence, Anthropocentrism, and Wanton Destruction of the Natural World.

And then act accordingly.

The real tragedy is that America exists.

The real tragedy is that America exists.

Interview with ALF Arsonist/Prisoner Walter Bond

FANTASTIC interview with Animal Liberation Front arsonist, political prisoner and green anarchist Walter Bond.

“…we will have to not only get rid of the road we are on, but also get rid of the road.”

“No machine is morally neutral when it’s sole design and intent is to eviscerate, vivisect, slash cut and transport the splintered, destroyed and devastated remains of the biosphere! The technologies we use to heal the sick and, lessen pain and suffering and generally make the human world a more comfortable place are scant in comparison to the damage done.”

Profane Existence

walterbondWALTER BOND INTERVIEW

Punk bands tour the world singing anthems that promote militant direct action & activism, putting out albums with flaming Molotovs emblazoned across their covers, with militant messages; but few of us ever truly put those words into action. Walter Bond on the other hand has spent decades working tirelessly, whether leafleting at shows and in the streets, tabling at Pride events, protesting, or volunteering at animal sanctuaries before finally turning to the more militant tactics of the Animal Liberation Front. Walter is a proud anarchist, Vegan, of Latino heritage, who identifies as bisexual. He also is currently a prisoner  in one of the most controversial and restrictive prisons in the USA today.

I have been writing to Walter in prison since he was first arrested 2 years ago, after his brother snitched him out. At the time of his arrest, Walter…

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Christopher Dorner–Not the REAL Bad Guy

Yes, you read that right. But before you dismiss or despise me, at least read my argument—it is an important one.

doner-close

Christopher Dorner claimed in his Manifesto that the Los Angeles Police Department has only gotten worse since the days of Rodney King. He said he was fired from the LAPD for reporting his partner after the cop kicked a mentally ill individual three times in the chest and face during an arrest, which Dorner reported as Excessive Force. Given the well-known brutality and thugishness of police in general and the LAPD in particular, this is a highly believable claim. If Rodney King and countless other examples have taught us anything, it’s that cops protect their own, and Dorner broke that golden rule by reporting his fellow officer.

To be honest, in the last couple weeks I’ve been far more scared of the police than of Dorner; in Torrance, LAPD officers opened fire on a vehicle without warning and without identifying themselves—it turned out to be a 71-year-old Hispanic woman (who was shot in the back, but thankfully survived) and her daughter, delivering newspapers. Another vehicle in the area was also fired upon, also a case of “mistaken identity,” as the police called it.

There has been a huge element of shock and utter disbelief at Dorner’s thoughts and actions of the past couple weeks. A “rampaging madman” who captivated the nation’s attention. Yet Christopher Dorner is no surprise whatsoever to me. What I’m really surprised by is that he didn’t kill more people. With all his police and military training (he was a skilled sharpshooter), his “spree” only left three dead bodies, far, far fewer than Sandy Hook (28 dead) or the Aurora movie theater shooting (12 dead). And the sad difference is that at least Dorner was trying to ruin the lives of those he saw as deserving of this violence.

So no, Christopher Dorner is neither a surprise nor the real enemy. The enemy is, in part, the U.S. military, which trains people how best to murder other human beings and countenances collateral damage (a concept, by the way, that Timothy McVeigh said he learned from the military, so how could they rightfully condemn him?). The enemy is, in part, our society of violence and repression in the form of armed thugs who literally get away with murder—namely, police officers. Ultimately, at the heart of everything, the enemy is INDUSTRIAL CIVILIZATION, which literally drives people insane. Slaving our lives away at meaningless, unfulfilling jobs we despise. Knowing those in power don’t give a fuck about our health or welfare. Having to pay money just to exist on the planet (i.e. rent and food). Forced to breathe and eat and drink poisons in our air, food and water. Seeing our loved ones and ourselves become sick and debilitated and dead from the toxic environment and dangerous workplaces. Being removed from anything resembling a natural human existence, out of touch and out of harmony with natural communities, with the planet that gives us life. Watching the natural world being murdered, along with countless innocent people—sorry, unfortunate casualties of collateral damage. No WONDER people lose their shit and go on killing sprees! I’m shocked it doesn’t happen even more often than it already does in this sick, gun-crazy, violent country filled with zombified drones.

If we want to prevent things like Dorner’s killings and Sandy Hook and Aurora and Virginia Tech, etcetera ad infinitum, the answer is simple: We have to destroy the diseased culture that directly, manifestly (if your eyes are open and your brain works semi-well) produces such monstrous occurrences. We have to dismantle industrial civilization before it finishes killing off the majority of life on our only planet. It is a moral imperative if we care about nonhuman animals, it is a moral imperative if we care about children, it is a moral imperative if we care about ourselves. Christopher Dorner and those who have done similar things are not a disease—they are mere symptoms of one.

For the best, most thought-out and potentially effective ideas for ways to dismantle industry, check out Deep Green Resistance’s Decisive Ecological Warfare.

Civilization and Its Discontented Rats

*GUEST BLOG by A Friend of Rats*
—To submit an article/essay/pictorial for guest blog
consideration, please email me at JanSmitowicz@gmail.com—

The city hardly seems like a good place to see non-humyn animals at all, let alone a show of resistance by them. But look closer. The sewers are swarming with creatures who unabashedly gnaw at the cities roots, even as it feeds them. They see no contradiction in their lives. They know that even as you kill The Beast, you use every part of it…
Rats! The most common kind in this country is rattus norvegicus or the Norway (or brown) rat. They probably originated in northeast China, but no one knows for sure. In 1727, huge numbers of rats were reported swimming across the Volga river in Russia, apparently headed west. They later arrived in North America on ships during the American Revolution.

They’re now everywhere humans are; they’ve been living with us in some form for thousands of years. And for nearly the whole time, they’ve been sabotaging our more excessive endeavors. Rats chew through pipes, electrical wires, cement, even lead. As many as 26% of electrical cable breaks, 18% of phone cable disruptions, and 25% of fires of unknown origin are attributed to rats. And of course, they are well-known and feared for their consumption and destruction of our food supplies and the diseases they’ve helped spread around. For these reasons, our attempts at culling the rat population have grown ever more dramatic. In 1948, Warfarin was invented, the first modern anti-coagulant (i.e. causes internal bleeding) rat poison. Elaborate rat traps were created, the kind mostly used today, with a short tunnel leading to some sort of grain that was treated with poison. Rats are “neophopic” which means they stay close to home and generally avoid changes to their environment. They usually prefer to crawl through small spaces and keep at least one side to a wall when walking or running. These new rat traps attempt to take advantage of these traits by being small and snug and staying in one place for an extended period of time, so the rats will become more comfortable with it. The hope is that the poison, which is usually in a small enough dose that it doesn’t begin to work until it’s been ingested a few times, will be taken back to the nest and kill more rats. But rats become immune to the poisons so quickly that new ones have to be invented all the time.

By the 1970s, most rats had become resistant to Warfarin and some were even living off of grain that had been treated with it. No matter how hard people work to get rid of them, rat populations reach staggering numbers. Some research even indicates that if there is a sudden decline in a given rat population, the rats will become pregnant more often and have more babies. This, combined with the fact that a rat can start breeding the year she is born and have 4 to 6 litters of 7 or 8 babies each, means the rat population is huge, and just getting bigger. All those rats are wreaking havoc on cities, despite being supported by them.

Are rats conscious of their dependence on our trash, or their destruction? Maybe not, but they are no less powerful an example that we owe nothing to such flawed systems, even if we were born into them and they have fed us up until now (or continue to). We should work to find new and creative ways to live off the excess of our society, and to get rid of the parts we don’t like, in whatever ways we can, big or small. Like rats, we are complex animals trying to live satisfying lives, while fighting overwhelming and often unseen forces.

We can truly learn a lot from these lovely and fascinating creatures.

ratties*

ELF Prisoner Daniel McGowan Released!!

http://anarchistnews.org/content/daniel-mcgowan-released-prison

It is a joyous occasion any time a political prisoner completes her or his stint behind the wall. Congratulations to Daniel and his family and friends on his semi-freedom (he has to complete his last 6 months in a halfway house, but the worst is over).

Daniel and his partner/wife.

Daniel and his partner/wife.

The now-iconographic image of probably the Earth Liberation Front's most infamous action, the torching of 5 buildings at a Vail, CO ski resort that was expanding into endangered lynx habitat.  It caused some $12 million in damages.

The now-iconographic image of probably the Earth Liberation Front’s most infamous action, the torching of 5 buildings at a Vail, CO ski resort that was expanding into endangered lynx habitat. It caused some $12 million in damages.

Here is the full, Oscar-nominated documentary about Daniel and the ELF, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front:

Also, a phenomenal read about Operation Backfire, the government’s multi-level, monumentally expensive and time-consuming roundup and suppression of ELF activists, an artcile which I cannot more highly recommend, originally published by CrimethInc. in their magazine Rolling Thunder (Issue #5) and turned into a pamphlet by the Civil Liberties Defense Center:

Green Scared? Preliminary Lessons of the GREEN SCARE

Why We Should Always Touch Homeless People

I meant emotionally, you dirty bird! Jeez.

homeless

Anyway, I had this amazing interaction yesterday. I was getting off the freeway and there was a homeless guy I’d seen before in the same place; his sign said, “VIETNAM VETERAN. NEED WORK. ANYTHING.” I didn’t have any cash so I jammed my hand into my change slot and grabbed a handful and called him over. The light’d turned green, so I was blocking traffic. He limped over on his cane and I said, “Sorry, this is all I have, hope it helps!” He was extremely grateful, like one would think inordinately so. His profusion of gratitude made me feel even worse that I didn’t have food to give him. So after shopping at Trader Joe’s down the street I went to a nearby Chipotle and bought a vegan burrito (brown cilantro-lime rice, black beans, salsa fresca, hella guacamole) and a peach-orange juice. I hurried back to the offramp but he wasn’t there! So I drove around the neighborhood and found him slowly walking down the street. I pulled into an auto body shop’s parking lot and hurried out of the car with the jumbo burrito and glass bottle of juice. “Hey man, remember me? I brought you some food, you hungry?”

Immediately he was taken aback. “Oh yeah, I’d love some food!” He was probably late-50s, with a wicked handlebar mustache (a la 1970s Nick Mason, perhaps a contributing factor to my fondness for him).

“Great!” I said. “It’s a vegan burrito, so no meat or dairy, but trust me—it’ll fill you up, and it’s healthy and delicious!”

He took the offerings like they were bricks of gold. I was startled to see that his ocean-blue eyes were beginning to tear up. This gave me full-body chills, as often happens to me, perhaps oddly, when I have a meaningful interaction with a stranger. “Oh man this is so great, thank you so much.” His voice warbled. I started tearing up a little too. “I’m just tryin to get by, hopefully next month they’re gonna get me a place to stay and take care of me.” He was crying openly now, and even more touchingly, didn’t seem to be embarrassed at all. And for you cynics, I detected no drugs or alcohol in his system. He was just another man, down on his luck, and profoundly touched by what he perceived as tremendous generosity on my part (I don’t see it that way; I just see it as doing some small thing to help a suffering fellow earthling).

I asked him if he meant the V.A. (Veteran’s Administration). He said no, he’s waiting for his disability to clear. “I went to ‘Nam in ’69 and took shrapnel in the leg.” With his metal cane, he tapped at his shin area, emitting a metallic clanking.

“You don’t have to prove it to me, I believe you,” I said with a smile.

“Hey, thank you so much brother, I really appreciate it.” His voice still shook and tears ran down his cheeks and in that moment I felt both touched and extremely sad that this simple, routine gesture on my part was met with such incredible gratitude—because it demonstrated the probable uncommonness of his receiving such gestures. I always try to carry food with me in my car for such occasions. I remember when I lived in San Francisco and took MUNI to work, there was always an older woman standing by the stairs when I would emerge onto the street, and I gave her one of my snack-bananas or oranges every morning.

He shook my hand and then embraced me hard. “God bless you.”

I let that one slide—people like him deserve to have that hope, even if it’s in all probability specious. “Hey, it’s no problem, really.” I was smoking a cigarette, so I asked him if he smoked, if he wanted a couple. He said that would be great. He tucked them into his pocket, gently, a sweet treat to savor later.

I mentioned that I was just coming out of some hard times myself, that I recently got out of prison after two years. “Oh man, that’s terrible,” he said. “I did a year and a half myself a long time ago. Even one day is too long! But I shot a cop, so I was actually lucky.”

My eyes widened. “You shot a cop?”

“Yeah, it was an accident—he kicked the door in on the wrong house and I was sitting on the couch and fired, but it was just buck shot.”

“Well that’s still pretty awesome, most cops are bastards.”

Now it was his turn to be surprised. “Yeah man, they really are! It didn’t used to be so bad, but it’s getting worse and worse.”

“Most of em are thugs, you know, give one person a gun and power over other people and most of them are going to abuse it.”

He hugged me again, sniffling. “Thank you so much, brother, happy holidays and New Year.” His voice trembled violently at this, and I intuited that he had family he wouldn’t be seeing this holiday season, and yet still he wished me—young, privileged white kid—happy holidays. I don’t particularly care about the winter holidays, but it was still so sweet of him. I was tempted to tell him about my fourth novel, Orange Rain, the main character a legless Vietnam vet burning for revenge on those who wreaked havoc on his life, but I thought it would be kinder of me to not make my homeless friend think of those pernicious gut-wrenching memories any more than he already no doubt does.

“Hey,” I said, “it’s my pleasure, dude. Try to stay strong and know that things will get better, okay?”

More fresh tears. This was walloping me emotionally (and him too, apparently). “You too. Thank you so much, man.” He held up the aluminum-foil-wrapped burrito and smiled. “I can’t wait, this is gonna be so great.”

I gave him one final hug, which he gratefully accepted and returned. I said, “Try to stay warm and take care of yourself.”

A tear rolled from his quite-beautiful eyes and down his cheek. “God bless you, young man.”

As he limped off and I climbed into my car, I called out one last thing, something I pretty much never say to anyone: “Thank you for your service!”

“Hey, I was just doin what I had to!” It was clear to me he’d been drafted into that horrible, murderous, unnecessary imperialistic war. He saluted me. I saluted back with a smile, and drove to the next light and stopped at the red to flip a U. Then I saw what, strangely for me, may’ve been the most touching part of the whole interaction.

He was waiting for a green light so he could cross the street. He was down on one knee, both hands gripping the head of his cane, head bowed.

The disabled veteran was thanking his god for me. For my simple gesture. As much as I loathe religion, I couldn’t help but be profoundly touched by this sign of gratitude (even if it was directed at the wrong individual, ha!)—it was symbolic of how much what I did meant to him, even though spending 8 or 10 bucks or whatever was essentially nothing to me. My eyes welled with tears and I smiled in a way that I’ve rarely smiled as of late, as I’ve been struggling with deep depression: the kind of smile that involves not just your lips but your eyes too.

Never think that a small act of kindness on your part can’t have a monumental effect on a person. It was clear to me that I made his night and had a profound, maybe even lasting impact on him. I don’t do these kinds of things to get something in return, but to touch and be touched in this way is phenomenally gratifying. It’s the very reason I decided at twelve years old that I wanted to be a novelist: to touch people emotionally, to get them to feel more strongly, to live more passionately. The dominant culture—industrial civilization—doesn’t want us to feel; it tries ruthlessly to deaden us inside, turn us into unfeeling drones. And it is dreadfully successful at it. Because only a people who are largely dead inside emotionally could go about making the economy function, be good consumers, “good Germans,” as billions of sentient animals are savagely slaughtered for nothing more than pleasing people’s taste buds, as thousands of children starve to death every day while we First Worlders discard literally tons of perfectly good food, as the world burns amidst a mass extinction of animals and plants; only people who are all but dead emotionally could sit idly by, or, if we do resist, we do so weakly, partially, only giving tiny bits of our hearts and lives to the struggle, as these and a million other absolute atrocities occur on a sickeningly pervasive, incessant basis.

So feel more. Give of yourself more. Live with greater passion for the things you love. Because resistance to the genocidal, ecocidal, omnicidal dominant culture begins in our hearts and increases exponentially the more we FEEL and SEE. After that, together, our power to effect change is truly boundless, and limited only by our timidity and ineffectuality and silence.