Saturday, February 16, 2008

Just what you needed—more of my big mouth

A blog of my own.

I've been resisting it for years. Angsty teens with too much internet access on their hands poisoned the waters. Plus, my generation has replaced real, live social networking with "social networking websites." And my revolutionary contemporaries and I aren't immune: we can spend hours upon hours every day doing internet-based "organizing" without ever leaving our homes. Is it really organizing if we don't see each other face-to-face regularly? Or do we just fill our days with electronic pseudo-organizing so we feel better about ourselves in such a yucky political environment? Lee Seigel put it best: the internet is the first social environment to serve the needs of the isolated, elevated, asocial individual. Uh-oh. That doesn't sound like an ingredient for revolutionary social change.

Well, I'm taking the blog back, damnit.

The Zapatistas, Burmese democracy activists, and the good folks at Regeneracion Radio have convinced me that while the only real way to radically transform society for the better is to dismantle capitalism and the pillars it sits upon, we can seize their technology for our needs. Technology is most often funded by capitalists to further their purposes and expand their powerful reach. It's not made to help us. But that doesn't mean it can't make a decent weapon in the interim.

I've spent so long banging my head up against the metaphorical wall that is US imperialism that I'm disoriented. And my stomach really, really hurts. So I'm off to Mexico to make myself useful, and this blog is one of the ways I'm going to do that. I've written about Mexico before and had my articles published in various places, and I often translate articles and communiques, but never before have I tried to compile all of my writings, translations, and odds and ends in one place to create a more complete picture of Mexico as it's inspired and enraged me.

And gosh, Mexico's been enraging me lately. Paramilitary activity and an overall environment of impunity is making Chiapas seriously dicey. I never thought I'd hear anyone complain about a lack of gringos in Mexico, but everyone seems to agree that there aren't enough journalists writing in English about the situation.

So here you will find news articles, analysis, translations, notes, and links about what I see and hear in Mexico. A "Barricade Manifesto Against Radical Symbolism" will probably appear after a few months and a couple of caguamas. It's sure to change the character of activism in the gabacho. Just you wait.
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