Thursday, September 30, 2010

a clarification

i have this friend, female, very working class, non-hetero, very interested in anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist ideas (particularly those to which i myself have been most partial in the past 2 years: tiqqun, dupont, perlman...). she has no interest, however, in getting involved with the radical milieu. without middle-class illusions of do-gooderism it's just that much easier for her to see it as the three-ring bullshit circus of self-serving rich kid guilt and histrionics.

a clarification indeed, that there was never anything behind it but invective, fabrications, and raw political ambition (of both the hard-headed 3rd-year marxist variety as well as the empty-headed liberal suburban do-gooder pseudo-anarchist variety); the hollowest of rhetorical devices employed by the same kind of people - leftist politicians - who will say and do absolutely anything for power. who speak of accountability while hiding their faces, who speak of community but abhor any in which they are not the police.

fencewalker - a term from the subculture of skinheads (didn't your cultural studies professors teach you to look up these etymologies?), a fitting shibboleth for a bunch of disgusting little fascists trying to portray themselves as any other kind of -ists. politics is politics, no matter on what scale. skinheads, like black blockers, like police, like leftist politicians calling themselves "radical women", can employ the device of uniform to create a collective anonymity which is by no means required to be liberatory.

to my friends and 'sympathizers', please stop drawing my attention to this sort of thing. a final clarification: i have nothing new to say about it, as the fascists in question have recently clarified that they don't either. please, the rhetoric reminds of listening to alanis morisette in 1992, when most of these little shits were being born, silver spoon and all.

besides, like my friend, i have no interest in anyone's fake-ass utopias or delusions of moral grandeur. like them, all i really have is a threat. but it's a promise: i have a 'shoot first, ask questions later' policy now. if anyone fucks with me, if anyone crosses my path who has been associated with this, they will get seriously fucked up. my available means of defending myself, and destroying you, are never far from my mind, or my hands. please rest assured that the trauma you have inflicted on me has made me certain to spare no effort and no expense making sure that should something happen again, i will be ready, i will not hesitate, i will fucking ruin you punk ass humanities majors and lifestyle rebels.

you should be proud at least of having made me this, since you have nothing else to be proud of.

and the rest of you, why don't you believe me? ties to your local authoritarian identity politicians and the 'anarchist' gossip mill to be honored first? maybe you think that the first time you called yourself that you became impervious to any authoritarian ruse? you want to believe that it happened in 1938 but it can't happen now. wake the fuck up, it is happening, you are not an anarchist and neither am i but at least i can admit it now. all we can ever be, do or dream is still just the shit of the millennia of this corrupt world. the profound entanglement of 'anti-authoritarians' with those who are explicitly our worst enemies is proof of this, if nothing else is.

people who think they know how to fix the world are just as bad as anyone else, only worse because they're more deluded, arrogant and hypocritical. the world is unfixable and you are a pretentious brat who deserves only the worst.

that is all.

Friday, September 3, 2010

since some people have been SO insistent that i need to respond to the "actual charges" (what were those, exactly? goldsteinism?) ... first, why i didn't already.

i don't want anything to do with the scene (yes, your politics are a scene, get over it) and don't want to be involved in some kind of back and forth. i also don't think i want to get into talking about the specific "charges" since there were none and more importantly because i think to take such thuggish politicians at their word is to play into the idea that there was something sincere or meaningful in this action. i'm sure there were some who thought of it that way, maybe all of them. but unconscious calculations and manipulations are still calculations and manipulations.

but since you ask. there is of course a doctrine that says there are two types of sexual encounter; one is 100% consensual, comfortable etc, the other is "assault" which is generally translated to mean "violent rape, by a male, of a female". of course this sounds ridiculous when put so simply but this perspective has so many partisans in the "radical" scenes because it is a mobilizing ideology for the standard-bearers of this particular ideology, it provides a polarizing and simplistic analysis of the really complex problems around sexuality, and in fact it reinforces a lot of patriarchal dogma - masculine as active principle, female as passive and helpless victim, etc. and of course, as i pointed out, accusations which by definition cannot be questioned are a perfect weapon of character assassination in anyone's hands. of course the fact that the "victims" (or rather "survivors") can mobilize such organized and juridical violence shows that their matriarchy is every bit as patriarchal as patriarchy. one shudders to think of the kind of society they would bring into being.

anyway the truth is that i have never intentionally aggressed upon anyone in a sexual manner. i have been involved in sexual situations that weren't 100% communicative and which one or more parties felt weird about later. this shit happens and if any of those kids were older than 19 they would probably have a fucking clue about it by now and would realize that grownups can have actual conversations about these things. anyway like i said, it was never of an intent to coerce or take advantage of anyone. i do not believe that i have ever been coercive. i have relied maybe too much on trying to read body language instead of asking 'is this okay, etc' with partners i didn't know well, and i have certainly learned better from that. that said i still think that what happened was a totally insane and disproportionate response that in its very form belies its ulterior motives. i have also found that some people simply don't like to communicate directly, and instead they blame someone else and bottle up their negative emotions until they have fermented and become very toxic.

apparently what happened in sc had specifically to do with a drunken one night stand i had with someone who was not happy to wake up with a bunch of hickies the next day. i apologized and this person said it was fine and we in fact remained friends for some time after that. (did we really?) so it's really not clear to me what i should have done differently at that point, when either she changed her mind retroactively or just deliberately miscommunicated to me (why?). another person's name was mentioned who was not consulted about the action, did not hear about it til after it happened and was completely horrified about it. so good job there.

and i did try to contact the "women's" group when i heard i was being discussed, with openness, with respect to their group and the idea of accountability. their response? only to expel the person who had told me because supposedly their deliberations were secret - although obviously a bunch of men had been made aware of it already - apparently the decision had already been made. covert authoritarianism par excellence.

so, i'm not a rapist, and if you're down with the rumor mill, then do us all a favor and fast-forward your cultish behavior to the group suicide phase. this was not about healing or fixing anything or fighting patriarchy. it was just some high school drama bullshit like your whole fucking 'movement'. politics without admitted politicians is still politics. people who call themselves whatever-ists still have party lines, leaders and scapegoats. no politics is good politics.

the people behind this deserve to have their homes invaded by insane masked vigilantes who kidnap and torture the shit out of them. no lie. the most perfect hell for hypocrites is to suffer what they have imposed on others. obsessing on revenge is unhealthy and unfit for rational adults - i'm sure that's a big part of where this came from given that the people involved, like most "radical students" and the like, are overly spoiled children. however prudent preparation is not, and anyone who comes at me again will have their blood shed - that is a promise. besides, i'm sure you can find some other scapegoats, probably a lot of guys who actually deserve it, hell we've all met or heard about them. most of them just had more friends than me.

if i had to pick one thing to be ashamed of, it would be that i wasted years of my life seeking friends among pretentious, spoiled, self-righteous, conceited children of the bourgeois who cloaked and channeled their ressentiment, guilt and other dysfunctions into ideological fervor that made them believe their self-important scenesterism and fucked up agendas were going to bring some kind of utopia.

grow the fuck up or kill yourselves. this is the last message, seriously. if you look below you will see some comments made by other people from the (now in decline) santa cruz radical student milieu who are unfortunately too terrified by the thug to put their name to any of their statements, but at least here you can see more than a one sided version or mine.
As if this world isn't shitty and oppressive enough already!... There has been a growing rift between the men and the women ever since what happened to you.... I find that most people are pessimistic about a strong mobilization around budget cuts this fall.

good job, assholes.
It is hard to express, in words, the terrifying way in which the so-called student movement began to dissolve and eat its young. I share your view that what happened to you was political. That you were scapegoated. I wasn't a part of any of the deliberations that led to your scapegoating. Nor was I a part of the official discussions among women about sexism. What I know was gathered from informal discussions with people who were largely peripheral to the whole thing. I've shared my opinion about it with you before. The women in our group -- many of whom are very young -- were not used to the sort of multiple partner intimacy that came along with intense political militancy and spending so much time together. While we were politically breaking down barriers, many people were breaking them down in their personal and intimate lives, which can be unsettling to those who are not very mature. What happened to you was fucked up, but the context in which it happened is important to keep in mind. There was indeed a lot of misguided idealism going around.

I told several people who I know were involved in some capacity in the plot that I thought it was suspect that one of the few active participants who was from a less privileged school had been targeted. I don't think this was an accident. The larger political militancy lost its focus and personal relationship problems became collective concerns. You were easy for people to single out because, in spite of what everyone said about there being no "outsiders" in our group, you were a student from another school. As fucked up as it is, I think that had something to do with you being targeted. I don't think there is some vast authoritarian sentiment lurking in the brains of people who once called you their friend and comrade. I think there is a lot of misplaced self-righteousness that is common to activist and anarchist milieus. That is the only way that I can possibly account for how so many people could engage in or tolerate vigilante-style reprisals.

I'm not sure that anything I, or anyone else who is still around santa cruz, could say that would give you a sense of closure about this terrible affair. Betrayals are truly nasty. I'm pretty sure this incident will shift people's alliances and put a damper on a lot of the starry-eyed idealism you talk about in your post. Dark days.

In the spirit of love and friendship,
A lot of people were left in the dark. A lot of people disagree about why there was no communication with you or with anyone else before an action happened. Still attempts at communication (ie a meeting we tried to have noon the day after your attack) were shut down by the 'womens group'. It feels a bit like a central discussion group which controls who else can talk outside the group. Kyle Thomas is a bastard, quick to assume, and makes me feel like shit whenever he talks to me. He offered to talk but in the most mocking sort of way.

Otherwise no discussions have happened yet. I don't know if it will, I want to see where things go with that. Everyone is hella angered about everything. And I'm basically waiting to see what the sides look like when it happens.

this and all following posts in italics are from sc radical student folks

Yo I feel you. Still no one has opened up. I don't feel too safe. Kyle Thomas has never treated me well, and I'm feel like he keeps an abusive personality that forces his peers down allowing him to rise as 'role model'. I daydream all day about slashing his bike tires. All these 'solutions' to problems seem to just echo trauma rather than allow anyone to get past them, something is fucked up there.

I've also been laying low on any 'radical' organizing, partly because school's out, partly because i have a full-time job right now, partly because i don't know what kind of ideas are going through the group right now. I don't know if i'm some kind of traitor for disagreeing with tactics. it's weird that all this (i thought) was intended to keep victims affairs private, but it came out so publicly, though still no one will talk formally.

from a sc radical student

Hey man,

I've been thinking a lot about what happened, but the details I've been able to glean are rather thin. I'm still not clear on what they did to you. I read your forwarded message, and it seems totally legit to be cautious and stay away from this fucked up santa cruz scene for a while. Purchasing a gun is, of course, your prerogative and all, but I don't think you have anything to be paranoid about where you're at now. Whatever threats you're still receiving are probably just people venting anger in fucked up ways.

I was talking with xxxxx about several recent "politicizations" of personal relationships: why these things are happening in NY and SC, etc. I'm sure it's no consolation to you, but I think understanding these dynamics might make it less senseless. In my own opinion, it seems like a lot of very pretty and very young girls were involved in the political actions of this past year. These girls tended to gravitate towards men who they thought were respected in the milieu -- yourself and others -- and probably became sexually involved because they calculated that they could gain some sort of position in the group, however unconscious such calculations may have been. It's a very normal thing and a much larger social phenomenon than the narrow confines of Santa Cruz. However, in the current context, many of these girls probably don't have much experience with that kind of sexual promiscuity, and it backfired because it didn't actually improve their standing in the group. It was probably more neutral than anything else. Some combination of naivety, misplaced anger and vague notions of patriarchal oppression led them to scapegoat members of the group who are easy to single out: you, Evan, perhaps others.

None of this means that what people have done isn't fucked up. So I don't want to imply that these actions are in any way "excusable." But they do seem rather explainable. I think you got caught in the cross-hairs of a politically charged, female "coming of age" moment. But again, my information is pretty limited. So anything you can share with me about the events would help me to formulate an effective response to the situation.

Stay well, buddy.

from an expelled former member of the "women's group"

"What I saw was the 'perfect storm' of activist frustration combined with an effective, vocal organizer displacing rage onto an easy target. Nowadays I feel mostly shame that I didn't do more to stop it..."