Liam Heneghan: “What sort of ecologist is Anthony Paul Smith?”

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Trayvon Martin and Why We Need Philosophy

We paused for several minutes on some cross street in downtown Chicago, I assume so that the traffic sign would signal that the march of some hundred people protesting George Zimmerman’s acquittal could continue over State Street and continue heading west, and chanted all in one voice: “Justice for Trayvon, Not One More.” I was in the midst of the crowd, so I could not tell for sure if my assumption about why we had stopped was correct. But now, in reflecting, it might have been the case that the march organizers had stopped deliberately, so that we could all reflect on the reverberating echoes of our thousand-strong voice building, as in an echo chamber, in the depths of the skyscrapers in which we were nestled. When the refrain switched verses, and what now resounded was “The judgment was unjust, the whole system is to blame,” I realized that we were facing down a long line of police on bikes, hemming us in onto the sidewalks. I noticed some of the fellow protesters eyeing the officers, as if to accuse them of their systemic complicity in the decision made the night before. And they were right. But I could not meet their eyes, those sunglassed windows into the souls of the state functionaries standing before us. Not because I was afraid to so blatantly accuse them of the violence done to a youth gunned down in the dawn of his life, but because my gaze was drawn upwards to the few heads leaning out the windows many stories above our heads, fists outstretched chanting with us. It was, initially, the booming thunder of my solitary voice, conjoined as it was with the righteous indignation of so many others surrounding me, which drew me outside of myself, to listen in awe at the sheer volume and acerbic sonority of our collective articulations. It was in that moment, that upward gazing, that I understood the power of a cooperative assembly. I thought of my own nihilistic response to an invitation to protest if I had not, in fact, gone downtown. I might have said something to the tune of: “the jury, and crime, was in Florida. There is no need, no point in assembling here in Chicago.” But in that moment I would have said back to my nihilistic shadow-self: “the point is not our location, it is our shared disappointment with what has happened, and that belongs to anyone who recognizes it.”

Fast forward to perhaps 15 minutes later, when we stopped in front of the DePaul Loop campus and several people took the time to speak publicly. The cops, ever vigilant, drove the speakers off their improvised dias and we gathered around intently to feel once again, as a whole, the grief that Trayvon’s death, and all that it signified, had struck in us. Several speakers broke down with tears. The case is, after all, emblematic of so many of the problems contemporary to the city of Chicago and America as a whole. This was, and at the same time, was not, simply about the death of a young black man in Florida. Our sadness about the injustice done to Martin was about him, particularly, and his family. But it was also a heuristic to the indignation felt about the way that the justice system in America operates on a national level. How it affects so many like Martin every day. And so there were tears and weeping and anger and acrimony as the orators made their speeches.

And then, just as the night before, someone brought up the Revolutionary Communist Party. They spoke of how we ought to listen to Bob Avakian because nothing less than a revolution is necessary to end this system of injustice. And that is true. But I couldn’t help feeling as though I were being sold some shit product, as if I had left the assembly and entered a Walmart without moving an inch. The night before, at the impromptu gathering organized minutes after the acquittal was handed down by the jury in Florida, someone had said something to the tune of the following: “This is not the time for factions, it is the time for us all to come together to fight this unjust system, it is not the time for sectarianism, it is the time not to care about what your allies and comrades beside you look like, or how they love one another, or how they precisely envisage the future, it is about collectively agreeing that this world is wrong and that another, better one, is possible.” This tirade, and quite moving as it was, was followed by the sale-phrase: “And the Revolutionary Communist Party, with Bob Avakian’s guidance, can be that vision.” I was floored, both last night and today, at the audacity of these people. To hawk their own agenda in the presence of such a formidable and nearly divine feeling of spontaneous unspoken agreement among us all. I noticed buckets being passed around for collection, and sales flyers for what appeared to be Avakian’s Communist version of a inspirational DVD: “BA Speaks: Revolution – Nothing Less!” I decided on the spot that I would send the RCP a suggestion for their new slogan: “Platforms, Not People.” I doubt they will bite.

And yet, if you will believe it, I am going to spend the rest of this post touting my own agenda. That’s not a fair characterization, I don’t think, but for ironic purposes I’m sticking with it.

I want to tell you another story, about a conversation I had concerning the outcome of the trial. I was speaking to a friend of mine, let’s call him Daniel, when I said that “law and right had come in the stead of Justice.” Daniel, great interlocutor that he is, rebutted with the following: “Without law and right, and procedure, collectively agreed upon, how does Justice mean anything more than a word?” A properly positivist response, as is his character. After all, without recourse to some idealist concept of ‘Justice’, how can the material remnants named law, right and procedure have any support? It seems to the opinion of many in the U.S., founded as it is (at least theoretically) on the idea of freedom and democracy, that Justice is the epiphenomenon of these material traces. We gave to an entire, wonderfully powerful, department in our system the name of Justice. And yet it seems as though, at least in the midst of that collective body bellowing out the refrains of umbrage between the walls of the Chicago skyscrapers earlier today, that Justice has been leached from the underground of our constitution (and I mean that in the Greek sense of the way a nation-state is constituted).

It is for this reason that it seems as though one symptom of this case is the need for philosophy. The so-called founding fathers drew on a wide range of thinkers in order to craft their unique vision of Justice, Equality and Freedom, flawed as they might be. It seems to me that, outside of critical circles, this passion of thought has all but dried up. Like a river guided by the rains caught in a drought. We cannot, without considerable scrutiny, say that perhaps our idea of Justice deserves rethinking. The abysmal disconnect between the idea of Justice in the States and the idea of Justice that all the hundreds upon thousands out in the streets today are aspirating with their wearied tongues from dawn til dusk seems evidence enough that we have missed something, that we ought to reconsider our idea of Justice and it’s purportedly idealistic existence, and the theoretically constant, material traces we call law, right and procedure. In the streets of Chicago, and all across the nation, the festering wound of this cleavage, wrought in the flesh of the bodies laid to waste such as Trayvon Martin and innumerable others even just here in Chicago, billows upwards towards the surface in crepuscular decay, seeking the cool hand of a doctor.

The idea of a doctor that we have today is malnourished, reduced to those descendants of Hippocrates locked away from the masses in hospitals by the very law I’ve been talking about this whole time. In ancient times, and up through the medieval period, a doctor was one who treated more than just bodily ailments. I don’t mean this in a holistic, vaguely spiritualist sense, but in the sense of recognizing that the infirmities of the flesh are inflicted not just by our narrow definition of disease, but by other, more indecipherable sources. Society, ideas, ideology, &c. Following the lead of the people who recognize this strange chasm, who were out in the street and yearning for a real engagement with justice, philosophy is needed today as a doctor was needed in more ancient times, to diagnose the illnesses of dogma.

Veganism/feminism and the most Bizarre Dairy Related Myth Out There

In addition to all the arguments made in Carol Adams’ fantastic book, “The Sexual Politics of Meat”, I would like to point out one of the most ridiculous myths popularized by the dairy industry. I don’t really understand why this one has stuck or why not many people have made a point of calling it out as a serious fallacy. Often you hear someone saying something along the lines of, “even if it is unjust to keep cows in the conditions that we do now, we still need to milk cows because if we didn’t, their udders would hurt.” There’s two seriously glaring problems with this argument.

First, and less importantly, because there’s a perfectly good retort to it, is that the mechanical milkers that are placed on a cow’s udders end up chapping them and causing some really gnarly infections. So, yes, if you buy milk from places that milk their cows by hand, then this is easy to get around. The problem with this argument, however, is that 99% of the milk on the market is not obtained this way, it’s just economically unfeasible. Just because it can be done this way doesn’t mean you ought to discount the fact that it doesn’t happen this way and go about consuming dairy as if it did.

Second, and most damning, is that mammals don’t produce milk unless they have recently given birth. This means that in order to continually produce milk, a dairy cow has to give birth to a new calf every year, and in order to harvest a profitable amount of milk from the cow, the calf is separated from the cow at birth. Strike one: theft of children in order to utilize the resources naturally reserved for the calf. Furthermore, a Bull will not mate with the same cow twice, so in order to impregnate the massive amounts of cows needed to turn a profit on a dairy project, the industry often turns to artificial insemination to keep cows pregnant. What does that mean in practical terms? A big metal cock, or syringe, filled with semen is inserted into the cow to force conception. Strike two: Mechanical rape to create the conditions for the extraction of resources. Finally, going back to the first argument, the cow’s udders wouldn’t need milking if the cow’s young had the opportunity to suckle like they would in natural circumstances. And very finally, the cow wouldn’t be producing more than enough milk for their young if they weren’t pumped full of steroids to stimulate milk production in the first place. Strike three: a straight up case of, as Jack White says, “taking the effect and making it the cause.”

Even just the case of rape, IMHO, makes it impossible to be a feminist and continue to consume dairy products, at least as they are produced en masse. The abduction of children is the creme and the overstimulation of the body in order to justify massive resource extraction is the cherry on top. I’m sure there’s a much more elaborate way of making this argument, but this one seems like one of those that you just put out on the table and that’s all that’s needed.

Mr. Obama, tear down this wall! Or, the maggots in the wall.

Despite the furious title I’ve assigned this musing, I don’t think that what I’m going to say will quite carry the force of it’s assertion. Nevertheless, I wanted to make some remarks towards a future essay inspired by this fantastic novel I’m reading right now (‘Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials’ by Reza Negarestani). Certainly right now the world is dealing with many contradictions, hidden and revealed, but one that is given as the primary by the folks who control the avenues of discourse in at least the war-torn correspondence between the United States and the rest of the world, is that between Islamic Fundamentalism and American Capitalism. According to the standard narrative, this contradiction comes down to the confrontation between the dissemination of public power (in the form of American Capitalism) and the concentration of monolithic force (in the form of Islamic Fundamentalism). This popular story is interesting, albeit for reasons obscured by the ordinary discourse. Instead of reading this contradiction in the normal way, I propose that we view it as a question of ‘openness.’ That is, as a question of how open each system is to the intrusion, influence and archaeological investigation of outside forces.

I can obviously speak much less to the Middle Eastern part of this equation, but if I might make some comments on the American variable, I might have achieved my goal. To this end I will assert the following ideas: First, that the Greco-American liberal-open theory of outside influence is inadequate. Second, that the Judeo-Christian-American theory of language refortifies the inadequacy of American openness.

In my opinion, the question of openness comes down to the following insight: “It is less the case that human affairs are constantly under threat of being convoluted by an unknown outside than that the human world is dangerously incapable of opening itself to the outside. It is the fear of outside influence, an anthropocentric xenophobia, that prevents the introduction of the an-animal elements of reality such as Justice, Truth, and Nihilation that haunts the geo-politics of contemporary discourse. In fact, it is the paranoid solidization of social structures that leads to the decay which opens the human to the (already existing) absolute outside.” What I mean is that much of American xenophobia is the symptom not of the desire for the conservative elements of America to keep out the outside influence of Islamic theocracy, but the inability of American culture to release it’s hold on it’s conceited sense of liberal secularism in favor of the possibility of an inhuman intrusion of irrational Justice and Truth. These concepts, which are utterly foreign to our ideological world-standing, are due as much to the atheistic liberalism of our State as to the narrow-minded Christian notion of America. The inability to conceive of the non-humanist possibility of Justice, the giving due to every being according to their an-human being, is a fault of atheist humanism as much as it is of conservative Christian theology. What ought to be considered, rather, is the intrusion of impossible Justice, the respect of plants and every other animal outside of the narrow human concept, into the political structure. This trickling concept, this invisible yet immanent concept is what prevents American liberalism from living up to the Idea of America, the porous entity capable of bringing a non-religious divinity into the world. As an endnote, in order to comfortably assert my anti-xenophobic stance, I would comfortably state that the Middle East is another entity, among many, that is capable of facilitating this intrusion of Justice and Truth.

Finally, and keeping in mind the preceding considerations, I will note the linguistic inhibitions that, in my mind, do in fact make the conservative establishment a greater party to blame in the humanist conspiracy against Justice. The incantation that has given the Republican party power in the last few years is as follows: “build a wall.” The desire to keep out the Mexicans, the Guatemalans, &c. which is indubitably a xenophobic expression, also betrays the depth of the American commitment to a bordered existence. In the Kabbalistic tradition, letters and words express the very existence of God (the divine outside), and the American conservative tradition that commits itself to asserting that we ought to build a wall does not understand the significance of their assertion. IN asserting the necessity of a wall, they build the wall. The wall between Mexico and America (which really represents the wall between America and the rest of the world in a non-superficial [read non-capitalist] manner) is really manifested, despite the inexistence of the wall that is currently being built, in a barrier between the porous entity known as America and the rest of the world. Through the very assertion to ‘build a wall,’ a wall is being built that keeps out the existences of any entity not confirmed as American. The anti-Kabbalistic tendency of this motion, the desire to use the words of resistance against the very notion of openness, protends the possibility of opening up the American Idea to the infinity of the world, and it is only through the inevitable decay that comes through the very construction of such a building that makes it possible to forsee the possibility of a world governed by the indiscriminate application of Justice that the Idea of America entails. So american conservatives, continue your project of building a wall, through the dissolution of your xenophobic project with the possibility of an open world come into existence.

Walking

Ever so often, I wonder how many of these small blog posts will become larger projects, or become incorporated into larger projects. I don’t think it really matters either way, but this post especially is one that while interesting in its own right would obviously be better suited for more elaboration. Many of these posts are just holzwege, interesting but ultimately dead ended paths. I like them though, because they allow for more exploration in thought; rather than following the normal pathways I usually take when thinking critically, paths that are quite established and generally need just upkeep and improvement, the blog (and the notebook) allow one to wander between them, creating “desire paths” of the mind (if you’ve never heard of a desire path: http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/25-everyday-things-you-never-knew-had-names) which might one day become my path of choice. It’s quite similar to walking, which I still like to do despite the recent drop in temperature here in Indiana. One thing I noticed about walking is that it transforms the landscape back into a terrain to be explored and moved through, rather than a simple path to be traveled upon. When driving, there’s a sense (for good reason) that the trajectories of your movement are pre-determined and reasonable. There’s also a radical schism between the road and the objects surrounding them; not just because you can’t drive on the building, but because the degree of identity between the road and “that-which-isn’t-road” is minimal, they are nearly different worlds. What I mean to note is that the division of road and surroundings is not just an effect of our consciousness’ positing of the difference, but because commerce, law and social custom organize the objects which appear in the road/not-road continuum to reflect the fundamental chasm that our cultural world places between path and not-path. The same effect can be seen in any number of situations: the path in a national park which you use to see the nature that stands at a distance, the rational and linear progression of history (of the Capitalist project) which views the rest of the world’s bustlings as undeveloped and misguided. The path, the idea of the path that takes one from point a to point b, is by no means a new or western phenomenon; on the contrary it is present in most cultures in history. The difference that marks our culture’s utilization of the path, however, is that we’ve made the path law, and not just custom. It always seemed bizarre and beautiful to me when I would read, or see in a film, the characters crossing boundaries and stepping off of paths, or not even using paths, in what would today be outlawed as trespassing.

Feels

I’ve been drawing back pretty close to Animal Collective’s 2005 album ‘Feels’ the last couple of days. I’m pretty sure, at this point, that it’s what I would call a masterpiece because of both the extraordinary quality of every individual track as well as the arc of the work as a whole. If I had to choose an album to listen to for the rest of my life, I think it may well be this one. As with all of the posts I put up on this blog I don’t think that what follows is any kind of complete evaluation of what I think about the album, but acts simply as a means of allowing me to vocalize some key concepts that come to mind when reflecting on this work.

What’s a Masterpiece?

In the tradition of European guild arts, a masterpiece was the work that an apprentice would present to the guild to apply for membership in the guild-itself. Interestingly enough, contrary to our contemporary understanding of the masterpiece, it isn’t necessarily the ‘high point’ of one’s artistic career; rather, it is simply the first work that is deemed worthy of being retained as a work of quality by the guild. That it has come to signify a work that is the culmination of one’s life work is, then, quite interesting. It seems counter-intuitive that the culmination of one’s life work could be the first major piece of one’s career. What I’d like to consider is the fact that the question of the masterpiece comes down to the fact that the ‘rest’ of one’s work, that is, the works that come after the masterpiece historically, is condensed into the work that proceeds it, historically. Even if we take the term more loosely, to designate the work that is an artist’s ‘greatest’ work, then we still have to consider the fact other ‘good’ and perhaps ‘great’ works come after the masterpiece. In the case of “one hit wonders,” the concept makes perfect sense: the culmination of an artist’s work comes in their first commercial success, many artists burn out after their introduction to the wider world that receives their work. I think that the guild system models our own commercial system well, insofar as in both systems, there are a great deal of artists who produce one great work, a work that fulfills their artistic development in a single piece, after which there is only repetition and degradation. We retain in the historical script a number of artists, however, that cannot be reduced to that single fulfillment, that single telos of an artistic force. Rimbaud and Rilke are the first that come to mind. Both wrote really “great” works early in their career, works that were both well received critically and which remain as works of staggering brilliance, but also went on to produce their “greatest” works after their ‘masterpiece’ (in the classical sense). Are we to think, for these artists, that they did not actually achieve their ‘masterpiece,’ their work to be retained by the guild, until after working through their already ‘great’ works? Badiou’s thinking on the truth of artistic production, here, is quite helpful. For Badiou, the subject of art is not found in the human animal who produces pieces of art. Rather, it is more like the current of an artistic push, the instance of art itself. Regardless of the individual who produces the work, the artistic piece itself is that which achieves the status of ‘masterpiece.’ This, clearly, obfuscates the problem of the masterpiece precisely because it does not allow for a single narrative of the linear development of an individual’s artistic production. Art, for Badiou, may be created by an individual, but its truth lies in the collective flow of an artistic current.

(Animal) Collective Production

Animal Collective presents somewhat of an impasse in contemporary music. The premise of the band is that there is an ever-evolving group of individual musicians who have similar proclivities when it comes to creating artwork. Though the band roster has revolved around a relatively stable group of individuals (Panda Bear, The Geologist, Avey Tare, &c.), the band itself is a sort of side project for each of the individual artists who are working on their own music, rather than the other way around (which would be ‘normal’); hence the “collective” part of the Animal Collective moniker. More often than not, one hears that an individual in the collective is touring or putting out a new album. All of these individuals, however, share a common taste in style (one could very easily read into this the concept of ‘forms-of-life’ in the thought of Wittgenstein and the Tiqqun Collective) and it is this common taste that is the common spirit that produces art without assignment to a particular individual. It is in this way that we can understand ‘Feels’ to be a masterpiece despite the fact that some of Animal Collective’s more recent albums also seem to be their “greatest” works.

What’s a Collective?

Some folks I know have rejected Animal Collective on the ground that their use of the designation “collective” belies a rich political sense of that word. I’m with them to a certain extent on this sentiment. Where I think I break with this feeling, however, is insofar as I don’t like the idea that there is such a strict definition of what ‘politics’ is. Though the Animal Collective is an artistic group, one with admittedly understandable close ties to a very a-political ‘hipster’ culture, there is nonetheless a political dimension to the group insofar as they are continually committed to the rejection of a central focal point of their artistic endeavors. Though, as noted above, there is a central group around which the Animal Collective revolves, there is nothing (even in theory) like an “Animal Collective Manifest” that ties us to thinking of the group as essentially connected to any of those in the milieu which has produced the albums we know of so far. When I listen to this band, the closest historical analogues I can think of are artistic movements such as the “Parnassian Poets” or the “Atonal musicians,” &c. That is, there is a common spirit without the ability to reduce the collective work to a singular human site.

What Makes ‘Feels’ a “Masterpiece”

After these preliminary remarks, I feel like I’m ready to talk about the work itself. As I stated above, each of the individual tracks on the album are fantastic, from the post-structuralist ballad ‘Did You See the Words’ to the youthful exuberance of ‘Grass’ to the heartfelt existential ballad ‘Banshee Beat’ to the transcendental ode ‘Turn into Something.’ There is also an arc to the album that leads us through something like a transcendental dialectic. In the first song, ‘Did You See the Words,’ the band makes us aware of the centrality of language. But unlike the normal call to language to which many philosophers orient us, this song makes language a primarily corporeal experience. Sings Panda Bear: “Did you see them/the words cut open/ your poor intestines can’t deny/inky periods drip from you mailbox/blood flies drip and glide.” In this, there’s a tangible experience of language in not only the body but also in the transmitter of language, the mailbox, which moves physically inscribed words from one place to another. Through the next couple of songs, we experience the development of this idea, oscillating between seriousness and silliness. Finally, in ‘The Purple Bottle,’ there is a sort of high point, which through the use of a vocal effect which moves between stability and confusion, the album’s subject experiences a sincere connection to an Other: “can I tell you that you’re the purple in me?/can I call you just to hear you would you care?” After this song, there is a gradual disintegration of this connection, a denoument of the experience of the outside world. Finally, in the last song of the album, we are urged to “Turn Into Something,” to go beyond the simple experience of the outside (and of the consequent retreat from the outside, the “Bees” of traumatic experience) and create something new of ourselves. Ultimately, I think that there is a reason why the group decided to call the album ‘Feels’ rather than ‘Reasons’ or something like that: in this artistic experience which has the trace of a story arc, the album does not make a complete commitment to a single story, but plays about the arc that I have outlined above.

As I noted in the introductory notes on this essay, there is obviously much more to be written about this album, and I have assumed and sketched a great many thoughts about the songs contained on the album that I left unqualified which I feel the need to go back to at some point in the future. For now, this is what I’ve got on the album, I’d love to hear back from you to learn from my mistakes and to ‘turn into something’ else.

Notes Toward Building the Zombie Community

The following was recently published, graciously, by the Rebel Doll Zine in my now native Indianapolis. I’m posting it here, now, because I also included the address of this blog in the zine and I’m hoping that one or two people may visit and give their feedback to develop the very brief (we were asked to limit our submissions to one page) ideas in the piece:

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What’s up with mainstream America’s obsession with zombies? If you ask a psychologist, they’ll probably tell you that it’s the result of some sort of identification complex, i.e., we find in the mass depersonalization and automation of zombies something that we see in ourselves, or in our culture. If you ask me, the explanation is a little more complex, and a lot more insidious. What if, rather than identifying with the zombies, viewers actually identify with the protagonists? That doesn’t sound so absurd; of course most movies are written so that we can understand and identify with the hero or anti-hero. What does this mean in the context of a zombie flick, then?

In the most classic and popular zombie film of all time, Dawn of the Dead, the majority of the action takes place in a shopping mall. What’s a shopping mall but the very epitome of late capitalism? The mall is at once a mass of stores and an appropriation and organization of public space, in the form of the mall building itself, to facilitate the movement of individuals, as on a conveyor belt, from one store to the next. In primarily classical Marxist analyses of Dawn of the Dead, it is argued that the zombies in the film symbolize the mall itself, that they are depoliticized objects embodying commodity fetishism. The Marxists read the film as a radical anti-consumerist aesthetic manifesto, as a warning against runaway consumer capitalism. Now, that very well may have been George Romero’s intention, in fact, I’m pretty sure he’s stated something like that at several points throughout this career.

But like most popular films that are on the surface anti-capitalist or anti-consumerist, we can also read Dawn of the Dead in terms of how the film affects our psyche when we leave the theatre. At the end of Dawn of the Dead, the characters make an escape from the mall, their bodies intact, touting a sense of accomplishment with their courage barely shaken. When we identify with these characters, we have the feeling that we too have fought against the zombie-like forces of capitalism; there is a burden lifted when the characters with which we identify do the work that the film proposes to us. In the case of Dawn of the Dead, Romero proposes a resistance to consumerism, we identify that as a task to be done, and as the characters on screen act out that resistance, we feel the same sort of accomplishment that we would if we were to act out that resistance in the real world (through mutual aid, cooperative living, corporate sabotage, &c.). We see the same effect in films like The Bank (2001), Salt (2010) or worst of all, Avatar (2009); these films are wildly popular, but do we ever see an influx in moral anti-capitalist, anti-consumerist or anti-State activism after the films come out? Of course not, they’re simply entertaining and give us a sense of accomplishment at even having seen the film’s theatrical acting out of our anti-consumerist fantasies.

The zombie film genre would have the effect Romero was going for if at the end of the film, the characters were killed and/or assimilated by the zombies. Terrible prospect for the characters, but probably at that point we would be forced to act out the fantasy ourselves, with real world consequences. What is more powerful than the unresolved tension of feeling an injustice, even on the big screen, and needing to bring about the denoument? This playing out could take many forms, one particularly zombie themed action was a mainstay in the place I previously lived, Asheville, NC (though it’s a national and even international event by this point): the Zombie Walk.

In a Zombie Walk, folks get dressed up as zombies and storm a capitalist stronghold (the Bank of America was a recurring target in Asheville). While at once throwing ordinary passersby off during their normal meanderings through the downtown business district and interrupting the flow of things as normal generally, the protestor/zombies hand out information about the environmental degradation that the Bank funds and facts about the absurd amount of money that Bank CEO’s have made over the last few years (hint: their salaries are going up as the rest of the world slips into debt and poverty). Why dress up as a zombie to do this work? Maybe its because we should identify with the zombies in popular films, but with the aim of creating a new kind of zombie, a new kind of ideology, an ideology of resistance. This machinic resistance is a reappropriation of the zombie community for our own revolutionary projects.

Capitalism is a monstrous machine, and small acts of resistance in big screen blockbusters is only going to grease its cogs. What we need is a new zombie, one that feeds on the brains of environmentally destructive corporations, one that eats out the heart of xenophobia and racism ripping communities apart, all the while building a community of autonomous singularities (the people participating in the zombie walk eventually take off their makeup and go play kickball in the park) with the aim of making real radical change in the world.