The BQ(Q) – Stephen

Name

Stephen

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

30

Height:

5’6″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

135 lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Indy monumental

Tell us a little about the race.

Flat and fast race in November. Weather is usually very good and race is well organized.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?

4 years

Did you run in college or high school?

No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?

~6000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?

2000 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

8 total, 6 before the marathon

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

No

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?

Yes, coached by one of Brad Hudson’s athletes

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

no

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

yes, short speed work early in cycle followed by marathon specific work later, i.e. long repeats and marathon paced long runs

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

Respect the marathon distance, put in the miles and then put in more

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My Idiosyncratic Guide to Books on Postwar Fascism

I’m a little puzzled myself at how many books on post-war fascism I’ve read. What’s the allure? Perhaps its a fear that these ideas, which never went away, would one day resurface into the mainstream? Perhaps its trying to grapple with how anyone can be filled with this kind of hate and paranoia. Perhaps I’m just odd. However you view it, I thought it’d be worth while to collect reviews I have written on various books on the post-war fascism / Neo-Nazism.

Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International, Kevin Coogan — A biography of Yockey, a leading post war anti-semite and fascists, and a capsule history of post-war esoteric fascism

Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret International History of the Twentieth Century, Mark Sedwick — An academic history of the “tradionalist” religious movement, of which many of the more esoteric fascists of the post-war era have been enamored.

 Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, Nicholas Clark — An overview of the major currents in post-war “esoteric nazism” i.e. the most out there crazy of the bigots.

Blood In The Face: Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads and the Rise of New White Culture, James Ridgeway — Good overview of the history of neo-nazi movement and other hate groups in the United States circa the 1990s.

BONUS!

Adolf Hitler, Magic Yoga Spaceman — My friend V. Charm’s review of Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. Charm is a much better writer than me, you’ll enjoy this.

 

 

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Adolf Hitler, magic yoga spaceman

 

So here’s a first (but hopefully not last!) guest piece from good friend, and great writer, V. Charm. 

Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity, by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, New York University Press (2002).

Few things are more tedious in political discussion than accusations that some politician or party is analogous to the German National Socialist Workers Party, more commonly known as the Nazis. Intended as the ultimate discrediting putdown, it almost always does less damage to the accused than to the accuser, whose use of the term reveals both a lack of imagination and a total lack of perspective. The Republicans are not Nazis, the Democrats are not Nazis, Rupert Murdoch is not a Nazi and neither is George Soros. Case closed.

But what about people who actually claim the label for themselves? Ever since the Third Reich’s total military defeat and subsequent identification as the most evil regime in human history, anyone publicly self-identifying as a Nazi has been seen as detestable and most likely insane. As Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke reveals in this fascinating, eye-popping study, “insane” doesn’t begin to describe it.

Goodrick-Clarke’s book explores the night garden of fascist yogis, fancy dress SS officers, Wotan-loving armed robbers, and Satanist science fiction fans who came to identify with Hitler and modified his beliefs to suit new circumstances in ways that would have been baffling to many vintage 1930s fascists.

Take James Madole, crash-helmeted fuhrer of the National Renaissance Party and “the father of post-war occult fascism.” Haranguing crowds in New York City throughout the 1960s and 1970s flanked by his dimestore stormtroopers, Madole was no common bigot: an avid sci-fi aficionado, he blended Theosophy, Hinduism, and Satanism in his ideology, creating a funhouse jumble of swastika armbands, Baphomet-adorned altars, and praise for India’s caste system.

Or take David Myatt, a Briton brought up in East Africa and Indonesia, who was attracted as a teenager to the anti-immigrant British Movement, but who quickly veered off the path of straightforward racist politics to found the Order of Nine Angles, a Nazi Satanic cult constantly in conflict with other Satanists for openly endorsing the practice of human sacrifice.

Some of the names in the book, like Colin Jordan and William Butler, will be familiar to anyone who’s followed far-right racist politics in the Western world, but Goodrick-Clarke digs much deeper, finding not only sideshow freaks like Madole and Myatt, but philosophers like Julius Evola, Savitri Devi, and Miguel Serrano, whose theories continue to exert a strong influence on the far right around the world.

Publicity Nazis like George Lincoln Rockwell may have been little more than clowns, but Evola, Devi, and Serrano were something different: genuine intellectuals and original thinkers, their contribution to post-1945 Hitlerism is likely to be more baleful for the world than that of a drunken skinhead throwing a rock at a synagogue. The skinhead goes to jail and is despised by everyone, but the ideas of the philosophers can burrow into mainstream political parties in places like Italy, and into the thought of nominally apolitical artists and writers attracted to the exotic discussions of Hindu theology and the Nietzschean rejection of contemporary social mores.

“Black Sun” is an important book that performs a valuable service by collecting information not readily available elsewhere, even today, nine years after it was published (Wikipedia, the first stop for any round of Internet spelunking session, contains stubs for many of the people mentioned in the book, and lacks entries on many others). Every chapter, from Nazi Paganism to Nazi UFO cults, could have made its own book, which is the only complaint I have: what “Black Sun” gains in breadth, it loses in depth. I found myself wanting more than a few mentions of the Weathermen-inspired National Socialist Liberation Front, the Nazi-Satanist Order of the Black Ram, or the Nazi-Muslim Greenshirts, who met at a Polish-Lithuanian mosque (!) in Brooklyn in the 1960s.

That aside, this is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the bizarre appeal of National Socialism since 1945, and for anyone tempted to think it died in the bunker with Hitler.

(V.Charm)

I also reviewed this book here. 
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Ridgeway’s Blood In The Face

Blood In The Face: Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads and the Rise of New White Culture

James Ridgeway

Published in 1995 (the year of the Oklahoma City Bombing), Ridgeway’s Blood in the Face was, was the first serious book I read on the rise of post-war neo-Nazi formations like Aryan Nations and Skinhead subculture. While the book begins by tracing the history of the KKK, it’s real worth, I think, is in the serious reporting Ridgeway put into tracing the formation of Aryan Nations, Posse Comitas, and the various amorphous nazi-skinhead groups which plagued the punk rock scene of my youth.

Much of what we see today in terms of the racist and anti-semitic tropes of the so called “alt-right” had their beginnings in these groups. You can see a clear through line from the simplistic hate literature Ridgeway reproduces here to the pepe the frog gas chamber meme’s of today’s alt-right twitter. While others have covered this ground since, Ridgeway was there first and his book remains essential reading for anyone interested in understanding postwar neo Nazism in America.

Recommended.

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Coogan’s Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International

Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International 

Kevin Coogan

When this book came out, I reviewed it for Maximum RockNRoll. I wish I could find that review now, but alas, it seems to have been lost in the pre-digital fog. However, with Evola and other post-war fascists back in the air, I thought it would be worth the time to revisit this seminal work.

This book is, ostensibly, a biography of the post war American fascist Francis Parker Yockey. Yockey was a fascinating, dangerous, character. An attorney, a racist, an author, an anti-Semite, and possibly a traitor, he lived a life of almost constant agitation for a fascist future, using multiple aliases, and eventually committing suicide in custody by taking a cyanide pill almost surely smuggled in to him by a sympathizer. He also wrote one of the so-called “classics” of intellectual side of post-war fascism, Imperium a book which I have not read but can feel confident in telling you is almost surely incoherent garbage.

Yockey’s story alone is completely fascinating, but Coogan goes further, giving us a capsule history of the entire bonkers history of post-WWII fascism, with a special emphasis on the more mystical, wanna-be intellectual side of the endeavor promulgated by the likes of Julius Evola.

I’m pretty sure this started out as a phd thesis, but it reads like it is written with the chops of someone with a journalism background.* For a book on such a wide ranging and often esoteric subject matter, it moves, and even at over five hundred pages, I wanted more. If current times got you worried and wondering where all this alt-right garbage came from, you could do worse than picking this one up.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

Yockey in cuffs.

Yockey in cuffs.

*In the late 90s Coogan also wrote a couple of great articles for a now defunct punk rock magazine called Hit List on the Workers World Party and ANSWER and the facist underpinings of black metal. If anyone reading this knows Coogan, I’d very much like to get in touch with him. I can be reached at miloandthecalf@gmail.com

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Leonard and Gallagher’s Heavy Radicals

Heavy Radicals: The FBI’s Secret War on America’s Maoists Revolutionary Union / Revolutionary Communist Party 1968-1980

Aaron J. Leonard

In the late sixties and early seventies, many young American leftists began drifting away from the amorphous politics of the mainstream anti-war movement and towards a sort of militant leftism influenced by Moa. They formed first cadres, and then parties. Many of them dropped out of college to work in factories in a idealistic attempt to organize and revolutionize the working class. There were many, many of these formations in those days (and I am informally gathering information on them on this page). But perhaps the largest, was the Revolutionary Union / Revolutionary Communist Party whose early history is tracked in this fascinating book.

 

Combining the first hand experience of former member Aaron Leonard, and the research skills of FOIA expert Conor Gallagher, the authors piece together the story of the formation of the RCP from the remnants of SDS and some old, dissent, Communist party members. They also document, more thoroughly than I have ever seen, the extreme lengths the FB.I. went to in order to thwart the RCP’s work.

 

The main players in the early days of the RCP were a fascinating group: Leibel Bergman, a life long radical and Communist Party veteran, a decade older than the other founders, he was the early theoretician and backbone of the group. Though he’d seen every split and problem an organization like the RCP could anticipate, eventually, he couldn’t keep the group together. Steve Hamilton, the prototypical sixties radical, coming of age in the Berkley Free speech movement Hamilton moved on to the anti-war cause and then, Maoism. Bruce Franklin, a radical academic who would have a large effect on the sixties turn to militancy both inside and outside the RCP. And finally, Bob Avakain, the son of a progressive judge, hanger-on to the Black Panther Party, and the man with whom the RCP would come to be inextricably linked. These men would go on to work with scores of men and women across the country to try to build a communist revolution in the U.S.

 

It was a completely crazy idea from the beginning, but one can admire the ambition.

 

No surprise, they failed. In the scheme of American politics, the RCP was never big. It was never in a position to actually challenge the state. And yet, as outlined here, the state spent enormous resources trying to destroy it. FBI agents and informers spent years tracking the group attempting to sabotage the group, even going so far as to form their own organizations.

 

It makes for a fascinating story, especially if the history of the American left is an interest. But I wish the authors had continued the story to the present day because after the fractures circa 1980, things started to get really, really weird.

 

Odds are if you know of the RCP at all, you know it as a bizarre sectarian group built around a cult of personality of Bob Avakian. No one, not even on the far left, takes it seriously as a political force anymore. How this well meaning, if misguided, group of leftists went so far astray would be an interesting story to take to its conclusion. I hope someone does.

 

Recommended for the Enthusiast

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Review: Elbaum’s Revolution in the Air

Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che

Max Elbaum

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Students for a Democratic Society dissolved, some young leftists took the path of nihilistic armed struggled and joining weatherman, and other such groups. Others decided to take their lessons from Lenin ad Mao and began building small, vanguard organizations. Members of these groups often left school to work in factories and mines in an attempt to organize the working class for revolution. These groups are usually brought under the umbrella of “New Communist Movements” or “NCMs”. There members were dedicated, deeply interested in revolutionary theory, and totally, totally wrong.

 

As far as I know, this was the first real serious look at the new communists movements. It’s an incredible accomplishment relying on scores and scores of interviews with other participants, original documents, and Elbaum’s own involvement in the movement, especially the formations around “Line of March” on the west coast (of which Elbaum was a member) and the Communist Party (Marxist Leninist), one of the largest maoist groups to arise in this moment. Elbaum covers lots of new ground here that will be new to most of us. I’m pretty into this stuff, and have been for many years, but when I read this much was new material.

 

Elbaum does more though than chronicle a particular moment in leftist politics, he tries to use them to teach today’s activists to not make the same mistakes, to avoid the pointless skirmishes, to balance ideological purity with real life execution, to be better. I hope people are listening.

 

Recommended for the enthusiast.

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