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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

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All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten; letters may be edited for length.

Counterfeiting Mischief

I’ve been taking my time enjoying the Summer 2008 issue of Fifth Estate and just read “Counterfeiting Sovereignty” by Don LaCoss. The story about the superdollar in the last paragraph of column 1 and then the top of col. 2, p. 20 is amazing. Given the reported cases where people (like Iraq proconsul Paul Bremer) have gone into hot spots and started handing out money, the counterfeit idea makes a certain sense. I suppose the stuff keeps a certain value, as long as it keeps circulating abroad, causing who knows what sort of mischief.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Party Like It’s 1929! Editorial

Common radical wisdom suggests that capitalism won’t crumble on its own, so imagine the ironically comforting confidence with which we have watched the system convulse over the last few months. But as Don LaCoss reminds us in “The Disasters of Disaster Capitalism,” it’s not a good idea to expect the system to just wither away. The cruel nature of corporations and the state suggests that the forces of domination will continue to profit from the people’s misery and punish anyone who gets in the way.

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Don LaCoss
The Disasters of Disaster Capitalism

In an airport recently, I idly watched the 24-hour cable TV news that they pipe into the waiting lounges. A big report on the current financial market smashup noted that the US stock market had tumbled 40% in less than 365 days; this, the telegenic blonde woman on the screen told me in her “No, I’m really serious, now” voice.

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William R. Boyer
Nest Defense for Marie Mason

The savage crimes of civilization cannot mute the cries of the savage. But the voice of the savage is not the machine buzz of chainsaws in the forest or the clank of garbage trucks in the ghetto. Her savage voice mirrors an angel, an angel wailing one last song of protest before the last bulldozer takes out the last wild place.

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William R. Boyer
Absolutely Marie Suite

You seldom wavered

You always questioned

When we never trusted

the smoke, the steam, the fog

or more precisely

the cooling towers

and modern chimneys

and their endless denials

in the names of our children;

Can you still detect the distant battle drums

beyond their crude walls

The silica source of our glass embrace

The contrast against concrete monuments

of their unrestricted restrictions,

Bringing us closer to fermented red serenities

and the eventual savoring

of the fresh water’s edge,

Long after the shareholder meetings we disrupted

We recall your robin song voice

and better futures

with frank sense and mirth

Respecting zebra mussels

and mocking invasive authorities

Toasting unnamed friends

and unimaginable foes;

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Fifth Estate Collective
The Green Scare Goes On ...a punitive campaign to bring outrageous sentences

The Green Scare continues with the plea-bargain and imprisonment of Fifth Estate writer Marie Mason, three new arrests in Wisconsin, grand jury appearances by activists Kevin Tucker and already-imprisoned Daniel McGowan, and the sentencing of Briana Waters.

The “Green Scare” refers to a series of recent arrests of earth and animal liberation activists (and the ongoing investigation and intimidation of the same) who have engaged in acts of property damage in which no one was hurt. The arrests have been marked by outrageous charges (activists often face life in prison), as well as the public and legal labeling of these acts as “terrorism.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
Minneapolis report Police state emerges further at Republican Convention... Organizers Face “Terrorism” Charges

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During four days in September, the Republican Party held its national convention in the Excel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In the style of 21st century capitalism, these party conventions are almost entirely virtual: media spectacles complete with bright lights, hokey sets, and lots of the red, white, and blue; an imaginary world occupied by creepy mannequins with stiff smiles.

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Jesse D. Palmer
Long Haul Infoshop Regroups After Police Raid

A police and FBI raid of the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley, Calif. August 27--supposedly to figure out who might have sent threatening emails to University of California animal researchers traced back to the Long Haul internet connection--succeeded in seizing 14 computers from the Long Haul, but failed to break the spirit of Berkeley activists.

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Peter Lamborn Wilson
Notes on Play

Play sets up temporary arbitrary rules for itself to test the very boundlessness of its freedom.

If not for the emergence of the State, we would by now have a science based on the principle of play rather than terror.

At the moment the first Pharoah enslaves the first fellahin, play becomes childish frivolity and the serious adult appears. Hitherto play itself had been quite serious; archaeologists call it “culture”.

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Anu Bonobo
Paradise How? The Living Theatre’s Erotic Revolution of Poetry, Pleasure, Play

“I’m an advocate of free love. What else can I say? I think people should do what they like, enjoy what they enjoy, and we should enjoy their enjoying what they enjoy.”

--Judith Malina

(interviewed by Jim Feast and Steve Dalachinsky)

“The work of liberation from sexual repression must be a parallel of all revolutionary work and must take place during all revolutionary stages. But there comes a point at which no further progress can be made without abolishing standards that cripple the natural man sexually, and this point comes precisely when we confront the fundamental problem of violence.

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John Brinker
“The Universe Wants to Play” Pleasures and Perils in the Ludic ‘90s

Back in the salad days of the 1990s, the North American anarchist scene adopted play, not just as a personal tactic of freedom, but as a revolutionary strategy. Play was thought to be a way out of the dead-ends of civilization: work, hierarchical relationships, commodity culture, and even the old ways of making revolution that had failed again and again. It’s tempting to say that we were naive, living in the calm before the storm. But even if the past forecloses some possibilities, a critical look back at our experiences can open up others.

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Tanya Solomon
Idiot Like Me The Dialectic of Pie in the Face

Clown school, summer 2007. I’m doing an improv exercise, still soaked from the spit takes and bucket sloshes we practiced in the last class. The teacher catches me struggling for a witty response and hollers “Stop!”

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“You’re thinking too hard.” He looks straight into my eyes: this guy’s been a clown for so long that he needs just a facial twitch to remind me of the only imperative. Play. A noun and a verb--just like “clown.”

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anon.
A Communique from the Krewe of Eris

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Chaos is a dragon. The dragon’s heart beats with the tides, the rhythm of the dance, the thump of the bass. Her blood flows as the rivers & the creeks, the trade winds, the migrations of people and animals, the waste streams of our cities. Her breath is the humid air, the song, the smoke from the factories.

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Lord Willin
Rack of Enchantment The Not-So-Secret of Mardi Gras

It’s 7 a.m. on Fat Tuesday, the final and peak day of New Orleans carnival. I’m up, or waking up, drinking my first bloody mary of the day, hot glue gun in hand sticking dozens of oversized fake chrysanthemums to my cape in the last calm minutes before the madness resumes.

I’ve had a few hours sleep since last night’s event, the coronation ball of the brilliant Krewe du Poux (yeah, that’s “poo”), where my group appeared wearing tall conical hats made to look like piles of shit with flies buzzing around them. We scavenged the hats from the trash of a major parade, then repainted and adorned them for our purposes at the last minute. The Poux party was a real circus, featuring a midway of homemade carnival games and a raucous shopping cart smash-up derby followed by a parade through the neighborhood. I barely made it there because I’d been in bed all day recovering from my own krewe’s parade and the afterparty where I alternated bartending and dancing until 4 a.m.

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Janet
Remembering Vi Landry 1974 — 2008

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Vi Landry (1974 — 2008)

“What have you done for New Orleans? What separates you from the tourists who come down here, party, maybe absorb a little culture and leave, besides the length of your stay?” Vi Landry asked me these difficult questions with her characteristic unflinching gaze as we sat in my kitchen during the spring of 2007, a year and a half after Hurricane Katrina.

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Unruh Lee
M.K. Shibek

Free feasts, erotic play and the eruption of the marvelous Looking back on the Gardeners Against the Work Ethic Association with Unruh Lee and M.K. Shibek

Unruh Lee: In 1994, we started the Gardeners Against the Work Ethic Association (or GAWE) together. I later wrote in a ‘zine with this name, that this project was an “anti-work experiment in self-sufficiency, creating a new way of life based on play. And much playful subversion of all that gets in the way.” Really, it was a joke of a formal organization, that was part of an upsurge of Surrealist-oriented experimentation towards expanding the quality and quantity of our realm of play, no? The core of it was trying to seduce people to rip up their lawns with us and plant gardens for free feasts. But as I remember it, a lot of zany and erotic stuff, in private and public, was going on under the GAWE umbrella.

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Cerulean
Festival Theatre for the Artist/Activist

Audiences stand in front of a band at a music festival receiving the sound. Some dance; others just absorb. I’ve always been ...one of the dancers. When I began to write and direct theatre, I wanted the audience to be moved, to be allowed to respond in some way other than clapping their hands at the end of a scene. I wanted the audience members to play the way they did when listening to a band at a concert.

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Ron Sakolsky
Various Authors

Hellcat Passion from the London International Festival Of Surrealism; Submitted by Ron Sakolsky, Inner Island Surrealist Group

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Game (1) “Shelf Life”

How to Play: You take a series of books off your shelf in the order they sit there. Working through them in sequence, you open them at random, selecting the phrase or clause that strikes you, and create a text in this way. (It’s also possible to make a title in this way). As a variant, this can also be played with more than one player, by taking it in turns to add a sentence, phrase, clause or half-sentence.

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X. Buyer
Resisting the Consumerist’s Urge

Introduction or Laissez-(un)faire

If you are reading these words, it is almost certain that you are ill, sick, and infected. “With what?” you ask. The blight destroying our nation known as Free Enterprise, Supply & Demand, Capitalism, and more commonly Consumerism. It is a worm boring through the minds & souls of all our citizens.

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Marie Mason
“Battle in Seattle” Can a Hollywood fictional account of the 1999 anti-WTO demos do justice to their radical content?

Our reviewer (who was there) thinks it did a pretty good job!

It was with a mixture of anticipation and dread that I began watching actor Stuart Townsend’s directorial debut, Battle in Seattle. I took part in the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization and participated in the spirited marches, the intersection take-overs, and the blockading of WTO delegates depicted so graphically in the film.

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Don LaCoss
Spencer Sunshine
John Brinker
J.L. Dale

Reviews

Oystercatcher #5 Review by J.L. Dale

I’m young, but I still had grade-school fantasies about bathing my neighborhood in a heavy wave of pirate radio--my voice and my songs out into the world.

So, I respect a man that can keep that way of thinking alive. The Oystercatcher #5, edited by Ron Sakolsky, though rather diverse in content and forms, keeps a strong, unified voice. Each piece is well edited and laid out nicely, taking advantage of The Oystercather’s full-size format.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Call For Submissions

Call For Submissions For Fifth Estate #380 (Winter-Spring 2009)

SUBTEXT, SUBVERSION and SABOTAGE

This winter, Fifth Estate seeks to put out good reading for hibernation. Work that focuses on underground political, cultural and social activity as well as subtextual analysis. We seek discussion on how radicals and everyday folks subvert the dominant culture in a meaningful way. We seek analysis on the unspoken meanings of current social, economic, semiotic and political phenomena such as the environmental crisis and the Green Scare, bio-ethical decisions, entertainment, gender, institutionalized violence. We seek to examine the parts we play in subjection and subjugation This winter we seek to exhume the churchyard and provide readers with an invisible choir that will sing audibly and precisely about the hidden meanings of things.

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anon.
Joker

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INTRODUCE A LITTLE ANARCHY

UPSET THE ESTABLISHED ORDER

AND EVERYTHING BECOMES CHAOS

I AM AN AGENT OF CHAOS

OH AND YOU KNOW

THE THING ABOUT CHAOS IT IS FAIR

DO NOT TALK LIKE ONE OF THEM

YOU ARE NOT! EVEN IF YOU WOULD

LIKE TO BE

TO THEM

YOU ARE JUST A FREAK LIKE ME

THEIR MORALS THEIR CODE

IT IS A BAD JOKE THEY ARE DROPPED AT THE

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anon.
Wanted: Plays For Montreal’s 4th Annual International Anarchist Theatre Festival

Montreal’s fourth annual International Anarchist Theatre Festival is seeking submissions of anarchist theatre pieces to be staged May 11 — 14th, 2009.

We are looking for theatre pieces in English or French, from 5 to 60 minutes long, about anarchists, anarchist ideas and history, or any subject related to anarchism including anti-state, against capitalism, racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. We will consider plays or monologues that are original work, ones that have already been performed, or that have been written by anarchists (historical or contemporary).

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