T. Fulano (David Watson)
Saturn and Scientism

There she is, looking vaguely pornographic on the glossy covers of the weekly magazines, the planet Saturn. What have we discovered? I don’t know, I haven’t read them, feeling squashed as I do to the Earth by the giddying inertia of this century which plummets like a flaming satellite towards the nothingness. Grey skies, the weather turning cold, sirens in the distance. Some citizens walk by whispering reverently of the wonders of Saturn, disputing the number of rings and moons according to the latest counts, as the corroding universe about them threatens to be annihilated. They drool over photographs of a planet most of them couldn’t spot in a clear night sky—that is, if the night sky hadn’t already been colonized and obliterated by the city light and the lethal dust of the very civilization which made it possible to send gadgets and technicians to the stars. But everything is so groovy on Saturn, so colorful and tempestuous. They know because they watched it all on television.

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
Against the Megamachine

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot’ stamping on the human face—forever.”

—O’Brien, in Orwell’s 1984

How do we begin to discuss something as immense as technology? To investigate it means to investigate the totality of this modern civilization, not only its massive industrial vistas which represent the structural apparatus, the stage scenery; not only the hierarchy of command and specialization which reveals the skeletal structure of this apparatus in human relations; not only “the humble objects,” which “in their aggregate ... have shaken our mode of living to its very roots,” as Siegfried Giedion has written; but also in that internalized country of our dreams and desires, in the way we unconsciously see ourselves and our world.

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
Uncovering a Corpse A Reply to the Defenders of Technology

The letters which appear in this issue of the Fifth Estate do not represent the entire correspondence which has grown out of the discussion on technology. Some of our exchanges with readers of the paper became too broad, too lengthy, and too diffuse to make their publication possible, and so many of those debates will have to be deferred until they can be treated in a more organized manner. We also received many one- and two-line letters of support, some accompanied by donations and requests for more copies. We want to thank everyone who has shown support; we hope to do everything we can to strengthen our ties with them and aid them in the struggle against the sector of the machine in which they find themselves. To them we can only say: there is so much to do; let’s get moving.

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
Civilization is Like a Jetliner

The night the Korean airliner crashed into the newspapers, I dreamed of a tornado. A tornado is a kind of spiral, which is the labyrinth and which is Death.

Death is very powerful right now. Instead of being a passage, Death has become a kind of equipment failure, a technical slaughterhouse. Human and technical failure become indistinguishable when the unquestioning robot and the drooling sadist merge. (I see the Soviet pilot being interviewed—he could be any Air Force gunslinger in any military machine—“I’d do it again—and even more—and love every second of it.” Of course he had the cooperation of the CIA and the U.S. military, who listened in, taping it all, without issuing any warnings to save lives. That, after all, is certainly not their business.)

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
July 1967

July ’87 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Detroit riots: the largest American rebellion of the century. Reactions to an early morning police raid on a ghetto after-hours drinking spot began with stones and bricks aimed at cop cars and quickly grew into excited looting within hours. The retreating police were eventually reinforced by 8,000 national guardsmen and 4,700 federal troops (82nd and 101st Airborne). The official body count after one wild week of looting, smashing, and burning was 43 killed, 657 wounded—at least 30 were slain by police or government forces. Rumors of snipers provoked troops to fire wildly at people, windows, buildings, and each other. Of the 682 fires, 412 buildings were destroyed. Over 1,700 stores were looted as whites quickly joined blacks in a true communal uprising. The number one song in the country that week was The Doors’ “Light My Fire.”

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
The Annunciation of the Papal Visit to Detroit

3-s-326-summer-1987-the-annunciation-of-the-papal-1.png
Collage by Freddie Baer

All the city mourns, and the crumpled masses languish at the gates, and the cry of all the freeways has gone up.

The politicians have sent their runners to the waters, but they have come with all their vessels empty.

The limousines fester in long lines like links of meat waiting to be roasted in the devil’s barbecue.

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
Insurgent Mexico! Redefining Revolution & Progress for the 21st Century

“The political status quo in Mexico died on January 1. Every Mexican institution is now in a state of crisis.”

El Financiero (Mexican business newspaper)

“If 53 people died in the riots in the Dominican Republic, 53,000 people could die if the Mexicans remember that they are a people with a history of rebellion. If that happens, capitalism in Latin America will go to the devil!”

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
Six Theses on Empire, Denial & Nuclearism

1.

Nuclearism is inherently totalitarian. The apparent controversy over nuclear power is not really a matter for debate: it mirrors the underlying question of social power. Its history makes this clear.

First developed as a weapon of war under the veil of military secrecy, and then in coordinated efforts with enormous corporate interests, it was never publicly debated before the whole society was heavily committed to it. At its inception, public opposition would have brought charges of treason, and nuclear technology and materials are still considered a matter of strict state security.

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
The Unabomber and the Future of Industrial Society

“...If one has courage and daring without benevolence, one is like a madman wielding a sharp sword; if one is smart and swift without wisdom, one is as though riding on a fast mount but not knowing which way to go.

“Even if one has talent and ability, if one uses them improperly and handles them inappropriately, they can only assist falsehood and dress up errors: In that case it is better to have few technical skills than many.

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
Patriot Songs

‘I hear America singing’

“—so what.”

— D. Campion

1. TALK SHOW HOST

I’ve been pissed ever since the President’s announcement—

so let’s get it on, let’s go to war!

I’m tired of the same old betrayals, I want betrayals I can believe in!

.

I’m sick of outsiders ruining my country, we need a Real Leader!

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Peter Werbe
T. Fulano (David Watson)

Riots Revisited Two reprints from 1967 and 1987 FE on the Detroit riots

“July1967” by T. Fulano, from FE 326, Summer 1987

It was a full scale beggar’s banquet, the return of the repressed, a surprise party. The city people, young and old, black and white, went through the pawnshop windows like meteorites. Nervous exorcists, trembling before a mortal turned evil and massive and enigmatic, the politicians asked, “Who are you?” And like demons unleashed from an inferno, they answered, “Many.”

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