Review: Crimethinc’s Days of War, Nights of Love

Days of War, Nights of Love: Crimethink For Beginners
Crimethinc.

Crimethinc. All the rage in 2000, largely forgotten now. Of all the things they did (newspapers, magazines, other books) this was the best. A pretty clear indictment of late capitalism in America and a call to live life fully. Of course, eating out of dumpsters and hopping trains does not a revolution make. It may be fun for a while, for a select few, in a country of riches, but its no way to change the world (or grow old). Interesting as a artifact of a specific time in the history of radical politics in America, but otherwise not worth your time.

Not recommended.

Review: Bey’s Temporary Autonomous Zones (T.A.Z.)

TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (Autonomedia New Autonomy Series)
Hakim Bey

Hakim Bey is, probably, patient zero of the lifestyle anarchist school of thought. We can trace back to this New York eccentric much that came later in the 1990s and 2000s, including Crimethinc anrcho-primitivism, think pieces on Burning Man and more. Much of the lifestyle anarchist mileu amounts to nothing more than sloganeering about personal rejection of capitalism. Bey is a bit better. When he wrote T.A.Z. he already had a long history on the fringe, writing about sufism, anarchism, mysticism and (shudder) pederasty. His ideas are clear (or at least clearer than many others) and his writing style is attractive. Too bad his ideas are so silly.

I’m all for parties, and the creation of temporary zones of fulfilment (which is what this book is calling for) but they aren’t going to feed the starving or clothe the poor.  Party zones aren’t going to change the world, all adults should know this.

Recommended for the enthusiast. (If you’re an enthusiast for this stuff, you might want to rethink your enthusiasms. I know I did.)